(Yes, I know I’m skipping some letters.)
Also, TMI warning! I will be going into details here.
An ileoscopy is a scope – a long thing tube with a light and camera on the end – of the ilium (small intestine) via the stoma. It’s different from a colonoscopy where the scope is inserted via the rectum.
I’d never had this type of scope before last week but now I have experienced this wonderful, slightly less embarrassing way of inspecting my gut.
My GI referred me to have one when my calprotectin came back at 4200ish (significantly higher than the normal range of below 50), and all other checks – infection, sodium, etc – had come back as within acceptable range.
I wasn’t given any prep for this scope. I was also told I didn’t need to fast. Knowing how high my output has been recently, I decided to have an early dinner the night before to ensure the least among of mess possible.
Once I was booked in, I was asked to change into a gown, and given the oh-so-fashionable “dignity shorts” (a pair of blue, elasticated shorts with a butt-flap). It wasn’t long before I was taken into the examination room and told to lay on my back. They placed an absorption pad with a hole cut out over my belly and the doctor made a small hole in the window of my bag to access my stoma. He first used a gloved finger to assess the entrance (exit?) of my stoma and which was my gut went from there before inserting the scope (which is apparently smaller than the ones used for colonoscopies..?) I didn’t ask for sedation but had been cannulated anyway, just in case. It was ok at first but got uncomfortable the further in the scope went.
I watched the screen to try and distract myself from the feeling of having something moving through my intestines, and thought I saw where my gut looped but they made no comment on that.
At one point, I thought we’d hit a blockage because it looked like the walls of my gut had closed ahead of the scope, but the doctor pushed on and was able to pass through without issue. It wasn’t long after that he stopped and began to slowly pull the scope back out.
Afterwards, he told me the 15-20cm of gut he saw (and photographed) looked pretty normal, so he wasn’t worried.
As great as it is to know there’s nothing physically wrong with my gut, it also means I am back to square one. We still don’t know what’s causing my inflammation markers to spike, and I’m still exhausted. There’s nothing they can see to treat so there’s nothing my GI team can do.
The only other thing that could be causing my fatigue is my vitamin d levels which are slightly below normal. I now need to go back to my GP to review my vitamin d & calcium supplement.
And round and round I go again.