It’s been a long morning for me, thanks to Lacie, the amazing alarm clock dog. The neighbours next door let her out in the early morning to do her business and she barks her fool little head off at….I don’t know….snowflakes, fence posts, air. I wonder why she can’t just go for a quiet pee like a normal dog and let me sleep. But this morning was better than yesterday morning, so I have forgiven her.
Today is a good day because it’s Friday, it’s snowing, and I have nowhere to go! And no gigantic four litre jug of vile laxative to consume! I’m going to tell you my colonoscopy story, so if you’d like to skip on to whatever you were going to do next, now’s your chance.
For the three of you who have decided to stick around because you love old people medical stories, here we go. I have a family history of bowel cancer, and a colonoscopy is something doctors have strongly advised me to have done to detect any potential problems. The day before the procedure is spent cleaning out the colon, eating nothing, drinking clear fluids, feeling sorry for yourself and staying close to the bathroom. Black coffee is allowed. Thank God for small mercies. For the last eight hours you can have nothing by mouth, not even water.
The first colonoscopy I had was done in 2003 and I was instructed to come back for another one in ten years. But because of my superior procrastination skills, I was able to stretch that to twelve. If the results are fine for this one, I may set a fifteen year goal for the next one.
The procedure was scheduled for 11:45 a.m. yesterday. I like to be insanely early for things and W likes to be a minimum of five minutes late. The morning started off with a dead battery in my car. This was all my fault for not driving it enough. And we could not take the truck because W was having way too much fun making a big production of recharging the battery and slicing a finger open in the process. This required much swearing and a bandaid. Then we took a long convoluted route to our destination, slowing down for green lights in the hope that they would turn red before we got to them. There is no parking at the hospital. Well, there is, but every parking lot is always full and we know this, but drive around through all of them just to make sure. There’s lots of parking spaces at the mall nearby, because it’s better to inconvenience sick people than to piss off shoppers.
W dropped me off at admitting 80 minutes instead of the required 90 minutes ahead of time so that I could check in and fill out a form and sit on my ass for a bit thinking about all the things that could possibly go wrong and wondering if he would make it back from wherever he finally managed to park. I also thought a lot about food and being incredibly thirsty and how much my head was aching. Eventually I was taken to a prep room where I signed a consent form and donned one of those beautiful back-open hospital gowns I’m so fond of. The nurse told me to leave my socks on, because just the gown by itself isn’t funny enough. Then they inserted the IV paraphernalia and told me to lie down and wait. W had shown up and taken off and come back again while I studied the ceiling tiles. He told me he went to the hospital cafeteria for soup and a sandwich. I was going to say “I hate you” but I didn’t because, although that is a perfectly acceptable thing to say when you’re in labour, in this case I was faint from hunger and simply didn’t have the energy.
The procedure itself took about fifteen minutes. The IV is for sedation. They don’t like to give you too much because it’s a busy place and no one wants you hanging around too long afterwards waking up. So I was sort of aware of what was going on. Trust me when I say passing out completely would have been my preferred option. I was then wheeled to a recovery area where I studied some different ceiling tiles until they removed the tubes and tape and let me get dressed. Then the doctor popped by to tell me it all went well and although there were a couple of polyps discovered, he wasn’t anticipating they were anything to worry about.
Because you are not allowed to leave on your own, the nurse pointed across the room at W and asked me if that was my ride. Normally this would not be a funny thing to say, but when you’re coming out of sedation all bets are off. I imagined introducing him to strangers as “my ride” and thinking that was the most freaking hilarious thing I’d ever heard. She quickly told me I was free to go.
On the way home “my ride” stopped at Swiss Chalet and watched me eat a huge plate of chicken and ribs and sweet potato fries, washed down with two cups of coffee and three glasses of water. Then of course I felt sick, but also happy. It’s hard to explain.
And here you thought nothing interesting or exciting ever happened in my life as a retired person who never starts her car. I am so glad that today is another day exactly like that. Even Lacie the yappy wonder dog can’t ruin it.
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