As the treatment for septic arthritis was about to be over, I was hit with a new, seemingly unrelated, symptom. During the vacation to Koh Kood I discovered blood in the stool. Second time this year that there was blood where it shouldn’t be. At first I didn’t bring it up to anyone as I just wanted to deal with one thing at a time. After having thought about it some more, which took about a week, I decided I need to get it checked out. So last Monday I went to a hospital (National Cancer Institute) to have a brief chat with a doctor. He suggested a colonoscopy. My mind was already set to having it done so it was an easy decision. The appointment was arranged and the process began.
I had the colonoscopy scheduled at 4pm on Friday. The food prep began after Monday dinner. The instruction sheet advised eating white starch (rice and bread), clear soda, fruit juices, jello. It told me to avoid fibrous vegetables, fruits, and tough meats. I didn’t want to eat so much sugar so I devised my own eating plan. In 4 days, my meals were
Tue 6 Nov:
- breakfast: scrambled eggs in butter, red oak lettuce, olive oil
- lunch: grilled chicken, grilled pork neck, grilled beef, squid
- dinner: fried king mackerel, pork rib soup, chocolate lava cake
Wed 7 Nov:
- b: boiled egg, cheddar cheese
- l: banana
- d: chicken broth, sour cream
Thu 8 Nov:
- b: chicken broth, fried egg, sour cream
- l: banana and coconut water
- d: chicken broth
Fri 9 Nov:
- b: coconut water
Being deprived of real wholesome food was hard, but it was necessary. I even ate less than instructed. The more it goes in, the more it has to come out.
Took liquid laxative (Swiff) at 6:10 am on Friday. It was chilled in the refrigerator and I drank it with a straw. 45 ml of it. Sucked on a lime and drank coconut water in between. It turned out not too bad.
In less than an hour my stomach started croaking and I started going to the bathroom. The colon evacuation business, which was frequent, ensued. Drank 1 pack of oreda r.o. electrolyte as I felt light-headed.
Lost 3 kg in 3 days. My weight hit 53.8 kg. Never felt so light and empty.
At the hospital, I had to sit and wait for a long time in front of the gastroenterology clinic. It was my first time having this done, so there was a lot of unknowns. Uncertainty makes me nervous.
My thoughts ran wild. what’s next? has anyone ever reacted negatively to anesthetics? a tube inside me? that can’t be natural. will it hurt? how much? how long will I be asleep? will they find something wrong? will a surgery be needed? what then?
I closed my eyes and stopped the rambling thoughts. Let’s consider the situation, calmly.
This is a standard medical routine. Lots of people have had these done. Tonight alone there are 10-20 people going through the same thing as I am. It can’t be that bad. Nan’s father also recently had it done. The hospital staffs here are all pros. They know what they are doing.
Imagine the worst thing that could happen. What could they be?
tumor? colon cancer? surgery? death?
So what, it’s life. It’s fleeting. Everyone’s life will end at some point. Be fine with dying.
Anxiety discarded. Then I was ready. Whatever happens happens.
Changed into a green patient robe. Pants off, shirt on. Got called into a room. A nurse did an enema, which felt weird. Then I went to the toilet for one last time.
After that I got on a rolling bed. Got a saline drip in my vein. A nurse asked me about my medical history. Then I was told to lay on my left side. Heard other nurses talking to other patients, informing them that the scoping was over. Then it was my turn.
Wheeled into the room. Saw three medical staffs in there, with a lot of equipment. They put breathing tubes into my nostrils. Oxygen probably. One of the staffs told me that she will take my pressure and then put me to sleep. She warned that my hand may feel a slight burning sensation. She held my right hand and was about to inject something, probably the anesthetic.
That was the last thing I remembered.
A nurse woke me up by calling my name. I slowly opened my eyes. I was completely out and didn’t remember anything about the scoping itself. A long tube was inside of my colon and I didn’t know anything about it.
It was a really nice sleep. Felt rested.
Slightly dazed. It’s done, the nurse said. I was told to sit on a chair for a while to stabilize myself. A nice lady sitting next to me offer me some herbal liquid to inhale.
I had read that, after a colonoscopy, patients usually have a belly full of air and tend to break wind often afterward. That didn’t happen to me, strangely.
I took a change of clothes. Then waited with Nan to be called in to see the doctor. I was also allowed to finally eat. At 6 pm, it’s been 7 hours since I had the last drink of water and about 30 hours since my last solid food (banana). Nan packed some food and it tasted so good. Coconut water, grilled pork, apple.
moment of truth
Got called in to see the doctor. He saw the inside of my bowel. Time to listen what he had to say. The diagnosis was positive. No problem in the colon. Hemorrhoid is what I have. That is considered a good news. The doctor told me to just treat it with a good diet. Eat more fibrous fruits and vegetables, and avoid raw or spicy food. Then he said I can go home.
Finally, time to go eat. After a long drive in Friday night traffic, we got to have our dinner. A quiet celebration in a packed, but low-key, restaurant.
No more doctor appointment to look forward to and there are no pills to take, at least for the moment.