I finally approached that magical age where it became necessary to get my first colonoscopy. This was something I’d be putting off for a long time. There was a reason I’d been stalling. It was the prep. My mom and my spouse had done it so it was my turn. The cattleprod to finally get me to schedule was the fact that I ran the risk of running out of time before my husband found a job and I would have had to find a driver. Getting behind the wheel too soon after general anesthesia is frowned upon and I like my car the way it is, unwrinkled. We got lucky in that all I had to do was call to request the procedure and skip the office copay.
I called the same office my husband and mom had used, for lack of a better idea. They ordered a prep kit and mailed instructions so there was nothing to do but wait. The box was huge and took up a chunk of real estate on my kitchen table. We were expecting company that weekend. The box didn’t exactly enhance the decor so I decided to move it. I put it on top of our refrigerator right in front of a box of Raisin Bran. I love bad jokes but I had no idea irony was ingrained in my subconscious!
Since I had been dreading this for some time, procrastinating when it came to reading the instructions was no problem. The instructions themselves, were a problem. I was put on a clear liquid diet beginning after breakfast the day before my procedure. Vodka, I might point out, is a clear liquid, but alcohol was verboten. Apparently disinfecting from the inside was not appreciated by my doctor. I don’t understand this but no one has ever clutched their chest and yelled for a writer so what do I know?
When the real prep began the evening before I opened the packet of evil and choked down the stuff from the port a potty jar enclosed in that big box. Surprisingly, nothing happened and I felt fine. The bastards lulled me into a false sense of security. The next morning at roughly 10 after dawn, I had to take another round of the vile stuff. Shortly after that I was ‘deals-with-God’ nauseous and living in the bathroom.
This lasted for about three hours. Honestly, it wasn’t what I was expecting. My husband warned me about an impending “poopageddon” but really the majority of what came out was clear. That is all the gory detail I need to provide, at the end of it, I felt like a wet rag, despite being dehydrated. The doctor’s office wasn’t kidding when they said you needed to have a driver. We arrived at the office and just to add insult to injury, I was “required” to take a pregnancy test, which I would have to pay for! That ship has sailed so long ago, it’s not even a dot on the horizon.
Thankfully, since I had zero coffee or food that day, I didn’t have to wait long before I was handed a gown, cap and booties and asked to get changed. The gown was pretty much a live cotton version of a four year old’s drawing of a person (with added ventilation, of course). The cap made me think of a conveyor belt full of chocolate, which I couldn’t have! Luckily, I got a fantastic nurse who got me settled into a hospital bed and hooked me up to an IV filled with no fun clear liquid, so much for internal disinfection. I’m guessing the responsible grown ups were concerned about the anesthesia. They also wouldn’t let me drive the bed into the procedure room.
I asked the nurse about the aftermath. I got the impression from my mom and my husband that I would have to have a string tied to my leg and be led home like a parade float. The doctors use a carbon based gas and not as much of it as they used to. I had been somewhat “musical” before this but I thought it would be hilarious if they used laughing gas up there. Whatever came out after that would at least sound funny but again, I don’t know much about medical issues, except that I have them.
The good news is that once they gave me the shut-up-and-go-to-sleep juice, the next thing I knew it was all over. They found nothing (my head was not, in fact, up there) and I don’t have to come back for ten years. It all came out fine in the end!