No Gain Without Pain

I initially went to my GP after a series of bouts of rectal bleeding.  After a short inspection with the inevitable glove clad finger she announced that I should really have this inspected properly.  The NHS is much maligned but, possibly because I'm Type 2 diabetic the doc got me an appointment within a couple of days of the initial visit; in fact it came through so quickly that I was in the Hemel Hempstead endoscopy department at 10.15 this morning, before the paperwork landed on the doormat at home.  As I hadn't then found this site I arrived with no idea of what I was letting myself in for; I do however have a fairly comprehensive  idea of what the symptoms might or might not be caused by and I was pretty keen to know which of them was this weeks winner.

The people in the department were fine though the lack of paperwork seemed to faze my assigned nurse who presented me with a consent form and told me to read it, which seemed a bit pointless as I had no idea what I was expected to consent to.  However she quickly got back on track and gave me a card listing the things that could go wrong, which was reassuring - not.

We then quickly moved on to the enema; having a stranger shoving a rubber nozzle into your anus and squeeze fluid into your lower bowels isn't one of life's great pleasurable experiences - not for me anyway - but like the rest of the procedure it helps if you focus on the reasons why it is being done.  I was then told to 'hold onto it' for ten minutes and then 'go when you feel like it'.  About fifteen minutes later I was still waiting to 'feel like it' but decided to go and give 'it' a try.  The nearest previous equivalent (in my experience) to what followed relied on some dodgy seafood doing what it does the best.

Shortly afterwards I was wheeled in for the main event.  Albeit the scope was flexible there was quite a lot of discomfort; nearest thing to it that I've experienced before was kidney stones.  Maybe I'm particularly sensitive - dunno - but I don't think the nurses will have been commenting an what a brave little soldier I was.  Relaxation is the key, apparently but it's easier said than done.  

By far the best bit was when the consultant told me to look at the video display and pointed out that the bleeding had been cause by a simple haemorrhoid.  If treated with respect, dietary roughage and glycerine suppositories, it need not cause me too much of a problem going forward - I hope.

Was I relieved? Yes I bloody well was.  My aunt died of colonic cancer; a friend of a friend died leaving a wife and two kids, and one of my best mates had to begin underfunded early retirement due to the same disease.

Would I have it done again, knowing what I know now? Yup, 100 per cent 'cos the discomfort associated with the procedure is short lived and it might, just might, detect something really nasty early enough to make the difference between life and death.

Landroverman Landroverman
51-55, M
2 Responses Dec 11, 2009

I have a sigmoidoscopy procedue scheduled for tomorrow and you stories has helped ease some of my anxiety. I've been experiencing rectal bleeding and hemriods on the outside and inside. I've taken a combination of lidocaine, hydrocortisone, and actetate ointment which has worked wonders but my Gastroentrologist wants to make sure nothing else is going wrong. I am dreeding taking the enamas:-( But do have a slight fever so if its gone down then I will be prepared for the procedure in the morning.

I also had a flexible sigmoidoscopy a few weeks ago because i was having intense pressure and pain in that area... ended up just being a hemroid from a long labor...But I have to admit, it wasn't that bad of an experience - mostly just a little humiliating, but I don't think that a gastroenterologist thinks about butts the way we do :) i had no anesthesia or meds at all, though they offered... it lasted about 5 minutes from the time they wheeled me in to the time the Doctor extracted his equipment from "the area" lol... it wasn't at all comfy, but it also wasn't the horrible experience that i've read so much about on blogs - there was about 10 seconds of pain, where i squeezed the nurses hand and bit the pillow, but it seriously doesn't hold a candle to the cramps i get every month with my period, and it seemed like absolutely NOTHING compared to four hours of hard labor.... if you've gotten a real bad paper cut before, then you are equipped and prepared for this - most of my pain came from anxiety before hand :) i actually told the Doctor "if i wasn't married, i would marry you today!" as they wheeled me back to recovery.