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Gastrointestinal Problem: When Did You First Notice This?

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Joyce shares when she realized she had a gastrointestinal problem and discusses how her abscessed colon was diagnosed.

Well it came on very suddenly. It wasn’t short. I mean it wasn’t an accumulation of symptoms. It was here.

My bike group, I have a neighborhood bike group that I ride with every Saturday and Sunday, had gone to southern Arizona to ride Mount Lemmon.

Now this is a mountain that you have probably 6,000 feet of elevation climbed in 25 miles, so it’s a pretty steep climb.

We climbed to Mount Lemmon, rested at the top, rode our bikes back down, stopped for dinner before we drove back to the city and about half way on the two-hour drive back I realized, oh, you know what, that food just didn’t agree with me.

I either got some food poisoning or I am getting a flu or something. And I thought, oh well, this too shall pass. I will be sick tonight. I will be weak tomorrow. I’ll be okay by Tuesday.

Tuesday came and went and I was still really sick and I kept thinking again, you know, it’s the flu; this will go away in another 24 hours.

Well Thursday came and went and I was still sick so I called my family doctor, couldn’t get into see the particular doctor I’d prefer to see until the next Tuesday so by then it had been a week and two days.

And by this point I had lost eight pounds, couldn’t eat anything without severe pain, including drinking water gave me severe pain.

So the doctor said, you know I gave him this story somewhat just exactly what I have told you, and he said, “Well I think I know what it is.”

And he was poking around and I said, “Yes, please don’t touch there,” and he said, “Okay, I am pretty sure I know what it is but we need to do a CAT scan and an MRI to be positive.”

So immediately I was in the hospital to do that. I mean, literally within half an hour he had the appointment and we were doing the procedures and he looked at the results and the radiologist looked at the results.

And they both said, “Yep, you’ve got an abscess in your colon. Here is the regimen. Two weeks of this medicine, this medicine, and this medicine and take all of it even though you will begin to feel better take all of it and it’s really strong stuff. So, you know, just trust us this will help.”

So I took it, went back to the doctor after the two weeks of meds and he said, “Well the only way we can confirm that we have got it is to do another MRI.”

Then he said, “I wouldn’t advise that. If you were my wife I’d tell her not to do that because it’s just too much radiation unnecessarily.”

He said, “If we don’t have it you will know in two days.” I said, “I can wait two days.”

I haven’t had any symptoms since; have no idea why it came. I have a family history of colon cancer so I do a colonoscopy faithfully.

I have done sigmoidoscopies and the whole bet faithfully, but they believe this was totally an aberration.

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