One of the many bonuses of having primary sclerosing cholangitis is the fact that I am at a much higher risk of many types of cancer. </scarcasm>
Some of these, such as cholangiocarcinoma, are very scary. Cholangiocarcinoma is considered to be an incurable and rapidly lethal. It is also very hard to spot. So, that’s good! One of the less scary forms of cancer that I am more likely to get (never thought I’d ever write a sentence like that) is bowel cancer.
Now, this, if caught early enough, is easily fixed. In fact, as long as it hasn’t spread, in the worse case they can just chop out the bowel and let you poo into a bag. To ensure that I don’t get this, I now have to go for annual colonoscopies.
Think of this like Christmas, just without the present giving, food or any of the fun. Instead, think of it like a 9 foot camera being rammed up your… well, I’ll be crass… your bum. Now, I’ve had one of these before and I’ve had its baby brother: a sigmoidoscopy. At just 4 feet long, it’s the younger brother with a small man complex.
The time I went for the sigmoidoscopy I was ‘prepped’ in the hospital by a lovely Polish lady.
That was my first enema. And, I have to tell you, I can see why people get this done for fun. No, wait. The opposite of that. I can’t begin to reason why.
After this — and the inevitable evacuation — I was sent to another room where the doctor and three nurses explained what they would do and asked if I wanted any anesthetic.
Now, you have to understand, they don’t give you much. Just enough to make you groggy. So either way I would still be conscious, the only difference being that I wouldn’t be normal again for hours afterwards if I took them up on their offer. I said I would prefer painkillers. Perfectly reasonable, I thought. But no. It was anesthetic or nothing.
So, thinking back to my colonoscopy and how easy it was, I said no. They started. And, my dear Darwin did it hurt. It felt like… Well, it felt like a 4 foot camera being shoved up my bum.
Followed by the camera man.
Then the sound man.
Then that big furry mic thing they have on the long pole.
It was then it hit me: The reason my colonoscopy was a breeze was because I was off my tits on drugs. Remember kids, always say yes to drugs when someone is buggering you with a camera. So this time — which is only 2 and a bit weeks away — I will be taking the drugs.
Oh, and if you wanted to know why they have three nurses on hand: two are to hold you down and the other is to patronise you by just telling you to breathe.