So there I was staring in disbelief. I stopped and thought for a minute maybe something I had eaten that will be it. Too many fruit pastels and wine gums, or my Irritable Bowel Syndrome playing up? And so I sat on it, literally, for a year and a half. Sitting drinking my coffee in the local coffee shop one day and having finished my paper, I turned my attention to listening in on other peoples conversations. “No really she went to the loo and said she passed what looked like jelly but it turned out to be colon cancer” one of them said. I felt the hair on my arms stand on end, at the same time as a chill ran down my spine, and hurried off to book an appointment to see the doctor.
The waiting room was empty; I almost hoped a group of people would walk in all with appointments before me so that I had a bit longer to think of the best way to say what I had to the doctor, but in truth it was only one word I had a problem with. And then it happened, they called my name, this was it then. I stood up walked into the room and sat down.
“Hello” He said “how can I help you?” well I thought I’m not in the supermarket looking for toothpicks and both the panic and thought of shopping meant I said nothing “its ok go ahead” and so I began mumbling “waa bot year arf whe loo un wha looked ike elly was there!” “Sorry?” He said. I can’t quite understand what you’re saying” I had to get it out so I braved up “it was about a year and a half ago when I went to the loo and what looked like jelly was there” there I’d said the word. What colour was it? How big was it? Did it smell? (yuk) How many times did it happen? Slow down I thought, how much detail did he need?” I’m going to make you an appointment for the hospital l just need to wait for a letter “and that was it I waited.
It only took a few weeks for the appointment to arrive. In a way I was pleased, the sooner I saw the doc the sooner I could get the all clear or necessary treatment. I was of course nervous of the outcome but also nervous of the procedure. I mean, the last person to try and stick their finger up my rectum was my husband and he had got a mouthful for his efforts. The night before I stood in the bathroom with only one question in my mind “to shave or not to shave” not all of us are nimble, trimmed, butty hair free ladies! And so I decided that it would be better to clear the offending area, it was just a matter of working out the best way to proceed. The way I saw it, I had two choices, bend down and go for it or put one leg up and go for it? Trouble was, with one leg pressed up against the shower tiles I had the image of me falling out of the shower and onto the bathroom floor, and so I bent forward.
I felt okay the next morning as I waited for my name to be called, I was secretly hoping that I would be seen by an old doctor because it somehow made it better. However, when I walked into the room, a 40 something doctor stood there. After asking the relevant questions, he told me to take my “panties” off, really? That word did not make me feel any better. ‘panties’ was a word that sounded a bit naughty. And so laying on the bench with my bottom exposed I braced myself, oops there we go he had stuck his index finger up my abyss and had begun poking around. “is that ok?” he asked. Not really I thought but do I have a choice?
Finally it was over and I sat at his desk waiting to hear the outcome. At this point what worried me was the smirk on his face which he had all the way through our conversation, it was because I had shaved my bum I just knew it and I probably hadn’t made a very good job of it. I dare say it looked a bit patchy! ”well everything seems ok (apart from my new hair style) but because of your age, IBS, and length of time since it happened, I’m referring you for a flexible sigmoidoscopy “ and so yet again I waited for the letter.
I was a woman and so had dealt with pain all my life, whether it is body related or man inflicted, and so made my mind up that I didn’t need the sedation that had been suggested for the procedure. When I got there, I undressed and put on 2 gowns, answered the nurse’s questions and was good to go. In the inspection room there were two men, one was going to do the procedure and the other at the bottom of the bed/table was in training.
He certainly had a good view he’d better just keep his eyes on the screen. I laid down and thought it best to close my eyes. The camera went in along with a sharp intake of my breath “yes 1 2 3 polyps; I’m going to mark them and refer you for a colonoscopy they will take these out and look in your large bowl and colon to see if you have any more ok? “Well I guess it will have to be” I thought, but I wasn’t really taking much notice. I needed to off load the excess air.
I managed to reach the loos where I wet farted, good that I had no knickers on or I would of pebble-dashed them. The nurse had told me to wait in a side room and she would get the report and come and speak to me. She didn’t take long. “ Well the report shows you have 3 polyps. They have been marked and will be taken out when you have a colonoscopy”. I knew all this. “But don’t worry they look benign”. Stop right there. I could see my arm reach out in a face ain’t listening way, benign is good word when you’re looking for cancer but I wasn’t, I had IBS that’s all. “Polyps are the main cause of bowel cancer and you don’t want half your bowel removed do you?”. And with that she was gone.
It wasn’t as straight forward this time. I had to fast the day and night before the procedure. Well I say fast, I was allowed clear liquids. I took this to mean only water but found out after I could have had clear chicken soup !!!! There were also a huge amount of laxatives to consume and I did wonder if there would be any of me left to make the appointment. And so from 11.00am to 11.30am I took 10 Senna tablets. At 2.00pm, 1 sachet of Citramag. At 6.00pm half a sachet of citramag and the other half to be taken at 6.00am the day of the procedure …. Phew.
It was therefore very obvious what was going to happen – not only was I going to slowly dissolve I was also going to have the sorest, stingiest, reddest ring! I spent the day and night on the sofa gulping large amounts of water in order to keep myself hydrated and so I dripped from every orifice. It was a long painful night, still I thought I’m so tired I may sleep through the whole thing, or as least I hoped. When I arrived, I filled out the necessary paperwork and put my robes on, kissed my hubby and off I went. Oh yes I was ready. I’d thought of nothing else and just wanted to get it done. In the room were 2 nurses and a doctor. They injected sedation into my line and I lay down, I was going to watch this time, I just needed a second to brave up.
I opened my eyes just at the wrong time, the doc was just going in, it looked like honey I shrunk the kids and my fine bum hair now resembled bamboo canes! Needless to say I quickly shut them again. Throughout the procedure so far the doctor had been complementing me on what a good job I had made of the “clear out” and it did make me wonder if other people actually had this done without making the same effort!! But it wasn’t an effort, firstly I had not had a choice and second Yuk if others didn’t bother.
As if what was going on wasn’t enough I suddenly heard voices behind me and turned my head to see what going on and instantly regretted doing so. Stood in a line against the wall were 3 other men, all with stethoscopes around their necks and one in particular was young and very handsome.
Really was this not bad enough without an audience? Well I wasn’t having it and called the nurse from the bottom of the bed “what’s wrong?” she questioned “there is a young fit doctor with his mates looking up my balloon knot I replied” “don’t worry we are done now” you know, like it didn’t matter. They had removed all four off the polyps and I had to wait for the pathology results, although they said everything looked okay. The robes were pulled over me and I was wheeled out to the waiting room where I went straight to the loos had another wet fart, got dressed and waited for my husband.
So the benefits of a full colonoscopy are:
1 To be able to face yours demons and find out the necessary treatment
2 Having a very good detox!!!!!!!!