Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Enema test - the complete loss of dignity!

Last week was my water soluble enema test at the hospital. They wanted to check if there were any internal leaks around the surgical site in my bowel where a 15cm piece was removed. I read the notes beforehand but they seemed fairly intense so I didn't want to focus on them too much. Needless to say going in I was pretty nervous...

First I had to change into a hospital gown and remove any jewellry around my pelvic area and the bottom half of the clothing plus my bra. Going into the X-Ray room the doctor and assistant really put me at ease. I'd made certain is not eaten anything for an hour beforehand and was so glad my friend was waiting for me outside. The test involves inserting a catheter up my rectum (bum) and then syringing contrast dye up the tube into my bowel. A very very odd feeling! The liquid felt cold internally and it was such a strange sensation of my bowel being full, especially strange as I haven't used my large intestine and lower bowel since late July...

The whole time they kept taking X-Ray's which I could see on a screen next to me and they got me to change the position I was lying in a lot to get the dye to move around internally and added more dye as we went. Having the catheter in wasn't too bad once it was actually in. The strange bits were inserting it, adding more dye and most definitely pulling it out which was very unpleasant O_o 

The good news is that there are no leaks around the main surgery site which was very low down and the dye travelled all the way to my stoma. I took a very sneaky picture of the X-Ray shush. 

It's fascinating seeing my spine, hips, pelvis and the dye. Any gaps are because the bowel is continually contracting doing something called peristalsis. It does this even when it's not connected to my small intestine. The doctor really explained more about the surgery that was done to me and how my loop ileostomy works in a way I really understand. 

Afterwards I had the dye still inside me. It was a clear liquid and some travelled all the way through and out of my stoma into my bag, but the rest I had to pass out of my body into a toilet. Again a very strange sensation passing clear liquid on and off for the rest of the day after not using that part of my body since July and considering I had a gynaecology appointment an hour later. I think any remaining bits of my dignity were lost by the end of the day!

The best news is that once my surgeon sees the X-Raybresukts and if he agrees, he can out me on the wait list to have my stoma reversed. I'm hoping it'll be this year but no news yet. Keep your fingers crossed for me as I'm really struggling with extreme exhaustion and lack of nutrition. For many it's such a blessing and improves their quality of life, I just haven't had that experience with it sadly. 

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