But actually. Scopes are a terrible experience. And a sigmoidoscopy? JUST AS TERRIBLE. At least for me it was.
So here is the overview. Leading up to the weak of my scope I felt. I mean a little more off than usual, but that was because I was off my routine. For 5 days I couldn’t have my daily Benefibre (which resulted in diarrhea), no multivitamins, and watching what I ate. My body was not happy that we were off from our usual routine. I went to Ikea with my boyfriend on the long weekend and barely made it through. God bless public washrooms.
But the extent of the prep is basically this: I had to take 3 laxatives at 8:30 am the day before my scope. They are slow releasing so I really didn’t feel anything until the end of the night, which basically results in similar things as drinking one litre of Peglyte. Essentially, make sure you are close to a washroom. Then two hours before your procedure you need to give yourself two liquid enemas. Seems easy enough, no?
My scope was at 7 am, meaning I had to do these enemas at 5 am. So I woke up groggy and really did not want to do these enemas (because really who ever wants to do them?). But I knew instantly that there was something wrong. The second it went in I felt this pain, but at first I didn’t question it because it’s never really comfortable or fun shoving anything up there (which is why anal is something that I cannot fathom). You’re supposed to feel the effect of the enemas within 1-5 minutes, which was a terribly familiar experience to go through. I had gotten only through 1/4 of one before being taken over by this overwhelming sensation, so of course I sprinted to the washroom, with my pj pants at my ankles.
You guys… the pain. I cannot even understand or fathom how I did not pass out. The second the solution started coming out, I just felt this burn. Like someone was pouring bleach on my asshole and it was just being corroded away. I instantly felt like I was going to vomit, had this cramping in my side, had the chills, a tightness in my chest making it hard to breathe, and felt so light headed. I sat there and cried, trying to tell myself that we had to get through this. We had to try again. I needed answers so we could know what my next steps would be. So I took a deep breath, got myself together, and sauntered back to my room ready to try again.
This time the second I tried the enema my body responded instantly with agony. I laid there crying in pain as I tried again, this time getting it down to maybe 1/3. It ended with the same results, and as I sat there shivering on my tile bathroom floor, I questioned if it was worth it.
So I called the health line. My reaction was not normal and I was advised to not push myself. You can only do what you can do. I wish I could tell you that I did listen to her and did not go out and try again, but I did try. Two more times. Eventually my breathing became too heavy and I finally gave up. I didn’t even try to go back to sleep because this whole process took well over an hour. So I got ready and prayed that it would be enough to do the procedure.
Well as soon as I got there, little miss Sally or whatever her name would be behind the desk gave me a lecture about the importance of completing the prep. Listen lady, this isn’t my first scope and if you were doing anything that made it hard to breathe (when really there is no reason it should) YOU WOULD STOP IT TOO. So shove it up your ass. Luckily the follow up nurse was very sweet and said she would explain to my doctor and see what he says, and I knew he would say not to push it.
Which I was right. We decided to go ahead and see if we could see anything and if not they would give me another enema after. Bless his soul. As I was wheeled into the examination room (hooked up on oxygen) he stood beside me listening to my story again. His eyes filled with worry and I knew exactly where his mind had gone. Had I gotten worse? Last time I had a struggle with prep I ended up going from 25% of my colon affected to 100%. He lightly joked that if I couldn’t handle the enema going up there, I sure as hell wouldn’t be able to handle the scope, so they were going to essentially get me high so I wouldn’t feel a thing. I was so tired and drained from that day, that I just passed out when the drugs entered my system. Valium and fentanyl are one hell of a combination.
When I finally came to he was already at my bed side. He could not contain the excitement in his face. I was still hella groggy and high as a kite so it was a little hard to put words together. Luckily he did most of the talking.
I was starting to get better. After nearly two years, I was finally making progress! I was now back to having distal (25%) colitis, but it was still severe. It explained why it hurt so much. Sodium phosphate was washing over my ulcers and sores, so it would be like pouring rubbing alcohol on an open wound, but multiple open wounds.
But Remicade is working! Despite this, being severe meant we still had to bump it up. I am now on 400 units (instead of 300) of Remicade (I couldn’t tell you the exact measurement of this) every 4 weeks and 15mg of Methotrexate instead of 10mg. I have a follow up appointment 6 weeks from now to see my progress.
But it was all so surreal. I mean again, I was flying high from the drugs, but I couldn’t believe it. I was actually getting better. My body was making progress. I dragged my wonderful mother to Denny’s to celebrate (my good news and her birthday-what a gem for spending it with me in a hospital). On our way there I had recieved news that I was offered a job with the school division practicing behavioural therapy (as an assistant), a job I was hoping to get as it allowed a better balance between school, work, and my health. And for the first time ever I GET MY OWN BENEFITS.
So it was a glorious day. Literally the next day I had my Remicade appointment with my new dose (this doctor pulls some serious miracle work) and not long after I was whisked away to Calgary where I am currently completing my in class component of my Masters program.
For once I genuinely feel happy and excited as to where life is heading. It’s been a long road to even get to this point and I only hope it continues to get better (do you hear me body?)
So that is my update. I am so happy to share with you guys my first bit of good news in a long time. Thank you for following me in my journey this far and I hope I can share with you more good news soon!
All the best,