humbling experience

A FRIENDLY REMINDER: if you haven't eaten yet or have just eaten, better defer from reading this...

one of the procedures we do in our department is the barium enema study. it's done when you want to visualize the large intestines by using a contrast, which is barium. it's like an x-ray but with contrast. a catheter is inserted into a patient's rectum and the barium would flow through there until it reaches the last part of the small intestine. but that's not it! after the barium, air would be introduced into the anus by way of the catheter too. if you could just imagine how uncomfortable it seems like, it is and more.

most of the time, the patients are in their 50s who want to rule out colon cancer. i've also had foreigner patients who don't speak any english nor filipino, patients in their 80s or 90s, impatient patients and the perfect patients (walang reklamo). and because of all the air and contrast introduced to them, some of them could not help but defecate even before the procedure was finished. it could be really messy, believe me.

today, i had a young patient who's only in her early 20s. a pretty and sosyal type, she was worried coz she had episodes of bloody stools. she had a colonoscopy (i.e., a scope is inserted into the anus up to the the junction of the small and large intestines to directly see if there's a mass) yesterday but unfortunately, she couldn't stand having the scope so deep inside her that it was discontinued on her request. her AP then referred her to us. i bet she had no idea what she had gotten into. i could see the discomfort in her pretty face as i asked her to follow my directions while trying to control herself from defecating and from farting. i would not be surprised if she was cursing us all throughout the procedure. to make matters worse, she was unable to control herself and made a small mess on the table. nakakaawa sobra.

it struck me that having a barium enema done is a very humbling experience. no matter how pretty you are or rich or powerful, if you have to go, you gotta go.


Blogger bugsybee said...

Hi Kero ... you know, I never thought of a barium enema in this manner but you are right: the "humbling experience" can effectively eliminate economic class distinctions.

Mar 16, 2006, 2:07:00 AM  
Anonymous miwa said...

i had that procedure when i was two. the doctors couldn't figure out what was wrong with me so they decided to carry out a barium enema only to find out i had appendicitis and my appendix has already burst.
i guess it could be a humbling experience to many but to me, it was just something i had as a child which was not embarrassing at all.

Mar 16, 2006, 2:34:00 PM  
Blogger atticus said...

for someone who does not like seeing doctors...ayoko ng entry na ito. ayoko ng entry na ito. ayoko ng entry na ito. ayoko ng entry na ito. katakot.
did i say ayoko?

Mar 16, 2006, 11:55:00 PM  
Blogger Rudy man said...

i had a similar procedure with fellow applicants in v.luna yung daliri ang gamit- yun palang grabe na ang feeling, yang barium barium pa kaya- katakot yan- but true even supermodels fart- :)

Mar 17, 2006, 5:43:00 PM  
Blogger cruise said...

napadaan lang po... grabe ang sakit nga siguro nun. ingat na ako kahit umabot ako 50 ayaw ko ng ganyang procedure, hehe

Mar 18, 2006, 9:07:00 PM  
Blogger kero said...

bugsybee: ang galing ng barium enema no? walang pinipili! =)

miwa: mabuti you were too young to really remember it all coz it could be traumatic. come to think of it, i haven't seen it done on a child. it's very seldom done on kids eh.

atticus: i get the message po. di ba educational naman yung entry? hehehe!

rudy man: the one you described is called DRE (digital rectal examination). di ka na pala virgin...hehehe

cruise: sana mapadaan ka po uli. kahit ako sabi ko di ko ipagagawa sa sarili ko yung BE eh. pero ewan ko din.

Mar 20, 2006, 9:02:00 PM  
Blogger f.r.i.e.d.w.a.t.e.r. said...

good thing that you posted this. a friend of mine was worried because of bloody stools. fresh blood according to him. yun pala napapakain siya ng spicy foods lately. i asked him to change his diet. good thing na nawala naman yung blood sa stool niya. pero i advised him to consult a doctor.

isn't there a way of eliminating the excreta that can be done by the patient alone before actually performing colonoscopy?

Mar 21, 2006, 3:00:00 PM  
Blogger kero said...

he can drink phosphosoda mixed with half a glass of sprite then drink 3 glasses of water, 30 mins apart each glass. yan yung pinapagawa namin the night before a BE procedure. i guess ganon din ang preparation for colonoscopy.

Mar 21, 2006, 9:57:00 PM  
Blogger duke said...

manual extraction na lang!

Mar 29, 2006, 6:39:00 PM  
Blogger Tani said...

tapos yun iba gusto magpa-colonic irrigation just to lose weight... they don't know what they're getting themselves into...

Jul 14, 2006, 8:16:00 PM  

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