total proctocolectomy with end ileostomy in December of 2011. Since then I have had some hurdles to get over with complications of surgery and extra intestinal manifestation of Crohn's disease. Because of these issues, my GI (and surgeon) felt it was best for me to get a GOOD look at my small intestine to be sure there is no active disease in it.
Enter - capsule endoscopy. A traditional endoscopy would not show enough of the small intestine to be a thorough exam, because the scope can only go so far in the twisty-turny small bowel. And an ileoscope (same idea, just through the ileostomy) has the same issue on top of the possibiity of damaging the ileostomy and/or the small intestine. With my track record of complications we all decided it was best for us to go with the capsule!
Short video OF the video taken by the pill cam complete with commentary from my GI and I (which is pretty funny if you ask me!)
Soooo, needless to say I got to do it over. It was like groundhog's day.
We got better images - thank GOD! I haven't seen the video yet, but my GI did send me a few still shots in an email.
The good news is - there are no signs of active disease in my small intestine - YAY! The bad news is - there is some redness that is "concerning". Not "alarming" just "concerning". What does that mean? It means I get to do ANOTHER procedure the week after Thanksgiving. The traditional upper GI endoscopy is on deck. No clear liquid diet before hand and no cleansing with Miralax - hooray! I will however be sedated - again HOORAY so I'll have to have an "escort" the day of. He will take biopsies of the duodenum (which is where the redness is) and send them off. Results will probably be back in early December but definitely before Christmas.
Why do these images inspire me? Because they remind me - and I hope now they will remind you or they have educated you - that Crohn's disease is forever. You can't get rid of it. YES, I had surgery to take out the "sick" parts, the parts that were making my life a living hell. BUT, I can get new sick parts at anytime - which is why I go through these tests and continue to take medication. I also hope that I am able to ease the minds of anyone who may be considering this type of testing. I was skeptical about that big thing popping out of my stoma. I was happy to find out there was a "practice" pill which I took first and of course it came out just fine.
If you have any questions about this procedure I am happy to share more detailed information about my experience - just remember that everyone's experience is different and what happened to me may not be what happens to you.
Find your silver lining and be awesome!