People over fifty have to have colonoscopies to make sure they don’t have colon cancer, although my chorus friend Travis, who just turned 51, says there’s a less-invasive test nowadays.
Not for me. I was due for my ten-year test, so I bought the clean-out meds and took them at the prescribed time. They didn’t kick in until seven hours later last night, so let’s just say I spent a good part of my sleep time getting up to go to the bathroom.
My girlfriend picked me up at eight a.m. this morning since a person can’t drive home after getting the anesthesia. She had to sign in and leave her phone number. Then she left, and I sat in the waiting room to wait. A man came in asking to see the eye doctor.
The receptionist hesitated, so I said, “Anyone who walks through this door has to have a colonoscopy. Run!”
The receptionist laughed while the man turned and high-tailed it out of there.
“It’s down the hall,” the receptionist called out to him.
When it was my turn, the nurse brought me back to the middle bay and proceeded to find a good vein for the IV.
Stick #1 – no good.
Stick # 2 – no good.
She was about to try for a third time when I said, “You know, once when I was in the hospital to deliver a baby, it took five people to get the IV in. Who is the best one here?”
“Laura!” my nurse called, and another woman came over and got it in my vein.
Stick # 3.
They wheeled to another room, added the anesthesia to my IV, and then put a bite guard in my mouth (I had an upper endoscopy, also.) After the procedure, I woke up to my name and immediately felt pain in my abdomen.
“Take some Gas-X when you get home,” the nurse said.
“But I can’t drive to go get it,” I said.
Luckily my driver girlfriend had some at her house. We swung by and got it on the way home. I took two.
Three hours later, I had nasty side effects that I hadn’t had the first time I’d had a colonoscopy. Bloating, cramping, pain. When I started to get hot and dizzy over my bowl of chicken soup, like right before you pass out, I called the doctor.
“Go to the ER,” he said.
“But I can’t drive,” I said.
“Call 911,” he said.
The paramedics came and got me out of the lawn chair in the front yard while my dogs barked inside.
My mouth was so dry that my speech was altered. They tested me for stroke. In the ambulance, the paramedic tried to start an IV.
Stick #4. No good.
“They’ll do it at the hospital,” he said.
In the hospital examination room, several medical people came and went. The ER wasn’t crowded. The phlebotomist popped in and drew several vials of blood with one perfect stick.
Stick # 5.
Then the male nurse tried to start an IV.
Stick # 6. Stick# 7.
Finally, success with stick #8.
The Twelve Days of Christmas played in the background while I waited for the results of my chest x-ray, EKG, CT scan and blood work. Oh, I also had to pee in a cup.
The diagnosis – dehydration. As for the dizziness — electrolyte imbalance. The cramps and bloating – gas from the procedure. They blow air up your butt.
After two liters of saline pumped into my arm, I was told to go home and walk to get the air out of me.
I’d skipped walking the dogs today because they’d told me not to exercise.
I should’ve walked them.
Colonoscopies suck, some more than others. Today’s sucked the big one. And I missed my girlfriend Christmas dinner tonight.
Plus, I got stuck with needles eight flippin’ times.
Couldda Wouldda Shouldda
I don’t know what to say. I was due for a colonoscopy.