**Warning: Long post. This post details my colonoscopy prep, the procedure itself, and the results.
Today I had my first colonoscopy in 12 years. It was only my 3rd colonoscopy. I have had other MRI's and CT scans in the past.
My disease has typically been confined to the terminal ileum, though I do have a history of perianal fistula/abcesses, and was surprised to have 24" of my jejunum resected when I had my ileocecal valve removal back in June.
Anywho, the purpose of today's test was to check out the good ol' colon, up to the area resected and the remaining part of the terminal ileum. How does it look post-op and is Humira doing it's job at preventing post-op recurrence of the disease.
I was given the miralax prep...this is the first time I had that prep. My first colonoscopy was done in 1988 when first diagnosed, and I was out under general anesthesia for that. My second colonoscopy I had to take the nasty tasting lemon lime stuff. So, I was definitely willing to go with what many here describe as an easier prep.
The prep consists of
--Clear liquid diet all day Monday
--4 ducolax tablets at 4pm
--32oz bottle of gatorade w/ 7 doses of miralax, drinking this from a period of 6pm-7pm
--32oz bottle of gatorade w/ 7 doses of miralax, drinking this from a period of 4:30am-5:30am on Tues morning for a test that is scheduled for 9:30am.
The prep worked REALLY well, in terms of cleaning me out. By Tuesday morning, I was just squirting gatorade at the back. I was starting to get a little worried about being driven to the procedure with how little warning I was having with respect to have to GO NOW to the bathroom. I had to leave the house at 8am to get there by 8:30am. Thankfully, I quit having to rush to the restroom around 7:30-7:45. I did go one more time at the outpatient clinic, but that was as much me giving it one more try than an emergency rush to the can.
The check-in was relatively quick. Before I knew it, I was in the back, stripping down to a pair of hospital socks and a single gown tied in the back. They put me on a bed, took my vitals, and started an IV in my right arm.
My nurse asks me where I want the IV: "wherever you can get it in the first try." She does a great job with one stick in the bend in my arm. My wife gets to come back for a brief visit before they wheel me off to the procedure.
I talk with the nurses back there, giving medical history, any allergies, making jokes - as that's about the only way I can handle those situations. My doctor comes in to brief me on the procedure.
The anesthesiologist also talks to me. I'm going to get a nice sedative for this called Propofol (sp?) It is a white cloudy drug that they put into my IV, and it would knock me out completely. The benefit of this medicine, according to the doctor, is that once they stop administering, it completely clears out of the system in a few minutes, and patients wake up much more alert than other sedatives.
The sedative works like a charm! I see the syringe with a white cloudy substance. I remember asking if that is the propofol. She said that it was, and that she was putting it in and I would feel the effect soon. I said good night. She pushed it in and said have a nice nap, and I felt my face get really heavy and groggy really fast.
Next thing I remember is someone telling me that it was time to wake up. I realized within a few seconds that I was no longer in the procedure room but behind a recovery screen. The nurse chats with me for a minute, offers me something to drink, and I see my wife coming down the hallway back to my cove. The nurse brings me out a printed report with pictures that I can read/review before meeting with my doctor.
Clinically, I am gaining weight and have gained back all 20 pounds lost by my latest flare. My sed and crp rates are in the normal range. So it is not surprising the the colonoscopy cam back mostly clean.
My doctor spoke with my wife and I about the test. I did have some mild abnormalities at the end of my colon and rectum, but my dr said those were quite mild and seemed to be related to my perianal disease. The resected area looked great. I could see pictures with the incisional scars. What's left of the terminal ileum is also clean. It looks normal with no inflammation or abnormalities.
We'll stick with my current course of treatment (Humira, biweekly) but if clinical signs or blood tests (sed/crp taken every 3 months) show a recurrence of Crohn's, then I may be looking at another test and upping or altering of meds.
I was advised not to drive, operate heavy machinery, or make significant decisions, financial or otherwise, for the rest of the day. I could resume a normal diet, though for lunch I stuck with scrambled eggs, cheese, ham and toast - more of a low residue meal.
While I did take the rest of the day off work, as advised, I was not groggy and did not take a nap during the day. In fact, it was so beautiful outside today, that I played for a few hours outside with my wife and our boys.