Friday, April 22, 2011

There's nothing funny about my colon.

I had a lovely experience getting my colonoscopy. Really! I'm totally serious.

Even the prep work -- as the phrase goes -- wasn't as bad as it could've been. Sure, it's kind of sick to expect someone to take fourteen doses of stool softener in two hours. The relationship I've had with Gatorade has changed, if only because I dissolved it all in a 64 oz bottle and downed it.

It was also odd that I wasn't really hungry after fasting all day. Or maybe the pain in my gut is just normal now. So the next morning, again, I wasn't crazy hungry. (If only Yom Kippur were so easy.) I drove down to Georgetown in early morning traffic. Parked in the garage. Someone in the hospital corridor asked me if I needed help finding my way. It was all very civilized. The only people with their heads up their asses were the ladies at the check-in desk.

There was a nurse to ask me questions and get the IV started, and a different nurse for the procedure. At one point I had one on either side of me as Nurse 1 was looking for a vein. Nurse 2, establishing some rapport, says "Did you forget to bring your veins?" I answered "I brought my asshole. I thought that was all you needed."

"What?" she asked. I was either too funny or too rude. I repeated it. She repeated it to the anesthesiologist when we got into the other room.

I was chatty. I was nervous. Really getting the IV started was the worst. The actual doc came in and was kind and patient and informative. She drew diagrams. I got oxygen. I got hooked up to some stereo equipment. I got an automatic BP cuff. And then the milky white stuff started crawling up the tube. "You might hear ringing or have a metallic taste in your mouth." After about five seconds I said "Oh there's the ringing in the ears." Two seconds later I was out.

Two hours later I was listening to the old guy in the stall next to me hit on the nurses. I was groggy and high as hell. The nurse who came to check on me when I made a noise was East Indian in heritage but a local native. This was her 2nd career, after being a software developer project manager. I was chatty, and high. And happy.

I was chilling in the chill-out area for a while, eavesdropping and watching the nurses and doctors mill about. A young woman doc came back to talk to an older woman who insisted she see the senior doctor. I watched as the young woman doc brought the older man doctor back, and how she kept her mouth shut and her eyes up while he said the same things she already had. The nurses offered me more juice and saltines. Andy came to get me.

The Emperor was stoked to drive my stick shift car. We wove through streets, talking about lunch. Yes lunch. I wasn't sure if that was hunger or not but I was interested in this thing called food. We stopped at Rockland's and I got brisket and beans -- great choice for the first thing on my newly polished colon. Still, it was delish.

So... the news is: whatever I've got, it's not there. Stay tuned for more exciting adventures in my innards.

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