3rd Colonoscopy Said and Done – Not 100%, But Big Improvement

me on the couch a few days after the colonoscopy

Hi UC’ers,

Well let’s see, the last time I was writing about my colonoscopy results was back in September/October of 2012. (The link and video to those details is here, and shows my super cool GI doctor “Dr. Neil Stollman” who would be high on my recommendation list, BTW…he has UC too)…if you live near Oakland, California…or can travel easily thereabouts.)

And if I do the math correctly, that means that I was nearly taking a 5 and 1/2 year break before getting my butt probed again by the gentlest of GI doctors.  Um…I think that is too long for us UC’ers to go, and definitely not something I’m proud to admit to.  But, my guess is that there are a few of us UC’ers out here, who like me, don’t really enjoy the preparation for this medical magic known as the COLONOSCOPY Procedure.

me looking at my toes under the blanket…there’s a nurse there…and a door beyond her opened up and was where I was wheeled into for the actual scoping..

I will save some of the details that are probably not needed for this UC crew who wanders the ihaveuc pages, but December 28, 2017 was my 3rd day in the Court of Colon.  And this particular colonscopy had some special re-connections for me.  Reason being, the doctor, let’s call him out by name (Dr. Harvey Young, Gastroenterologist), who is the first person on this planet to actually enter my butt hole back on the day that I was diagnosed with ulcerative colitis, was the doctor on duty, and he now is the only person to enter me from behind 2 times.  I hope he is not proud of that.

So what did he find?

What did he see?

I will get into all those details, maybe even some pictures if you are patient, but there are some thoughts I must add before we go down the deep dark doo doo hole.

Thought Number 1:

I was a bit scared of this colonoscopy.  Mainly, I have had a bit of a hard time recovering from previous colonoscopies.  At the time of my first colonoscopy/diagnosis in 2008, I was severely inflammed.  The procedure definitely did not help that.  I’m sure many have felt the same.  And…as you may already guess, I was worried the recovery from this scoping job would take lots of time.

Thought Number 2:

I was scared that maybe there would be some findings that I had not expected.  I have not been doing any medications now for years.  Things have been going pretty good.  I have followed the diet I have talked about for several years, heck maybe 6-7 years…but as of the last year, I have started eating much more freely…heck…even put on a few kilograms/pounds…And again…I was worried that the real check…the colonoscopy might ruin my marathon run at some pretty darn good health.

Thought Number 3:

I live in the Czech Republic right now. I have for nearly 4 years now.  I have free health insurance out here.  But…for some reason, I just don’t want a Czech doctor doing the dirty deed on me…I’ve been to the hospital here for a busted ankle…and a busted knee…and heck..what can I say…they are not the most gentle of doctors in my opinion.  And I’m hoping the next GI who goes in my Doo doo hole is as gentle as can be.(This all means I am scared of the procedure…in case you haven’t figured that out already)

So I did it.  On the advice of my father, I made a last minute appointment in Palo Alto, California, down the corner from Stanford at Dr. Harvey Young’s colonoscopy center when I was back home over the holidays.

And I was shocked at how it all went down.

First, the prep for each of my three colonoscopies has been a tiny bit different.  This time, I was to drink these two 8 ounce bottles of some solution mixed with another 8 ounces of water.  (So 16 ounces total in the first glass).  And then two cups of 16 ounces of water again in the next hour.  Wait 3 hours and repeat.  It was pretty nasty tasting, as is usually the case…but I did the first three glasses.  And after a short amount of time, lets say before an hour passed, I was off to the races.  To the nearest toilet in the house, which was strategically just about 4 seconds away that whole night.  I started the prep at 3pm, took the second round of cocktails at 6pm, and was all done with my business at 8pm.  —I must admit, I didn’t drink the 6th final glass of water…would have been best if I had…but I thought my bowels were clear…(was not the case Dr. Young realized..)

I was in bed, no food of course that day, and needing to wake up at 6:30am for my “first of the day” 8:00am butt probing/colonoscopy by Dr. Young.

