The colonoscopy sans colon

Yes they will run a scope up into just a rectum. First, he hurts you with the”digital exam”. I know this because i felt it even with sedation. During this part they look for fissures, hemorrhoids, and general tone of sphincter. Next the scope is inserted and things like polyps are looked for inside.

These are the same basic things done in a regular colonoscopy, there is just less to look at. So colectomy does get a scope too.

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Physical Afflictions.

For this post I’m going to be selfish and talk about me. Despite the length and breadth of my depression that I’ve dealt with for almost as long as I can remember, it is my physical ailments that cause me the most turmoil.

In my teens and twenties stomach issues plagued me.GERD, and a hiatal hernia were center stage. I suffered silently for a few years until I heard about a procedure called Nissan fundoplication. I know that it doesn’t work for everyone but it was a surgery that I would repeat if I were to be in that much pain again.

Later in my twenties and while at a gun show, I ate a polish sausage. It causes a gall bladder attack that felt like a knife was sticking through me clean through, front to back. That surgery too was worth every minute of post op pain.

Fast forward a while and I ended up with a incisional  hernia. “Easy to fix, I’ll use mesh to close the hernia” is what the surgeon said. I awoke too intense pain that lots of fentanyl wouldn’t touch.I went by ambulance from the surgery center to the main hospital for a CT scan. I ended up in the hospital with an ng tube and some time for the blockage to clear.

When the pain stated,I learned that I had intestinal malformation for which I had a LADD’S procedure to’fix’ . Add to pain constipation that was unbearable. I dealt with that, using every option possible to try to correct it. It got so bad I didn’t go for extended periods of time, sometimes up to two weeks or more.

Desperate, I went to a colorectal surgeon and had a colectomy with anastomosis, meaning they removed my colon and matched up the end of my smallbowell with my rectum. Talk about a life change. Now I go 3-4 times a day or more. Basically perpetual diarrhea now.And I thought that my surgeries were complete.It got rid of part of the pain that I’ve had these long years and I could go!

Unfortunately, not even a year out from this”last”surgery,I am having an increase of pain and have to strain to defecate. A CT scan shows adhesions that is sticking things together. This may mean another surgery if they cause a blockage of my bowels. Unfortunately, more surgery can mean more adhesions.

This is the end of my brief history.Now I’d like to go on to another subject that is related.

An average person probably doesn’t think about going to the bathroom. We are conditioned from early on that even talking about it was nasty. Any references to defecation were referred to as “shit” or dookey or other terms. That is really bad considering that being able to talk about bodily functions as it turns out are very important if something goes wrong.

Something wrong might mean hemorrhoids or a fissure or something just as simple. Other, dangerous things might be polyps or worse, cancer, which can be minimized in many cases by early intervention. That means talking about body function with a doctor.ignoring symptoms such as blood, or pain could lead to be bad.

I dare say that some number of people are so ashamed or embarrassed that even when blood or pain presents itself they will suffer with it until forced by their own bodies to seek help. Sometimes the delay can have consequences.

The crossroad

It should be here somewhere. The crossroad that leads no where. The journey on that road won’t be happy nor pleasant but it will be one there that i will take because I must. I have done things that there was no pride in doing. I did them because i was driven to do them. My journey to here, where I am now, had taken most my life to get here. I wasn’t always the messed up creature before you now.

Before now I still had a colon, an appendix and other parts that are now gone .I also had unspeakable depression that should have taken my life but didn’t and a great deal of confusion, possibly caused by bipolar disorder. Even now I don’t necessarily think of myself lucky to be alive, I just am.

I have longed to find the crossroad way before now. To the road that leads me to a life that I would like to try, one that I have worked at to get. A new job would be a great start. My search has been going on for some time now. Applications sent and rejected over and over so that I think that besides Walmart, there is no other place for me. Sad to think, that. That being a cashier is why I spent four years in school for a Bachelor’s in business. It makes me sad and sick at the same time.

