For those of you who know me, no this is not about wine and a toast. It is actually about having a Colonoscopy. It appears that once you reach 50 (that was my first time) the AMA recommends that you receive one of these wonderful--and preventative-- procedures. It looked good at 50, so it was recommended to get one every 10 years.
Yes, I am now 60. Before i go on--and I know you are wondering-- the Doctor said that everything looked good. In fact she prefaced this by saying "Your cleansing process was one of the best she had seen! It was one of the clearest colon she had seen. Complete results of the test will be ready in 2 weeks." Wahoo!
On the bright side, the cleansing process has improved over the past decade. Before, you were provided a prescription for two large gallons of liquid to drink the night before. Now, you may only have clear liquids the day before and drink 6 oz. of the mixture with a gallon of water. You do this at two different intervals times prior to your arrival time at the designated office. Here is TIP #1- when you drink the liquid, use a straw and bypass your taste buds.
The 12 hours before your procedure will be the hardest. It is not for the faint of heart, although that is not the end that will concern you. After you imbibe the drink, within an hour you are living in your bathroom. I was prepared. I played Words with Friends. Little did the competitors know my environment. And I am also happy to report, I won most games. It is easy to play with the tikis to devise the highest scores when being held captive.
Here is Tip #2: Send your family out to dinner. It was bad enough that television, facebook and computer pre-roll and sponsored ads all touted fast food, Tasty recipes and food coupons. By the time evening rolled around, I drank enough white grape juice, water and coffee that would have made any sailor proud. One thing i was very sure of: I was hungry--very hungry. I started doing math-- Not easy for someone who majored in English and prefers to round numbers to get an idea for tipping and other purchases. Let me see: Arrival time is 7 AM. Nurse said to block 2 hours of time-arrival to departure. Hmm, that means I can be at Bob Evans by 9AM.
I looked at the clock. I still had 8 hours to go. With arrival time of 7AM, my final prep began at 1 AM: another dose of that wonderful drink, followed by the water, all to be consumed in one hour. Needless to say, sleeping was not an option for the remainder of the night. Which brings me a tip that I just now thought as I write this, TIP #3: Maybe I should have bought some DEPENDS. I would have gotten some sleep. Of course there would have been other consequences. I guess we can skip that tip.
The next morning, my driver/hubby was up bright and early. "We have to get you to the Doctor's office. We don't know how the traffic will be." His cheeriness, after a sleepless night in the bathroom was a little irritating. But it did not solicit the same kind of irritation as when I was in the throws of childbirth. A story he always shares with anyone who listens about how I screamed at him and made both his arms bloody from clenching them with my nails. I digress.
Arriving at the Colonoscopy Center, we were still #2 in line! You could tell who was there for the procedure, we all made a beeline for the bathroom. Our drivers (you are not allowed to drive or work for 12 hours after as you are given anesthesia) sat in the waiting room. All had a little smirk on their face, as the bathroom was not sound proof and various sounds were permeating the walls.
It did not take long till i was escorted to my curtained off area I would call home for a few hours. I was given a pair of shorts with the back cut out. It reminded me of the pants worn by babies and toddlers in China. Here is cultural note: In China, disposable diapers are expensive. Many parents simply cut out the crouch of pants, and let the child go au natural. This came to light when I was traveling in the subway in Beijing and had a bare butt staring at me as I sat in my seat. Needless to say, I stood up.
I put on my shorts and got into bed. The rest was actually quite restful. I was given something to relax and was hooked up to machines. Wheeled into another room, I was worked on by an anesthetist and nurse. "Turn on your left side. More please on your stomach, Higher!" As I adjusted my self to accommodate these instructions, a bright and cheery doctor entered. "The hard part is over, now you may relax and I'll do all the work." That is the last voice I heard.
As I was just about to help Tom Selleck into a boat that had a wings, I awoke. "Welcome back!" said the cheery nurse. "You just interrupted me and Tom Selleck." I responded. She laughed. "Just rest a little and soon you will be getting up." I closed my eyes, listening to the sounds around me. It was a symphony of gas--and I had solo.
Soon I was instructed to sit up and dangle my feet and not move too fast before getting out of bed. The anesthesia might still make you dizzy. FINAL TIP: listen to the nurse. Take a moment before getting out of bed. Because I am woman and can handle all, as I jumped out of bed, I did teeter a little and had to grab onto the side. The nurse had left, so no one saw this acrobatic fete to keep from falling over.
After dressing, my nurse took me to a small waiting room where my driver/hubby waited. He squeezed my hand and asked how I felt. Pretty good, a little wobbly, and very hungry. The doctor arrived into our room, armed with my file, ready to review her report--complete with pictures! I asked if I might have some for my facebook page. She said I could. I opted to save my friends from this pleasurable experience. I'll write instead! "Go have breakfast!" she ordered. Since it was doctors orders I complied.
I was amazed that I had breakfast then all I wanted to do was take a nap. I did. Be assured though, later in the day, I did make a toast with my glass of wine. "Bottoms up to me!"