Virtual colonoscopy? I don’t recommend it. It’s uncomfortable and embarrassing.
I had an unsuccessful/failed regular colonoscopy in April. My doctor was trying to investigate what he called “thickening” where I’d had the diverticulitis on my last CT scan. I woke up from that colonoscopy to hear he hadn’t been able to scope me. The internal scarring from the diverticulitis was so bad he couldn’t advance the scope. He then ordered a virtual colonoscopy.
I had heard virtual wasn’t bad, just an x-ray of sorts and I could drive myself home afterwards because they weren’t knocking me out. None of that was true. My son ended up driving me because I was so sick.
The prep was a disaster. I have never been that sick. I won’t go into details, but I had an overpowering, intense nausea and violent diarrhea. I got three hours of sleep and was up and visiting the bathroom again at 4:20 a.m. I was dehydrated, had a migraine and the chills. A step on the scale showed I was down seven pounds just from last Friday! That was all water weight lost.
The test itself was fairly fast once they took me in. Waiting is always the worst part for any sort of procedure. I was awake the entire test and that was the stuff of nightmares. A rubber catheter with a balloon attached was inserted in a place it shouldn’t ever go. Then it was inflated and air pumped through the entire colon. Yuck and ouch.
Images lying on my back and images lying on my stomach, and they removed the torture device and I was free to go.
I get the results from my doctor in a few days. I’m home resting today, and I think my belly is finally calming down after 24 hours of extreme upset.
I went through my calendar items and my photos for the year. All in all, 2018 wasn’t a great year, but it wasn’t all that bad either. I spent a good third of the year sick, and I’ve lost more weight with my stomach woes. I also spent three-quarters of the year pushing myself and learning.
On the learning side, I was inspired to use a $100 Amazon gift card on a very cheap beginner’s guitar package (a cheap electric guitar and a tiny amplifier). I took lessons as a kid on an acoustic and didn’t stick with it. I’ve always regretted not following through so I decided to pick up the cheap guitar to see if I could still do it. I could. Guitar one became eight guitars and two bass guitars (guitar acquisition syndrome). Daily practice sessions where I pushed myself to learn using DVDs, books and online lessons turned into weekly guitar lessons with a private teacher. She’s going to teach me bass, too, since I’ve been doing those lessons on my own for about a week now.
The sick of it was a series of infections – SIBO (small intestinal bacterial overgrowth), a UTI, an infected tooth and emergency root canal, and a long, drawn-out bout with a c. difficile infection that still hasn’t completely resolved itself. I’ve eaten a lot of bland food, taken lots of medication (thus the c. diff infection) and taken more medication to combat the CDI monster. My house smells like bleach, but I guess it could be worse.
2018 also brought two new tattoos and three rock concerts in five days. Not bad considering I was sick and on an antibiotic the week we attended the concerts, one including a trip out of town for two days.
I have no New Year’s resolutions for 2019. My only goal is to get well again. I’d like to spend some of my free time cleaning up the clutter that has taken over my house, but being sick most of the time, working full-time takes the majority of my energy. When I get home, I expend the last of my reserves on practicing the guitar and then I’m done. I sit with my feet up, a heating pad on my belly and a cat on my lap, and I fall asleep in my recliner.
Not a very exciting life, but not all bad either.
I went back to work a week ago Thursday, and I got through my two days of work last week. The weekend went okay. By Monday my stomach was starting to act up again. By Tuesday I was in tears at work with stomach cramps. I called the doctor to see what I should do. They wanted all my tests repeated.
I left work early Tuesday and went for bloodwork. Wednesday I dropped off another sample. Thursday the results were in, and the c. diff test came back as positive again. I was off of the vancomycin for only eight days. I’m back on it now through the end of January (seven weeks). They are using a tapered approach, and I will stop taking it gradually.
I was told I could go to work with this, but I have to maintain good hand hygiene (washing thoroughly with soap and water), and I must bleach the toilet at work if I use it that way. Fun times. I got up on Friday to go to work and was so sick with belly pain I could barely stand up straight. Needless to say, I called in sick.
Friends and family who have had this tell me to be patient. It takes time to get well again. I’m sick of feeling poorly, and I’d really like to get back to living my life again and not have a bad bacterial infection run my life for me. I haven’t even decorated for Christmas yet.
Maybe Santa can bring me wellness this year.