Friday, September 24, 2010

Okay, first of all, MY COLON IS CLEAN!!!!!

I will admit, I wasn't worried about my colon. But still, I'm glad my lack of worry was supported by a doctor sticking a camera into my bowels.

The colon prep was the worst though. And I'm going to tell you about it. So I already yakked about taking the dulcolax. The effects lingered the next day and I was feeling nauseaus, headachey, and dizzy. I took the kids to their art studio class and on the way home puked in a plastic bag. Once at home, I felt a little better, so it was just business as usual, getting the kids ready with things to do while I was pooping, doing a few last minute things.

I started drinking the liquid at around 2pm. The Official Directions tell you to drink 8 oz every 10 minutes until half the jug is gone. I gagged on the third cupful and puked it all up. Gross. So I placed a call to the Stomach Doctor's office, left a message and waited. After 45 minutes of no call back, I decided to try the prep again. There was still quite a bit left. This time I spaced the 8 oz cups out 20 minutes apart. I drank cup #5, then puked again. By this time, it was close to 5pm, but I called the office again. Left another message. No one called me back.

At that point I could have abandoned the entire prep and flaked out on my appointment the next morning, or I could do the prep *I* wanted to do in the first place, my friends Miralax and Gatorade. Eric made a quickie trip to the drug store, and I started the Miralax/Gatorade prep at about 6pm. Much easier. No more puking. And I was able to drink the whole 64 oz.

Now I'm not advocating throwing doctor's orders out the window. I wish I would have been more assertive when I spoke with the doctor. I knew I wouldn't be able to do the Official Prep. I told him I couldn't do it. I know that the Miralax/Gatorade prep works. If my surgeon was okay with me using it, and he is an excellent surgeon and I really respect him, then I'm okay using it. So yeah, listen to your doctors, but don't be afraid to question them and advocate for yourself. I need to get better at following my own advice.

On Colonoscopy Day, we dropped the kids off at a good friend's house and arrived at the office at about 7:15 for my 7:30 appointment. At about 8:30 the receptionist, who must have heard our grumblings about waiting, said there were two doctors doing procedures and mine happened to be backed up. Great. I didn't get called back until about 9:15am.

The nurse asked me a bunch of questions, including if I drank all the prep. I lied. Dr. House would have been proud, haha. My output was greenish clear, no chunkies, I thought I'd be okay. I got my IV for the sedation, spoke to the anesthesiologist, and got wheeled to the procedure room.

The whole "getting wheeled to the procedure room" is the hardest part for me. I remember vividly internally freaking out at that point for my first colonoscopy. I didn't even have a chance to freak out before my surgery because I started loosing it just thinking about it in the prep room. And this time, it was just sucky. There's nothing like laying on a rolling bed (gurney? do they still call them that?) looking up at the lights while someone you don't know rolls you around to just make you think about weird stuff. It's hard to explain. I just hate that part.

In the procedure room, the nurse asked me a few questions then asked me to turn on my side. I was all, "Why??" and she was all, "So we can do your colonoscopy." And I explained about my ostomy, and the nurse looked kind of freaked out. I take it they don't deal with a lot of ostomates there? She apologized, and I said, "It's not a big deal, I just wanted to make sure no one tried sticking anything in my butt, because you won't get very far, I don't have a rectum." So then, flustered, she asked to see my ostomy and I showed her. I don't really get why it was a big deal. She didn't even want to touch it. Sigh.

Then the anesthesiologist asked me to turn over and I had to explain again. This time the doctor was in the room and he chimed in too. Then he asked me if the ostomy was permenant.

YES. It's permenant. Did ya read my file??? I was nice though, and explained that the tumor was too close to the anal junction, blah blah blah.

So the anesthesiologist started the sedation and told me to think of a good dream. Do you even dream when you're under sedation? I thought that was weird.

And when I woke up, Eric was in the recovery room. We got a printout with some cool pictures of my colon. And guess what?? The paper said, "During the procedure we found the following: previous anterior resection of the anus, rectum, and sigmoid colon." REALLY???? Holy shit, guys, someone resected my colon!!!! Eric and I got a good laugh out of that. After speaking to the doctor, I was released. The nurses made me ride in a wheelchair to my car. I guess they have to do that.

According to this doctor, I don't need another colonoscopy for five years. Even though I had a gut feeling (haha) that my colon was clean, I don't know if I trust it quite that much. I believe the surgeon suggested every two years after this initial colonoscopy, so I think I'll check with the oncologist and see what he says. But most likely I'll go in two years. With the Miralax/Gatorade prep.

I wanted to thank everyone for their positive thoughts. I appreciate it always.

Next milestone...CT Scan and follow up oncology visit. This is the one I'm nervous about. I feel like if I can get past this scan and it's clean, then I'm golden. I don't know that for sure, of course, but you know.


  1. Sounds like it was a blast! Very glad to hear everything came up clean on the colonoscopy. Good luck with the rest... I am sure the rest will be all clear too.

    Mike S.

  2. Oh good grief! Seriously, makes you wonder what the IQ of some medical staff is doesn't it? Urologist said to me "Oh it's very tight" and then later "It looks like you don't empty your bladder properly - no shit? I can barely pee that's why I'm here, it's nearly closed up! (Radiation damage for rectal cancer)

    Still, clean is good news indeed, forever may that continue. Hope is your best ally for a clear scan. I shall lend you some of mine, just for insurance.

  3. Great news about your lovely clean colon Sheri...

    Sending lots of positive thoughts your way for a crystal clear scan next.

  4. Glad to hear it was clear! I also don't think I would go 5 yrs until another one! I also do the pills and Miralax prep. There is no way I would do any other kind! I really couldn't do it, I would just puke the moment it touched my lips. Also, I I had 2 scopes with the miralax and both reports said "excellent clean out" so it works. The whole thing with the dr/nurses about the turning over would have made me so mad and start crying--I cry at everything! Did they NOT read your chart??? I love the Dr. House comment!

  5. Hilarous about the nurses and the doctor being so ignorant about your stoma. C'mon guys, read the file. Show me you care.

    Having had an APR done myself, I've thought a lot about how the colonoscopy prep and the colonscopy itself is going to go with a stoma. Even though my next 'scope is in June. Thanks for your stories. I figured the prep wouldn't be a pretty thing.