Well, I feel like I’ve gone through a lot of torment, having not eaten since Friday evening (it’s 5pm on Monday now), and not to get the magic answer to my issue! But that’s life with a systemic disease for you. The test itself wasn’t too bad; it was a sigmoidoscopy rather than full colonoscopy, and it certainly was nowhere near as bad as having a gastroenteroscopy as I did a few years ago!
In the test nothing much was found, which is good and bad: good of course because nothing major is going on, and bad because then I don’t get an answer to the issues that prompted the test! We were hoping it’s just inflammation due to the lupus. Because of all the color issues in the stool, liver involvement is possible, so that’ll probably be the next track to take. All they diagnosed today was confirming internal hemorrhoids, which are thankfully only Grade 1.
The actual test, as I said, wasn’t too bad; it was mostly a lot of waiting in the department. I was told I might be in there for up to four hours, but I managed to get out in half that time. The test itself was only about 10-15 minutes long. There was some pain as the scope turned corners of the bowel, but it wasn’t too unbearable and each wave passed fairly quickly. I could see the images on the screen, although fairly blurry because I didn’t have my glasses on, which was cool. As both an anatomist and a chronic illness patient, I find it all very fascinating; when my surgical wound opened and my bowel came through last year, I thought it was very interesting and fascinating, albeit somewhat worrying!
By the time I was waiting before the test, my blood pressure had dropped quite low, and I was feeling pretty ill by now, especially because my sinus tachycardia has been flaring quite badly for a few days. (I always warn nurses as they take my blood pressure, as they inevitably think I’m very anxious.) I began to hallucinate a chair moving across the floor, haha – it didn’t even have wheels! They offered me to stay at the end for tea or coffee, but I was just eager to get home and eat! And I’m glad to say I enjoyed a mince pie (a meat pie, not the Christmas treat :P) for my dinner!
It was definitely worth having the test anyway, as it’s invaluable to know that your bowel is healthy or not. So many bowel issues go undiagnosed because people are embarrassed or play down symptoms to themselves, but doctors really have seen just about anything. Having been on the other side of a clinical setting as well as a patient, I can honestly say that you shouldn’t be embarrassed; but even if you are, your health is worth more, and also that people will generally need more invasive care if they leave symptoms unchecked and they develop into something more.