Got a ride down to the center..I was in the colonoscopy center at 7:15…just a few minutes late..and filling out paperwork with some mighty nice nurses and physician’s assistants.  And then off to my bed/roller to undress, put the gown on..and get under the covers.  The wait began.

Picture of me after getting the gown on, still had on my sweatshirt, and some nice wheelchairs in back..

I heard on the loudspeaker something about Dr. Young…and it was my turn.  The nurses came over, wheeled me into a “secure room” and there he was.  Dr. Young, the man who diagnosed me back on October 2nd 2008.  I hadn’t seen him since that day, but wow, he looked the same.

“So Adam, how is Prague?”, was the first thing he asked me.

I’m pretty sure I said something like, “Yes, its a nice Cold place, come over and visit, I’ll show you around my favorite toilets”.  Maybe not that exactly.

But he did ask how my UC was going, and right away he asked what medications I was taking.

He was a bit surprised when I told him I was not on any medications for years, but he took note.

Just a few moments later, I was waking up, and the snake was sliding out of me.  I could literally feel the scope slithering out of my bottom deal, and just like that, the colonoscopy was over.

I was quite weary, as they put me under(semi under I guess they say) with Demerol 75 mg IV and Versed 3 mg IV over the course of about 36 minutes of “moderate sedation time”.

I can remember him coming over and letting me know that things looked MUCH better than they were 9 years earlier.  Again, when he scoped me originally, my entire colon was severely inflamed, cut open everywhere, and not in good shape.  So I was sure this was going to come out much better, but it was great to hear.

Soon after, he handed me the full report, with pictures and all. And it was amazing to read some of the comments.  Comments such as:

  • Anal Canal: Normal
  • Splenic Flexure: Normal
  • Transverse Colon: Normal
  • Hepatic Flexure: Normal
  • Ascending Colon: Normal
  • Ileocecal Valve: Normal

Now, let’s not crack all the champagne bottles, there was some things to take into account, and not all was perfect, some items such as:

  • Rectum- Internal Hemorrhoids
  • sigmoid colon: scattered scars
  • Cecum: minute erosion around appendiceal orifice

Overall, the IMPRESSION WAS:

  • Internal Hemorrhoids
  • Minimal active colitis
  • retained stool precluded complete exam for small lesions

PLAN:

  • High fiber diet
  • Wait for pathology report
  • Follow up colonoscopy in 2 years depending on biopsy results

As for the biopsy results, they were equally impressive to me.  No per-cancerous cells found, and for the most part, normal tissue with some signs of inflammatory bowel disease(which was expected).

So this concludes my recapping of the colonoscopy, it wasn’t an absolute 100% A+, BUT, I was very pleased to have gotten this taken care of and had another day in the Court of Colon to see what it looks like.

Maybe most importantly, I was absolutely shocked that within just 3 hours, literally by the early afternoon that very same day, I felt fine, and was really wondering if I had actually had a colonoscopy earlier that morning.  No side effects, no bleeding, and that evening I started producing harder stools once again.

I wish all of you a great day, and for those scared to get their colonoscpy done, I understand(I was too).  But definitely realize, there is a definite chance that it will go MUCH better with a speedy recovery faster than you imagined.  It is possible, and we’ll see how the next goes,

 

Adam




colonoscopy

28 Responses to 3rd Colonoscopy Said and Done – Not 100%, But Big Improvement

  1. Bev February 11, 2018 at 5:21 pm #

    Omg. You did it Adam!

    Good results too.

    I am a VERY bad girl. It’s been at least 10 years since my last scope. Ever since remission really.

    I know, I know.

    • Adam
      Adam February 13, 2018 at 6:26 am #

      10 years Bev….argggh. Absolutely could be time to get the insides reviewed. I’m sure you’ll be happy!! Best to you!!—Adam

  2. Joanie February 13, 2018 at 5:31 am #

    It was nice to read your experience ! Thanks for sharing it !
    Did he put you on meds because of the minimal active colitis ? If yes, which one?
    Thanks !
    Joanie

    • Adam
      Adam February 13, 2018 at 6:25 am #

      Hi Joanie,

      No, he didn’t recommend any changes. But, he is not my treating GI, so better will be for me to follow up with my treating GI and go from there. The reality is I’m doing better than ever before, especially when I was taking medications years ago. So I’ll for sure keep you updated of any plan changes. -Adam

  3. Joanie February 13, 2018 at 7:12 pm #

    Wow amazing !! Thanks for the update! I don’t know you but I’m really happy for you !

