This Year’s Sigmoidoscopy
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Profile photo of Paul Richman

This past spring, I had my twenty-sixth sigmoidoscopy. I go every year as part of my ongoing check up to see that my J-pouch is working correctly. My doctor also examines the small intestines above the pouch and the inch of rectum left below the pouch.

What is he looking for?

He is looking for inflammation in and around the J-pouch. I don’t look at this procedure as being a big deal. This is the only way that we are able to make sure my current medications and diets are working.

Like I stated in another article, I decided to do this scope during time off from work. I had five days off for Spring Break because I’m a teacher. Since my doctor does not go very far up with the camera, I only have to stop eating or drinking at midnight before. The test was scheduled for 8:00 A.M. on April 11th. I had to do one Fleet Enema at 4:00 A.M I then did my second enema at 6:00 A.M. In reality, I have done them so many times in the past, that they do not really bother me. The reason that you have to do a bowel prep, is because you have to clear out whatever food is in your bowel. This is the only way that doctors can see what is really going on.

Here is where my story gets interesting…

I got to the hospital at seven in the morning. They took me back and prepped me for my ten-minute procedure. They put me to sleep with no problem. I felt like I slept for many hours, but when I awoke my doctor told me that the entire procedure took seven minutes. I was a bit shocked, so I asked, “Why was this so quick?” My doctor went on to tell me that he had no problem entering the pouch. The J-Pouch looked very healthy to him with no inflammation. He did say that there was a lot of food above the pouch (small intestines). I was shocked, because I know I did the prep correctly! He told me that he saw vegetables (ew right?), and that they were blocking his view.

I told him that I had some veggies a few days ago, and that I was introducing some of them slowly to my gut. Apparently they didn’t move quickly enough! My doctor told me that the next time I do my sigmoidoscopy, I should not eat any vegetables for a least a week beforehand. I asked him if I had to do this procedure again.  He said “No, let’s see what the biopsies reveal.” I felt bad. I felt like I let him down, but he assured me that I did nothing wrong. I did follow the directions – I can’t control what my body does and doesn’t do! He also said that next time, I might need to do the “Miralax Cocktail,” which is the Miralax and Gatorade.

I got to do what I got to do right!

I guess I thought veggies would leave my body so quickly because of the fiber, but I was wrong. I have to be more careful, as I do not want to cause a obstruction. This was my most interesting scope I have had. Hopefully my twenty-seventh will be better!

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