colonoscopy (6 posts)

Having a colonoscopy during the COVID-19 pandemic

Background

This is my fourth colonoscopy. Previously:

I’m a 31 year old woman, and I live in southern Ontario, Canada. In December 2009, I went to the hospital with a perforated bowel. The doctors performed a bowel resection, and I was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease. I haven’t been on any medication since 2016, and my Crohn’s seems to be in remission, so this colonoscopy is just a routine checkup.

I expect this colonoscopy will be a little different than my previous ones, since we’re currently in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic. I’m not worried about the actual procedure or the prep, since I’ve done that all before, but I am worried about possibly catching COVID at the hospital.

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Gastroenterologist appointment

I saw my gastroenterologist today. I always remind myself to try to remember everything she says so I can write it down here, but I’m not very good at it.

She said my colonoscopy back in July looked very good. I think she said she took a bunch of biopsies, which surprised me, because I didn’t think they had. In previous colonoscopies, there were times where it hurt, and I figured that was because they were taking a biopsy, but during my last colonoscopy, it didn’t hurt at all. She said something about the left side, I think maybe there was inflammation there. But I think she basically said it looks like there wasn’t any active Crohn’s.

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Colonoscopy with Purg-Odan (Pico-Salax/Sodium Picosulfate)

As I’m writing this, it’s the morning of my prep day for my third colonoscopy (my first was seven years ago in 2010; my second was five years ago in 2012). Even though this isn’t a new experience for me, and last time went pretty well, I’m still a bit anxious. I’m not sure what time my appointments were previously–I suspect they were in the morning–but this time, it’s at 1:15 pm in the afternoon, so I’m a bit worried about going that long without food.


Background

I’m 27 years old, and I live in southern Ontario, Canada. I was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease about eight years ago, when I was 19 years old. I’m not currently on any medication for my Crohn’s, but I have been on imuran, entocort, and prednisone in the past. My Crohn’s currently appears to be in remission, but having recently come off the imuran due to low lymphocyte counts, I guess my doctor wanted to make sure everything still looks okay, and that’s why I’m having the colonoscopy.

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Stopping Imuran and gastroenterologist appointment

Back in September 2016, my gastroenterologist called me and had me decrease my Imuran dosage because my lymphocyte count was low, so instead of taking two pills a day, I would starting taking only one. I have bloodwork done every three months so that my doctor can keep an eye on how my body is reacting to the medication. After my next bloodwork results came back, she called again and told me my lymphocyte count was still low. I hadn’t experienced any negative side effects after decreasing the Imuran, so she told me stop taking the Imuran completely. At that point, I had been taking Imuran every day for almost four and half years, and Imuran is the only drug I was taking for my Crohn’s. I didn’t need to taper off at all, and I didn’t notice any side effects after stopping the Imuran.

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Colonoscopy with Pico-Salax

I had my second colonoscopy on Monday. My first colonoscopy was a little more than two years ago. That post is one of the most popular posts on my blog, so I figured I’d write about this one too.

Background

First off, I’m twenty-two years old, and I’m in my fourth year of university. I live in southern Ontario, Canada, and I was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease in December 2009, after a terrible year where I was very sick, and the doctors didn’t know what was wrong with me. I went to the hospital in December (thinking I had appendicitis) and had some tests done. They found that I had a perforated bowel, so I had a bowel resection. I had my first colonoscopy in February 2010. I wasn’t on any medication until June 2011, when I took Prednisone for a few months. That was a miracle, and I have been quite well ever since. This colonoscopy was just a precaution to make sure we aren’t sitting ducks for something bad to happen.

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Colonoscopy with Klean-Prep

Instructions

From what I read and heard, the day before the test — the prep day — is the worst part, and the actual procedure is not a big deal. I was instructed to take four litres of Klean-Prep mixed with water, a lemon-lime drink, or some other clear (ie. non red or purple) liquid. I was to start at 2:00 pm on Tuesday, but they said if you have trouble drinking large amounts of liquid (and four litres is about the size of two large party-sized pop bottles), you could start earlier. I planned to start at 12:00 pm, and I was supposed to drink a cup (1/4 litre) every ten minutes.

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