A few weeks ago I went in for my annual routine ileoscopy. They sedated me and when I came around the Doc's assistant told me they couldn't get the scope in my stoma, as it appeared to be swollen shut (or something like that).......so they couldn't scope me. She said something about finding a good surgeon and having him fix it. Nice, real nice. Then she skeedadled out of there before I got belligerent with her.
So I got with the fine folks at the Small Bowel Transplant group at my hospital of choice and we had a chat. After an MRI-E we saw what looked like a small kink in my stoma just a few millimeters in from the end. That would explain the pain I was having and why I was partially obstructing every now and then....and now. There was no sign of any active disease, which was very relieving, but I wanted to be sure, as MRI's are only so good at looking at soft tissue. So I asked the Doc if she'd scope me so we're all sure there's nothing going on in there. So in I went this morning, and since I wasn't being sedated the whole process was super quick and easy.
Now this Doc I was with today had never seen my stoma. So she didn't know what she was in for. They wheeled me into the exam room and the first thing I noticed was that they had the scope set up with the larger colonoscopy probe end. I looked at the Tech and said that ain't gonna work. She looked puzzled so I had everyone gather around me and I popped my bag off. You could have heard a pin drop. So the Doc, after regaining her composure, tells the Tech to get the real small baby scope. And the Tech goes out of the room and brings back a scope that was a little bit smaller. Maybe 2 or 3 millimeters or so smaller. And I looked at here again and said.....ain't gonna work.........you got anything even smaller? So out she goes and this time comes back with the infant sized scope she should have brought back the first time. Now by this time I'm trying to jam my finger in my stoma just to gross everyone out, and of course it starts bleeding. So now we got some color to go along with the excitement. So the Doc takes the infant scope and gently tries to put it in my stoma. It wouldn't just slip in, so I told her to push on the damn thing. Which she did and BINGO!.....she's in! And what a wonderful intestine it was! I'm guessing she usually only sees disease ridden bowels, because she was going on and on about how wonderful it looked in there. There was nothing to take a biopsy of, so I said......great.......now go in further and let's see what else we can find in there. So she went a few centimeters farther and was satisfied with what she saw........and was about to pull it out.......and I said oh heck no........keep going until you reach my stomach. I'll let you know when! And she wasn't too keen on that. So I said......can I try? And she had that same puzzled look on her face that the Grinch got when the people down in Whosville still came out and sang Christmas carols even though they had no presents. And then she said reluctantly.......ok. So in it went. And went. And went. By 75 centimeters she'd had enough and insisted I take it out. So we got some cool pics of a very nice bowel.......and I'm satisfied that there is no disease activity.
It did feel a bit weird sticking a long black borescope in my intestines, but since we didn't need to use any air to expand the bowels.......was totally painless. And a bit fun. I told her I was going to order one of those 10 foot drain cameras from Amazon and do it myself at home.....and she nearly passed out. All in all it was a fun day in the Colo-Rectal Procedure room! Can't wait until we do it again next year........as I now have a record to beat. I've only got 140 centimeters of bowel, so maybe we'll just go for the gusto and see if I can reach my stomach!! Now who said getting scoped can't be fun!!