I’m so excited (but still feeling super, excuse the pun “crappy”) to write the entry about my poop transplant. If you haven’t been following along and are asking, “Why would anyone get a fecal transplant?“, click on link.
On Wednesday and Thursday of last week, I did the normal prep for a colonoscopy which includes drinking the magic laxative Kool-Aid (which is actually Gatorade) and then cleaning out your entire colon until your bowels are clear. It’s a good, quick way to lose 6 pounds and afterwards, you normally feel pretty invigorated. Friday morning, my mom picked me up and off to the hospital we went. I sat in the waiting room past my appointment time and I started to get more nervous. I also hadn’t eaten for 48 hours so I was also getting pretty cranky. They called me back to a private room with a bedside toilet. The delay was because they were trying to get me a room with an attached bathroom, but it was taking too long and I needed to get prep for the procedure. C-Diff apparently means that the nurses have to wear more personal protective garb and my first nurse came in wearing a paper hazmat suit. Trust me, I am not offended. I don’t want to ever see C-Diff again, so I don’t blame everyone for taking the necessary precautions.
The next hour was spent going over my medical history, starting my IV, taking bloodwork and talking to about 4 people who were telling me every single detail of the procedure which was always started with “so we’re new to this”. As I mentioned before, I was to be the very first person in our hospital to get this done. Scratch that. A fellow Crohnie beat me by mere hours. HOWEVER, I’m still the FIRST WOMAN in our hospital to get one. I did give my doctor “crap” about that. I also told him about my blog. I’m not sure if he was amused or confused. Hello, Dr. S., should you ever take the time to read this.
The anesthesiologist that came in had zero facial expression. Period. It made me super nervous. Of course my RN mother and him were talking shop, but I would be wheeled into the room, given sedation and then 250 cc of fecal saline diluted fecal matter would be injected into my colon. When I woke up, I would have to lie on my right side for a few hours and then I could go home where I was allowed to resume normal activity. Originally, I was told I’d have to lie flat longer than that, but this is a “learn as you go” thing and lots seemed to be changing. I would also be receiving Propofol for the sedation. You know, that stuff that killed Michael Jackson.
I wore my contacts for the procedure because I’m super blind without my glasses and they always take your glasses away. I wanted to see what was going on, but I also like to look at the doctor until I fall asleep. When you get a normal colonoscopy, Dr. S. puts on rock music and I like that. But at the hospital, they don’t do that. I was wheeled into the room with 3 nurses who started reading out my stats while was told to roll over on my left side. The anesthesiologist was actually very kind and asked if I was nervous, in which I nodded yes. He said, “In a few seconds, you won’t be…have a nice nap.” Dr. S. tapped on my legs and said, “Let’s do this.” and I caught a glimpse of the chocolate milk like mixture that would soon save me.
I wake up REALLY WELL from procedures. It always baffles the nurses and doctors and also my mom. One gastro said I was “like an elephant to take down”. I woke up as they wheeled me to the room and I could already tell my bowels were evacuating. I kept repeating over and over (to my nurse), “I’m pooping.” It was just a little of the mixture. She cleaned it up and I laid there starting at the ceiling. I did tell the anesthesiologist that I felt sick and I hurt. They gave me an injection to help the nausea and the pain, but it didn’t touch it. My mom sat there in shock because I had a lot in my system, but I laid there silently with tears rolling down my face. When Dr. S. came in 30 minutes later, I was still in pain. He gave me a pain med and said if it didn’t get better in a few days to let him know, but it was probably from all the air they had to use. He did 2/3 of the mixture on my right side and got it all in there. He said the other went into the other part and had probably been evacuated, but it should still work.
The good news, my Crohn’s looked better than it did from my colonoscopy two months ago. That means the Humira is working! The bad news is the C-Diff (a.k.a. “the damn infection” per Dr. S.) had not helped and I needed a boost. He’s put me on a specific steroid for Crohn’s/UC called Uceris to use along with my Humira.
Saturday, the day after the procedure, I felt excellent. I went out and actually felt “normal”. I stopped at every bathroom along the way thinking I had to go, but I didn’t. I still have some of the cramping and pain, but it wasn’t as bad as it was the day before. I had my first solid bowel movement in SIX MONTHS. I nearly cried with joy.
Sunday, I was 50/50. Monday, I started feeling awful. Tuesday, my stomach hurt really bad and my bowels were not good. Wednesday into Thursday, I laid in bed and slept. Today is Thursday and I’ve managed to sit up to write this entry and also do my Humira shot. I did my shot in my upper right thigh and it didn’t burn too much.
Would I do the transplant again? Absolutely. I may have to if improvement isn’t seen. I think it did do something to the C-Diff and I hope it got it all. The procedure itself was no big deal and I’m really excited to think that I could help this become more mainstream. It’s not FDA approved, but it will be. Soon.
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