Speaking of sick, I just found out that I had abdominal adhesions which puts me at risk of a blockage at some point. That will be a problem as doctors here don’t want to touch me since I went to st Louis for the colectomy. Maybe I should have had it done here, in retrospect. I’m not sure who I would have had do the surgery. I still have no faith in Dr B. He is the only CR surgeon in this area too, at least in my health system.

Anyway the adhesions are causing me pain now but I still pooh so I’ve got that going for me. A person takes lots for granted, like eating and drinking and breathing. Going pooh ranks right up there. We don’t talk about or even think about pigging out loud until we can’t go or if it hurts. Even then we talk in hushed tones, embarrassed for anyone to hear. For some the embarrassment costs them dearly. Keeps them from seeing a doctor until real problems set in. To go with the adhesions, I have to strain to go which I’m told isn’t a good thing since all I have is small bowl tired to my rectum which could prolapse or recticele creating an outlet problem. And the fecal incontinence is bothersome too. I wear pads because I never know when a leak will occur.

There is more to come. Sorry if there is too much information. I will keep that in mind for a warning next time for those who embarrass easily or have a weak constitution.

 

My state of mind

Of all of the real problems that I have had in my life, there lingers an invisible illness that I’ve not openly addressed before, hypochondria. From an really age I’ve had the desire to be sick, fortunately this has not been true. I don’t mean like malrotation or colonic inertia. I mean something terminal. I know how this sounds bad and, yes I see a therapist. Plus I am not suicidal. I’m not sure where this desire originates but it has been persistent, sneaking is way into my thoughts periodically.

Through the years there have many times that I wished non existence, the wish I’d never been born. One therapist suggested it was tied to abuse that I suffered as a child. I used to deny this but evidence presented to me in the form of things that I said in therapy have led me to see the truth in this concept. Abuse, or rather the reaction to it, is a powerful thing. It shapes the mind and thoughts in a kind of defensive mode. While this could be an aha moment to outsiders looking in, such an apifany eludes my grasp.

As to the abuse, while there was physical abuse, there was psychological plus some form of sexual abuse may have been present as well. I say “may have been” because evidence of it is subtle and indirect as I have no direct memory of it, just lingering feelings and behavior that suggests. The brain is awesome in its ability protect our consciousness from trauma that otherwise might render us handicapped.

Trying now to get a resolution to these conflicted thoughts gets much tougher as I age because parents and participants are dying or dead by now but I suspect the traumatic abuse came from early on, in my preteen years, although psychological abuse was life long, at the hands of my father.

It wasn’t as if there were no good times.  Certainly I remember fishing trips, and other things I enjoyed doing with him but my father had a dark side that had a way of coming out, usually to tell me that I was inadequate and although I am heterosexual, that I was homosexual which to his homophobic mind was one of the lowest levels of hell that he could wish on someone. I was never to confront him with any of this as he is now dead. He died of cancer and old age at 86 years of age.

I have worked hard to not be like my father in his abusive patterns in my own life but much of what we know is learned by our interactions. My wife of 32 years has been the object of my abuse over the years. Despite my vigilance, i find myself yelling and badgering her. I despise myself for this and the weakness that allows it to lash out at her. It amazes me that she has stayed with me for so long.

Defecography TMI !!! The process

I’m going to try to tell the tale about procedures that I have from now on. Mostly for myself but also for people who wonder about what they’re in for.

Just the prep isn’t pleasant. Enemas and pooping in general are taboo in our culture. I got through it and am at the hospital nervously waiting for my turn.

The case of nerves is proving unfounded. The tech who is helping is nice and considerate. She just brought the drinking portion of barium. .. Yum chalk–for lunch!  Now just a thirty minute wait for it to travel to. .well wherever. Lol just got the second xray to see where it is. . More in a while. Apparently it’s where they want it to be. They’ll be calling me back soon.

Ok so i went back in and the Dr did a rectal exam. .rough, but lived through that. The tech put in the barium and that wasn’t bad at all! The pooping and exercises on command was a little stressful but also went okay. I had to cough, kegel,squeeze my abdomen and finally, eliminate. After 2 hours, I’m done.

I am aware of the sensitive nature of this subject it is much easier to write than to say. I hope that my experience might be of help to someone nervous. If anyone has questions. ..ask.!