As I’ve mentioned before in my vlogs on YouTube, after 6 years of having two ostomy bags, I had a second surgery in May 2016 to go down to just one colostomy bag. At first, all was well but my Crohn’s disease flared up a few weeks afterwards, and they wanted to do an endoscopy through my colostomy to see how badly it had flared up.
This colonoscopy was slightly different to a usual colonoscopy, mainly because my colon isn’t connected to my rectum anymore. I still have a rectum and anus but it doesn’t lead anywhere – there’s a dead end if you go up there. So, the only way to look at my colon now is to go through my stoma.
Sitting in the waiting room for an hour certainly didn’t help with the nerves. I knew that it had to be done, but I also knew that it’d be extremely uncomfortable and not a pleasant sensation. I had previously had this procedure done a few years prior but that was with a relatively healthy colon at the time – this time, my colon was in a Crohn’s flare so bound to be quite tender. Also, the knowledge that my last colonoscopy ended with a perforation didn’t help either. The only way I was going to get through it was to think happy thoughts.
My happy thought? Imagining Deadpool as my very own cheerleader.
I had watched Deadpool a few months before when it came out at the cinema and loved it SO much – Ryan Reynolds was absolutely perfect for that role, and it has to be my favourite superhero movie of all time. So when I was psyching myself up for this endoscopy, I knew there was only one superhero to get me through it.
I was taken to the room, lay on the bed and was given the Entonox (gas and air). I didn’t have any sedation just because I wasn’t trusting my cannula at the time and my veins kept collapsing. I figured just having gas and air would be better than having a doctor spend an hour trying to find a new bloody vein.
I removed the pouch section of my ostomy appliance and the gastroenterologist who was carrying out my endoscopy lubed up the endoscope and my stoma. As soon as he started working the scope through my stoma and up my descending colon, it immediately felt uncomfortable, and I knew I needed my happy thought to kick in, pronto, otherwise I’d just start crying and there’d be tears and snot everywhere.
That’s when Deadpool popped into my head. I imagined him sitting in the corner, legs crossed, being all sassy and saying to me, “what the fuck are you whining about, kid? You’ve got this!” Over the course of 20 minutes, Deadpool went from being an abusive little shit saying I needed to man the fuck up, to being a nurse wearing a cute little white number and swinging a stethoscope around his head, to being a cheerleader with pompoms telling me that I was awesome and that I could get through it. All in my head, of course, but it was giving me something to focus on other than the pain. And it worked. So thank you, Ryan. You’re a good egg.
PS. This colonoscopy was a few months ago, and since then I’ve been on Azathioprine and a course of Prednisolone. So far, the Crohn’s disease seems to have settled down, and I’m feeling much better. Yay.
PPS. If you haven’t already seen Deadpool, do yourself a favour and download it. Download the crap out of it. No pun intended.