Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Twas the Night Before

...my colonoscopy ...and let me tell you, creatures were stirring!

I debated writing about such a thing to the world, but then I decided, why not? Sometimes I deal with circumstances by trying to find the "humor" in them. If you don't want to know about it, hold your breath, close your eyes, and plug your ears... or you know, don't read. I know you're going to be disappointed, but no, I did not post the photos I was presented with afterwords, and believe it or not, I didn't on facebook either.

Hi, my name is Becky, I'm 27, and I had a colonoscopy last week (and no, spellcheck, I'm not trying to write "kaleidoscope"). It's been a crazy several months, and I guess I could say I'm ready for some normalcy around here, but then again, what is normal? I hope this doesn't come across as too off-color, but, I'm just talking about the human body. Remember the book, "Everybody Poops"? Kinda like that. Anyway, here's my story:

I was having some symptoms that my dear husband made me go to the Dr. about. There was blood in places it shouldn't be. Clear enough? I submitted to Matt (hoping he would change his mind?) and went. I hadn't even been to the office since before I had kids. A rectal exam wasn't exactly what I was looking forward to that day. All I can say is, I sure am glad I've had children...labor and delivery (as well as delivery repairs and other issues I've had) sort of keeps the modesty feelings in check. While I tried to distract myself and "relax" (ha!) in that odd position, I thought, it sure would be nice to someday go to the Dr's office and be able to keep my pants on (and is it too much to add keep their hands out as well?)! Anyway, I was sent on to a GI Dr. I cancelled the office appointment with him...knowing a colonoscopy was imminent...and there's no need to pay out of my pocket (or rear) any more than I have to. So, I might as well just get it over with.

To be completely honest, I was terrified of the whole prep process. They aren't joking when they want to flush you out! I counted and was up to almost 20 runs to the bathroom (with no "warning") before I went to bed around 9pm. The bathroom trips started around 6pm...do that math! I'm glad I was, a hem, caught up on laundry! I camped out upstairs (since our only bathroom is there), and I'm sure it sounded like the running of the bulls below me as I ran to the bathroom each time. Thankfully, Matt went out for some precious sensitive baby wipes for me. By the time of my procedure, I had gone 30 times. I kept my sense of humor through the night before, and at that point, I was still feeling physically fine. Sure beat being sick with the runs.

However, the next morning, I felt completely different. As I tried to drink my final doses, my body shook with exhaustion (I lost 4lbs overnight), and my stomach finally revolted. I "threw up" 7 or 8 times...who knows, probably more. Because I was not allowed to eat anything both days, there was nothing in my stomach but that Gatorade and miralax...and acid, and my body dug to the depths of my being to throw something, anything up. I cried while my body tried to rid itself once and for all of that nastiness, and in between retching, asked Matt to call the Dr. I was dearly hoping for the permission to stop, but of course, I was told take a little break, let my stomach settle, and...you know it, keep drinking. (I have a hard time with that one size fits all medical mentality. I'm not a 350 lb man, but I had to drink the same amount.) I was green that morning, literally....and pathetic. I packed "spares" in my purse and kept a garbage can in the van for emergencies on the trip to the hospital...seriously, people, it was *that* bad, and what are you gonna do?

We arrived at 1pm. I kept looking for the hidden cameras from this point on...because I'm sure someone somewhere was watching and laughing, as patients heading to "Endoscopy" walked stiff-legged. We had to go to the 3rd floor and wind our way around the hospital. Couldn't make it the first floor huh? The whole time I was praying I wouldn't have to "go," especially as the elevator bounced when we reached the 3rd floor. I had a black fleece conveniently tied around my waist ...because I'm a planner. We made it, and I checked in. I was told to take a seat with the others in the waiting area. The waiting area was packed with people clearly not as anxious as I was (or as young). We sat for not even one minute. I looked around and asked Matt where the bathroom was (you know, so I could make my mad dash when needed). We saw the sign pointing DOWN THE HALL! (I can hear the snickers from whoever is watching this on camera.) That was it, I was not sitting to wait for my name. I was going to be proactive and stand in the hallway, half way between the receptionist and the hallway that led to the bathroom. Everyone else was calm, cool, collected...and seated, and I was sweating bullets,standing in the hallway, muttering, "It's ok to be ridiculous, I'm never going to see these people again." The first person was called with the intercom. Hmm, wonder why they announce your name over a speaker? Because you could be a mile away in the bathroom, that's why! A half an hour later, my name was called. I stepped up, was asked to confirm that I was there to see Dr. so and so for a co-lo-nos-copy! Shout it from the rooftops won't ya? I'm not sure the physical therapy students joking around in the hallway heard that clearly enough!

And again, I waited. That was when I noticed prep and recovery room #2 was in the back, behind the reception area through a door (like normal...for privacy) and...where was #1? #1 was in the hallway where we were standing. Apparently #1 was an afterthought. And, I had to crack the joke about how of course they made room #2 first for such a procedure...it was on the mind, and I was nervous. Matt laughed with me? at me? the whole time. Either way, I reminded him, "Someday, this will be you!"

They called me back (to the prep room #1 that lacks privacy of course), and had me change into a gown. It was a room full of beds and the little curtains. The nurse showed me where to put my belongings under the bed and closed the curtain. I changed into my lovely gown keeping it untied in the back per instructions, bent over, and laughed...and laughed. My poor, weak body still had a little laughter left. Of course they ask you to put your belongings under the bed after changing into the gown and the curtains around the bed crowd you and only hang as low as mid calf! There was no way to prevent this bare bottom of mine from hanging out below the curtain. I stopped trying to hold my gown in place as I squatted and bent to put my clothes under the bed. If this was the way it was gonna be, fine then! I wondered how many bare bottoms they must see everyday just from putting belongings away. And cue hidden cameras to curtain area #1, span wide!

After the iv was in, they wheeled me into the room to have it done. I got my nose oxygen put in (technical term of course)...just to feel a bit more ridiculous. At this point, the short male nurse looking through my papers behind my bed says, "Oh, I know where you live! My fiance lives right around the corner from you on North St." Umm, awkward!! (I mean, how do you respond to this in such a situation?) I reel my hooked up body and head around the back of my lifted hospital bed with that thing filling my nose and said...just as awkwardly, "Oh. Really?" I turned back around thinking, "Why don't you stop by some time, but it's not like you'll recognize me by my FACE!" The Dr wanted me to fill him in once more about why I was there. and then he gave a pause and look like I probably didn't need this. Nice. After this, the other nurse told me to roll on my side. I looked at her and looked at the door...the open door, which was directly behind where my behind would be. "You going to close the door?" She smiled and said, "Don't worry, I'll be sure you're covered up." So reassuring considering my rear is the entry point for your 6 foot long camera. So that's where that hidden camera was! A few moments later I was out and don't remember anything except saying "oww" a few times in my "sleep" and feeling like my stomach was being pushed on. I have no idea if they ever closed the door.

When I woke up (sorta), Matt was by my side, and I was told I was just fine and was shown the pictures of my insides.

So, I'm thankful I'm healthy, and the actual thing wasn't so bad. And hey, at least I don't have to endure that for another lifetime hopefully (23 years ish?).

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