Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Is This Heaven?

Recently I was granted membership in the colonoscopy club. And as it happened I was also allowed "this one-time special opportunity" to also join the endoscopy club. I went in for the pre-procedure appointment at 9:30 a.m. thinking it would be a month or so before I came back for the real deal. "What did you have for breakfast" they said. "A bowl of cereal." "Good, we have time tomorrow, how does that work for you?" "Uhhh, okay, I guess." but I'm thinking, "damn! I don't want to do this..."

I drank the first bottle of the most nauseating, disgusting, unimaginably vile special drink at the designated hour of 6:00 p.m. that night and waited for some action. Dean had told me he thought "things" would begin to happen quickly. Either his memory of his experience from three years earlier was incorrect or my body decided to follow its own unique schedule. By 8:30 p.m. I was beginning to worry because there had been no "action". That's when I called the pharmacist at Walgreens. I wondered if I had bought the wrong drink or if I should get something else or drink another one. "Oh, no!", she said. "Don't drink anymore. I'm sure things will start happening soon." Which they did.

I slept approximately two minutes all that night because I laid awake thinking, "I have to drink the vile drink again at 5:00 a.m. I can't drink it again. I still feel sick from the first bottle. Oh, I don't want to drink the vile drink again at 5:00 a.m." Guess what I did at 5:00 a.m.

The day before my initial appt. I'd filled up on Mexican food for lunch. Consequently, I wasn't really hungry for dinner that night so I'd only had a handful of almonds and raisins. That meant, by the time I was taken back to be prepped for this procedure my last real meal had been 48 hours earlier. I barely had the energy to walk back.

Once they'd hooked me up to all their fancy beeping and blinking machines I remember waiting for the nurse to say, "okay, we're going to put you to sleep now." She did not say that. Next thing I remember another nurse is asking me if I want some apple juice. "Sure." I downed it in about 3 seconds. "More?" "Sure." I downed that one. I think I would have kept drinking apple juice as long as they handed me plastic glasses filled with it.

Then it's time to leave. I am weak, tired and I feel sick. I shuffle to the car, Dean opens the car door, I begin to crawl in and oops! leave all the apple juice on the curb. Well, not all, I also contributed to the garage floor on my walk into the house. Apparently narcotics don't agree with me so if I had any thoughts of becoming some kind of drug addict that experience cured me of it. This was not the after-procedure experience I had anticipated. I planned to come home, eat a great big meal because I would of course be starving, and then do some quilting. Instead I crawled into bed at 3:00 p.m. and stayed there until 6 a.m. the next day. When I woke up the next mornng there were crumbs stuck to me from the small, dry piece of toast I managed to eat lying down. I only hope ten years from now when I have to do this whole thing again there is a less-vile drink and I remember to tell them I don't want narcotics.

And then there was Dean. He had an endoscopy a week or so later. I wasn't particularly excited to be in the same waiting area again but being the driver is a whole lot better than being the patient.....until your passenger gets a "feel sorry for me" look on his face and says, "I'm hungry." Considering he had gone approximately 18 hours without food and in approximately 48 hours I'd had a handful of raisins and almonds, one bowl of cereal and one dried out piece of toast, I didn't have alot of sympathy to offer.

When I was called back to the recovery area, the nurse was wiping water off of the floor and Dean was sitting up, clutching glass of water in his hand, tipping and weaving it around in front of his face. His lips were puckered and his face was pushed forward as he tried to find his mouth with the straw but he could never quite do it. Then he would smile. At one point I reached for the glass to help him and he clutched the glass close to his chest protecting it, smiled another goofy smile, and would not let me touch the glass.

The first thing out of his mouth was, "I'm dead!" (big smile) A few minutes later he said, "Is this heaven?"

Once the water was cleaned up from the floor the nurse began to read her post-procedure instructions and Dean said, "Good thing I voted already today." (big smile) She agreed, opened her mouth to continue but
"I'd vote for Alf Landon..............He's dead" came from the bed.

The nurse and I looked at each other with a "what the heck is he talking about" look and she continued on, in a very loud voice, looking directly at a guy who couldn't even find his mouth with a straw and began reciting the list of dos and don'ts.

"You can't operate a motor vehicle, power tools..."
"Does that include chainsaws?" (big smile)
"Yes, that would be chainsaws or any saws. You can't take aspirin... "
"Can I have sex?" (big smile)
"Well, that's up to her but you can't do it here."

I was finally told to bring the car around to the pickup point. I parked, opened the passenger door and waited. Sat in the passenger side and waited. Closed the passenger door and waited. Finally another nurse brought him outside, got him close to the car and said, "good luck with him" just before Dean looked down at the curb and said, "That's where you threw up!"

Once we were home and Dean had his wits around him again I asked ... and in case you were wondering....Alf Landon ran against FDR.◦

1 comment:

Al said...

Cannot... stop... laughing!