  4. Meaghan Caine February 18, 2018 at 7:57 am #

    Awesome to hear , Adam
    I go every 2-4 years for scope , not crazy about it but have never had bad experience after ( lucky) just a little tender inside gut
    I too take no meds , I take probiotics and if feeling not right I start Lglutamine and Slippery elm right away and it gets my UC under control quickly.
    Feel so much better, not taking any prescriptions
    Here’s to another few years scope free !!!!
    Meaghan

    • Adam
      Adam February 18, 2018 at 12:10 pm #

      hi Meaghan,

      Wow, that sounds like you have done a great job with getting your UC figured out!!! Keep up the good work and thanks for writing!

      – Adam

  5. Mary S
    Mary Smith February 18, 2018 at 8:27 am #

    I’m of the opinion that people with UC should be on maintenance meds if in remission. Did you know that you can be flaring and not have symptoms? So all the while following your diet and minimizing symptoms your colon can be inflamed and that inflammation can be doing great damage. Risky business I say. In addition after 10 years of UC the cancer risk increases and you should start having a yearly scope. Adam I’m glad your colonoscopy came out good.

    • Adam
      Adam February 18, 2018 at 12:14 pm #

      Hi Mary,

      Thank you so much for sharing, and you are for sure correct, there can be some active UC and people may not even know it if it is very mild. Of course that is true if you are taking medications or not, and often the best way to know for sure if via colonoscopy if possible.

      As far as risky or not, definitely debatable. The reality is that many people have all sorts of results from all sorts of treatments, and in some cases, people who have side effects(which can sometimes be very severe), alternatives to the “medications” are as well a good path.

      All just depends,

      thank you again for sharing, and I wish you the best,

      Adam

  6. Elaine J
    Elaine February 18, 2018 at 8:43 am #

    That’s great to hear, Adam! I don’t think I am anywhere near being able to get off my meds (sulfasalazine 3 x 3 times a day after food & a Pentasa Supp at night as & when I feel I need it) but it is very encouraging to know that it can be done!

    I live in the UK and I’m a year overdue an IBD consultation. Long story but basically i was told to make an appt for 6 months time, the desk told me i’d have to come back in 3 months to make the appt because they can’t book that far in advance… and during that time I moved house and totally forgot about it. It’s been a couple of years since my last scope so I’m half-expecting they might want to take a look ‘down under’ this year. I have to say I don’t usually get problems afterwards, in fact the day after taking the prep stuff and the following day are usually very happy ones for me once the scope is over, because it’s usually a while before I feel the urge to ‘go’ again, and that is such an amazing feeling!

    • Adam
      Adam February 18, 2018 at 12:31 pm #

      Glad to hear you’ve done well with the recovery!! (Great to hear, and hopefully that can motivate others who are on the fence and worried…((it’s possible:)))

      Wishing you the best with the next down under journey!!

      –Adam

  7. Marian February 18, 2018 at 9:33 am #

    my husband just had one after 3 years since previous
    prep all went well. He told me more painful than the last but as you say from getting home and a couple of hours sleep he was feeling ok.
    Results: polyp cauterised, haemmhoroids noted. 10 biopsied taken, waiting results.

    • Adam
      Adam February 24, 2018 at 7:54 am #

      Thanks for sharing Marian, glad all went well and fingers crossed the biopsies come back good!!
      Pat on the back to him for not waiting as long as me:))

  8. Graham from England
    Graham Lee February 18, 2018 at 10:48 am #

    Well done Adam, good news, we knew it would be good and well done for all the hard work over the years!

    Brave to do it really, I can understand not wishing to upset things but knowing what we know about inflammation of the colon and cancer, every 10 years is probably the maximum we should leave it?

