Saturday, September 20, 2008

Colonoscopies and hard core eco-nuttiness

You know, sometimes you just have to laugh at yourself. Especially in the midst of misery, laughter can be our only sanity. That being said, Dave and I were laughing about something last night and we thought everyone else might get a good chuckle out of it too...

This past Wednesday, I was scheduled for a colonoscopy. It was an effort to eliminate some of the possible sources of my chronic abdominal pain. Of course, as those of you who have experienced the wonderful fun of having a scope shoved up your butt know, the prep requires a full day liquid diet followed by a series of laxative doses to empty the system before the procedure.

I did just fine on Tuesday's liquid diet although I had a bit of a headache by mid-afternoon. At 5:00PM, I drank a liquid laxative followed by 4 laxative pills at 7:00.  The instructions from my doctor's office explained that my bowels should start to empty by 9:00PM. Yeah, right. 

Now keep in mind, I've had bowel problems for 17 years and have NEVER had trouble going to the bathroom. That is, until you give me a large dose of laxative. Yep. Now I can't! Ugh! So by 9:00PM I had to take a second dose of liquid laxative. That did the trick, of course, not until 1:00AM, but it worked - for 7 hours it worked. 

Ok fine. We arrived at my 10:30AM Wednesday appointment. Not having eaten solid food for 36 hours, I didn't have the energy to be anxious about the procedure. Honestly, I didn't care. I was too tired. I just wanted it done. Dave and I were escorted to a small room where I undressed from the waist down and put my shorts, shoes and purse in a large plastic hospital bag. The nurse returned to ask a few questions and prep my IV. The poor woman tried desperately to find a vein in my arm to poke her little needle. It didn't help that the room was freezing and I was half naked. So she brought me a nice blanket and eventually, she found her mark. 

A quick kiss from Dave and I was wheeled into the procedure room which was heated at no more than 65 degrees (seriously, the nurse checked for me). Yep, this required a second blanket as my legs were visibly shaking. At least now I wasn't worried about how hungry or thirsty I was. I was more concerned about freezing to death. To lighten the mood, I half jokingly asked if I could get the DVD of the procedure (I thought it would be kinda cool), but they laughed at me (I guess not, huh?). Then, in went the drugs and thankfully, I was out like a light.

The next thing I know I'm lying in the recovery room. And out. The next thing I know, Dave is standing there. And out. The next thing I know, the doctor is there. And out. 

Now, my only other experience with colonoscopies was when I took Dave in for his two years ago. Immediately afterwards, we went out to eat, cause, well, he was starving! Me? No way. Dave had to dress me because I kept passing out; I asked him a dozen times if he had my purse, obviously forgetting that I had asked (not that I remember any of this); and of course, I had to be wheeled out in a wheel chair after Dave signed a form saying he wouldn't allow me to drive. Duh!

The one thing I do remember? That stupid plastic bag I had put my personal belongings in? Yeah, I remember telling them that if they were going to throw it away, I wanted to take it with me. THAT'S WHAT I REMEMBER? Heaven forbid I waste a plastic bag. Talk about dedication!

I don't remember getting in the car; I don't remember the ride home; and I only vaguely remember the rest of the day. I was seriously nauseous and still half asleep for the remainder of Wednesday, but managed to nibble on a few snacks. Thursday was spent on the couch. I couldn't even stand without becoming dizzy and I was so nauseous, I desperately wanted to toss my cookies (literally - one of those snacks from my Wednesday evening stupor was a cookie and it was not a happy camper in my tummy).

Finally, about 4:00PM on Thursday (more than 24 hours later), I started feeling better. I got off the couch and wandered into the kitchen to make a little something to eat. What did I find? My plastic bag from the doctor's office waiting for me there on the counter. Oh, brother! Had Dave not been as the doctor's office acting as my designated driver, I probably would have been perfectly happy leaving the doctor's office without my shorts, but I remembered to save my plastic bag. Yeah. I'm pretty sure that qualifies me for an award in the eco-nut hall of fame (or a straight jacket and a nice padded room)...

3 comments:

ttammylynn said...

Yes, Dave did say that you were pretty out of it when he came to pick up the milk last night. We all came to the determination that because of your small size, they must have given you too much medicine to knock you out...on the bright side, I think it is a blessing to not remember a procedure like that, from what I've heard, it isn't really much fun. They used to do it while you are awake, my MIL told me that she could not bear to have it done awake again because it is terribly uncomfortable. Scott and White knocked her out last time, I guess nobody liked being awake for it.
Now about the plastic bag, aren't you glad that Dave was there to support you and humour you even when you were temporarily insane? Love like that is rare and special. My hubby does the same with me, even when he doesn't believe in my organic quest or new phase/hobby, he loves me and tries to help out. Of course, he has a pretty nutty side, too...and a somewhat mysterious past that I am still learning about in bits and pieces even after nearly eighteen years of marriage.
Seriously, good for you, if you are going to be at your best or worst, it is better to have someone who cares that much, acting on your behalf.

ib mommy said...

You crazy plastic bag lady! Hope you are feeling better.

Heather @ SGF said...

ttammylynn - you're absolutely right. I definitely have my nuttier moments, but the dude sticks with me anyway. Gotta love that! :)

ib mommy - Thanks. No more nausea, thankfully. Now back to battling the pain. Someday....