And typically, I’m jumping straight in with the “TMI” posts! Poop and anything associated with it is such a taboo topic even though everyone does it! For people like me who have illnesses of the bowel, it can be a pain in the butt (pun perhaps intended!) that no one seems to want to talk about it, even within chronic illness circles. Well, as there’s no limit here, here we go!
The reason I bring it up is that I’ve been having issues recently with bleeding from the colon. Sometimes it’s been within the stools themselves, and sometimes I notice upon wiping. In true downplaying lupie fashion, I wasn’t too worried at first. As the weeks went on and it kept happening, I also noticed the stools’ color changing, and a lot of pain when going; as I have IBS anyway, it can be hard to notice when something is abnormal for me, but I decided this was.
When the stools became very pale beige and pencil-like, I decided it was time to get to the doctor, encouraged by my Facebook support group. The doctor was lovely – it helps that as time goes on, I shed any shame about anything medical-related! – and found nothing upon examination, which she expected. She has referred me back to gastroenterology, and I should expect an appointment for colonoscopy soon, which is pretty much what I went for! All I can think is that it can’t be as bad as an endoscopy, which I had near the start of my lupus journey, and chose to have no sedation and was soon regretting it!
As I try to be open about these things, I was talking with my niece earlier about colonoscopy and what it is, and she’s very amused at the thought of them “taking pictures of my butt”! She turned six last month. I’m trying to talk more about my condition and the effects in everyday conversation with my family, to help them realize how intrusive and permanent it is, rather than keeping quiet. It’s a balance between oversharing, feeling like I’m whining, and just openly talking about health and reminding them that these issues are ongoing even if I’m not talking about them constantly.
Anyway, hopefully I’ll get some answers soon, and it’s nothing to worry about. It could just be inflammation, or something more serious. Until then I’m just keeping an eye on things and noting any changes.
I think that in general we need to be more open about bowel- and poop-related issues! (Of course, it’s an individual choice, and you certainly won’t see this article popping up on my personal Facebook page!) I still remember the relief of finding a friend with severe IBS and being able to discuss all our horrible symptoms together. 🙂