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Archive for the ‘colonoscopy’ Category

I still seem to be having a problem with fatigue and holding myself up in a seated position. Since the colonoscopy I do seem to be more sensitive down below. The discomfort is very similar to that when you have a Hernia, though not so severe. A hyenas is painful, where what I am getting I would class as a discomfort but the longer I am in a seated position then the more uncomfortable it gets. Eventually, I have to move around. What means it worse my spare tyre around belly that appears to flap over the sensitive area, which pressing on the sensitive area. Being fat has many disadvantages! Its curious despite everything, I appear to be still losing weight which isn’t a bad thing since I have a BMI of 27. I think I am feeling a little better today, since I have been able to sit here and type a little.

Having just ate my dinner I am feeling abit uncomfortable again in the never regions below and I’m contemplenting going for a lay down once again. I’m only hanging around to finish off an application form for a post at the Playhouse theatre. I email’ed my application to them last Friday, only to get a reply from them today asking for a signed hard copy to be sent through the post. This is odd because on the form itself it does state that if you are sending the application via email then you’ll be asked to sign it at the interview stage. As far as I know this is the norm. But, anyway.. I’ll send them a copy.

I had some lovely red grapes this evening. I’m trying my best to eat a high fibre and fruit diet in order to keep a healthy bowel. Even though I am still feeling tired all the time, I do think that not having prescribed drugs in my system has improved my clarity of thought. The general mind fog I have been having isn’t the dense thick soup it has been, there are pockets of clarity that can be seen. I’ve heard it mentioned that this mind fog can be triggered from having long term chronic pain.. I don’t know, personally. I think it’s more related to feeling so tired all the time!

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Colonoscopy

On arrival at the hospital, we quickly found the appropriate department since I had been there before a couple of weeks ago to make the appointment. Actually as hospital’s go, the Queens Medical Centre in Nottingham is fairly easy to navigate as there’s lots of sign post and the corridors in the 4 main building at entirely different colours; which in my opinion takes allot of the stress out of getting around the hospital.

I went to reception to book in and the receptionist snapped a plastic identification band to my left wrist. It just had my name, address, dob, gender and some other code on it. I was told to return back to the waiting area. Of course, being the NHS the appointment wasn’t on time, but I wasn’t waiting too long since by 10am I was called in. The guy sitting next to me had been waiting since 8:30am with his Dad because his doctor was stuck in the floods in Derbyshire. I found this a bit hard to understand at the time, as there wasn’t that much flooding on Derby on that particular day, but anyway i digress.

I was first seen by a General Practitioner Nurse for the unit that took down some medical history and I signed the consent form for the procedure in a restricted area. I also had to tell her who was waiting for me, since you aren’t allowed to go home on your own afterwards. Technically, someone has to be with you over the following 24 hours for your “own safety”.  The nurse sorted out a hospital and dressing gown for me too. I had bought my own dressing gown as the leaflet said, but the Nurse said I had a choice to use there’s or not. She made a good argument of using there’s when she mentioned that if mine got shit on it then I’ll have to wash it. So, I used there’s!

Apparently the secret of putting on a hospital gown is to tie the strings together at the back before you put it on and then to slip it over your head. Yes, its like wearing a nightie but to be frank you don’t care about such things since you are not on a fashion parade.  Its rather more than I normally wear in bed. I got changed in the large loos which are obviously designed for wheel chair access too. You are given an additional plastic bag too where you put in the clothes you are were wearing. The nurse said, make sure you keep this bag with you where ever you go. You actually leave on your shoes and socks at this time.

Then I moved into another little, inner waiting area where I met the surgeon/doctor who was a quick lady who was obviously very clever. I wasn’t getting a student doctor, but apparently someone that is highly experienced in this sort of thing. I didn’t feel ill enough for that sort of attention. I mentioned to the surgeon that I haven’t been bleeding since stopping taking the medication but it was decided to go ahead anyway since I had been through the prep the day before. I wasn’t actually trying to get out of it, I wanted to give them all the information they need to enable them to do there job better.

I was directed to room number 3, where another nurse helped me onto a trolley type bed and got me into position so to speak (lol). She also put a line into my right hand and gave me an injection of fluid which only half went in me. The doctor then gave me a sedative into the same line. On a finger on my left hand was placed a sensor that measured my pulse. After this time things get a bit blurry, in terms the drugs appear to warp ones sense of time, but you are still totally conscious.

I didn’t feel anything at all being inserted until it was quite a way down there. What you do feel is whenever the instrument rubs against the side of the intestine and as this organ twists and turns, in some people with acute turns then there’s going to be pain. People that don’t suffer any pain at all are the lucky ones.

There was also pain for me when the surgeon pumped air into my bowel. The air is important as it allows them to navigate further. An empty bowel looks like a flat inner tube and so when they put air into you, think of it like when you are pumping up a tyre. I think perhaps they put a little too much air into me as even that I found painful and I do remember shouting “f****** hell, for the love of god!”

