Yesterday, a friend of mine told me that they think they may have Crohn’s Disease after speaking with a doctor about their symptoms. She’s nervous about undergoing the necessary tests to confirm for sure, which is totally understandable. No-one likes to do blood tests, or collect their poo over a couple of days in little jars to send away. Or drinking barium (similar to drinking cement, and pooping out cement too!) to show contrast in an MRI scan to see where inflammation is.
And don’t even get me started about having a colonoscopy! Yeah sure, you are under General so you don’t feel them shoving a camera up your pooper, but for anyone who has ever done one of these tests, they know what I’m talking about when it comes to the preparation of a colonoscopy. Firstly, the day BEFORE the colonoscopy, you have to go on a clear liquids diet, which basically means you just drink water. You can’t have anything that is red or green in colouring (I think that these colours stain the colon and can confuse doctors as to what they are really looking at) or anything with sugar in it because sugar inflames the gut. Now, spending a whole day fasting from food and just drinking water doesn’t sound too bad – but it is because you do this while you have to drink this disgusting mixture called PicoPrep, which is just the fancy name for AGGRESSIVE LAXATIVE! You get given 3 of these sachets, including the timings of when to take them, which depends on when you are having your colonoscopy the next day – a morning colonoscopy requires you to finish the sachets the day before, and an afternoon colonoscopy likes you to spread the trauma of drinking one more sachet into the morning of the procedure. Now the first time you drink it, it doesn’t taste so bad… it has a lemony salty flavour to it… but it’s what it DOES to you that makes you HATE drinking it! I’m talking violent diarrhea (up to 30 times in the day! I’m sure there is some gross world record about how often you shit from your colonoscopy prep!), bloating, cramping, shooting pains through your guts… you feel exhausted from going to the bathroom so often, not to mention if you don’t have 3-ply toilet paper or more, your butt suffers! I will NEVER buy cheap toilet paper! I may go broke buying the 3000 count Egyptian cotton equivalent to toilet paper, but my god will it be worth it!
So after you feel like you’ve emptied every possible substance that exists in your body, and you go to bed hungry, crampy, exhausted and wishing never to see a toilet again (even though you may have to wake up in the middle of the night and still have to run to the loo), you wake up the day of your procedure and then have to fast completely from water for 6 hours before you go into hospital. And let me tell you, hospitals don’t trust anyone! Even if you’ve been there a million times to the point where the nurses and doctors are like, “Welcome back!” (they should give me a loyalty card… every 10th visit should be free!) they still will NOT take your word that you haven’t had anything to eat or drink since midnight, and will keep you waiting around for a couple more hours. By this stage, you are ready to shred the hospital staff’s faces off… I’ve actually gotten so worked up in hospitals before different surgeries or procedures because of being overtired, in pain, dehydrated and hungry (definitely I am a ‘HANGRY’ person) that I’ve abused staff, sobbed hysterically and have even been held down and sedated! Obviously in hindsight, that’s just a shitty thing to do to people who are working to help you, but hey, I’m human… meltdowns are part of my DNA. And to be fair, I haven’t had a tantrum in a hospital in a while (*cough* 3 months *cough*)… my bad.
Anyway, colonoscopies are seriously awful. I hate them. But at the end of the day, you need them! You need them so that you can know for sure what’s going on inside you. You need to know what needs fixing. The alternative is avoiding finding out what’s happening and having terrible pain, diarrhea, blood, constipation and feeling like your guts are going to explode from the inside. Having 2 days of fasting and horrible diarrhea isn’t REALLY that bad of a trade off. Complain how bloody awful they are (start a blog like this one!), bitch and moan to everyone about it… get it all out of your system because you just HAVE to do it. Just get on with it, deal with it, and get it done. It is better to know for sure what the state of your insides are so that you can start doing whatever is necessary to get better and to start healing.
Besides, you get to keep the pictures of your colon from the procedure as a souvenir! Who doesn’t want that? hahaha