On August 10, I had a doctor’s appointment with my gastroenterologist.
I had actually been looking forward to this appointment because I was anxious to start something else besides two-a-day enemas. I had a gut feeling that they weren’t working. Ha, get it? “Gut” feeling? See, I’m starting to tell jokes! I must be coming to an acceptance of this disease. Or just feeling punchy tonight. Maybe it’s the solar eclipse.
Anyways, I told the doctor how I wasn’t really feeling better, after seven weeks of enemas. That’s boxes and boxes and boxes of enemas. I did enemas while traveling, when I was drunk, when I was hungover, in hotel rooms, in four different states. I don’t think I am the queen of enemas yet, but let me tell you, I was dedicated to the cause.
I was really just feeling like I was shoving medicine up my butt twice a day, rearranging my mornings to get it done, and then just still pooping like 3 or 4 times every morning before 8am even hit. My stomach felt horrible, even after I was done. I was unbuttoning my jeans every day on the drive in to work because I was so uncomfortable, I couldn’t even sit in a car for 35 minutes. I was working out and trying to run in the evenings, but mostly at the gym because I wanted access to a bathroom. But mostly it was the horrible mornings that I hated.
So I told her that and she was actually shocked. (Shocked sounds strong. Maybe she was just surprised.) She thought I should be feeling much better and be weaning off the enemas and that I’d be good as new. But instead, she prescribed me with oral mesalamine. I guess it’s the same medicine but I get to swallow pills. I don’t understand why that would work any differently, but I’m not a doctor so I won’t question it just yet. Unless it doesn’t work. Then I’ll wonder why we wasted time.
Apparently, this medicine can fuck up my kidneys or something, so she ordered a blood test to get my baseline on stuff and then I’ll need another blood test in a month or so to make sure my kidneys are still functioning. She explained that the enemas are the best way to treat colitis, because they are administered directly at the source of the inflammation. Obviously. I get it. So the oral mesalamine needs to travel through the whole GI tract in order to reach the spot that it’s needed. A lot of it can get metabolized and isn’t always as effective, not to mention the fucked up kidneys part. But at this point, I’m so sick of pooping at inconvenient times and having pain and urgency that I’ll try whatever the doctor says.
So she told me to keep doing one enema per day and also take the pills. The first pills she prescribed I was going to have to take four of them once per day. But they were not covered under my insurance and would have been over $1,200 to buy without insurance. That’s messed up. If insurance doesn’t cover these, why are they even offered? Why do they exist as a medication if no one can afford to get them? So anyway, she ordered a different brand, go figure, and this one is a slightly smaller dosage per pill, so I have to take two pills three times per day. They’re kind of big pills but I haven’t had any trouble swallowing them yet, like I thought I would.
I’m doing the enema once a day, at night as I’m going to bed. It really doesn’t bother me much, because I go right to sleep after I put it in. But, I think that I have worse gas at the end of the day because of it. I don’t know why that would be, because I didn’t have such bad gas when I was doing two per day, but ever since I went down to one per day, I have horrible gas around 7pm/8pm at night and it doesn’t really stop until I go to bed, and essentially plug it up with another enema. I wonder if the enema I was doing in the morning (and then pooping it all out subsequently) was actually getting rid of the lingering gas? I have no idea. All I know is, I’m gassier now.
I’m afraid to say that the pills are working. I’m not sure if I feel that much better, but I think I feel a little better. But I’m not sure. I don’t feel drastically changed, but I don’t know if I should feel that way or not. I don’t know how quickly it’s supposed to work. Also, if it’s the enemas that are giving me gas and making my morning poop routine shittier than usual, then I’m not sure if I can truly tell the effect of the pills unless those were the only thing I’m doing. There’s too many variables in this experiment.
The doctor told me to see her again in a month, so I’ll see her when I get back from my trip to Greece. That means I have to take the enemas to Greece. FML. But, I only have to do one a day. So I’ll only have to take like 12 enemas in my carry-on bag instead of 24. 24 would have been three boxes which would have been like my whole carry-on. So I’m still trying to look at the bright side. Not to mention, I obviously won’t be bringing enemas back with me, so I’ll have more room for souvenirs! Win!
If you are also in the land of enemas, feel free to comment. We can exchange enema stories. Just kidding. But we could if you want to.