Had my defecating proctogram today

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Had my defecating proctogram today

Postby Jachut » Thu Jun 20, 2013 3:52 am

It was ah..... interesting. I didnt think I could be embarrassed after all you survive with rectal cancer, but aparently I do still have some modesty :lol:

The radiologist was none too gentle with the rectal exam, sheesh. Really hurt. But they put all the barium liquid in (and then breadcrumbs) in - it has to be thick like a bowel movement after it has coated all the walls like they do for a barium enema.

They took some pics of me lying on my left side and on my back and then put me on the throne. I had to push it out - which I failed miserably at - I was watching the screen as sometimes I do pass stuff but cant feel it. No more than a dribble and very little movement of anything on the screen at all. I felt no urge, none at all when they filled me up, and consequently, I had difficulty with the act of defecating - you need an urge to be able to do it efficiently. The radiologist kept saying "are you sure you dont feel like there's more in there?"

They put me out of my misery quickly though and sent me off to the bathroom where a few blobs did come out. Then two more xrays. I was told "there's still a fair bit of barium in you, make sure to drink a lot and eat high fibre for the next few days". Sheesh, the reason I was there is coz I cant poop, fibre and water make no flipping difference. So I am currently in posession of about 100 mls of barium, which is probably turning into a rock as we speak. Its ten hours later and I havent so much as farted all day. No urge at all, no sense of it being there.

so....... its interesting, we shall see. There's definitely a problem there. The other thing was my pouch and colon didnt look like a pouch and colon at all. It didnt look like any of the pics and images I've googled - its all tortured and has outpouching and narrow areas etc. Definitely nothing resembling a reservoir at the end. Of course though I have to wait for the surgeon visit to find anything out, the technicians were not going to tell me anything. I dont really know what I'm looking at as I've only seen pictures of normal rectums on barium studies so I must remember not to fret over this, it could look perfectly normal for my situation - but sheesh, it looked an awful mess to me.

I just want answers, so really, the worst outcome would be that it showed nothing.

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Re: Had my defecating proctogram today

Postby prtza » Thu Jun 20, 2013 3:58 am

Let's hope the procedure lets them get to the bottom (hmm seriously no pun intended..) of what is going on with your bowels.

I guess I shouldn't complain about being made to drink a couple of liters of barium solution before being scanned to diagnose a small bowel obstruction.
DX CRC 2/29/12 Signet Ring Cell @44 YOA
Left hemicolectomy 3/9/12
T4N2M0 Stage IIIc 10/11 LN
April-June 2012 30 treatments chemoradiation
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Recurrence Jan '13
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Re: Had my defecating proctogram today

Postby Guinevere » Thu Jun 20, 2013 1:17 pm

I'm just more sorry than you can know that you had to go through that! I hope they have better answers than the advice you were given afterwards.

God bless ~
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Re: Had my defecating proctogram today

Postby lauragb » Thu Jun 20, 2013 1:58 pm

Well, that sounds like an ordeal and also an "I told you so." What you've been telling them all along, you can't poop! Hope you can get that barium to pass somehow
and that you get some answers and a plan to finally make things work better.

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Re: Had my defecating proctogram today

Postby SammyJ » Fri Jun 21, 2013 6:33 am

Well I can think of better things to do on a Thursday! But at least this is a step in the right direction of getting to an answer and it sounds like you have done well to advocate for yourself to get to this point. Given a few things you describe it doesnt sound like the answer will be nothing. Good luck.
Diagnosed Stage 3A Rectal Cancer March 12, age 39
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Re: Had my defecating proctogram today

Postby Jachut » Fri Jun 21, 2013 8:19 pm

Well, I got rid of the barium :shock: OMG, it was like giving birth. To a sideways baby. It took another bowel prep in the end.

I dont think the answer will be "nothing" either, but I'm afraid it will be some sort of pelvic floor dysfunction - sigh. Difficult to define and treat - Biofeedback and physio. Which I have little to no faith in working as the pelvic floor specialist I have already seen didnt feel or see anything abnormal and physio is never a miracle cure, its always a matter of degree. I dont want to f*ck around with physio - I work full time in Upper Beaconsfield and the physio is in Malvern, not that that will mean anything to anyone but other Melbournites.

If I'm honest, I'm hoping it will be a cut and dried surgical problem, fix the pouch up and life is suddenly better. If it comes to doing a whole new pouch, I'm not sure that I wouldnt just choose to have a colostomy - I'd have a fight on my hands since I'm fairly sure there's some surgeon ego involved here, but I dont want to waste another two years of my life waiting to find out if this time it will work. I know that if I ran, swam, worked, dressed how I wanted and generally lived my life as I wanted with a loop ileostomy then I sure as heck could live a fine live with a colostomy. I was in control of my ostomy. Now, although I barely ever have a decent poop, have no urgency and frequency, I'm still obsessed that every time I leave the house I'm going to get stuck sweating and grunting somewhere or worse, putting up with the discomfort of needing to go all day until I can get home.

Ten days to go till I see my surgeon (and my hubby is coming with me as an advocate so I cant get railroaded)

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Re: Had my defecating proctogram today

Postby Sophie07 » Tue Jun 25, 2013 10:12 pm

I hope you don't mind me asking some personnal information about your situation.
I seem to have a slow transit time in the colon only. Had tests done small vowel works well, colon slow moving.
My problem is two fold. I'm having some incontinence issues " leaking" as my surgeon calls it. It also seems that my
Stool is sticky paste like and seems to not want to leave my body as easy as it should. Is this similar to your situation
Or would it just take days for you to empty?

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Re: Had my defecating proctogram today

Postby Jachut » Wed Jun 26, 2013 3:32 am

Sorry, but its not really similar. I am not constipated so much as blocked. I cannot empty anything other than liquidy
stool with a good lad of gas behind it - when I do the enema I need to do to poop, I purposely put a lot of air in my bowel too. My transit is normal, I need to go right on schedule every evening and sometimes in the morning too and once I've helped it along, it's a full movement - ie. reasonable amount for once a day. My problem is some sort of outlet obstruction but its confusing because my pelvic floor muscles appear fine on physical examination and I don't have a stricture at the anastomoses. I did have a lot of sticky pasty stool early on but now I don't really know because for over a year now I've been using an enema so it's always really liquid.

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