What a bummer!

This is a different sort of post – hopefully it will make you smile but also maybe think a bit about the sort of medical things that I, for one, try not to think about!
The whole procedure was fairly unpleasant but worth doing whatever the result. As they say Knowledge is power.

20/10/20
At the moment it isn’t a pain in the arse, but it might become one. One of the joys of old age is that you get to play pooh sticks! The doctor tells you to poo on a stick and send it off. Usually it comes back saying there is nothing to worry about, but not this time. The doctor rings to tell me they have found blood. A bit surprising as I have had no symptoms. He tries to reassure me by saying that I am generally fit and well and that it is probably a polyp but nevertheless it scares me shitless (almost literally) because I have to have a colonoscopy. I Google bowel cancer immediately and am preparing for life with a colostomy bag as we speak. I think I’ll handle that better than death. On the plus side by daughter-in-law is on the Keto diet, but I have to say the ‘you’ve got to have a colonoscopy’ diet beats the hell out of that! My friend Dr Google tells me a change in bowel habits and losing weight are the main signs of bowel cancer – at the moment I’ve got both. Hopefully this will make a very funny story in years to come but at the moment I am waiting with bated breath whilst reading in the paper about the number of people dying during Covid 19 because they couldn’t get their cancer treatments! I veer between imagining being told ‘Whoops, sorry, we made a mistake and there is nothing wrong with you’ and ‘Whoops, sorry you have a very aggressive tumour, we can’t do anything, you had better go home and arrange your funeral. Obviously, I am hoping for something in the middle like the ever popular polyp.
22/10/20
It’s hard to find the humour in a situation when every day seems to bring some more horrors. I’ve got the grandchildren for half term so am trying to be jolly Granny and not whiny, bitch Granny. I sit in dread of them asking innocently while watching the ads on television, if I have a funeral plan. My landline has not been working so I imagine the hospital has been trying to contact me but failing. However, I get a letter this morning telling me to go for a Coved test next Thursday and then isolate until 2nd November when I have the ‘procedure’. A nurse is going to ring me on Monday to talk me through it. I believe I have to take something that will tie me to the loo for several hours. Can’t wait for that!
28/10/20
Covid test tomorrow which means I won’t be able to go out so that will give me plenty of time to worry and imagine all the terrible things that might be lurking in my future (not to mention my bowel) It some ways it is a bit like having a baby – for everyone who tells you it will be fine there is one who tells you scary stories of people who died a fortnight after the test or who had a heart attack the next day or having the most enormous inoperable tumour – my personal favourite.
29/10/20
Had the Covid test this morning – not as bad as I was anticipating. All done with great efficiency, a lot of hand washing and taking of temperatures. Re the colonoscopy the internet is a mine of information. I must be one of the few grandmothers left who hasn’t had a least one. I ‘m told that they pump you full of air to get a better view and that the recovery area afterwards is full of respectable women waiting to be discharged accompanied a concerto of farts resounding round the area like the scene in Blazing Saddles after the cowboys eat the bean stew. Looking forward to that!
01/11/20
Just had last meal – feel a bit like the condemned man – and now about to take the sachet. Am intending to retreat into the loo with my iPad and Kindle to try and take my mind off my bottom. Unkind friends have said that my thoughts seldom go much above my waist – maybe in my younger days and for quite a different reason. Today I suspect my thoughts will be lowered once more.
02/11/20
Phew!!!!! All’s well that ends well – I think. When I arrived the nurse asked what I was doing there. I told her that I had been asked to come in and as I’m quite an obedient person, here I was. She then me that at my age people are only asked to have a test if there is something wrong. I, attempting to lighten the moment, suggested that my GP’s surgery had obviously thought I was much younger than my age. ‘I don’t think that’s likely’ she said rather unnecessarily. Admittedly she wasn’t seeing my best side at that particular moment. During the procedure they found a couple of polyps but didn’t seem unduly worried, although they will send them off for a biopsy and as long as they are negative I don’t have to go back for three years – that’ll be something to look forward to in my even older age. It was both fascinating and painful. I complained that I didn’t get nearly enough pain relief or sedation – very unpleasant but quite interesting travelling down the bowel on a television screen. Nurses very kind and good. No gas pumped into me and therefore no Blazing Saddles moment afterwards – we were decorum itself and apart from my stomach making a lot of noises in the evening I’ve had no ill effects.

13/11/20
Well, Friday 13th wasn’t unlucky for me – happy postscript to all the above is a letter from the hospital to say they polyps are benign! They do want to see me again in three years – not unless they give me the good drugs next time! It wasn’t a pleasant experience but at the moment I feel as if I had lost a penny and found a fiver.

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12 Comments

  1. Oh thank goodness you are in the clear. I didn’t ring you not to worry you for your results, but have thought about you lots and am happy for you that you are clear of cancer. What a horrid time to go through poor you. It would be lovely to catch up soon if we can. Loads of love Anniexxx

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  2. It’s so good to be able to laugh about it afterwards but it must have been such an anxious time. So glad you got through with your wonderful sense of humour intact. Disappointed re the air perhaps?!!!

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  3. Well done Stella…a satisfactory final result.You will be counting the days until next scope!
    The hamster cartoon is a perennial favourite at medical colorectal meetings.

    This blog is not only very funny but also provides a public service for those who have a colonoscopy booked and can’t quite get to grips with the entire process.
    XxRoger

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  4. Dear Stella What a horrifying story but how brilliantly you described your ordeal! I’m so glad all is now well but the waiting is the worst part, first for the “procedure” and then again for the results! As if this year hasn’t bad enough! I’m so sorry you’ve had such a worrying time but thank you for cheering us up and”sharing”. I hope you will find a lot of comfort knowing you have given us all enormous joy reading your account. My fingers were firmly crossed while praying for a happy ending! Love Caroline xx

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    1. Thank you so much – I really wrote it because I think any procedure like that is much scarier when you don’t know what to expect so I tried to lighten the whole idea a little bit and give some information. xxx

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