This blog post may not be for everyone. Actually, it should be for everyone, but, well, as the title says, proceed with caution. Don’t say I didn’t warn you. Twice.
You’re still here? Ok, keep reading. Breathe deeply. In through the nose. Out through the nose.
I had a colonoscopy yesterday. (Eeekkk!! The horror!!) Please don’t faint.
The process started Tuesday with a clear liquid only diet. I had a lovely long list of things I was allowed to have; broth, tea, coffee (with no cream so really just cross that out), Popsicles, jello, hard candy, Gatorade, apple juice, white grape juice. EXCEPT none of it could be red, blue or orange. So let’s cross off the Popsicles, jello, hard candy and Gatorade. I stuck with what we had on hand out of the list. That left me with tea and broth. For two days.
It was pretty easy to not feel hungry because I was terrified, yes TERRIFIED, of the prep drink I had waiting for me starting at 5pm Wednesday. I had zero appetite. The anticipation of the unknown was seriously scaring me. Yea, those who know me know I’m a pretty regimented kind of girl. The unknown scares me half to death.
My parents called me to check on me and it was so nice to feel the love and concern coming through the phone from far away. I’m a lucky girl to have been born to the most wonderful set of parents I could imagine.
So promptly at 5, I unscrew the cap, pour my first of seven 8 oz glasses I had to drink every 15 minutes. I don’t drink that much WINE every 15 minutes, let alone something that is gross and nasty! I take a big gulp, then another, then another. Finished. I called my brother because I didn’t think I was going to be able to do this. He told me to pretend it was wine. He said he’d pretend it was gin. Ok, hold on, here goes another glass. And another. He talked to me through almost all 7 doses and I’ll never forget him for doing that.
By glass 6, I was feeling sick. I was determined to get it down, keep it down, and not let what I had already drank be for nothing. I finished up and wrapped myself in my pink fuzzy blanket to ward off the chills I had. Thinking of repeating this process starting at 7am the next day literally made me burst into tears. (Yes, I’m a baby)
But here’s where my friends stepped up. I’m not going to name you all, but you know who you are. You all made me laugh. You made me forget I was scared and nervous. You made me feel like no matter how bad I was feeling, you would be there with me through it all. Even holding my hair if need be! I love my friends more than words could ever express. Give yourselves a big hug, kiss and a woo hoo!!
Michael drove me to the office where the, um, procedure would be taking place. The waiting room left much to be desired and I could feel some apprehension on Michael’s part. But after they took me back, it was just like a hospital. Same gurney’s, same gowns, same curtain on a rail from the ceiling to pull closed for some small impression of privacy. The first nurse came in and asked me questions which was great, until nurse #2 came in to start my IV. She asked if she could and I said no. She laughed. I didn’t. She said it would be fine, she does this all day long. Uh huh. She prepped my arm and I calmly looked at nurse #1 and took her hand, which completely surprised her. But she looked at me, held my hand and totally focused on calming me down. I need her name because she deserves a card or cookies or something. Nurse #2 did a fine job, it only hurt for a second, but she doesn’t get cookies. She stuck that damned thing in my arm.
A few minutes later they were wheeling me into the “procedure room”, asking me questions again. The doctor came in and we spoke for a few minutes. I told him I wanted to come prepared with a joke to tell him but my mind was blank right now. He said he’d heard them all; if you find my keys, don’t use your hand, if Obama’s head was up there please leave it, it was funny and we laughed. Which was nice. Nurse #3 said she was going to put the medicine in my IV now to make me sleep. That’s the last thing I remember in that room.
I woke up back in my little waiting pod with the pulled curtain. Michael was there waiting for me, holding my hand. I was very groggy and even though I was awake, I don’t remember much for hours afterward. I know I spoke with my parents, some friends, my brother, but I could’ve told them I was on the moon for all I know. It’s very hazy.
The results however, are a big reason I am writing this. I had 15 polyps. **15**!!! They were all biopsied and sent to the lab. With my family history of cancer (you name it, we’ve had it) my doctor wanted me to get this before I turned 50. I can’t even imagine what could’ve happened if I had waited another 3 years. Due to the number and size of the polyps, I have to go back in a year. I don’t wanna drink that stuff again in a year. Or 3. Or 5.
I’m glad I did it. I’m glad my doctor recommended I do it. I’m glad my dad bugged me to do it. And now I’m bugging YOU to do it. Because it gives little warning before it’s too late. Because you get to drop 7 pounds in the course of 3 days! Because you get to tell butt jokes to a doctor!! I mean, that right there is reason enough, right?
So take care of yourself. If you have a family history, don’t put it off. It was bad, but not worth my life. It’s not worth yours either. And I’ll be there to make you laugh, hold your hair, and maybe think up a new joke to tell your doctor.