    Despite “free healthcare” here in UK, they still occasionally cut corners, I had one without sedation and passed out walking back to the ward! Paying must be tough but less Russian Roulette I would imagine. Bev may remember, the GI took a phonecall during my procedure and asked the nurse to put him on speakerphone, I thought blimey, this bloke must be good!

    The run up to colonoscopy is horrible and my last 3 were “poor prep” for some reason, couldn’t see everything which felt such a waste of time. As a treat, afterwards I ask my wife to drive me to the nearest MacDonalds. Used to live there, now once twice a year or following a colonoscopy, I learned so much here.

    I just want to say, well done Adam, colonoscopies are such a big deal and we hope you remain so well that you’ll never need really another.

    • Adam
      Adam February 18, 2018 at 12:33 pm #

      Thanks Graham, nice to hear from you bud!!

      And…I’m liking the McDonalds post scoping scenario:)))

      two big macs stacked on top of eachother(with some fries inside somewhere),,,yup, that could be Big and Tasty!!

      OK, thanks again, and hoping you be well,
      Adam

  9. Rosanne
    Rosanne Robinson February 18, 2018 at 2:33 pm #

    Congrats on a great procedure!
    3 times?? 3 times?
    Back in 1982 when I was diagnosed…they didn’t always sedate you tod do a scope. At times I would go in office because I was flaring and he would ask…have you been going a lot? Well while you are here let’s check it out. Some times I had a scope 2x in a month…probably first several years I had 4 or 5 in a year! Only way to see what was going on. Didn’t need a driver either! Remember no sedation. I would guess that over the past 36 years I have had well over 100 scopes. When I sent friends and family they sedated the…I begged him to put me out as when you are inflamed and awake it is like pains worse than childbirth!

    Eventually he started to sedate me each time. Then he opened a gastro center and hired anesthesiologist sand all these people to start iv for it all. My doc used to do all of that himself. Never missed a vein. Perfect all the time. I miss those old days. I was important to my doc. Now to those working in facility I am just another butt scope!

    Well 36years later…I have been good past few years…have been moved to ever two years scope now. My GI Doc is slowing down who gets to see him. And now with current insurance he is 2 nd tier so I have to go to hospital GI lab to get a better rate but still see one of his partners. When he retires I will be sad. We have been thru so much!

    Wish you all well and good scopes!

    • Adam
      Adam February 24, 2018 at 7:58 am #

      Wow Rosanne,

      I think you can be called the Queen of Scoping for sure…100…yikes, sounds like a book can be written by you about the process.

      Either way, you are a trooper, and thank you for sharing, I think if we all read your comment when we are getting nervous for the colonoscopy, and realize you’ve done it and been through it so many times, somehow that should give us some reality check and let us know it will be alright.

      Wowowow…still can’t believe what you’ve been though. Thx for sharing,

      Adam

  10. Bethany Ryan February 18, 2018 at 3:49 pm #

    Hi Adam, thank you for sharing your experiences. Your site has helped my momma heart so much in the last year. My 3 yr old has UC and its all throughout the colon and very aggressive. We are seeing a naturopath and now being transferred to UCSF for evaluation. If I may ask, how did you manage your GI doctor when you started refusing meds? Our Stanford doctor will not work with us since we are seeing a naturopath hence being sent over to UCSF. I feel like I have to choose between one form of treatment or the other instead of having one foot in both doors, western medicine and holistic. Any encouragement or words of wisdom are welcome. We have been in a flare since last December:(

    Warmly,
    Bethany

    • Adam
      Adam February 24, 2018 at 8:07 am #

      hi Bethany,

      Oh man…that is not an easy situation you are in, and I do remember it all too well.

      Let’s see here, for me, I simply came out and told my GI that I was using a diet based method to treat my UC and it was working better than the medicaitons I had been prescribed, and that point, I had been prescribed:

      prednisone
      asacol
      colazal
      sulfasalazine
      Remicade
      and then latstly..Humira
      (and some enemas inbetween there…forgetting now exactly when I tried those)

      My GI at the time was not on board totally with that. Actually, not really on board at all.

