I Saw Blood In The Toilet. I Never Expected A Common Drug Could Be The Cause._freckle removal turkey

Lindsay Holmes·7 min read

"My doctor told me I was lucky that my trip to the ER didn’t reveal something more serious," the author writes. (Photo: Patchanu Noree / EyeEm via Getty Images)

When I saw the blood in the toilet bowl, I decided it was time to go to the emergency room.

I had been doubled over in pain for the better part of three hours. It started out as par for the course: I had grown accustomed to semi-regular stomach problems that left me stuck in a bathroom as my abdomen wrung itself out. I assumed it was just how my body behaved. I had considered that maybe I was dealing with irritable bowel syndrome, but I never pursued a diagnosis after several doctors didn’t seem concerned during my yearly physicals.

The blood, though. That was new.

At the hospital, I was escorted to the examining room right away, where I was given fluids and bloodwork. Some time later, a doctor came in. He, like all the others before him, was unconcerned. After normal test results, he sent me on my way with a suggestion to see a specialist.

The pain eventually subsided, but the blood didn’t right away. For days, I held my breath whenever I went into the bathroom. My follow-up with a gastroenterologist wasn’t for two months (shout out to the health care system!), but something was nagging at me, telling me I needed to go sooner. I am so grateful I listened to that instinct.

I found someone who was able to see me, and while the bleeding had mostly subsided by that point, he scheduled a colonoscopy. The prep was miserable (if I never eat lemon jello again, it will be too soon), but the anxiety was even worse. The day of my procedure, I remember feeling appreciative for the anesthesia for taking me out of my head a bit. When I woke up, my doctor delivered news I didn’t expect: I had multiple ulcers on one part of my colon.

Several biopsy results and an MRI later, he came to a conclusion: My birth control pill, which I had been on nonstop since I was 17, was possibly the cause.


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