My Progress!

Saturday, June 13, 2009

TMI: More than you ever wanted to know about my ass.

Hi all, I apologize for not posting in a few days. I actually found myself back at the doctor’s office this last week. I swear, I have never visited the doctor more often than I have this past year. Is my body trying to tell me something or what?

Warning: if you don’t care to have intimate knowledge of my ass or bowel movements, stop right here. The short story is I’ve had some bleeding issues, have seen a doctor and am monitoring the situation. If you want the long story, keep reading.

This time, and forgive me if this is TMI, I had to go back because I passed blood (for the second time) during a bowel movement. Lovely right? Each time its been about a quarter sized amount. This last time, I also passed more blood later that evening without even trying to go to the bathroom. I saw my doctor and he prescribed some suppositories which I haven’t used yet because he thinks that I might have torn something that might need a “rest.” He also advised me to increase my fluid intake and fiber so we’ll see what happens.

I don’t know what to think about this. I know that obesity puts me at a very high risk for a variety of cancers; breast, uterine (my PCOS increases the risk for this as well), kidney and colon among many others. When I was working for the American Cancer Society, imagine me having to sit on the other side of the phone talking to someone about risk factors for various types of cancer and finding obesity in the list almost every time. I doubt seriously they pictured a 400+ pound woman reading off that list to them. So, while I know it could just be a hemorrhoid or a small tear, the fact that it could be something else is also nagging at the back of my mind. For whatever reason, my doctor did not refer me out for a colonoscopy; he didn’t even do a digital rectal exam (not that I was looking forward to one).

When I got home, I did a little research about having a colonoscopy when you are obese and was not surprised to find several articles indicating that obese patients have a 25% LESS chance of being screened or referred for a colonoscopy compared to non-obese patients. This is the case even though obese patients are at a greater risk for colon cancer. I’m sure a small percentage might be due to the fact that a colonoscopy can be more risky and difficult to perform on the obese. Unfortunately, I am also just a little bit more convinced that it probably has to do with the fact that most doctors aren’t all that eager to have us drop our drawers and assume the position for them. I also think that obesity affects people’s perception in such a way that they don’t take obese people as seriously as they might a non-obese patient. Maybe I’m being too harsh…I don’t know, I could be wrong. It would be interesting to see what sort of barriers to colonoscopy referral these scientists identified for obese patients.

Anyway, so I’ve been thinking a lot about my health the last few days. All the other ailments I’ve had in the last year, the fact that I’m certainly nearing that age when age alone is a risk for numerous health issues. Right now I have obesity, age, and history as a smoker (I smoked for 10 years but quit when I got pregnant with Tanner..going on 14 years smoke free!) as risk factors. Not that I’m necessarily a hypochondriac, but when you have all that looking you in the face, acting as if you were going to live to 100 would be complete denial. My health is probably one of the number one reasons I’m trying to get this weight off. I think part of my reasoning for being so open about this problem in my blog is to keep me accountable. Even with all I know, I can feel part of myself just wants to hide my head in the sand and explain the bleeding away with some benign problem. Deep down, I know that I can’t take any chances with symptoms like this and will need to follow up if they don’t resolve.

I went ahead and made an appointment with my gynocologist for early july. I haven’t had a gyno exam done in several years so it needs to be done and I figured that if I’m still having problems with bleeding, she can check that out too and we’ll see if she thinks I need a colonoscopy or something. As of now, I’m still having the bleeding even with soft stools so no telling what is going on.

With all that said…I have done reasonably well on my diet and exercise this week. I will work on increasing my fluids and fiber rich foods (something I need to do for weight loss anyway) and hope for the best.


Megan said...

Yuck, that sucks. I talked to a colorectal surgeon once at 11am and she said she had already treated four people that day for the same thing. It's good to use it to motivate to get healthy though. Good luck!

HugeMD said...

Hey, I don't blame you for wanting to be sure. I was anemic for years. The LAST thing I wanted was a colonoscopy. Eventually, I saw an endocrinologist who told me, in no uncertain terms, that I needed one. I do what I'm told, so I did. The worst part was the prep. The best part was the great drugs they give you. Didn't feel or remember a thing. Thankfully, it was fine. I was really glad I had one, because a week after that, my very health stepbrother was diagnosed with colon cancer at 33 years old, with NO risk factors. After that, I'd have really been worrying. It's PROBABLY nothing, but it never hurts to be sure.

Tricia said...

Confession time: I'm 31 and I've never had a pap smear. No doctor has ever even asked me, so I haven't asked either. So yeah, I do sometimes think they'd rather not even have to deal with it when it comes to people our size. I know I SHOULD, but man, I don't wanna deal with it either. Sucks for all parties involved.

Point being: if you think you need a colonoscopy, demand one. Don't wait for some jerk doctor to care enough to suggest it.

That being said, I hope this is something minor and it stops soon. Sounds scary. Feel better soon!

wildfluffysheep said...

Eeeep. That sounds intense. I hope you get to the bottom of it soon (no pun intended)

*hugs* does not sound fun at all.

Kudos on doing reasonably well :D

~ugly girl with a beautiful heart~ said...

Hope everything gets all fixed up soon! I can imagine the fear you're feeling, just stay positive!

Ashley said...

Glad to see you back to blogging (I've not been reading blogs too much lately; life has been uber-hectic). I hope that your issue resolves itself soon. I would be freaking out in your shoes, because I AM a hypochondriac. It's a horrible way to live, and causes waaay too much stress.

Miz said...


it is scary but you are worth caring for and taking care of.

xo xo,


Ria said...

Sorry you're having so many health issues.

It makes me so mad that people in this country don't have access to the diagnostic tests they need for all sorts of B/S reasons . . .lack of insurance coverage, obesity, whatever. The colonoscopy thing hits particularly close to home for me -

(1) A very good friend of mine went to the doc for rectal bleeding in his mid-30s . . . the doc told him to change his lifestyle, etc. and did not refer him for a colonoscopy, maybe in part because he didn't have insurance. Three years later, he was diagnosed with stage 3 colon cancer, which required some very invasive surgery and lots of chemo/radiation . . . had they found it several years earlier, it probably could have been treated with a comparatively minor surgery alone.

(2) I had my first colonoscopy a few months ago, and they did find/remove a polyp. The doc told me that left alone to grow for a few more years, that polyp could have developed into a tumor.

Take care of yourself - I'll be keeping the good thought for you to get the health care you are entitled to.

Jenn said...

definitely get a 2nd opinion. It's worth your peace of mind, you know? Go to a specialist if you can, and just get things checked out. When they do that and tell you its just a tear or a 'roid, then at least you won't worry what it could be, you know?

Lolly said...

Hope you feel better soon! I just had my first colonoscopy in October (and I am only 44)to rule out some things. even though it was not fun, I feel better knowing that all is ok down there! :) Don't let it go too long!


cmoursler said...

Hello, I really admire you for being open about your weight and your struggles. I started at 262 lbs and I am 5'3, at some point you do become invisible. I am down 9 lbs. Do this for you period, for your health. And, do it for your son. God bless

Anonymous said...

Hope things start to look up for you! Hang in there.

Honib1 said...

I think it is our bodies telling us.. hey.. since you dont want to do this on your own.. I am going to give you reasons why you must lose weight.. in my case .. blood pressure issues.. Fibromyalgia and IBS... Hang in there.. and mostly take care of yourself.

Crys said...

I find your blog to be so honest, refreshing and very inspirational. I hope is you find some answers too and if they tell you something that doesn't add up, be a pest! You owe it to yourself. Best of luck! - Crys

tisha said...

Good for you for being an advocate of your health!!!