The most exciting part of the experience was discovering that my gastroenterologist's office has changed its preferred sedation from Versed and Fentanyl to Propofol.
Yep, I had the same drug for sedation that helped kill Michael Jackson. But unlike the King of Pop, I had a nurse-anesthesiologist with a stethoscope on my throat, monitoring my breathing the entire time, as well as a heart monitor and oxygen saturation monitor.
My major disappointment is that my doctor was unable to locate the source of bleeding in my colon. That's not entirely unusual, since it's been a month since the bleeding stopped and mucosal linings tend to heal quickly. But it's disappointing. He did find a single, 7mm polyp, which he removed and will have tested.
I had to laugh when he told me afterwards that it was very unusual for someone my age to have any polyps. Because, of course, the only people having colonoscopies in their early 40s are people who have some symptoms prompting the 'scopes. So how would doctors know that it's unusual to have any polyps before the screenings usually start at age 50? I mean, they know colon cancer is unusual before age 50, but it's not like anyone knows what's going on in the guts of a typical healthy 20-, 30- or 40-year-old because they don't get to look at them.
I think my GI doc was more surprised to find some suspicious redness in the bottom of my stomach. The medical description is "gastric mucosal abnormality characterized by erythema in the pylorus." In English, that just means that the tissue looks red and irritated and possibly inflamed.
In hindsight, I suspect that's somehow related to the scar tissue I have had from a series of peptic ulcers in 2000-04. But I didn't think to ask if it was, and he didn't mention my scar tissue. The photo of that part of my stomach was clearly irritated enough that when he flashed the page of photos, I immediately pointed to it and asked what was wrong with it. I'm hoping it's not a sign of a developing ulcer because my stomach (the actual organ, not my abdomen) has been acting up lately.
The doctor told me he also took a number of biopsies from various places in my esophagus, stomach, duodenum, colon and ileum because, he says, sometimes when an autoimmune disease is involved, the tissue can look fine but still be affected.
Miscellaneous details that may or may not be of interest (and some of which is undoubtedly TMI):
- No one warned me that toward the end of my bowel prep that it would feel like I was peeing out my butt. Very weird sensation!
- I didn't take all of the bowel prep stuff, but got completely cleaned out anyway. I drank about 40 of the 64 ounces I was supposed to take, and probably could have taken less.
- A friend, Jeanne of Chronic Healing, had recommended that I mix the huge dose of MiraLax with the blue Gatorade because it's the least likely to cause nausea. When she forgot to mention was that the Gatorade would come through my body with the color intact. When combined with urine in the toilet, it was a lovely shade of teal.
- The weirdest thing that happened -- even weirder than looking into a teal toilet bowl -- was when I discovered my morning allergy pill floating in the toilet, having gone through me unabsorbed.
- Cottonelle flushable wet wipes are a godsend.
- Propofol left me way less loopy after the procedure than the Versed and Fentanyl used to. But I still came home and took a nap for most of the afternoon and early evening.