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Tuesday, 25 February 2014

A Trip To The Hospital // My IBD Journey

It's been a while since I've blogged. This is another update of all the IBD stuff that has been going on. I recently went to hospital for a colonoscopy and will try my best not to be too graphic.

The Hospital Appointment

Originally, I had a letter to say I was scheduled for a Flexible Sigmoidoscopy. This procedure is performed differently to a full colonoscopy and only examines the sigmoid part of the colon. After seeing a consultant at the hospital beforehand, it was decided that examining the whole bowel would be more beneficial. 

Before The Exam

Before the procedure you have to "prep" your bowels so that they're clean. There two ways this can be done, I was given tablets and a laxative drink but if you were to only have a Flexible Sigmoidoscopy you'd be given an enema before the procedure.
I was scheduled in for the Monday afternoon, so the Saturday beforehand I had to start a low fiber diet which restricted me from eating things like wholemeal, vegetables, fruits, seeds...etc. On the Sunday I had to take Senna tablets and drink one sachet Picolax which is a laxative drink. On the Monday morning I had to drink another sachet of laxative drink but this one was called Moviprep.
Over these two days I was only allowed to eat a low fiber breakfast on the Sunday morning before a no solids diet. I drunk a lot of water to help clean the bowel, sucked on clear mints and had lemonade ice-lollies. 

When it came to the drinks, I won't lie, the first sachet was disgusting but bearable, the second sachet had to be mixed with 2 pints of water and I found it very difficult. Every person will react differently to the taste, other people mix it with clear flavoured cordial but even then I did end up throwing back the first 8oz.
The only way I can describe the taste is that it's like drinking salty, lemon barley water but with a powdery consistency.
You have a certain time window to get the drink down and I eventually got there. I won't lie there were tears, and I really thought I couldn't do it as I hate being sick. I did phone the hospital in the end to double check that I would still be considered "clean" with the first 8 oz coming back up. Thankfully I was, and what I think helped that is drinking much more water over the three days.

These drinks are used to clean your bowels, you need to stay by the toilet. I won't go into detail but oh my gosh.

The Colonoscopy 

When this was all brought up I was terrified, not of the camera but because I have a needle phobia. I was told by the consultant that 6 out of 10 patients who have a colonoscopy have no form of intravenous sedation. I was relieved that I had the option of entonox or gas and air as it's known but then ironically became scared of the camera.
Getting a little more graphic on the situation, you have to have your blood pressure taken and wear a gown and some shorts with a slit in the back (very fashionable). Then your taken into the procedure room and asked to lay down on the hospital bed with your knees tucked up. Then your prepped for the camera to be inserted. I suggest you start the gas and air (if you opted for that) around about then.The camera is really thin, trust me the insertion isn't painful or uncomfortable but the end of the camera has an air channel attached to inflate the colon to make it easier to pass the camera through.
For me this is the painful and uncomfortable bit, I had to be rolled onto my back, the bloating pain hit me quite suddenly, t
his is because the air had nowhere to go. 

In a state of panic I did get a little upset, which is completely normal. 
So after the camera went past the first corner and I'd huffed more on the gas and air, I was fine. When the biopsies were taken I didn't feel anything. 
During the procedure, you have the option to watch what they are doing. This can be comforting to some people but I politely declined this and put my iPod in one ear and looked away.
The procedure takes about 20 minutes and after you've finished you are cleaned up and rolled down to the ward where you can have a drink, get changed and come round from the anesthetic if you opted for it. I was then given a report of the general findings but usually everything is confirmed when the biopsies are tested. This can take around a week or so.

That is a little update with a general go through of my procedure, if anyone has questions then go ahead, I have had my results back and will do an update on them in a few days.

As always, thanks for reading...

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