Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Hi Ted, meet Crohn's disease - The Colonoscopy

Continued from yesterday's post...

The night before my colonoscopy I had to “prepare” by taking excessive quantities of laxatives and drinking only clear, non-red liquids and eating Jell-O. I still remember that I had to take an entire bottle of magnesium citrate, followed by four Ducolax tablets before I went to sleep for the night, and then another bottle of magnesium citrate in the morning when I woke up. If I remember correctly, that's a combined 8 times the recommended dosage for the stuff. I remember taking the first bottle of magnesium citrate and thinking to myself, “Huh. That's not so bad. I don't know what the big deal is,” only to be racing for the bathroom moments later. My roommates just laughed and thought that the whole scenario was downright ridiculous.

Well, there I was the following day getting a full-on colonoscopy. Was it awkward? Definitely. And I get this question all the time: Did it, well, hurt? To be honest I was knocked out and off somewhere in lala land, so I had no idea what was even going on. The next thing I knew was that the procedure was over and a nurse was getting me some juice and asking me for my name and date of birth. I was still coming out of the anasthesia when my doctor approached my bed and told me the news. “You definitely have Crohn's disease," she said. "You can see by the pattern of inflamed tissue on these pictures that there's sections of healthy tissue dispersed between sections of inflamed tissue. That's a clear sign of Crohn's disease. We took a few biopsies while we were in there to run some tests."

"Wait," I said, half-drunk on the anastestics, trying to understand everything she was saying while I was coming back to full consciousness. "I have what now? Crohn's disease? Are you sure?"

"Yes. Here's a prescription for Asacol. Take 3 pills, 3 times daily. Here's some information on the disease and medication from the CCFA website. Get some rest and then make an appointment to see me as soon as possible so we can discuss everything."

Awesome. Crohn's disease. I had no idea what this meant at the time. Well, I had known about Crohn's disease but I didn't know all the details. So I went to CVS, got my prescription, went home, ate the biggest sandwich of my life, and started looking up information about Crohn's disease and my medication. In all honesty, I was lucky that the CCFA was there to help me out. There were all kinds of information available to me as well as a forum where I could post any questions that I had about getting diagnosed or my medications.

To be continued tomorrow with Hi Ted, meet Crohn's disease - The Drugs.

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