I seem to remember the surgeon mentioning that she took away a tiny nodule or polyp. I don’t recall the exact word she used, but I think she said she got it. I just have to wait now for the item to go off to the lab. I prey it contains no cancer. Eventually I think I get an appointment back at the hospital to review the results. I am not sure when this will be.

On leaving Room 3, I was pushed into the recovery area where I was suppose to sleep off the sedation. The only problem was I was wide awake and wasn’t feeling sleepy at all. The ward Nurse saw this and within 5 minutes pushed me straight into the next recovery area where you get a cup of tea and a pack of chocolate biscuits; which my inner self enjoyed immensely. Within 15 minutes I was dressed again and was discharged.

As I waited for my Dad to pick me up from the hospital, I did start to feel sick again and extremely tired. I do think with hindsight I was discharged too quickly. Once my Dad eventually managed to turn up, I was desperately dizzy and wanted to be sick. I sat in the front, rolled the windows right down and closed my eyes. My head was thumping like a drum and I felt terrible. Obviously a delayed reaction to the sedation.

When I actually got home, I hassled my dad to undo the door for me quickly rather than going through the same bleeding slow routine where I would be standing outside for 10 minutes whilst he prattled about. I just literally dumped my stuff on the floor and started to get undressed as I was walking up the stairs to bed; clothes left where they fell. By this time the headache was a full blown migraine in both sides of my head. To say it was painful is the under statement of the century. The last time I felt this bad was back at my brothers wedding when i was really young and one of my brothers friends dared me to drink half a pint of brandy; which I did like a bloody idiot ~ that put me in bed for 3 days too.

I slept for almost 18 hours straight, only waking to take on board some biscuits after 10 hours sleep and water. I think I may have had 2 slices of wholemeal bread at some point too before going back to sleep again.

The following day I was extremely sore. In fact DAM sore would be closer the mark. I still got up and preceded to eat like a horse. I was feeling very drained of course and so I ate as much as possible to replace all those nutrients I had lost. I must had consumed roughly 6-8 slices of bread, half a box of Jam tarts and at last 4 yoghurts  amongst other things. No fruit though. I was having naps in the day in between meals.

I am still a bit sore today, which is 6 days after the procedure. It feels like a nettle sting as its obviously still inflamed. Over the last 24 hours though there was been some improvement and I am at least able to walk about within reasonable comfort. 48 hours ago, walking was actually painful due to swelling in my large bowel on the right hand side.

It has taken 6 days for my bowels to get back to fairly normal. I think its going to take a couple more days before I have full normality. Anyway, I have got to go now as I am getting tired again. I am still feeling fatigued. This hasn’t changed much.

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On the 1st of June I visited my GP to report bleeding from my rear after taking the prescribed medications (Anti-inflammatory agents and co-codemol). I was quickly  referred to the local hospital as an out patient. I stopped taking all forms of medication by the 6th June, including headache tablets as to be honest the whole situation was starting to scare me. What I noticed after I stopped taking medication is that over a couple of days, the bleeding began to get less and less, finally stopping completely.

On the 13th I visited the local hospital again. After the initial consultation with the general practitioner nurse, it was decided to send me for an Colonoscopy at the Endoscopy unit within the same hospital to ensure the drugs haven’t brought forward a problem that could get me in 10 years time or something. I thought it was a reasonable precaution to take saying it could had saved my life in 10 years time.

The date of the Colonoscopy was set for the 26th June. On the day before though, I needed to clear out my digestion system using a laxative called “CitraFleet (TM)” which is virtually the same stuff as Picolax. I had two 16.11g sachets to take during the day, each containing: 10mg of Sodium Piccosulfate, 3.5g Magnesium Oxide, 12g Citric Acid and it also contained an unspecified amount of Potassium Hydrogen Carbonate. This was then combined with a very specific light diet and drinking lots of clear liquids.

After reading all the reviews about Picolax on the internet I was scared to death of taking this stuff as it seemed completely irrational to take something that is going to make you potentially unwell. The night before, I was scared and didn’t sleep much that night at all.

At 7:15am I got up, washed and went downstairs to take my first sachet of poison (that is how i thought of it at the time) before breakfast. As apart of the dietary plan, you had to take the first Sachet before 8am. I filled a mug of ice cold water from the fridge and very apprehensively added the Citra Fleet powder to the water. I had read some else on the internet the previous night, not to mix the drink in a plastic or paper cut as it can react with it and melt the container, which rather freaked out a patient. There was a warning that the solution can heat up to by itself, but that didn’t happen with me, it stayed stone cold.

