To say that I avoided setting an appointment to have a colonoscopy, would be the grossest of understatements ever. But, like it or not, having a colonoscopy is the quintessential — awful-must-do — and yes, pun intended.
Jimmy went first. I am a giver that way. I watched and observed as he drank the magical system-flushing-liquid-drug. And I will add, I also observed that he didn’t complain. Not one little bit. I’m not saying he was raving about drinking the stuff, but he didn’t whine. At. All.
I will note that he mentioned he was hungry….ahem, while I greedily ate dinner the night before his procedure. Looking back? That was not nice. A hungry person doesn’t want to watch you chew, much less smell, the delicious meal they can’t indulge in.
The loving wife that I am, I drove him to his scheduled appointment, then later picked him back up. As soon as he was settled on the couch sleeping off the knock-out drugs, I went to a friends, had a glass of wine, maybe two, then went back home and checked up on him. He was sleepy, but again, he did not complain.
One of our best friends is a Gastroenterologist. He lives in that other country we know as Texas. Don’t be offended, I lived there for nearly 6 years. And Texas is like another country-to me. So our friend is privy to all things gastro,
we I have called him to ask complain about the dumbest stuff. One of the kids is throwing up? What should they eat when they stop. I think one of them has food poisoning? Guess who gets the call. A friend has an issue that is in his wheelhouse? Guess who gets that call, and theirs, too. Once I had an issue, unpleasant as it is, it happens. I was, shall we say, plugged. You’d think the world was going to end. Well I was wishing my world would end anyway. Yeah that time Jimmy was on the phone with him consulting about how to get me to stop praying for my life to end.
ruthless badgering on the part of my husband loving reminders followed by a threat to schedule said appointment himself, I made the appointment for the awful-must-do.
When the scheduler offered up November 14th I saw it as a good sign, that was my dad’s birthday, I told myself it was the perfect day because Dad would see to it that I woke up after the procedure.
Enter the week of. There are a lot of foods on the “DO NOT EAT” list that I love. Salad. Nuts. Fruit with peels. But I did it, without too much kvetching.
Also know as– Lemon-Lime Flavor PEG-3350, Sodium Chloride, Sodium Bicarbonate and Potassium Chloride for Oral Solution—Oh Joy.
Said absolutely no one ever.
Potassium, in my book, comes from a banana. All that other stuff? Good God what the hell is it besides things I was told I should avoid, yes I’m looking at you, sodium.
Our poor friend. He no doubt was wishing he never shared his cell phone number with the likes of me. It began here.
Yes. We do call him Fly. And no that is not his given name.
He called me. Listened to me
share cry, then proceeded to tell me I had to drink it all. Every. Last. Drop.
And I did throw up. And I did throw some of it down the sink. And I did manage to drink
all of it most of it. After, when I announced to my saint of a husband that I was going to bed, he offered to sleep in our spare room so I would be assured a good night’s sleep.
I woke up at 3:30AM.
Thoughts of the procedure danced through my head. I proceeded to drop, going to the dentist, from number 1 to number 2 on my, things I fear most list. After stewing for too long, I turned on the light. Remembering it was my dad’s birthday, I turned to my parents letters to keep me occupied and there, in the wee hours, I began a post about The Magic Hat.
Only a person who knows how neurotic I can be would text me at 5:39AM. And know I would be awake.
I love Fly.
And I am guessing he still loves me too given he actually was still talking to me the next day after all of my whining.
Needless to say I was blind with exhaustion when I finally reached the surgery center for the dreaded procedure.
Jimmy dropped me at the curb, clothed in PJ’s, I shuffled my way to the office door. Thankfully the entire staff there were wonderful. The receptionist and the nurses all were nice to me, they even told their own stories of the awful-must-do, then reassured me that I would in fact survive.
The Doctor was great too.
We had never met, he was very thorough in making sure all my questions were answered. He nodded when I said I barfed up his prescribed medicine, then nodded again when I told him I drank most of it. I liked him. I felt safe. He didn’t scold me. I was actually very comfortable.
Then came the knock-out drug. I was told later that they just let me sleep. “You must have really been tired because I had to actually wake you up.” said the nurse with a smile. You think? I guess the majority of their patients don’t suffer from an over active imagination the way I do. And as another bonus for them, I’m going to guess most of their other patients probably aren’t writers.
Happily I received a clean bill of health.
And isn’t that what the point is? Colon cancer is one of the most preventable cancers. Key word–preventable. And the only way to prevent, is to have a colonoscopy.
How about you, have you had a colonoscopy or are you one who is putting it off?
Special thanks to Fly, My Dr, the nurses whose names began with “E” and the receptionist who managed the paperwork –people like you are my version of modern day hero’s.
I’ve only had one — but I agree. Drinking the stuff before hand is the worst part. My stomach couldn’t hold all of it. I threw up too. Was in tears. My daughter saw me crying and said,”Mommy, I will drink it for you.” Important to keep up with these tests. But . . .
I’m sorry you threw up too. I was beginning to think I was the only one out there whose stomach simply rebelled. For sure not in a hurry for those ten years to pass. It is the necessary evil…
Lisa @ Grandma's Briefs says
I had one several years ago, as did my husband. The only good thing about it is that you remember nothing. Oh, and that it can possibly save your life. Cheers to the awful must-do.
Exactly. Although I am still remembering that nasty liquid. haha. 😉
Cathy Chester says
Had mine and was supposed to have my 55 year old one yesterday but I postponed it to January cause of illness. I didn’t think it was as bad as everyone said, and it was THE BEST NAP I ever had. It’s a necessary evil, and people who don’t get one are foolish!
That’s what our friend, Dr. Fly, says. Gotta do it. Colon cancer is virtually silent, so suck it up (or down as is the case here) and move on. Good luck in January!
Carpool Goddess says
My mother is a colon cancer survivor, so, lucky me!, I’ve had several. The prep is by far the worst part. I’ve never wanted to eat so badly in my life as I did during those 24-hours of clear broth and drain-o. Glad you got a clean bill of health 🙂
Although I am sorry to learn you have to have more regular colonoscopy’s, it goes without saying I am relieved to learn your mother survived colon cancer. And “Drain-O” is the perfect name for the dreaded evil. That stuff is so nasty. As awful as all that is, you certainly know first hand how necessary the procedure is, hunger and all.
Carol Cassara says
It must be in the air or something, this is the 2nd colonoscopy post I’ve seen this week! Happy to hear your good outcome.
Thanks Carol, I’m not sure I would have actually written about it had it not been for NaBloPoMo. 😉
Lois Alter Mark says
Did you ask about the pills???!! I have to say my colonoscopy was not a bad experience beforehand because of them and then was actually one of my most relaxing sleeps in a very long time. I will never put it off again.
The pills–you don’t even want to know how many times I thought of you, Lois. So I did, but will tell you next week when I see you about that. And as much as I have kvetched about the “awful-must-do”? I will follow the protocol and have it done again too–maybe 10 years from now they will have a new solution for the prep! 😉