I know what they are looking for as I am fast tracked to a hospital appointment, there is one thing, one potential diagnosis which needs to be ruled out. Speed is now of the essence and my initial foolish delay in seeking medical attention now seems so silly. We have a wonderful NHS so I didn’t have to consider if medical insurance would cover what was to come. My reluctance to go to the doctor was purely out of potential embarrassment and not due to any financial consideration, although as I am self employed, that will come later.
In the more than twenty years since I was nursing, much has changed so I have scoured the internet for information and at this stage I’m not sure if this has helped or just added to my worries. It surely must be better to know and be prepared, after all no one wants to be caught short by the explosive effects of the bowel preparation they have given me.
I have to change out of my clothes into an easy access hospital gown and I become a patient waiting in a cubicle to be called in to the examination room. As it sit waiting, I am remembering having a large wound on my hand, stitched by a nurse practitioner in the A & E department a few years ago. That was a cool, macho injury, I could sit and watch the flesh being pulled backed together, numbed by lignocaine and remain stoic and detached. Of course I could, I was still wearing my trousers!
I am allowed to watch, there is a monitor displaying the progress of the camera as it makes it’s way up inside me. This distraction does not stop the discomfort but is fascinating to see. There it is, my bowel completely devoid of it’s normal content being negotiated by an intrepid explorer. Although I am not used to seeing the inside of a human body, the lump when it appears seems huge and I say as much. The nurse who has been up to now a reassurance tells me not to worry, and says everything looks so much bigger when seen on the screen. I know this already, my concern is it’s size in relation to the normal lumen of the bowel, it occupies most of the space and there doesn’t seem as there is much room for anything else. The doctor also seems surprised, he was expecting a small polyp, something he could snare with his scope and cauterise away. He withdraws defeated.
The good news is he doesn’t believe this to be anything malignant, he can’t say 100 percent but he is very confident. My worst fears are not realised, but I won’t be convinced until conclusive test results state categorically in black and white “negative”. Until then I can remain very optimistic. The bad news is I must now be referred for further tests and investigations, and so the rollercoaster ride continues.