Seven Lessons I’ve Learned from Five Colonoscopies

Seven Lessons I’ve Learned from Five Colonoscopies

When my primary care doctor told me seven years ago that I might have Crohn’s or ulcerative colitis and would need to see a gastroenterologist, my first worry was that I’d need to have a colonoscopy. Now that I’ve had five colonoscopies, I can say that it does get easier. It’s not fun to know that you’ll need one every year or two for the rest of your life, and I still get anxious before them, but I’ve learned a few things along the way. 

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From Infusions to Pills: An Update

From Infusions to Pills: An Update

At the beginning of the year, I wrote about some strange, possibly colitis-related things that happened to me in December. I had an infected abscess that could turn into a Crohn’s-related fistula, some digestive symptoms, and a swollen ankle. I also saw a new gastroenterologist, who ordered tests of my Entyvio levels and antibody levels and a flexible sigmoidoscopy for January.

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Advice That Sticks With Us

Advice That Sticks With Us

The night before my colonoscopy a couple of weeks ago, I woke up drenched in sweat. The extra blanket I had added before I went to bed now seemed like a terrible idea. I looked at my phone. It was 12:30, which meant I had just passed the cutoff for having anything to drink before my procedure until the second round of prep in the morning. (It was close enough to midnight that it probably would have been ok, but I didn’t want to risk it.) I got up to use the bathroom and was so sweaty and shaky and lightheaded that I thought I might pass out. Even though there was nothing in my stomach, I felt nauseous and wondered if I would throw up. It was my fifth colonoscopy, but for the first time I doubted whether I could get through the prep.

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