Yes, it took seven hours for my small bowel follow through today.
I decided to have the exam done in Philly rather than squeezing it into an infusion-day down in Maryland. Also, with my awesome, disease-free small bowel, I knew the test would take a long time. Last time I had it done it took about the same amount of time.
So the point of the small bowel follow through is to drink a lot of barium, which highlights your bowels as it travels down into your small and large intestines. While you are drinking the stuff at random intervals, the radiologists take pictures of your insides at 30, 60 and 90 minutes. But really, it all depends on the individual and how fast their digestive system works. The barium can show a variety of things like inflammation and for me, they were looking for a fistula. If in fact I did have a fistula connecting my small and large bowels, they would see the barium highlighting this.
It took a while for the barium to get going through my system and it wasn't until 2:30 (I started at 9 am) that I began to notice barium coming out of the ostomy, which meant they would finally get some good pictures of my whole GI tract. They kept me a little longer as well to see if any barium ended up in my colon, from either a fistula or a mechanical problem with my stoma.
The radiologist informed me that preliminarily, he did not see evidence of active Crohn's in my small bowel (which I already knew), nor did he think I had a fistula or any barium in my large bowel. Which kind of sucks.
It really, really, really is frustrating that none of these tests have corroborated what I am feeling. It's almost like I'm just making this shit up because the small bowel follow through and my past cat scan haven't showed evidence of stuff traveling to my colon, yet clearly when I eat anything other than liquids, I suffer immensely from food somehow finding its way there.
I actually hope that when they study the images further they will discover a fistula, just so I can feel like there is an explanation for all of this.
I've been feeling a tad better the past week with adding steroids back into my life and only eating carbs and meat. I really miss eating good food. I miss fruits and vegetables.
Okay, I'm tired and rambling...