Today was a good day: I went to the Chocolate Bar and I had a finger in my bum.
It’s the post everyone has been waiting for….just HOW does rectum play into endometriosis??
Well you’re about to learn it all, my friends. So grab a cup of coffee and settle in, and be thankful it’s me going through this, and not you.
Today I saw Dr. Snyder, the colo-rectal surgeon. After my meeting with Dr. Sutton I wasn’t too fussed. Figured when I meet the rest of the team we would just go in, he’d quickly explain his procedure and what he will do to my colon, and we’d be on our merry way.
My mom comes to get me (I was dog sitting), surprises me with a bottle of rosé (yay!), and we head over to the Med Center.
We’re pulled back and they take my vitals, then we go wait in Dr. Snyder’s office. Dr. Snyder comes in with a very handsome resident. He says that the resident will be inputting all of my information into the system, then we’ll get started.
So we chat for a bit, and I’m forced to tell him all of my embarrassing symptoms… like daily digestion woes, painful intercourse, and stabbing rectal pain. He’s a robot during the entire briefing. Zero emotion or empathy. Rude. Then without ceremony he gets up and says, “I’ll go get Dr. Snyder and we’ll start the exam.”
Blink blink. No no no. He’s mistaken. He leaves the room and I look at my mom. “What kind of exam? I think they have me confused. I’m not here for an exam.” I’m starting to panic. I’m at the COLON RECTAL CLINIC. This will not end well.
Hot Robot comes back in and I say “What do you mean by “exam?” He looks at me like I’m an idiot and says, “Well Dr. Snyder has to look at you and see what he’s dealing with.” And he turns around, waiting for me to follow him, just like it’s a normal Wednesday with people getting fingers jammed up their bums.
Now I turn into a robot. I hand my purse to my mom like I’m about to walk the Green Mile. We lock eyes and are thinking “this is really gonna suck”. I follow Hot Robot in a zombie-like state into the examination room, where he leaves me alone with the foreboding to which my imagination is prone.
I’m sitting in this cold, sterile room by myself, fluorescent lights glaring down, and trying really hard not to cry. I promptly chew off one fingernail and am about to go to town on the next when the nurse comes in and says she’s going to prep me. I look around, but there aren’t any gowns or blankets or other things you typically see when you get down and dirty at the doctor.
She says, “Pull your dress up, pull your underwear down to your knees, and come over here and get on your knees and lean over on the table.”
“What?” On my hands and knees, just so…..exposed?
I don’t think so. I stay in my chair. But she’s looking at me expectantly and pulls out the little stool for my knees, motioning for me to come over.
What choice did I have? I assume the position.
Then Dr. Snyder comes in with Hot Robot and tells me what he’s about to do. He explains everything while I’m in this position. So imagine, if you will, me on my knees, leaning forward on the table and resting on my forearms, ass up in the air, and craning my neck at an awkward angle to be able to see his face. It was demoralizing.
Sort of like this:
I tell him I’m nervous, and he says that if I feel uncomfortable or pain at anytime to say something and they will stop. Right now! I’m uncomfortable right now!
They file behind me ready to get up in there. “We’re just gonna raise the table up a bit….” And there’s a gentle humming as he raises me higher in the air so my bum is face level. I. Am. Mortified.
In goes one finger in the vagina, to feel for endo nodules along my vaginal wall. He asked if it hurt, but it didn’t.
Then goes the finger in the bum. He just slipped that puppy right in there with surprising speed and finesse. This is clearly no amateur around rectums. Surprisingly, no pain there either. Again, he’s feeling for nodules to see how far the endometriosis has spread down my rectal wall.
Then he gets a very scary metal instrument that I’m sure was used as a torture device in the Middle Ages. He sticks that into my bum and blows air into it which showed him if there was any tethering. After that I stop listening. I have no idea what he meant, or what could be tethered to my rectal wall, but I do remember him using that word.
Then he’s done. I think the entire exam took less than 2 minutes, and I experienced zero pain. They leave so I can pull my pants up, and my mom comes in shortly after.
Dr. Snyder, his nurse and Hot Robot all come back in. He tells me he didn’t feel any nodules, which is great news, because it means surgery will not be as long or invasive on his part, and that I’m one of the better candidates he has seen. I’m so relieved to hear this, even if it required having a finger in my bum. It’s the first piece of good news I’ve had in months. He explains how his role in the surgery will be to remove the nodules that have formed on my colon and intestines and worst case scenario, a part of my colon will have to be cut out and the 2 ends fused together.
Risk with this kind of surgery is the colon leaking which can cause a serious infection and would require emergency surgery to repair (gulp) – but those cases are rare and he’s highly doubtful I will have anything to worry about.
Then my mom takes me to The Chocolate Bar for a slice of gluten-free cake. I’d say overall, today was a win.