A lot of people have asked me how they can be sure they have Crohn’s Disease- the symptoms are widespread and fairly common. If you have a history of stomach issues or serious IBS it’s natural for you to wonder if it might be something more serious.
Unfortunately, the only way you can be diagnosed for sure is by undergoing a procedure known as a colonoscopy. It’s a laparoscopic test that involves inserting a camera up into your GI tract through, you guessed it, your anus. While scientifically correct, I personally don’t believe this simple definition can prepare a young person for the unique experience.
When I asked the doctor what a colonoscopy would be like, I think something along these lines would have been more informative:
“First, you will have to drink a thick, poisonous-tasting liquid in large quantities over several hours the night before. This liquid will make you cry and poop in equal measure. You will watch a lot of movies and eventually fall into a fitful sleep, only to be awoken early the next morning and taken to a hospital where you will be the youngest patient in the waiting room. No matter how old you are. Everyone else will be ancient. You will be a strange mix of extremely hungry and extremely nauseous. You will have to get naked and put a thin gown on in a very cold room. You will then be put to sleep with the knowledge that a lot of grown men and women are about to deal with your butthole. This is all very traumatic. Your mom will have to drive you home.”
At which point I would have kindly thanked the doctor for his honesty, gone home, and locked myself in my room forever.
I’m not writing all of this to freak anyone out. The truth is, while unpleasant, a colonoscopy is just about as scary as any other pre-planned hospital procedure. And there are perks!
First of all, most people who get routine colonoscopies are over the age of fifty, so chances are your cute young butt will be the tightest that those doctors and nurses get to see all day. They’re welcome.
Also, you’ll have fun stories/video from the way you acted coming off the anesthesia (after my most recent colonoscopy the nurse asked me if I knew my name and I gently cupped my hand around her face and told her it was Crystal Chandelier. My mom loves that one.)
And lastly, at the end of it all you will finally have some answers. And answers lead to solutions. And that’s worth all the rest.
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