I'm going to discuss my colonoscopy now, so if you don't want to read that, skip this.
I type colonoscopies on a regular basis. They are lovely because the doc repeats himself frequently. I can pretty much say, okay, it's Dr. Fang talking for a colonoscopy? Type fangc and tada there is most of the text of the actual procedure, like:
Under satisfactory IV sedation, after informed consent including the risks of perforation, anesthesia, and complications of other unforeseen events, a rectal examination was done. It was normal. Next, a videocoloscope was introduced and carried to the cecum without difficulty. The ileocecal valve and appendiceal orifice were clearly identified. The scope was then slowly withdrawn. The cecum, ascending, transverse, descending, and sigmoid colons were within normal limits. Retroflexed view of the rectum did not reveal any internal hemorrhoids or polyps. The scope was then straightened and withdrawn. The patient tolerated the procedure well and was returned to the Recovery Room in stable condition.
But this does not cover what it's like in the room itself. Or the two days of bowel preparation before hand. I had to not eat solid food after breakfast on the day before. This went well until I had tea. Then I wanted something more... and the height of cruelty was the smell of fried onions in the breeze just outside the hospital. After breakfast, I was limited to clear liquids only, but I was permitted to drink as much as I wanted. My breakfast was cheesey mashed taters, because I don't believe there is such a thing as too much cheese, and a vanilla Ensure with a shot of espresso. After that, I wasn't allowed milk or cheese, so I thought I'd make the best of it. For dinner we had big mugs of boullion with a frozen icee-pop (the stick things in the plastic sleeve). I gave Jazz the red one, because I couldn't have red food coloring, and I had the Green one. Then I had to have the Dessert From Hell. A glass of Fleet Phospho-Soda and gingerale. The Fleet makes it heavier and almost greasy textured. I managed to drink the whole thing without puking, but it was close. Then the innards made noises that scared the cat. Pepe was too scared of my stomach to sit on my lap, but he stared at it from a nearby perch for quite some time. I won't go into a poo description. You don't need it. But I'm grateful I wasn't bleeding at the time. Then I got woken up the dogs needing an early morning run, and had my Breakfast From Hell more or less on time. The preparation called for me to have another full bottle, but there was no way I could have choked that down. So I cheated and had half. I was pretty sure I had nothing left to poo anyway, and I was pretty much proven right. Then I had tea, because without the tea there'd be too much blood in my caffeine system, and I'd have a withdrawal migraine. The other option was to have Penguinmints, but they are solid. So I had to have tea. And that made me hungry. So I ate another popsicle- an orange one. That helped. I could feel I was dehydrated, so I kept pushing fluids.
Then my driver came- K- and I will drive for her next week for hers. That's the bargain. I sat and knitted a heel on my sock, but I realized it was too short, so I frogged it. The doc was more than hour behind. Pun not intended, because I'm pretty sure he didn't spend an hour there. I had fun telling all of the nurses about my allergies and the comments ranged from "how the hell do you fly?" to "how do you go out to eat?" And I had to explain I avoided the former and limited the latter. The Recovery Room/preparation area was very cleanser smelling, so I had to get out my air filter. I explained what it was to every nurse that may have had a hand in my care, and I showed my necklace and the lovely yellow bracelet they gave me. If I hadn't, they would not have looked at it at all. I coughed repeatedly. I could feel the flush of my cheeks.
I did ask the nurse about Versed. According to my drug book, the brand name "Versed" is discontinued. But the generic is widely available still. She was confused and insisted it was still "Versed." She was also confused that I was still coherent at that point. When the doc came in, I complimented him on his haircut, and he was downright shocked that I even noticed.
I should mention I have a habit of being aware for surgery. I found this out during wisdom tooth removal when they knocked me out completely. "Count to ten backwards." Okay, did that. I then asked the nurse if I would go to sleep soon. She was startled, and said, "yes, any moment now!" I nodded, and fell asleep. Sort of. As soon as the scalpel touched gum, I screamed. The dentist removed the scalpel and said, "I can't do this!" and a riot ensued. I was then calmed down, and asked if I would permit them to continue. Since I didn't want to go through this again, I let them. But the nurse had to assure me they gave me the legal limit of drugs, and hold my hand the entire time. I remember crying the entire time.
I think I'm used to functioning with my senses slightly fuzzed with reactions. This is NOT a good defense mechanism to cultivate, particularly when it comes to surgery. I told the nurse, I think, that I was likely to be aware, and I would appreciate it if they would talk to me during surgery to let me know when I feel something. Regardless, I was definitely more alert than they expected me to be before the procedure started, and even during, when he was doing something unpleasant in the realm of my bladder, I told him quite clearly, "If you do that again, I'm going to pee." Then he said, "More towels please!" And I made a note to ask him on Monday if I peed on him. I remember coming to slowly in the recovery room, and the nurse saying I could put my clothes on. I did as much as I could without standing, and K came and stood in front of me so I wouldn't fall. The nurse brought me a wheelchair, and I didn't protest it. I usually do. That was the first time I didn't notice an elevator ride- elevators terrify me, because I worry that I'll be trapped in one with a flower or other perfume. I don't remember the car ride home either. I probably slept. But I think I did tell K the "pee" story.
I came home and napped for a little. The basset insisted on sharing the couch, and Sassy shared my pillow. When I woke up, we had Chinese- sweet and sour chicken, and cream cheese wontons. I feel fine now, if a little dry still. How dehydrated am I? I didn't pee Saturday morning. Now we wait for results. I hope he took pics.