What are Polyps?
Polyps are abnormal tissue growth most commonly found in the colon. They are harmless but can over time develop into cancer. Therefore, they are best removed for this reason.
Polyps have been compared to mushroom stalks and are most often small, flat bumps. They are either neoplastic or non-neoplastic (which includes hyperplastic polyps, inflammatory polyps and hamartomatous polyps). They can also develop in places such as the ear canal and cervix.
My Experience with Polyps
I first heard of the term Polyp following the death of my mother. She was having a lot of cervical bleeding and was worried that it was cancer. A minor, routine operation discovered that it was due to a Polyp. However, the operation to remove this went fatally wrong when her bowel was perforated during this procedure. Poisoned by the contents of her bowel she died of sceptasmia.
Many years later I was bleeding a lot from my back passage. This seemed to happen a lot more when I was stressed. Anxious trips to the hospital concluded that it was due to a Polyp and I had an operation to have it removed.
My Current Situation with Polyps
Fast forward fourteen years and I have been having a lot of trouble with what I believed to be a haemorrhoid. In fact I have been backwards and forwards to the doctors for a good many years about it. They have told me about changes in my diet, got me on laxatives and I have been trying to increase my water intake. But the situation has got worse. It can be really painful and often causes me to bleed. Some days I can’t even walk due to how much it hurts. Shamefully it has become really difficult to clean too.
So once again I contacted the doctors. Luckily due to the pandemic they said that they would just refer me to the hospital. I was asked if I would consider surgery if required and it was really a no-brainer due to my needle phobia. As I knew that last time they agreed to knock me out with gas first.
The First Hospital Appointment
At the first hospital appointment my husband was allowed to come with me. There was nothing really special in terms of covid – just masks, sanitiser and social distancing from others.
A young doctor examined me and said the dreaded word Polyp. I still don’t really know the differences between that and a haemorrhoid, but I know my mom didn’t die from the latter being removed. He agreed to speak to the doctor who had removed my last one, and to send me a letter.
Flexible Sigmoidoscopy looking for Polyps
So they have decided that in the first instance I need to have one of these Flexible Sigmoidoscopy. It basically means they are going to fill my bum with air, stick something up and have a look. It’s nothing, friends have had it done. There’s no needles involved and there’s the option of gas and air.
But I have to go alone. Hubby is allowed to just wait in the waiting area. He cannot hold my hand and tell me it will be alright. There is the small risk that the sigmoidoscopy can puncture my colon. It was only a small risk that perforated my mother’s bowel too.
Or worse – what if they discover that I do have cancerous polyps! I fear the needles I will need to help treat cancer more than cancer itself!
Preparing for the Flexible Sigmoidoscopy during Covid
So last week I received a call to book me in for my Flexible Sigmoidoscopy. In fact I am not sure she called it that but I am booked in nonetheless. Due to Covid I need to self-isolate for a few days. Luckily only one of these is a school day and so my husband has arranged half a day off work to allow him to do the school runs. I was also told I need to do a Covid test. That I would receive information about everything in the post.
It is now four days away until I am due at the hospital and there has been nothing in the post. My anxiety is through the roof, I keep having headaches and being very tired. Of course then there’s the crying.
The Pre-Hospital Covid Test and Self-Isolation
Yesterday a quite a rude woman rang me to book my Covid test for Friday. I assumed it would be at my local centre. It is not. It is where I have never driven to before, and I don’t quite understand where it is. The choice of times left me with no other choice than to book in and try to get there myself. Recently someone hit my wing mirror and my anxiety with driving is through the roof too!
I have never so much as done a lateral flow test before so am attempting one of those tonight with the boys showing me how. After the Covid test (please let the parking be easy) I have to just stay home. I can mix with my family and they can live life as normal! This does of course mean I cannot continue with my Half Marathon Training.
I have a massage booked for Monday and am hoping it is still fine for that!
I know this shouldn’t be a big deal, and so many people have had it done, but I just can’t stop getting so upset about it. Thank you for all the friends who have taken time out to try to make me feel better. And of course my husband.