Those of us with Crohn's usually learn to get over any sort of demureness we might have relatively quickly. We're forced to talk about topics that are typically considered taboo, or uncomfortable for most people. Believe it or not, I was a pretty shy kid, but that changed over the years. You know the popular acronym, TMI? I am constantly giving too much information in regards to poop. My husband can attest to that. Sorry, Ry. Amongst my fellow crohnies; however, nothing is seen, or thought of as too much. Poop, blood, blood in poop, bloody poop....catch my drift? Have you ever done an enema, or had one performed on you? Most of you probably think of a colonic cleanse when you hear the word enema. This type is ever so popular and trendy among Hollywood types. In a nutshell, if you "google" it, it describes a pleasant treatment meant to rid the body of waste, aid in digestion and help one lose weight. Well, pleasant my a** (both literal and figurative).
What about a medical enema? Well, I've done 100's. Mesalamine enemas "help to reduce the irritation and swelling (inflammation) in the lining of the intestines. This medication is taken as a liquid enema to deliver the medicine directly to the lower portion of your colon. The liquid enema is inserted directly into the rectum and should remain in the colon for at least 20-40 minutes (taken from the Crohn's and Colitis Foundation website)."
My last pregnancy was a tough road in the beginning, and early on, my doctor decided we would add a nightly enema to my already growing list of medications. Oh goody! The picture of this stuff doesn't do justice to the actual size of the bottle, but to say I wasn't looking forward to administering this nightly, was an understatement. Not being pregnant and having to do an enema is one thing, but while pregnant! No thank you. I told my husband about the recent adjustment to my medication routine, and he was so sweet. He asked me if I wanted to him to do it. I grinned and told him no thanks. Actually, I'm pretty sure I chose some other language. Anyways, I guess I didn't want him to see me half naked, rolling around and struggling to find the best position to properly do the enema. I mean, would he still find me sexy after that? Actually, he would. Ryan's the absolute best and has seen me in my darkest moments. Still, I wanted to do this myself. So, there I lay every night for two months administering the medication. Hard as hell? Yes. Uncomfortable? Are you kidding, of course. Along with pregnancy pains and woes, it was almost enough to put me over the edge both physically and emotionally. Worth it? Absolutely. I will save you the details, as some things I do like to keep to myself. My symptoms almost completely went away after my enema therapy we'll call it. I went on to have a healthy pregnancy, and eventually had a wonderful and beautiful baby boy.
Sometimes we're prescribed something that may really be uncomfortable, or just plain suck. Medications are scary, especially if we've never been on them before. Sometimes they're a necessary evil, and our lives depend on them. I encourage you to put on a brave face (or fake it until you make it), try it, and keep moving. One foot in front of the other and push forward to what may be a really good outcome. It does get easier, and in some cases like mine, remission is achieved. Like many of my experiences, this particular one also mirrors every day life. Often, we're faced with situations where it gets a lot worse before it gets better. When I was growing up, my mother had a bunch of inspirational magnets on our fridge. One that really resonated with me was, "If you're going through hell, keep going," by Winston Churchill. We all have our battles, but it's up to us how we choose to fight them. Be strong, be courageous and fight.
What has your experience been with medical enemas? Did they work for you? I would like to know.
You never know how strong you are until being strong is your only choice
- Bob Marley