Saturday, July 28, 2018

Colonoscopy Diary for a Crohn's Patient in Remission

Image result for colonoscopy

Well I turn 32 years old in a few weeks and there is nothing like a colonoscopy as an early birthday present! When I visited my GI last he had recommended a colonoscopy to monitor for colon cancer. The last colonoscopy I received was in 2011. I did have a fecal transplant in 2013 where I had it performed via a colonoscopy at the Mayo Clinic.

My colonoscopy was schedule for Friday morning (July 27th) at 10:30 A.M. The last night I could anything good was Wednesday so I treated myself to a cheeseburger, fries, and brownie sundae. Obviously, I was in a food coma after this and had to pace myself for Friday. For logistical reasons I stayed with my parents since one of them would have to take me home after the procedure. On Thursday I really didn't drink or each much. My GI prescribed the Suprep Bowel Prep Kit and I had two little bottles of 6 oz of bowel prep and then had to mix that with water (so in total with the water you have 2 16 ounce drinks-32 total ounces). As I was drinking the bowel prep I thought to myself "hopefully I don't have to do this for another 7-8 years (and maybe then the process will be improved. The only thing I really had was broth for dinner which I alternated between drinking water and bowel prep. I started the bowel prep a little after 6 P.M. on Thursday night and finished it by 9:30 P.M. At the beginning I was taking small sips and saw myself making progress but then towards the end I just started chugging it. After I had ingested all the bowel prep I was running to the bathroom frequently (I honestly went roughly a whole roll of toilet in the night and morning!). Also I was having involuntary bowel movements (mind you I recently haven't had any bowel movements. When this happened I got out some adult diapers I had when I initially was diagnosed with Crohn's years ago and they worked quite well. I had on the adult diapers, underwear, and multiple pairs of night shorts that kept me dry. Being in the bathroom I got bored so I turned on the T.V. and watched for a little bit then went back to bed and then probably around 4 A.M. woke up for no reason and watch T.V. and then just stayed up since I knew I had to leave by 8 A.M. to make it to the doctor's office. I took a hot shower which really helped as my backside felt like it had been through some pain. Your backside will feel quite raw going through this process. At the beginning the liquid following through you will be brownish and then transform to more of a clear liquid. By the end I felt water was going in my mouth and coming out the other side.

Once I got to the doctor's office it was pretty quick-sign in, fill out paperwork, undress and put on a gown and they give you hot towels which is nice and comfortable. My GI was running a little late but by 10:40 A.M. I was in the procedure room with the anesthesiologist, the GI, a tech, and a nurse. I was given Propofol (which burns for a few seconds) and then you are literally unconscious seconds later. When I woke up from the colonoscopy I was pretty sleepy but was able to leave within 15 minutes. I was told during the day of the procedure not to drive anywhere, work out, and to eat as if I had just had a hangover. My father had come with me for the procedure and was my ride. After the colonoscopy we headed to a nearby diner and I was starving so I ordered a cheese omelette, hash browns, and a slice of fudge pecan pie and it was amazing! I was feeling tired when I got home so I slept for a few hours and then woke up in the afternoon.

I found out later that the GI had told my father everything looked good on my colonoscopy. My GI found see some pseudopolyps in my sigmoid colon, in the descending colon, at the splenic flexure, in the transverse colon, at the heptic flexure, and in the ascending colon. My understanding is this was all from the initial damage done when I initially was diagnosed with Crohn's.

To be honest the colonoscopy this time around wasn't too bad.  The whole experience was interesting and I am glad I knocked it out. Also this would say that the Humira I am taking has done an amazing job as I started it back in June 2012. Hopefully Humira can keep this up for the next colonoscopy!

Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Fourth of July, Cramping, Weight Gain, and Upcoming Colonoscopy

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So Fourth of July is tomorrow (I somewhat wish this holiday was on a Friday or Monday instead of a random Wednesday). For some reason I seem to have cramping almost every year around 4th of July and near Halloween time (not sure why this is). At any rate I have been having some cramping. Last weekend was somewhat up and down. Last Friday I felt pretty tired, Saturday I felt very good (almost no cramping) as I got plenty of sleep and took my Foltx and potassium chloride, and Sunday overall I had some minor cramping. This past week I felt a little tired and cramping.

My diet has been that great either. I probably have been eating things I shouldn't have. My weight has fluctuated a little bit. Within the past couple of weeks my range has been 165-169. Currently, I am hitting near that 169 mark. However, I plan to work out and watch what I eat (last night I had a grilled chicken sandwich with fries and a fudge pecan pie with ice cream-yes it was amazing too). Also over the weekend I had pizza, a burger, a brownie sundae and little workout. Usually I don't have any issue bringing down the weight . Honestly, if I weighed between 160-165 I would be happy (I always like to leave a little room for a dessert now and then-also I like to fit comfortably in my clothes as well).

I recently saw my GI and he said I looked like I was in great shape, however it had been a while since he had done a colonoscopy. Honestly, the last colonoscopy I had was at the end of 2011 (so a little less than 7 years ago). I am hoping the cramping will go away so I can see what my colon should look like when it is healthy and good! The bowel prep is always the worst thing but if I only have to do every 7 years that is a positive thing.

Overall, I don't really have too many complaints. Yes, I have some cramping, gained weight, and a little tired, however these issues can be resolved with hot baths/cold packs, watching what I eat, and some great sleep. Luckily due to the holiday I will sleep in tomorrow and this weekend as well. Hope everyone in the states has a good and safe 4th of July! Be kind to your bowels this holiday.