However on Palm Sunday after coming home from church I felt extremely tired and fell asleep for a couple hours on the sofa. When I woke up, I found I couldn't walk across our living room without feeling woozy and having to sit down.
I thought I was getting the flu back, specifically the stomach flu. I had been going through a wretched couple weeks as far as my body was concerned. Two weeks earlier arthritis visited my left wrist and
The pain was so bad I began doing something I rarely do. I began popping pills, first Tylenol and then aspirin. Oh, I was swallowing two aspirin tablet every eight hours every day. Then in the middle of the following week I had an ache across my midsection and I felt tired and cold. I could not get warm at all. That was when I decided on The Flu. It seemed mild, though, until Palm Sunday afternoon. And then Monday morning came.
I awoke early as usual, but the need to get to the bathroom was not as usual. Yes, waking up and having to immediately empty the bladder is pretty common, but this was the sit down variety of things and that was not normal. It was urgent, and it was messy and it was a lot. Well, you expect that with the flu and I figured maybe this is the start of getting it out of my system, until I reached to flush and saw it was black.
When it is black, and sticky like road tar, it means one thing. I was bleeding internally somewhere.
Doctor Sue (first name), looked me over and expected I might have an ulcer. I drink a lot of coffee, drink some alcohol, was popping aspirin and pretty much eat whatever I want, plus this has been a stressful year. My blood pressure was up, my weight was down and she thought I was down a pint in blood. She wrote me an order for a hemoglobin test. She said go directly to the lab, do not pass go, do not collect $200. She put STAT at the top of the order. She said the results would reach her by 3:00 PM and if my hemoglobin was too low she would put me right in the hospital.
I didn't want to go into the hospital -- ever, but especially then. I wanted to be at Iron Faith Fellowship's Sunrise Service atop a hill at 6:00 AM Easter. I did go to the lab, she did get her results, and although my hemoglobin was down some it wasn't terribly low, so I avoided hospital.
Dr. Sue arranged an emergency colonoscopy for me, which I could not avoid and that brings me to this week and this subject. The video is of my day before the procedure as I went through the dreaded preparation. Oh, what tales of woe and terror I have heard about this preparation, especially during that week when I told the world it was coming. People chuckled knowingly, patted me on the back, consoled me and some wanted to see my reaction when I began to drink the required magic potion and so the resulting video. I promised my friend, Ron, I would record that moment.
I had seen his video doing it, his grimace, his attempted to sip it down, his frustration, his grasping his stomach in disgust and his gagging (photos of Ron's agony surround these lines) and I knew he wanted to see my suffering in return.
If you watch my video, I suggest scrolling down to the bottom of my Blog and turning off the music. It will be better viewing if you click the little square of corners on the lower right of the video frame and make it full screen view. (Don't worry there are no gross images in this film, unless some think my face be gross enough.)
I certainly didn't look forward to last Wednesday with glee. I didn't really worry about it either. I just went about as normal and you know what? It came without me worrying anyway. I had to drink a half gallon of a special brew, doing one 8 ounce glass every half hour. I was amazed how quickly each half hour went by, but you know what they say, "Time flies when you're having fun."
After the elixir I was also amazed at how fast and often the results came as well and how they lasted
My wife is not an early riser. I would normally allowed her to sleep (my appointment was for 8:15 AM), but the center insisted I needed a driver to collect my carcass afterward, so she had to get up and come along, but not without reason. I was in no condition to drive home with the euphoric high I experienced from the anesthesia. I was as mellowed out as a projectionist at a Cheech & Chong film festival.
The people at the center from receptionist to physician couldn't have been nicer. The nurse got my IV in with almost no pain. She got me a blanket because I was cold. There was a reason for my shivers.
"Take everything off, except your socks," she said, "and put on that gown."
You know, that gown, the one with the air conditioned back. (How do you tie those things anyway?)
"I can tie the neck for you," said the nurse, "but I'd just leave the waist untied."
_______And I woke up back in the dressing cubicle with my wife. I dressed as she went for the car. I was escorted out and we rode home with me repeating things over and over again just as giddy as can be.
These were the results of this Star Trek episode, people going where no person has gone before.
Angioectasia in the cecum
Medium hiatal hernia
Normal mucosa in the esophagus
Granularity and friability in the antrum compatible with gastritis (biopsy taken)
Ulcer in the distal bulb (biopsy taken)
Yeah, I looked all those things up on line, now it's your turn.
Upshot is, yeah, I got an ulcer.
The recommendations are:
Resume current medications
Follow-up with the Doctor in three weeks
If bacteria are present on the biopsies, may recommend treatment with antibiotics.
It other words, if I do have gastritis I'll get medication. I will find out more on May 1 at my follow-up.
But now you have seen how really simple this all is, don't fear having one if over that certain age.