I saw the gastroenterologist on Monday and gave him my list of symptoms that I’d typed up via a Word document. Mr Gastro was most impressed with my graphic descriptions. “Well described!”, he said. I preened a bit.
‘Are you thinking cancer?’, he asked. I answered truthfully, ‘Yes!’.
Mr Gastro then ordered a colonoscopy.
At the mere mention of the word, my bum cheeks involuntarily clenched and my bum-hole snapped shut faster than a Venus Flytrap. You see, I’d consulted Dr Google a few (hundred) times leading up to the appointment so I knew exactly what it entailed.
Mr Gastro told me that he doesn’t think it’s cancer. I told him that while I appreciated that he was trying to put my mind at ease..both my parents had cancer. Dad’s being the aggressive kind which saw him trundling along the conveyor belt in the crematorium within six months of being diagnosed.
He didn’t try and fob me off with IBS. In fact, he never mentioned it. He thinks my symptoms require a closer look and by closer look, it means shoving a camera up my bum.
He proceeded to tell me what he thinks it is. Which is that my bum and stomach are ‘not communicating with each other. Typical, even my insides have social interaction issues!
At this point he told the nurse to make it a combined colonoscopy and gastroscopy. Basically, a camera up the chuff and one down the throat in the same appointment, folks.
If the tests come back clear, he will refer me to a specialist to sort out the ‘communication’ problems.
So I’ve been issued with some preparation (stuff what gives you the shits) and I have to wait a decade for an appointment to come through, as there is apparently a huge waiting list. I’ll probably die of old age before I get one. Or the Tories will have killed off the NHS in which case, I’ll have to flog a kidney to sort my bowels out.
In the meantime, I am tormenting myself with the gloom and doom from off the net…
Colonoscopies aren’t the most pleasant (or dignified) of procedures. You have to eat a special diet two days before the test and then you drink the preparation and wait for the world to fall out of your backside. Not looking forward to that, truth be told, but at least I’ll briefly be able to get into those skinny jeans I bought in a moment of denial last year.
No doubt I’ll be made to wear one of those ridiculous gowns that make you look like a complete twonk. Incidentally, I put one on the wrong way for a gynae examination and ended up flashing my minnie to a corridor full of old people. The nurse frog marched me back into the cubicle before one of them had a coronary.
To say I’m anxious is an understatement of massive proportions. They’ll be no need for that preparation because I’ll have shit myself dry with worry by then.
I’ve had procedures done before. I’ve been under GA twice and had umpteen people poking around in my insides. I’ve had an emergency C section and given birth TWICE, all without fear but now I’m a wimp and I blame the menopause because when my oestrogen buggered off, so did my bottle!
A colonoscopy involves a thin flexible tube being coaxed around the bowel. It allows them to see what’s what and you can watch it on the monitor if you wish…
Er, no ta.
I’d rather watch the box set of Geordie Shore, without sedation.
It can find ulcers, polyps, inflammation and tumors. It is the most effective way to diagnose cancer of the bowel.
My Googling sessions have advantages and disadvantages.
Advantages are the numerous people who say ‘colonoscopy? Walk in the park! Didn’t even know they’d been in!’ He he.
The disadvantages are the people who, for whatever reason, have had the experience from hell and feel the need to put the fear of God into everybody else.
There will always be these stories, not just to do with colonoscopies, but with most things. There are risks with this procedure but there are risks with all procedures. My dad’s misdiagnosis’s shook my faith in doctors but maybe I should focus instead on the fact that they probably saved the life of my youngest son who had to be born via emergency C section because I was bleeding internally, my eldest who had a testicular torsion and my middle son who was hospitalised as a baby with gastroenteritis. Mum’s cancer was caught early. My dad was extremely unlucky but I do have more to be thankful for than not.
I rationalise that given my symptoms, it’s probably wise to go through with it. Chances are it’s not anything sinister but leaving it to chance isn’t a risk I should be taking given my family history.
So I have to find a way to keep myself relatively calm over the next few months until it’s all over. My coping mechanism is to find the humour in the situation. Tell a few crap jokes. (ha ha) Also, I make no apologies for talking about matters of the arse because I think that we don’t talk about it enough. We get embarrassed about bum stuff and that costs time and ultimately, lives.
If you haven’t already guessed, I’m bricking it, and I’ll probably have talked myself out of doing it by the time the appointment comes. So I need people to tell me to stop being such a silly cow about it.
I’ll tell myself it will all be OK. I’ll wear the silly pants and try not to die of embarrassment when the air that’s been pumped into my bowels explodes in the consultant’s face. Another perk..
When I saw Sara’s (Mumturnedmom) prompt was calm, it reminded me that I must try to be as calm as possible or I’ll end up running out of the hospital still wearing my paper pants and flashers gown.
Going for an Eartha Kitt ~ Jim Royle