Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Rite of Passage

It was inevitable. I could no longer avoid my doctor's advice that "it's time to have a colonoscopy." I'm a pretty bright individual, and I know that colon cancer is slow-growing and completely curable if caught early in the game. So, how do you catch it early in the game? You have a colonoscopy. Tuesday was THE DAY for me.

The doctor prescribed pills for the prep, but my insurance company would not pay for them and I wasn't about to put out $90+ for the convenience of pills. So, I got to partake of 4 liters of Trilyte - a less than appetizing drink! Monday was liquids only - apple juice, tea, ginger ale, jello - not exactly a gourmet diet. Someone out there needs to write a pre-colonoscopy cookbook of appetizing dishes that stay within the clear liquids diet parameter. You could make millions!

Being a good girl and one who follows orders without question, I stayed with the liquid diet Monday and looked forward to my Trilyte prep starting at 6 p.m. (that's a joke, by the way). One drinks an 8 oz. glass of Trilyte every ten minutes until 2 liters have been consumed. I opted for the lemon and lime flavor and only got it down by holding my nose and chugging it in the shortest time possible. I tried desperately to visualize standing on a beach chugging tequila!

After about an hour, this stuff started to work. So, without going into graphic detail about my anatomy, I stayed within running distance of a bathroom until 11 p.m. that night. Tuesday was a "nothing by mouth" day until 10:30 a.m. when I was treated to the second half of the bottle of Trilyte. Yuck, yuck, yuck, and yuck. Once again, I needed to stay close to the bathroom.

At 2 p.m. we left for the endoscopy center for my test. Nice facility, nice staff. Ushered into a pre-op room with 5 beds. Into a gown. Start an IV, hook up to machines that check BP, heart rate. Ready to go! Into the procedure room. Nurse says, "I'm going to give you something to make you sleepy." Next thing I know, I'm waking up in lots of pain and actually moaning! Me - moaning?? I gave birth twice without any anesthetic at all. And, I'm moaning ... can't be. Nurse tells me to try to expel the gas. I'm trying, but my body just is not cooperating.

They roll me out to the pre/post-op room. Doc says all is well; test is perfectly normal. Doug is there. Nurse says that I'm ready to go home. I don't think I'm ready to go home, but I don't have enough strength to argue plus I'm still a bit out of it. So, off we go onto the freeway to make our way home. Oops - don't make it home without stopping to be sick along the freeway. Maybe I was standing on the beach chugging tequila after all. Hmmmm .....

Once home, I fall into bed and zonk out for several hours. By the time I wake up, I am feeling somewhat normal although not comfortable. So, I've completed this task and can face my doctor with confidence once again that I am taking care of my health as prescribed. I can only hope that, by the time I am due for this procedure again in ten years, medical science has come up with something a bit less difficult!

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