‘The next step is going to be with the colorectal surgeon, I will refer you to him’ my Gastro informed me on the phone. As I take a deep breath and take in the information, I remind myself that quality of life is my prime focus and if it means increasing that, then so be it!
The following Monday I was due to have a colonoscopy. I was informed this was to go ahead regardless of the results already received from the colonic transit study. For those of you that don’t know (grit your teeth) a colonoscopy requires a camera going up your rectum to determine whether there is any damage to your colon. Absolute delight! But not before an eventful Sunday and a cheeky admission to hospital.
Colonoscopies require USUALLY a one day prep. This involves consuming two sachets of Picoprep, and one litre of medicine whilst fasting for the day with only clear fluid intake. These two medicines are intended to clear your bowels to prepare for the colonoscopy. This is something I have done previously to simply evacuate my bowels as laxatives were not working (Yes, this is how fabulous my colon works :)) So given the entire experience is far from ‘normal’, or the ‘usual’, I require a three-day preparation… and wait for it five litres. These two drugs have the most vile taste – there is no food or taste that I can honestly relate it closely too. It forces me to pull a face which involves squishing my face up and making a squealing noise in order to swallow it – purely revolting. Sunday was eventful. I woke in the morning and organised the five litres, I had to drink into litre bottles and put them into the fridge to make it taste slightly better .. by that I just mean it’s cold. 10am strikes and I begin drinking bottle one of five. Each bottle is to be consumed within an hour in order to get your bowels moving. Bottle two – yep feeling pretty shocking at this stage. Bottle three – bed ridden. My stomach/bowel decided it did not want to work Sunday. Nothing different to any other day; however, given the strength of this drug I was certain that my bowels should be moving. I took myself to bed feeling overwhelmed that I needed to consume another two bloody litres of this disgusting liquid. At this point, I could not justify even drinking another sip of it. I fell asleep for a couple of hours before waking in agonising pain.
The pain I was certain was my bowels trying to work, I rushed to the bathroom with no success. I was in the foetal position creasing my body together with spasms in my stomach that were causing the most unexplainable pain. I literally felt life my entire stomach was going to explode. I made my way outside to where my parents were – I quite clearly recall saying to my Mum, ‘Mum, I don’t know what to do I can not drink another sip. My stomach is going to burst and I am in so much pain.’ At this point the pain escalated to a whole new high. I was getting continual spasms in my stomach. Mum called the Emergency Department to determine the next step: Is it worth being in hospital? The nurse ushered Mum to take me to emergency as it was an odd symptom to be having with such significant pain.
Truth be told, she was not wrong. After getting rushed through emergency, rushed into have an X-ray, given a high-dose of pain relief whilst trying to answer questions regarding my symptoms we found out I had a bowel obstruction. FANTASTIC just another complication to the mix. Next step was a CT scan. Not just your ordinary CT scan.. a CT scan to highlight the affected area. The nurse was such a darling she said ‘Now, just so you know when you get this through your IV you are going to feel like you have wet your pants. I promise you, you haven’t.’ GOOD… this sounds great! Iodine away… 😕 She was NOT joking. You get this entire feeling of warmth throughout your body, you feel instantly sick and then you feel like you have wet your pants.
Whilst waiting for the CT results I remember asking Mum what a bowel obstruction meant and questioned why everyone was treating me like a princess. Mum’s response was great, completely reassuring and really heart warming to hear…. ‘bowel obstructions mean your bowel can perforate and then you’ll get septicaemia. It’s life threatening and you can die’. Cheers Mum, feeling great about these results now… NOT!
ANYWAY.. CT scan showed that my bowel had dilated to new levels of life and had practically obstructed itself by conflicting with my small bowel. BRILLIANT. That was not sarcasm.. this was truly good news. There was no mass/polyps or any other substance blocking my bowel it was just swollen to new extremes. It was fixable. The doctor came back with a NG tube. A tube that goes through your nose, down the back of your throat, down your oesophagus and into your stomach. AMAZING. Boy was I having a good time. The insertion of this tube made me want to vomit, faint, cough and cry all at the same time. The aim of it was to release some fluid from my stomach and help my bowel digest the Glycoprep. Eventually.. 2 hours later.. I began to feel human again… but I still couldn’t use my bowels.
This was the beginning of a very lengthy, boring stay in hospital.
PS. Here is a photo of my amazing friends that rocked up to my house with matching tops and Kombucha to cheer me up the day before I got admitted!