My First Colonoscopy

Jes$ | 5:38

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"They just went spelunking in me."

Stomach Diarrhea Stool Test Colonoscopy Mesalamine Inflammation

Story Transcript

My name is Jess, and I'm 27 years old, and last year I had a colonoscopy, which is kind of unusual for a 27-year-old, right, like you think colonoscopy and you're like, Oh, I don't have to do that till I'm 50 and it's to prevent colon cancer. But no, I had one, and it started way before the colonoscopy ever happened. One day I woke up and I had a massive bout of diarrhea, and I was like, That's unusual, I don't usually have that. I was like, Whatever, maybe I ate something weird. And the diarrhea persisted for like, a solid week. It made me feel really fatigued. And I was losing weight in this way that just didn't make my body feel good. Like I'd put something in, it would immediately go out. And I was like, Huh? So people suggested all different types of things for me to do. They're like, Maybe it's like food poisoning that's persisting, and what you do in that case is you should try the BRAT diet. BRAT standing for Bananas, Rice, Applesauce, and Toast. And I was like, That sounds terrible, but sure, I'll try it on. I did it for like, two days, and clearly you should do it for maybe for more than two days. But I was like, This is not working. It's still happening. And one of my family friends is a GI doctor. And I was, like, Hi, I don't know what's going on. Can you help me out? He was like, Well, we have to do some stool samples. And I was like, Okay, do I go into a lab for that or some sort of clinic? He's like, No, you can do it in the mail. And I was like, Okay. So I received this little kit in the mail. It's kind of like a coffee filter with maxi pad wings. And you put the maxi pad wings on your toilet on the seat. You sit on the toilet, you shit in the coffee filter, and then you scoop it. You scoop your poop! And so there I was, standing over my toilet with these little vials and little shovels scooping my poop. Shaking them all up, putting them back in the packaging and then I walked to FedEx, and mailed my poop!

Then about two days later, I got the results and they were like, Oh, you have a surplus of white blood cells in your stool. I was like, What does that mean? They're like, Oh, well, it's like some inflammatory disease. I was like, Oh, that's weird. So then I found a GI doc who I like who is based closer to me than my family friend. And I tried a few different medicines, things like, short of steroids. But, you know, kind of it was all sort of leading up to worst-case scenario, You get a colonoscopy. And nothing was working, and this had been like 2 to 3 months since I was shitting my brains out every day. And they're like we can do a colonoscopy if you want. And I was like, Yeah, I want. So I did the whole thing. Drank so much, basically, laxatives, right? Drink laxatives with like Gatorade and seltzer. Anything clear. Only clear liquids. It was, the worst part of preparing for the colonoscopy, wasn't actually the kind of like the powder that you dump in the laxative powder. It was the volume that you had to drink. I felt so sick from just drinking that much fluid. That was the worst part. But then the next day I went in for the colonoscopy. It was amazing. Got the best 20 minutes of sleep that I ever ever got. Woke up to my girlfriend by me in my bedroom like, Hi, is everything okay? Like, how's it going? And I said, They just went spelunking in me, which I guess is kind of true. That's kind of what a colonoscopy is. And they were like we didn't find any polyps.

But sure enough, two days later, they were like, We did actually see something. And you have microscopic colitis, which is a really, really, really, really mild, mild form of colitis. Ah, but it is like an inflammatory disease. They're like you can basically take some medicine for that. And because of my insurance and navigating that whole system, it was a real pain to get the right medicine. And the day that I picked up my medicine, not the day, but right around the time that I picked up my medicine called mesalamine the diarrhea stopped, and I haven't had a flare up since. But I do have an unopened container of mesalamine waiting for me, just in case I do have a flare up again. I think the diarrhea stopped partially because that's kind of the way inflammatory diseases work or as far as I understand. Certain things irritate your bowels. And I guess whatever I was putting into my body wasn't irritating anymore. Maybe it has something to do with my stress levels. Ah, stress is like a serious cause of inflammation. And yeah, perhaps I was like really stressed around the time that it started. Then either I've learned how to integrate that stress better into my life or just wasn't as stressed. I think that's it.