There are some aspects of life that people just never want to talk about. Your bowel movements are one of them. It is a bit of a poo-poo subject (excuse the pun). Even when you speak to junior doctors, you are shocked to hear they want to specialise in this area. But it is an area that we should all talk about more.
In December my dear friend was diagnosed with bowel cancer, due to the area of the cancer it took her a long time to tell anyone. It made me realise, some things should not be ignored, so I got in touch with my own gastroentologist and set up an appointment, from here an endoscopy was put in place.
A week before your procedure you get a phone consultation. You receive a letter in the post telling you that if you miss this appointment you will be struck off the waiting list and will not be seen for a very long time, therefore, I am sat, perched at the edge of my seat, waiting patiently for the phone to ring.
It rings, and a lovely lady informs me that I will be having not just one, but two procedures in a week’s time. When reading through my notes she makes many attempts at reading through my list of medication, but to no avail. I am yet to meet anyone that can pronounce mycophenolate correctly for the first time (bet you all just tried to say it out loud). Then comes the medical history, needless to say this part usually takes a while. Not this time though, we instead go with the term “very complicated medical history”. Then we go on to discuss the actual procedures, I will be having one going in the top end and one going in the bottom end. It had been decided that I would do the whole thing with no sedation, as according to my Doctor I’m crazy brave after everything I’ve been through already.
Funnily enough the aspect I was most dreading was the banana throat spray. Anyone who knows me will be familiar with my loathing of bananas. Whilst I realise it is not logical, it has almost become a phobia in recent times. I can hardly bear to be in the same room as a banana, let alone have banana-numbing liquid sprayed into my mouth.
So Tuesday morning came along. Back to the hospital we went. By now we have a pretty good system going when it comes to going into hospital, and luckily Sarah the Carer was down to visit, so we had a girls day out to Derriford.
I was taken to a changing room and asked to put on my gown; you even get a pair of special modesty shorts, one size fits all.
When having the consultation beforehand Mum expressed that I would need “everything they’ve got, my daughter’s been through enough”, the whole shebang, so the whole no sedation went out the window. And to my delight, no banana spray!
And I don’t remember any of it, not one bit, but I had it and I have told all of you about it, so maybe it is time to no longer poo-poo it.