For those of us with IBD (Inflammatory Bowel Disease) hospital check ups are a regular part of our lives.
Even in long periods of remission, we can’t escape them.
Yet, just like life with IBD, hospital trips are far from straight forward.
In fact, even the simplest of appointments can quickly cause fear and panic to strike.
They’re full of awkwardness, misunderstandings and moments only fellow IBD folk will understand.
As a Crohn’s sufferer, I recently attended a checkup and was surprised by just how many mixed emotions I had during the process.
I thought I’d share them with you today and talk about the hospital moments we all experience.
1. The waiting room stare off
You’ve arrived and miraculously found a place to park.
Sat in the waiting room, you can’t help but wonder who else has IBD.
A side effect of IBD is that when you find someone else with it, you instantly want to be their best friend and talk about it.
Despite everyone being in the room for the same reason (to talk about poo), you all sit there quietly and avoid eye contact instead.
2. The false alarm
After two minutes, your name is called and you praise the NHS for drastically cutting waiting times.
Except no, it’s a false alarm. It’s just the nurse wanting to weigh you.
3. The weigh-in
A normal hospital procedure but for those of us with IBD, being weighed is crucial.
Lost weight? A sign our disease may be flaring. Gained weight? Damn those steroids. A stressful time all round.
4. When you need the toilet but you don’t want to miss your name
You know they’re not going to call you, but what if they do and you missed it?
So you spend the whole time toying with the issue and telling yourself ‘I could have gone!’
5. The nail-biting pause
After you’ve finally been called in, there’s that nail-biting pause when the doctor logs on to view your result and groans loudly.
Your heart starts pounding as you imagine the doctor is bracing himself to deliver bad news; only for them to moan ‘this system is slow!’ as you slowly wipe the sweat from your brow.
The nurse kindly asks, ‘have you had a blood test before?’ and you fight back the urge to respond that you’ve had approximately 257.
7. When they say: ‘this might hurt.’
Once you’ve had a camera inserted into your backside, a needle is the least of your worries.
8. When you want to ask an awkward question but don’t know how to
Nobody likes talking to their doctor but when it’s time to talk about poo, it’s off the scale.
We all have a secret ‘is this normal?’ question we want to ask, but you wait until the last minute to blurt it out: just as the doctor is opening the door and saying goodbye.
9. When a doctor asks ‘how are you doing?’
You’re never sure if he’s just making small talk or he literally want to know how you’re doing, because that may take a while.
10. Spelling woes
You try to write it down but fail miserably.
‘IBD Medications’ should be a special spelling round on Child Genius.