Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Colon Probe

So yesterday I had a colonoscopy.  Ever since that kidney stone episode I've been struggling with the Ulcerative Colitis more than usual.  It's amazing, because even though I've had something like 5 colonoscopies in my life to-date, I still get nervous right before every procedure.

Diagram Provided by WebMD

In all honesty, they sound a whole lot worse than they are.  The worst part is the laxative prep you have to drink the day before.  I took the 4 Ducolax tablets per the instructions and then I really tried my best to drink the Miralax laxative prep- I even mixed it with Squirt, which one of the nurses told me masked the flavor the most... (and it really didn't taste that bad), but ever since the kidney stone episode, my gag reflex has been extra sensitive.  Like I told the doctor, I think I got some of it down.

David drove me to the Endoscopy Center, signed me in, and then went home to work while he waited.  I sat in the lobby for about 5 minutes glancing at the USA Today newspaper headlines nervously as I waited to be called back.

The nurse who took me back to the procedure area was very nice, if not overly perky for someone who works in a clinic that deals with bile and feces on a daily basis.  She told me to put the hospital gown on and lie down hospital gurney and someone would come in with a warm blanket.  I did as I was told, and sure enough, the minute I sat down on the bed another woman can in with a very cozy warm blanket and covered me with it.

The first nurse came back and put an IV in my arm.  It hurt because I was so dehydrated from the laxative prep that my veins kept diving or rolling so they had to kind of dig for them.    But, she put me on a saline drip to help get me hydrated again, so I started feeling better after a minute or two once the IV was in place.

Finally, a male nurse came back and explained that he was my doctor, Robb Gibson's assistant during the procedure and he wheeled me back.  I told him that when he administered the drugs, that I like to be drugged to the absolute legal limit.  That I don't want to feel or remember a thing from the procedure.  He laughed and said it wasn't so much a legal thing, but that he wanted to keep me breathing.  I told him legal in all sense of the word... meaning don't kill me!

The Dr. Robb and I spoke for a few minutes.  I told him about my struggles with the prep.  He's a nice man who is good at listening, which in my experience is rare for GI docs.  He seemed to understand what I was going through and he also seemed to take an active roll in making me feel at ease as he told me to turn onto my side to begin the procedure.  I was out before my head hit the pillow.

The next thing I know I was waking up in the recovery room with David hovering over me with a huge smile on his face.  The Dr. Robb came in and spoke to us both about his findings.  They make sure you have a "responsible party" to listen to the doctor and take you home because of the drugs they give you.  I seriously remember only patches of that conversation... other than that they found what they thought they were going to find... mild to moderate Ulcerative Colitis.  The IV was no longer in my arm, but it was replaced with a bright blue bandage.

When they told me I could get dressed, David was sweet about helping me and even tried to help me with my underware... To which I resisted quickly snatching them away from him and losing my balance in the process.  He decided just to steady me while I got dressed after that.  Which is the only part about getting dressed that I can recollect.  I remember David holding my arm and he directed me to a chair while he went to get the car.  Then a dark haired nurse took one of my arms and David took the other and they put me into the car.

David stopped at my favorite restaurant, Mazzah on the way home and bought me some lunch... my first meal in almost 48 hours and also my favorite: Mujjadara (rice and lentil pilaf with carmelized onions) and Dolma (Grape leaves, lemon and rice).  I slept in the car while he went in to get the food.

The next thing I know, we were home and I was sitting in the chair next to my bed with the food in front of me.  I ate a little more than half of my lunch, and then I sprawled on the bed.  I slept until almost 5pm.  It was lovely.  It's the absolute best part about having the procedure... the nap you get after is so refreshing.

When I woke up I felt great for the most part... my stomach is usually sensitive, but it was a little raw like something had just scraped the insides of my intestines... oh wait... something did just scape the insides of my intestines.  All in all you could hardly tell I even had something done.  I even rode my bike to work today on my doctor's recommendation!

Now I have to wait for the results from the biopsy, and for my doctors to all discuss the next course of action.  The nice thing is that my GI doctor, Dr. Robb Gibson is going to talk to my GP doctor Dr. Gail Eberharter and my Nutritionist Jolyn Seibert to come up with a plan that will work for me.  This is the kind of doctors talking to doctors to come up with the right plan for the individual patient that makes for good healing.  I'm feeling good about it.

Wish me luck!

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