Barts hospital, blog, blood, Body, Bowel, cancer, Colonoscopy, heart rate, laxative, Movie, pink
The nurse then asked was I ready for sedation and I said I wasn’t having it so I could remember the procedure and plus I had a forklift to drive in the next 24 hours. She looked at me strangely, and clarified I was an anal endoscope virgin. I confirmed and she said I should probably have a sedative as it could be painful, unless I had a high pain threshold. I didn’t waver though and so she put me down for simple painkillers, which were obligatory. I caveat here that I am often not as clever as I might be, so this could turn out to be a massive mistake.
Then the doctor then came in. She was very nice, explained the procedure and asked if I wanted sedation. We had the same conversation about it, but she said some people tense and make it hard to wiggle the thing around the corners. Hmm. She also said some people whimpered in pain. Double hmm. Still I had said I wasn’t having the sedation and I’m nothing of not stubborn, so I held my ground.
Moments later I was laying on a white bed on wheels. The lights were dimmed and the doctor was joined by two nurses. There was also a tv, but no popcorn, so I felt a little let down. She gave me a painkiller through the cannula in my hand they had just installed. Meh. Then I turned to one side leaving my behind somewhat exposed, much like a military cock up (poor choice of words). My heart rate was being measured and it was at about 54. Average is 60-80 but I have always had lower and running dropped it further. It was 48 at one point when I was uber-fit, so it was all in good shape and not lower than it should be.
As much procrastination as I can write soon the gel was applied to my bottom area. Then we were off. I took a deep breath, as advised by one of my gay friends, and this helped. It was a little uncomfortable but nothing to write home about. The device actually stops there and a slightly smaller hose comes out of the top, so you don’t have to continually move the entry point. The device itself can heat off polyps and also cut, reassuring when its inside. I was advised I would get strong cramps and I did feel some discomfort but it was not too bad.
Then the movie began. The first scene was a little pink but also had some yellow where the laxative had missed a bit. The device goes all the way up first and then they examine in the way back down so it was fairly solid progress. I kept an eye on my heart rate, taking big breaths, and this made it pretty simple. It was an odd feeling having something that deep inside me (ho ho) but it was also strange because I felt the entry but, and the furthest piece, but not the bit in the middle, so it was like something was alive up there. (Double ho ho). We got to the top in short order, five minute or so and it was all very pink. The corners weren’t bad as I had been told and I managed not to tense. She said all done. How was that. I replied ‘um, ok actually,’ obviously at my most eloquent.
After that it came back through like a slow juggernaut through thick traffic (see I can do simile too). It was less crampy and although one of the nurses was quite kind and kept rubbing my back it was actually ok. Before I knew it had popped out, a cork out of a particular old and off bottle of champagne (see metaphor) and that was that! 15:47 minutes in total and she commented how relaxed I had been and how I must have a high pain threshold (or more likely a very wide bowel).
I would caveat that I was pretty relaxed during the process, and so can only talk for the myself here. I know others often have a lot of pain with this, and that there can be complications. They were surprised by how straightforward it was, so I can only assume I was lucky with the process. I wouldn’t necessarily advocate others to not take sedation, it was my own decision, and as it turned out I didn’t find it a problem, but could have done. I do think having suffered a lot of pain with my spleen over a few months the year before last may have conditioned me slightly to ignoring internal pain, but I might just have had an excellent doctor.
She said that there was nothing to worry about, all clear, tickiteboo no problem! Which was great news. Not necessarily a surprise as I hadn’t had any issues since December and so can conclude it was just a passing problem (haha). Better safe than sorry though and it always helps to check these things out (within reason).So although it was not the most comfortable procedure it worked out all clear, no need for a follow up.
Next time I have to see a doctor (hopefully) is in July. On a side note the worst pain I was in all day was when the nurse pulled off the tape on my hand and managed to jar my canulla through my vein. Hello future bruise. Thanks for caring (or not). Other than this I am ticking along well and mainly enjoying the country retreat. Work is going really well, so I thought I could either blog about the journey of running a company or alternately current research into cancer. I realise the heady heights of a colonscopy won’t be easily reached again, unless something interesting (medically) happens. Lets hope it doesn’t…
Stay classy Readership.