Following on from the disastrous attempt last month, I tried again.
I was sent the bowel prep and followed the instructions carefully (eek I really didn’t want to be too far from home!). By the morning I was very hungry with my empty tummy so pleased for an early start. I took a taxi to the hospital (a different hospital to the last) and had made arrangements for a friend to collect me after the procedure. So I’d done my bit….
However I was super surprised to find the waiting room at the hospital full of patients. It was a Saturday morning!
I soon realised that I was way down the queue to be seen and sat patiently slowly supping water whilst listening to my tummy rumble in the hope that my throat hadn’t been cut! One by one, the other patients were called until only I remained in the waiting room. I had spoken to a nurse who knew I was there and had said I’d be seen soon. So I was more than a little surprised when a registrar approached me and asked who I was waiting for! I explained that I’d now been there 3 hours and was waiting for my colonoscopy procedure having taken the bowel prep and was blinking hungry and bored! His response was a little shocked and rushed off. Returning minutes later to explain what had happened – I quickly said I wasn’t leaving until it had been done (and yes, I was close to tears). He told me that this clinic was always deliberately over booked by between 10-20% of patents. I asked why and was told that they expected patients not to turn up to it and more than often over 10% of them didn’t! However today was different. Most patients had turned up.
Why, when you’re referred for a procedure because of health concerns, would you not attend a screening which may well save your life or at the least diagnose why the concerns were there?
Anyway, not my problem. But it was. The consultant had apparently been on duty for the maximum amount of time and had reach the maximum amount of patients that he’s allowed to carry out the procedure on in one day.
Again, not my problem. I wasn’t leaving and doing this AGAIN.
Fortunately for me, they managed to find a consultant loitering in the corridors that was able to do the procedure. I’d almost forgotten how much I’d been dreading it by the time I was finally called. However what they’d also forgotten about was that as I’d not eaten and only supped small amounts of water, my veins had gone into hiding. After virtually passing out whilst they poked around looking for a vein to pass the anaesthetic in, I was eventually asleep and taken in for the procedure. Only 5 hours after arriving for my appointment!
They don’t administer much anaesthetic as you should be in and out quickly and they wanted me to be on my way so they could go home after the busy clinic. So, yes you guessed it, I woke up during the procedure and spent the remaining time looking at the inside of my bowel on the screen and chatting with the consultant. Gosh I’ve got quite a gorgeous (and clean) bowel!
My friend came to collect me shortly after I’d finished my cup of tea and little packet of bourbon biscuits – every NHS appointment should end this way!
Now to wait for the results to see if this helps identify anything with regard to the symptoms I’ve been experiencing.
Honestly, the colonoscopy was a little uncomfortable but not painful at all. So DON’T you be one of the 10-20% of patients that don’t turn up for your appointment!