Got the all clear

Hi guys!

Hope everyone’s well. Just a little note to say that my little test this morning went very well. For those of you who have missed a couple of updates: I had to have a colonoscopy this morning – a procedure that I loving refer to as a “photoshoot”. These are fairly standard tests for Crohn’s as its a way that the inside of the gut can be examined in a relatively un-intrusive manner, and a way that samples can be taken for further analysis as required. This close inspection allows any ulcers and strictures to be spotted and in my case allows the surgeon to check for any problems with joins from surgery. Moreover it allows other problems to be spotted early and managed.

For me: the joins from the surgery were all fine. I was actually able to see the screen showing the test and I could barely notice the joins from the surgery. We saw one small looking ulcer in there, which will be flagged with the surgeon and kept an eye on. I am however totally free from any narrowing which is a massive relief! So for the first time in a while I’m just as healthy on the inside as I feel on the outside.

I think its always important to give yourself something to look forward too at the end of something like this. Whether its a food you enjoy eating, a drink you enjoy, a hobby you love doing, its good to set yourself a reward for getting through it. Mine was a steak dinner. I enjoy steak, especially a nice cut of skirt steak from my local butcher. From when I started to feel the strain of not eating yesterday I focussed on this dinner, and because I had a good thing to focus on, it made the less nice stuff easier to get through. I decided to go all fancy: warmed bread soaked in the juices from the chopping board, a lovely pasta salad on the side, and of course the seasoned, cooked skirt steak from the butchers in town… Just to show my treat off here’s a picture:

Steak dinner

Just for those of you who are curious, I thought I would share an overview of what goes on in a colonoscopy and how you prepare for this. The hardest part for me is the fasting before hand. You aren’t allowed any food for about 24 hours prior to your test, which for a guy who has as a close a relationship with food was a real tough one! But it had to be done. If they need to see the inside of the gut then clearly they need it to be empty. To help this they give you some pretty impressive laxatives which I took (under instruction) last night. It’s not painful, or particularly unpleasant. You just go a little more often than normal. My appointment this morning was first thing. My grandparents gave me a lift to the hospital – seeing as they often use sedation with this procedure the medical staff often insist that you have someone to accompany you from the hospital.

Once all of the paperwork is done and the health questionnaire is filled out, you’re shown through to get changed into the fetching hospital gowns, then into the room for the procedure. The bed you lie on is next to a large screen which the person doing the test can see. I had a cannula in my arm, which can be used to administer the sedation. For me they didn’t use much if any. I think I had some given, but I remember the whole procedure so I know that they didn’t use much. Just enough to take the edge off so to speak. I decided to watch the screen out of pure curiosity, asking what bits were on the inside and getting a really strange biology lesson.

After the procedure the after care was brilliant. I was taken to the recovery room, given time to change into my clothes, given a cup of tea and a packet of biscuits. The nursing staff made sure that I was OK to eat and drink before they removed the cannula, and gave me an over view of the results and what to do for the rest of the day. The nurse who took me through this then walked me to meet up with my nan, ensuring that I had someone keeping watch incase I had a funny turn. As it turned out out I was all OK, no hint of a wobble. But its good to know that they are keen to make sure.

The doctor who did my test was quite keen to answer my questions, and made me feel really at ease. In fact all of the medical staff I met were second to none. I know I have sung their praises before, but still I don’t think I can praise them enough. They are all so professional, helpful, caring, knowledgeable, and truly dedicated to patient care. It’s really humbling and sobering to see them in action and to take a second to reflect on they job that they are doing. Thanks to every single one of you.

Well after that little verbal wander, I hope you found some use or entertainment out of it! As always thanks for reading.

KBO

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About tomcoppin

Hello! I'm Tom, and have started this blog to share my experience of living life with a condition called Crohn's Disease. I've had the condition for a long time and have recently undergone surgery, hence the scar in the picture. I want to share my experiences to raise awareness of Crohn's, as well as helping out people who have been diagnosed. If you have any questions then feel free to message or comment and I will answer! Have a great day people. KBO
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