But actually. I was so worked up over the procedure itself that little did I know, that would be the best part about the whole process. Now I don’t know about anyone else’s experience or what they had to do, because maybe it’s different for everyone! But here was my experience.
First off I got a call 6 days before my appointment and the nurse was all frantic because you have to start a special diet and certain restrictions before the procedure and some of it had to be done 5 days before, so we were pushing it. On the Friday I woke up early just to pick up this damn package because in my mind I didn’t see the big deal. Now I know. I would not want to repeat the process just because I did it wrong. ANYWAYS.
So I read over everything, picked up some Bi-Peglyte and followed the instructions. The first 4 days were fine. Just had to make sure I wasn’t taking certain medications and vitamins, which for the most part I wasn’t. But sweet baby Jesus, the day before the exam was my death bed. First off, I need you to understand that I am a very angry person when it comes to certain things. Do not talk to me when:
a) I haven’t had my morning coffee. I’m usually not even a human yet until after I have that first sip.
b) When I have not eaten and I am starving.
So this whole “liquid” diet was utter torture. There is no amount of water, popsicles, grape juice, Gatorade, or chicken/beef broth that can replace solid food. And is it just me, or is it like your body knows what you can and can’t do and uses this against you? Because of course on the day I can’t eat anything, I felt like I was craving everything! And everyone seemed to be posting about food!
I sent this photo to my boyfriend that day because it basically summed up my struggles. I literally yelled at my brother for waking me up from my nap with the sweet scent of popcorn.
So on top of being grumpy because I could not eat and could not drink my morning coffee because I refuse to drink it black, I now had to chug the nastiest concoction I have ever tasted. Seriously, who invented Peglyte and did they even taste it themselves? And WHY make it smell fantastic and taste like, I don’t even know! It was the weirdest flavour that made me cringe. And why so much fluids! Let me give you a run down of my regular fluid intake, which is terrible and was literally a new years resolution I made for myself. Normally I have an 8 or 10 ounce cup of coffee, maybe an 8 ounce cup of tea later, 1 water bottle, and maybe like 750 ml of juice, pop, or milk. However, since I’ve been having poop attacks I’ve been craving water, which is new for me. But for your prep you’re expected to drink 2 liters of the peglyte and in between have like 2 liters of Gatorade and another 2-3 liters of water or other clear fluids. This became my kryptonite.
But I got through and chugged one liter of Peglyte the Tuesday night, and then woke up at 6 am to have my last dose of Peglyte. I vividly remember after my second dose of Peglyte just feeling so unbelievably nauseous. I was having a poop attack while fighting the urge to puke and I just sat there telling myself “mmm mmmm, not today girl. We did not chug this nasty shit for you to puke it up and have to start all over again. We are not doing this again. Get it together girl, get it together.” I verbally chanted this to myself as I sat on the toilet and physically pointed to my stomach, as if sternly talking to it would cure my nausea. But ladies and gents we did it! We got through and I did not puke,which apparently deserves a big pat on the back! My poop was the same consistency as my pee and a tiny fart felt like a leaking pipe, but we did it and that’s all that matters.
So I get to the clinic and bless the day, they are running ahead of schedule. So for the most part the rest was a breeze. I got into my gown, got set up at a bed, had three nurses poke and prod me, but finally got an IV in, got my oxygen tank hooked up and before I knew it I was rolling into the examination room. The nurses were so sweet, the anesthesiologist was funny and so was my doctor. Everyone was shocked I graduated university already, and I had bonded with my doctor over travelling as he too had recently gone to Europe. Then the moment of truth came as we went through my medical history and what brought me there. When I was asked what I thought I had, I joked and said “shooting for hemorrhoids” which my specialist quickly squandered saying it was best to be optimistic but also realistic. It was that moment that we both kind of knew that I most likely had colitis. It didn’t have to be said, I was really just here for an official confirmation. So the count down began as I was put under (which by the way what is what witch craft? It made my arm burn so bad as I felt it travel through my IV. Again who created this stuff, I need to send a couple heated complaints!)
Then I just woke up back in my little cubbie area on my bed. I did’t feel nauseous, didn’t really even feel out of it. But of course the doctor came by and for a moment he just looked at me. And I knew exactly what he was going to say, I’ve known for so long. But I don’t know what happened. As soon as he said the sentence “I’m sorry, but you do have Ulcerative Colitis” I just felt this overwhelming sensation of emotions and I just cried.
I was so mad at myself for crying. I knew this was probably what I had. I knew. I spent weeks prepping for it and basically acting like I already had it with my lifestyle changes. But I couldn’t help it. It was a double edge sword. On one hand I was relieved to finally have answers. To finally have some sort of control of myself and this situation, to start treatment and getting better, to confirm I wasn’t crazy. But on the other hand, that was it. There was no going back or taking it back. My life was going to change, forever really. There were going to be limits, somedays I am going to be too tired, or in too much pain, or just not able to participate in life. It was small things like knowing caffeine made symptoms worse and I fucking love coffee. Not only that, but I’m pretty sure I’m addicted. In university I actually had withdrawal symptoms…. Or that I could now only ever take Tylenol, acetaminophen, codeine, ect., and I get migraines and deal with the time of the month from hell thanks to my endometriosis, Tylenol doesn’t do shit! Maybe I’m being silly and selfish, because I know a lot of it is just being vain. I just didn’t think I had to change, unless it was on my terms. But now I have to and it’s because my body just doesn’t want to work with me. Can I get a refund on this body? I heard Costco will take anything back, I wonder if we can negotiate a deal here.
But the doctor was sweet. I was his second person he had diagnosed with ulcerative colitis that day and it was only 2pm. He sat with my mom and I, going through all the details. He’s optimistic, so I am too. I have distal Ulcerative Colitis effecting about 25 cm of my colon. It starts from my rectum and works its way up. He said it was mild to moderate, but bleeds really easily. He said even by rubbing it gently it bled, which would explain why I bled a lot these past few months. My ulcers at this point are superficial so my treatment is starting off with tablets, Mezavant to be exact. I take them 2 times a day for two weeks, then 3 times a day for two weeks after that. I also am on Salofalk suppositories. Oh my god. I will get into treatment in another blog post because I could rant forever.
But here we are! Diagnosed, treatment plan, and an appointment to follow-up in 4 weeks. It’s been different everyday, and even every hour. But it’s okay, because if I was going to get this diagnosis at least I started off on the lower spectrum of the illness. I can manage it and get better and possibly even avoid flare ups for weeks, months, or even years! I just have to make the changes. Maybe everything does happen for a reason and maybe there is a purpose for me in all of this. Maybe I’m just supposed to rant, bitch, and complain to you and the system. Maybe my voice matters in this and maybe I can make people believe theirs does too.
I guess we will see, now won’t we?
But I should try and sleep soon. My body does this horrible thing where at ungodly hours we need to wake up because I feel like I’m going to poop my pants, but really it’s a big fart. I never want to chance it though, because watch the one time I don’t get up be the time it isn’t just a fart. I wish I got a more graceful or at least a less gross illness! But if I had a choice, I would have probably opted out anyways….. But goodnight world!