3rd Colonoscopy - All Clear! :)

지난달

Gross? Interesting? It's really cool to me to see my insides! Each time, I refuse anesthesia and put up with the mild discomforts of air and water being pumped in, and a tube wriggling around in there so that I can explore the depths of my...innards. I've not done an endoscopy that way, but maybe I will someday.

I had my last one 2-3 years ago and the doctor found 6 polyps, some of which were pre-cancerous, so he said to do it again this year. Nothing but hyperplastic polyps (which aren't dangerous) this time around, so it's great news for me! :)

What you see is what a healthy colon should look like. It should be pink, any little lumps should look vaguely white and you can kind of see the cells, but there is variation from person to person in how it looks (some people's colons look way more convoluted than mine, I was told today). Sorry, the bottom photos are not as pink as they really looked because I photographed the photos. Those cords you see are the muscles that move the food through (different movement types are used in different parts of the intestines to move food through), and it looks big in there because it was puffed up like a balloon by air. Normally, the intestines kind of clamp down and the cords form into a kind of knot that pushes the food forward/up/down. He showed me the villii at the end of the small intestines, which was pretty interesting, and he showed me the entrance to the appendix, which just looked like a smallish hole that the camera tube can't fit into, but he didn't photograph them.
2019 colonoscopy.jpg

Interestingly, my first endoscopy and colonoscopy were done in Indonesia in 2014 because of digestive problems I was having (that I eventually realized were caused by taking allergy meds, ceterizine and loratadine without eating). The digestive problems included daily diarrhea, lethargy, weakness and, eventually, my immune system was so overtaxed that other problems stopped getting healed, so I had a double ear infection, a couple of infected wounds, and some other issues. After the doctor helped me deal with the colitis and irritation of the stomach I'd caused, I was back to normal! Another reason it was interesting was because they only gave me white bread with margarine to eat and, in the photos, I could see a river of margarine going through my intestines (i.e. my body couldn't digest it!).

Just as a note, in 2018, I had more digestive problems - my stomach was so irritated that I went to the ER because I'd never experienced something like that before and a nurse advised it. It was because I was eating 1-3 bars of dark (70-85%) chocolate PER DAY! In 2019, I had heart palpitations. I'd had them before and they were caused by antifungals like ketoconazol and miconazol as well as anti-allergy medicine loratadine, so when I stopped taking those meds, the arrhythmia stopped, too. This time, however, I wasn't on those meds and, after careful consideration, I realized that the (reduced) amount of 85% dark chocolate that I was eating was probably why. I experimented by stopping and starting eating it and, since I cut it out entirely (I'm back to 70%, and not even necessarily weekly), my arrhythmia has disappeared.

As I've aged, I've gotten better at diagnosing what ails me (lactose intolerance, excessive chocolate consumption, too much fiber too fast, the powerful steroid methylprednisolone, etc.), and I'm better able to care for myself but I still need medical help sometimes! Thanks, medical professional!

Here's a question: why were the nurses at both of my US-based colonoscopies pretty, and the doctors from India? ;)

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