Tuesday, 8 September 2015
The Crippling Pain, The ER Visits & THE Scope (Part 2)
As you can see, I was to drink 1L of the horrible-diesel-tasting-diarrhoea-inducing-drink at 7 pm (and must be finished doing so by 8pm) and ANOTHER 1L at 8pm (and must be finished doing so by 9pm). You will gag drinking this. And this is not an exaggeration. The taste will be in your mouth, nostrils and brain. You will smell and taste it in everything and everywhere. By 9 something, I was already running to the toilet. If you're ever going to go through this procedure, don't even attempt to wear back your undies or walk out of the toilet. You will never make it before the next wave hits. Put a stool or a chair next to the 'throne' and wait for the next wave. You won't have to wait for long, I assure you. There will be times when you will think that you're done. You will be wrong.
The very helpful nurse at the endoscopy department said that we must excrete to the point where the last stage of excrement looks like liquid that resembles a-somewhat-clear-water (pictures 7 and 8 of the diagram below).
I was up until 2am and had arrived at stage 7 by then. Thoroughly exhausted, I scrubbed the throne clean, showered and went to bed.
By 4 something I was up to make the last 1L to drink (which I had to begin drinking at 5am and was to be finished by 6am). I was sorely tempted to not drink that as my excrement was clear at 2am. But I remembered what the nurse told me the day before. I was to finish all three sachets. Obediently, I chugged down the last one liter. Boy, was I glad I did that as the next toilet visits became stage 5 again which finally cleared up by the time I arrived at the hospital at 8.30am. (Another important point: Wear diapers! The morning rush hour is mad and you might not be able to hold it. I managed to hold but ran and dashed to the endoscopy department's toilet. And the nurse who checked my stools said I was good to go!!!! Yippeee! No need another 1L of that drink called death.) We met a woman who did not drink her 5am drink as she thought her bowels were cleaned enough. She had to drink another 1L of that drink while I could go ahead with my scope. The relief that I felt was euphoric. But I felt terrible for her. She looked disgusted at the drink and totally demoralized sitting there.
So I changed into the hospital gown and got ready to be wheeled into the scoping room.
I would be lying if I said that I wasn't nervous or anxious. The colonoscopy is one awfully painful procedure when one is not sedated. My dad said when my mum had hers, she was screaming even though she was sedated. They had to give her another shot of sedation.
As I was wheeled in, I saw Dr. Rockstar preparing a syringe to sedate me!
Me: NO WAY DOCTOR! I am not to be sedated. I don't want another problem added to my stomach problems. I have enough problems as it is. So no, I do not want to take the risk of having an allergy attack which can spiral into an anaphylactic attack.
Dr. Rockstar: Yes lah. Take it lah. It's going to be very painful.
Me: I know. But you'll be gentle. (That was me hinting very directly at him to be gentle. But of course I know that there's no way of him turning the scope at the corners of my intestines without causing pain.)
Dr. Rockstar: I can be gentle but you'll still be in pain.... Well ok. If you're up to it. (Of course, he wasn't too pleased. But I was stubborn and adamant and he could not change my mind.)
And so it began.........
Nurse: (Turns me on my left side and sprays Xylocaine (to numb my throat so that the scope can enter without me vomiting and gagging non-stop. Once my throat was numb, she placed a plastic mouthpiece to keep it open.)
Dr. Rockstar: (As he is about to start the scope, he discovers some buttons/knobs are missing! Turns to one of the nurses and barks.) Where are the buttons/knobs? I WANT ALL OF THEM!
One of them disappears like Speedy Gonzales or the Road Runner and returns with the parts that the doctor had demanded. (Later when I told hubby what had happened, he said that now he knew why the nurse ran out and returned with such speed.)
Dr. Rockstar then proceeds and inserts the scope into my esophagus.
Dr. Rockstar: Ok, let's start. (Realises that he couldn't proceed as the monitor would not light up and he is about to blow again.) Why isn't this working??!
Nurse: (Answers real quick) The station outside has not registered the patient.
Dr. Rockstar: (He sounds like he is about to eat everyone in the room.) HOW NOW? THE SCOPE IS IN THE PATIENT ALREADY! HOW LONG YOU WANT PATIENT TO WAIT? WHY WAS THE PATIENT PUSHED INTO THE ROOM WHEN SHE WASN'T REGISTERED?! HOW NOW?!!!!
Nurse: (In a very timid voice) We have to wait for them to register before we can proceed.
Dr. Rockstar: HOW LONG MUST THE PATIENT WAIT? HOW LONG DO YOU EXPECT THEY PATIENT TO LIE DOWN HERE? CALL THEM!!!!!!
The nurse makes the call and squeaks faster than a speeding bullet train telling the outside counter to speed it up.
Bear in mind that I was awake, hearing all this and I had this tube down my esophagus into my stomach and I had to wait until I was 'registered'. I could hear my heart rate accelerating and felt a panic attack creeping in. I started breathing in and out to calm myself down (sounding somewhat like a Darth Vader squeaking) and grabbed the pillow with my left hand. I also started chanting in my head, 'I CAN DO THIS. I CAN DO THIS. I CAN DO THIS. I CAN DO THIS.......' My heart rate actually started to slow down.
Dr. Rockstar: (Bangs on the keyboard urgently and impatiently.) WHAT'S TAKING THEM SO LONG???!!!!
SUDDENLY, the screen lights up and everything started to work. I shouted Hallelujah in my mind and praised every god that exists. HAHA! (Yes, I can laugh now. But I assure you, I wasn't laughing then.)
Dr. Rockstar proceeds with the endoscopy and completes it in a few minutes.
They then turned me around and prepped me up for the colonoscopy.
I continued to grab the pillow with my left hand and I then grabbed the bed railing with my right hand. And I started chanting 'I CAN DO THIS' in my mind again. The first turn came and I turned my face into the pillow and groaned. I gripped the bed railing so hard that my hand still hurts today. This round I didn't scream the hospital down. Hubby was worried as it was so quiet that he thought I might have passed out! When he found out I didn't pass out and did not scream, he promoted me from 'Woman of Steel' to 'Woman of Titanium'. HAHA!
Finally they arrived at the end of the large colon.
WHEW! The nurse pried my right hand from the railing. I immediately went and grabbed it again. She then told me that the excruciating-intestine-twisting procedure was over. Only then did I slowly let go of the railing.
Now here's the good news. My esophagitis has healed. I have no lesions, no ulcers, no polyps, no tear, no nothing in both upper and lower gastrointestinal section. There's no sign of acid reflux burning my esophagus. The Hpylori test came back negative.
Dr. Rockstar concluded that it was a severe IBS attack which he firmly believes was triggered by stress. (Yes, everything is triggered by stress.) I wasn't stressed. But I remember the gassiness started after eating french beans. And then during the weekend, I had garlic! I love garlic. But garlic is a major trigger for episodes-from-hell for me. DAMN IT! It's healthy food. It's not even cake or ice-cream. It's goddamn GARLIC! G.A.R.L.I.C.
All this stomach-throwing-hissy-fits started after I fell sick two months back. I guess it'll take time and I have to build it back up again.
The pain is still on and off. At least there are bouts of relief now. Last week it was 24-hours of pain.
The horrible-diesel-tasting-diarrhoea-inducing drink triggered some allergy reaction. I was itching and had some red patches here and there. I had to take a Puriton antihistamine on Friday night itself. Everything cleared up the next day.
It's adapting period again. I hope things will get better soon.