I was dreading this test right from when my consultant said I needed to have it done.
Defaecating Proctogram - in layman's terms they fill your bottom with barium paste [rofl! good job I am watching what my keyboard corrects words to, otherwise pasta would be involved!] (and depending on what they are looking for, they may also fill the vagina (my test said they would do that, that was actually the bit I was dreading - I mean how on earth do they get it out afterwards?!)) and you have to poop it out on a commode whilst they take xrays. They also give you barium meal to drink 30 minutes before the test.
Yes, I imagined a room full of students watching me take a poop whilst they also took "pictures" (xrays) you see the letter warned that there would possibly be students present.
Anyway, to my great pleasure, the consultant performing the tests was exceptionally considerate and pleasant, he insisted that it was just him and his assistant female nurse when performing the test. He also decided there would be no need to place the paste up my fluff, for the particular investigation that he was doing.
They have never had to perform this test on someone who cannot walk or transfer on their own before so they had to improvise and allow Simon to stay in the room to move me around (wheelchair to bed for paste insertion, staying on the bed to get to the commode as I could not get across the room otherwise, and bed to commode, then finally commode to wheelchair)
The actual test wasn't as bad as I thought, the consultant was facing away from me and looking at the screens, so I was not being "watched" at all. It was actually quite fascinating to watch my body poop. (Not being a freak of course, I mean watching my body move from the inside)
As for the results, he couldn't give a diagnosis of the problem as that isn't his part of the job, he reports on what he sees and my poop consultant (it's actually a pelvic floor clinic that my urology consultant joins up with for joint continence) then makes an informed diagnosis…
However, he did say that he could see a considerable prolapse, and that a large part of my colon that should be relaxed and straight (almost vertical and practically in line with my anus) when I am pushing out poop, stays highly constricted and at 90° to my anus… (no idea how this is affecting my continence issues and why it is not playing the poop game! Lol)
So, yes - there was actually nothing to worry about with the test, I got myself far too worked up for nothing.
Thankfully he allowed Simon in the room for the test, otherwise the arduous journey and £20 petrol would have been for naught. I say arduous because it should have taken 45 minutes and it took 3.5 hours thanks to a milk tanker falling over onto the central reservation on the M6 and "spilling its load". *sniggers*
Long delays after milk lorry overturns on the M6 « Express & Star
If anyone else ever has to have this test and you want the "TMI/graphical version", please pm me.