      I think the reality is that some GIs are open to their patients trying “alternative” ideas/thinking to manage the disease, others simply can’t handle the reality that patients are interested in different options than simply western medicine. It is tuff for the patient, and it is reality, so we must live with it.

      My advice would be to try and find a new GI. I very much admire and like my GI doctor, Dr. Neil Stollman, he has UC as well(and I’m pretty sure he doesn’t mind me saying that as I’ve mentioned it many times over many years on this site.) He is a western med doc, but he has and I believe will continue to work with me even though I am not taking medications at the moment(and have not for many years).

      so all in all..bottomline, time to find a new GI doctor, and I would go into it right off the bat with the staff, front desk stating that you are looking for a GI who is at least open to their patients working with “non western medicine practitioners” but at the same time you would like to work with a “western med doc who is open minded” as well. They are out there, not too many, but in the bay area certainly you can find one.

      (Doc Stollman is in the east bay, Oakland/Berkeley, not easy access to the Stanford area…but you can make that call.)

      I wish you the best,
      Adam

      here is an interview I did with Dr. Stollman several years ago…to give you an idea of where he stands:

      https://ihaveuc.com/fecal-microbiota-transplant-questions-and-answers/

      (I have an interview scheduled for March 12th this year(2018) with the other doctor to get some updates on the Fecal Transplant world from his perspective…should be interesting.

  11. C
    Caroline February 18, 2018 at 7:19 pm #

    Wow. I’m so impressed. Must feel good to have all the hard work of eating right pay off. Do you have any symptoms these days?bloating, loose stools? Sounds like your colon is pretty happy.

    • Adam
      Adam February 24, 2018 at 8:08 am #

      Hi Caroline,

      I’m still doing pretty darn good. Yes, I do have some loose stools from time to time, but more often then not, they are followed up by hardies the next bathroom visit:)

  12. Tara B
    Tara B February 18, 2018 at 8:03 pm #

    That’s great news Adam! I had my last colonoscopy in 2013 and my doctor said I would be due for one in 2020. Is that wrong? how often should we be getting one? I rarely get any flare ups, and doing pretty good. I have a deductible of $2500 for my insurance so I’ll be paying out of pocket for my next one! I already started saving. I’m so happy for you.

    • Adam
      Adam February 24, 2018 at 8:10 am #

      What up Tara,

      Hey, sounds like an awfully long time to me, I think that in general that is too long of a gap in between, but at the end of the day, yeah, it is super expensive especially with a high deductible like you mentioned. (Maybe…if you happen to be unlucky and have some high medical expenses this year…get that colonoscopy done…especially if you reach the deductible before hand.)

      But, I would maybe try to reach out to your doctor and question him/her about that 6 plus year gap. seems longer than I have heard. (maybe some others have some opinions on that…)

      -Adam

  13. Heidi February 18, 2018 at 8:17 pm #

    A…DAM! Good news! So happy for you and I hope it continues so. You keep me inspired. Thanks.

    • Adam
      Adam February 24, 2018 at 8:11 am #

      :))))) Thx Heidi, super glad about that:)

  14. caroline choille February 19, 2018 at 4:25 am #

    Good for you Adam.

    Just had a fexible lower camera look up job as having a flare up.

    Not as bad as the full colonoscopy but not that ‘comfortable’ as I had no sedation and as the UC was active it wouldn’t have helped.

    I’m not controlling the UC with meds and am at the top of what I can take and am now on Steroids to try and get the flare ups under control. I need to try something else as I seem to have gone down hill since they’ve upped the meds and am floored a lot of the time.

    Keep up the good work.

    • Adam
      Adam February 24, 2018 at 8:12 am #

      Hi Caroline,

      I’m sorry to hear times are going a bit rough right now for you.

      I really hope the little white pills can bring you back to normal and you can ride safely through the taper period to some state of normalcy. it is possible, and I’m sure you’ve done it before.

      Keep your head up and thank you again for messaging here and letting us know how you are,

      Adam

      • caroline choille February 24, 2018 at 10:48 am #

        Thank you – Great space you’ve created here Adam.

        It really helps just reading.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

iHaveUC.com is located in Menlo Park, California - United States 94025 - (415) 952-8111