The powder is stirred in for 2 or 3 minutes with a spoon just as if you were preparing a cold remedy drink. I did check the spoon head and it was still there, it hadn’t melted it away (lol). The drink itself smelt and tasted like Lemsip but it looked like dish water or that soapy solution left after washing a moderately filthy car. Other than the Lemsip like taste, the drink didn’t sit very well on my stomach and apart of me wanted to bring it back up again. Fortunately, it stayed down. I had just got it down at 7:55am, 5 minutes before the deadline. Initially, there within the first 10 minutes there was a bloating and bubbling feeling in the stomach, but nothing else.

I had read that some people reported an instant reaction within 15 minutes of taking the first dosage. Again, with me this didn’t happen. On the diet sheet between 8am and 9am it was breakfast time. At 8:15am I started making breakfast. Since I wasn’t allowed to have cereal, I made myself a boiled egg, two slices of toast with a light scraping of marine and a cup of tea minus its milk.

At 8:30am I was starting to feel further bloating and discomfort. It wasn’t too dissimilar to that of a beached whale or a hot air balloon full of lead. There was more bubbling which appeared to coming from deep down. I still had a feeling like I was going to be sick, without actually bringing anything up.

By 9:05am I was getting the first signs of wanting to go to the toilet. I decided to hold it off until it became more urgent. The belly was rolling quiet a bit and by now I was clenching my buttocks slightly.

I was only able to hold it off 5 minutes and by 9:10am I had my first bowl movement. I had just finished, washed my hands and immediately turned around to go back into the loo for my second bowel movement at 9:20am!

At 9:30am, I again had another cup of tea (no milk or sugar). A very important part of the process is to drink approximately 250ml of clear liquid every hour. 250ml is just under half a pint for those that use imperial measurements. (1 pint is equal to 568.26ml) What the laxative does is to increase the amount of water in the turds and thus eventually literally flushing your system. You are losing allot of water from the body and so its vital to keep drinking to stop yourself from getting dehydrated and getting headaches etc.

At 9:50am and 10:10am I had my third and fourth bowel movements. I followed this by another cup of tea. At 11:50am, I had a major bowel movement which lasted perhaps 20 minutes. It just wouldn’t stop and I had the thought that perhaps people are really full of shit after all.

At 11:55am we became making lunch of poached Fish and Rice, in a light chicken stock cube gravy. After setting the smoke alarm off yet again, I sat down to lunch at 12:15am. The excess gravy I drank as an alternative to another cup of tea. No more solid food was allowed for the rest of the day.

At 1:20pm and 1:30pm I had my sixth and seventh major bowel movements spending a total time of 30 minutes in the toilet. I was indeed starting to feel a bit drained by this time. This movement made me very sore.

By 2:15pm it was time to take the second dosage/sachet of CitraFleet (Picolax). Again, I mixed it as before and it tasted just the same. I didn’t feel so sickly when taking it this time, mind you! I quickly followed drinking it with another 250ml of water at 2:30pm. By this time I was developing a headache and was trying to hold back my bowels I little more. A mere 5 minutes later, at 2:35pm I was having my eighth bowel movement which lasted 15 minutes. I drank another glass of water afterwards. It was becoming very painful now passing anything. It was like passing glass or nettles. I didn’t have any barrier cream, which is now on the list if I ever have to go through anything like this again!

The next bowel movement was at 4:15pm which lasted for 35 minutes. There was a definite odour of fish. After emptying my guts, at 4:50pm I drank another 250ml of water and had another drink at 6:15pm. I had my tenth bowel movement at 6:35pm and this lasted another 30 minutes. At this time I was passing light brown clear liquid and a few bits.

At 7:10pm I took another 250ml of water, which was followed by a further 15 minutes on the loo at 8pm. I took on board another 250mil at 8:15pm and at 10pm I visited the loo for the 12th time. I started slowly down my intake of water at this time of night, and was sipping up to mid-night. I visited the loo for the final time that evening at 1am, before turning in.

I didn’t sleep very well that night at all. I perhaps could 3 or 4 hours sleep, partly about of worrying and partly because I had some pretty bad wind. There was allot of gas around that evening.

The following morning you are suppose to get up early to get a drink in before the procedure at the hospital. The diet sheet said that I shouldn’t drink anything for 2 hours before the procedure, which would had meant me getting up at 6:30am just to get my drink of water in. I decided not to get up and stayed in bed until 7:30am instead. With hindsight I perhaps should had gotten up to get some more water on board since I suffered for it later on in the day, big time.

I visited the loo for the last time around 8:10am and again I was passing brown water with a small number of bits in it. The last visit was more or less just warm water that sprayed out like water from a hose pipe.

We left for the hospital at 8:50am for the appointment at 9:30am. There was quite allot of traffic in the morning, since there were some road closures and all the traffic were being diverted to the ring road; which is of course the way we had to go. Luckily, it wasn’t too bad and we arrived at 9:15am at the front entrance.

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