Monday, February 16, 2009

My "Procedure"

Friday the 13th; Great day for a 'procedure'. It's been five years since my last colonoscopy, so my good doctor decided I needed another. Besides, she thought I should have a gastroenterologist check out the fact I've got gallstones (see 'ballast')

So I get scheduled for the 'procedure'. And get the instruction sheet. There's good news and bad news: Good news is that the prep isn't as bad as it was five years ago. At least not quite. Bad news is it's still unpleasant.

I was given a sheet of instructions. Don't eat/drink anything 'red' for a few days before. Stop any blood thinners (e.g. aspirin) a week before. Get some laxative pills for the day before; get some 'goop' to drink from the pharmacy. Only "clear liquids" (carefully described) the night before the procedure; after much review it appears that Beer qualifies as a clear liquid. The only thing they don't tell you is make sure you've got PLENTY of toilet paper before you start. And get the softest you can find. Trust me on this. It's important.

The details of the prep would be called "too much information". Even I have a modicum of discretion.

On Friday, Susan came to pick me up and take me to where I was getting 'scoped. I arrived and was almost immediately taken back and given one of those wonderful hospital gowns. I put it on and waited my turn. And durn near fell asleep. Finally the anesthetist came to talk to me, and I was taken back to the procedure room and signed the final paperwork. From this point I don't remember a heck of a lot. I'll let Susan describe what happened from here.


There were two of us sitting in the waiting area -- another woman knitting a loooong scarf. The layout of the place had the recovery rooms fairly near the waiting area, and the walls were as thin as a cheap hourly motel. Pretty soon we heard hiccups. They "belonged" to the knitter's significant other. When the snoring started, I knew it was Ross. It continued for a while, then the door opened and the nurse had me move the car to the back door. As I pulled up, another man hurried out the door, crossed the parking lot and got into his car; just then a nurse came out "Stop Him . . . " and chased the car. Finally the man stopped, rolled down his window, and the nurse said "Can he leave now?" "Yes" was the reply. Turns out the man was Ross' doctor.

So I went in and was led back to the cubicle with Ross; of course I could hear him from the back door. I asked how long the snoring was going on, and told about 45 minutes. She said that when Ross woke up he could get dressed and leave. After a while the nurse returned, made Ross sit up and yanked out the IV which helped him wake some more. What a sight -- Ross in that half-gown medical thing, feet dangling over the edge of the gurney still woozy and swaying back and forth. At least he stopped snoring. She then left me to get him dressed -- a challenge on a good day -- I had to keep him from falling over while getting an undershirt over his head and his arms thru it, then get his shorts and jeans on, and socks, all the while pushing him back upright with either a free hand or using my head butting him in the chest. A You-Tube video would have been a hit.

The nurse came back as he got dressed and she on one side and me on the other hauled him to the car, poured him into the passenger seat and we left for home. Within 3 minutes he was snoring again.

When we got home, shortly after 3:30, Ross kind of stumbled into the house, peeled off his clothes and literally fell into bed. Since he hadn't eaten for 24 hours, I asked if he wanted anything; he asked me to make a simple cheese sandwich with mayo on white squishy bread, wolfed it down and was out for the next four hours.

I thought the "fun part" was over, but then there was Sunday night.

I 'woke up' around 7 or so, with vague, if any, recollections of the stuff Susan wrote. Not that I was full of energy, but I felt OK.

Sunday: after dinner we were watching a movie and I began to feel a pain in the upper central part of my abdomen. Near the gall bladder. I sort of bore with it to see if it would pass, but finally around 11:30 I woke Susan to tell her I thought my gallstones might be acting up. She went from a beautiful, peaceful sleep to wide awake in a half second. She gently probed my belly for tenderness (ouch) and about 12:30 we decided I ought to go to the ER. We went, and it was somewhat uneventful, although it was interesting to learn that the CT scan they did of my gall bladder was "interpreted" in Australia. Anyhow, the doctor determined that it 'must have been a digestive problem', gave me some Prilosec (tm) and sent me home where we arrived just as the alarm clock went off.

Good thing I was planning to take the day off.



  1. What I want to know is did Ross make any changes to the paperwork before he signed?

  2. Sure did -- to all three rolls of it!