Hi everyone, here's my update on my appointment for a second opinion: (thanks kyle for checking in on the other thread!)
Long story short: I have colonic inertia and went through all of the testing at UNC, met with a surgeon who said he would do a total colectomy, but I needed another surgeon's opinion for my family to have peace of mind. So I got a referral to see another surgeon at Duke.
First of all I liked Duke and Dr. Thacker MUCH more than I thought I would. I was very prepared for the average surgeon/specialist bedside manner...but she was very easy to talk to, extremely knowledgeable, and to my surprise she was the ONLY one I had to talk to...I didn't have to explain why I was there to a nurse/PA/anyone else. She had read through all of my records and looked at all of my tests before she even came in the room.
Second, the appointment went alright. Not perfect, but not bad. She wants me to have a defecography. I was SO hoping to slide by without having to get one, but with my "history" of the slight paridoxical contraction during my manometry and 2+ months of biofeedback, she wants me to have a defecography. I explained how worried I was because I didn't want to somehow fail the defo and then be told "no surgery for you"...but the way she explained it was that there wasn't going to be a specific thing she was looking for. She wants to get an idea of my anorectal angles and get a clear picture of my rectum, she said this way she can have an exact idea of what is happening down there before any surgery is done, because once you have surgery everything changes and you can't go back in time and do the test.
She said that she wouldn't cancel a surgery based on a funky picture from a defecography - but it is still something she wants to be able to see. She said the chances of her canceling on a surgery would be extremely slim, and that if I didn't have the manometry test already, that based on her rectal exam she wouldn't have even ordered a defecography. She even said I could come to duke and have the defecography the DAY BEFORE, and then have the surgery the next day. Crazy!
I have the test on September 19th, I am very nervous but she said if I can "go" when stool DOES get down there, such as in the rare times a laxative works, that is a good sign. I just know it is very different trying to go in a clinical setting. Even at home I have to have a magazine or the water running or something any time I try to go, and I never go in front of anyone!!!
Then on November 4th I have appointments with anesthesiology, pre-op, and another appointment with Dr. Thacker,
And then on November 8th, I'm scheduled for surgery! (pending an acceptable or not too crazy defecography)
I am half relieved and half a nervous wreck about this defecography, it's not like a test I can study for or anything...
My parents were with me for the end of the appointment to have all of their questions answered, and for the scheduling. They are pretty much completely on board with everything. So now the wait begins again, once I do the test and know that the surgery is definitely still on, I'll feel much better.
I am sure I will be asking questions about defecographies soon...
Thanks so much for your support everyone, I would be insane without all of you. You're all so wonderful.