Life through the eyes of a 30-something Panda Woman who happens to be Chronically Sick and Disabled.

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Colonoscopy update

So I had the colonoscopy yesterday. As previously discussed the prep has a tendency not to entirely “flush” me out and so I had arrived early at 09:30 to ask for an enema. The sister refused. In fact she whispered to the receptionist “why does she want an enema? she’s done the prep hasn’t she” and when I replied saying that yes I had done the prep but it normally doesn’t entirely work, she simply rolled her eyes at me and ignored me. I asked the nurses again when I was admitted but again they didn’t feel it was necessary.

I was still waiting for my colonoscopy, which had been scheduled for 10:00, at 14:00. This wasn’t anyone’s fault really, the nurse practitioner who was supposed to be doing that list had had an accident and couldn’t work (thankfully she’s fine), so they’d had to draft in another doctor to run her list and things were behind. I also had a struggle to get the Fentanyl as no-one had read her note on my file saying that it should be gotten in, and again the sister was asking why. I explained that I’d come out in a rash from the Pethidine last time. Thankfully the nurse taking care of me, Simon, sorted it out. He even suggested that I add Pethidine to my list of allergies, but as it’s unconfirmed I’m not sure about this.

Anyway at 14:00 I was finally wheeled into the procedure room. I was given a very small dose of Fentanyl as they had not previously administered me with it in that hospital (I had had it previously in a private hospital so we knew I was tolerant but they were being cautious). I did point out that I felt no difference, and spoke about the 1/3 opiate receptor issue that Fibro patients suffer, but I was mostly ignored on this point. The doctor had already put the midazolam syringe to my canula when I said to stop as they wouldn’t let me go home on my Dad’s mobility scooter if this was given. Thankfully he hadn’t injected it yet so I was ok.

The transport issue is tricky as I’m the only driver in my household. We only live a 10 min walk (for an able person) from the hospital but I can’t walk that far, so Pappa Cubb had kindly lent me his tramper for the morning. This meant that Mamma Cubb had to come with me to keep it safe and that Pappa Cubb was left housebound for the duration. If I have to have a general anaesthetic or sedation I generally have to ask a friend to take a day off of work to transport me which is obviously not fair on them.

Anyway, the procedure started, and was much more uncomfortable than usual. This was clear but they didn’t think to administer any more Fentanyl. It quickly became clear that I had been flushed out very well at all as the entire colon was covered in liquid faeces. Despite this they proceeded to much pain and discomfort. Five biopsies were taken but I hold out little hope. We couldn’t actually see if I have any polyps so the procedure was mostly a waste of time.

Straight after I got up and went to the toilet on my sticks. I then got given a sandwich and a cup of tea. I had one sandwich and some water and got dressed so I could go and get my morning medicine from my Mum. I’d had a splitting headache the whole morning and was desperate for some pain relief which I cannot take on an empty stomach. Simon had said that if I ate too soon I might be sick, but I was willing to take the risk so that I could take my meds, and I was already feeling sick during the colonoscopy so didn’t think this would change rapidly. I took my meds and went for a smoke. On my way back the doctor who had done the procedure saw me and was actually shocked that I was up and walking already. I said I had been up straight away and that the 1/3 opiod receptor issue was probably to blame and he agreed saying I should have 50mg next time but as it was the first time, yada yada. Anyway, I was then promptly sick. Worried only that it might mean that my drugs weren’t absorbed I continued to eat my second sandwich, drink my tea, and ask Simon to do my final obs so I could go home. He wanted to keep me for at least 30 mins following the procedure as my blood pressure and oxygen sats had dropped quite low whilst I was in there, but thankfully after the sandwich and tea they were up and I went home to feel sorry for myself.

I’ve considered asking for a CT Colonoscopy next time as they can “subtract” the remaining faecal matter digitally although there are obvious downsides. Perhaps they just need to find an oral laxative that really works for me and preferably one that comes in pill form. I’ll happily take as many tablet laxatives as they like and drink as much water with them as they like, but those powder dissolved ones make me feel very sick. Ho-hum.

Panda x

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