Take Me Somewhere Else
“Have you had your colonoscopy yet?” was the question thrown at me every single time I went to see my doctor. My answer was always, “No, not yet.”
The truth is that I don’t want anyone anywhere near my butt. I visit the area daily and that was enough. My butt didn’t need visitors and, quite frankly, I’m not very fond of the idea of voluntarily giving up the hidden tunnel to a bunch of strangers. So I kept prolonging the inevitable. The only way to stop the interrogation at every doctor visit was to go get the damned procedure done and over with. No joke – it was two years between the original referral from my doctor to the actual donning of the hospital gown in preparation of the probing.
WHY did it take so long? I’m glad you asked. Like you’ve already read, I don’t want to be stuck in the butt. That wasn’t my ideal way to spend an afternoon. I know for a fact that some of you reading this are trying to figure out what is so bad about some stranger probing your guts? You know who you are. I just procrastinated because I really like sitting, and walking, and sneezing, and coughing (because you actually use your butthole when you do those things. Pay attention next time you sneeze or cough. See? You clenched your butt hole. I wouldn’t lie to you.)
Okay, okay, okay. I set up an appointment with the Gastroenterologist. The title wasn’t very comforting since the word “ENTER” is actually right there in the name. I was told that he would probe me right there in the office on the first visit, so I was all prepared. I shaved the playground, sprayed cologne, bought flowers and chocolate, and had romantic music lined up on my playlist on my phone. The truth is – he didn’t even ask me to drop my pants. I was a little disappointed and felt a little rejected. I wanted to ask him if I was ugly or something – but didn’t. So myth number one (He’s going to stick a few fingers up your butt when you go in there) was totally false. My pants didn’t even hit my ankles. He gave me a list of things to do prior to the colonoscopy the following week. I agreed to the terms and did what I was told.
Let’s pause a minute here – the reason I’m even writing this is because I thought this having a colonoscopy was on the same level as having – well – nothing because having a colonoscopy was the last thing I ever wanted done to my body. Do it after I’m dead. I could go to no one to ask how this goes because it was like some secret ritual. I would ask “have you ever had a colonoscopy?” and the answer was always “yes” but nothing followed. No tips or tricks on how to get through this process in the easiest way possible. So I’m going to tell you how it was done.
Unpause – The list of things to do prior to the procedure was two pages. TWO! I had to hit the local CVS Pharmacy to get 4 Dulcolax tablets (they only sell it by the 10’s – so I won’t need the other six) and 238 grams of Miralax. I also had to grab a 64oz bottle of Gatorade. FOR THE RECORD – I hate Gatorade. I can’t stand the taste. When I visually held the sight of how much 64 ounces really is I almost passed out. That’s a LOT of Gatorade to drink. I was hating this whole ordeal more and more.
The day before the actual colonoscopy I wasn’t allowed to eat anything. And I could only drink clear liquids for the ENTIRE day. Which meant I couldn’t have coffee with my usual cream. Although (on the bright side!) I could have coffee with sugar. But no Coke (a cola). This made me even sadder. BUT…BUT!!…I could have Mountain Dew. I made chicken soup. Tim got the bits and pieces of the soup, but I could only have the broth. So not only was I rejected, but now I was being teased. 12 noon I take 2 Dulcolax. And at 1pm I was to start the Gatorade/Miralax mixture. That was the nastiest shit I had ever had to drink ever in my life. The list of things to do gave me two hours (until 3pm) to guzzle that nasty concoction down and then I was to take two more Dulcolax. By 3:30pm I was on the toilet. I was to remain on (near, close to, surrounding..) the toilet the rest of the damn day and night. I was shitting water. Every 10 minutes or so I was in the bathroom. I cannot believe how much I had to go to the toilet. Apparently Gatorade mixed with Miralax doesn’t get absorbed. Nope. It goes right through you. In one hole and out the other. And it keeps up this game for a good 15 hours. I was still going to the toilet at 6am the day of the procedure. I was seriously concerned that I wasn’t going to finish this process when I had to go to the colonoscopy appointment at 7am.
So here we are at 7am in the waiting room to be called back to get the probing done. WHO does this sort of thing at 7AM in the early morning? My Gastroenterologist does. That’s who. I was beginning to think that my Primary Care Physician didn’t like me very much. Why else would she put me through this hell?? I asked everyone in my presence if they’d ever done this colonoscopy thing before. Surprisingly, I got a lot of yesses. And the consensus was that the drinking of the “prep” (the Gatorade/Miralax crap) was the worst part. I had to agree. That was the worst two hours of my life. I was seriously going to vomit the mixture. I might have even been heard to say “Great – now I’ll be squirting out of TWO holes instead of one.”
My name was called. Tim and I were led down this long hallway to the probing room. I said my goodbyes to Tim, told him I loved him, asked him to remember me when he looks up at the stars at night, and a tear may or may not have rolled down my cheek.
Lisa led me in a room where a gown was hanging and a huge plastic bag was laying on the table. I secretly noted the plastic bag was too small to be a body bag and counted that as a positive. After the gown was donned and my bare butt was sticking out of the back (how fitting here) I was directed to lie on the bed. But not before Lisa untied the ties on my back and let my whole rear end exposed to the elements. This room, by the way, was freezing cold. But then a warm 130 degree blanket was placed on top of me. The nurse (I don’t know her name) described it as “a warm hug”. At least I was getting some affection out of someone in this nightmare.
It wasn’t very long before Anna (from Jamaica!) wheeled me (still in the bed) through teeny tiny rooms to the actual spot I was going to be probed in the butt. I told her I felt like I was in a Disney ride. Sheila introduced herself as Anna Sthesiologist. I thought her name was Anna but then realized – duh – she’s the anesthesiologist. Her name wasn’t Anna Sthesiologist. I was going to ask her if she was Greek or something. Glad I didn’t. I was instructed to lay on my left side in this room full of women and my warm hug was removed. My gown was now flapped open and Sheila (the anesthesiologist) injected something into the lead in my arm and it wasn’t even five seconds before I fell asl……………………
……..”Chuck. Chuck. Can you wake up?” I was sleeping so good. It was the best sleep I have had in a very long time. I felt drunk, but without the hangover. My butt was exposed and in the air. I felt the air conditioning from the vents overhead softly caressing my butt cheeks. Anna (from Jamaica) covered me up and said I could lay on my back now. I asked “are we done?” and she had confirmed, “Yes. All done.”
I felt nothing! At all. In fact the most pain I had felt in the entire process was when the nurse (don’t know her name either) had to insert the needle into my arm to put the lead for all the liquids to find their way into my veins. The nurse told me it was liquids being injected into me to replenish the liquids I had lost during “expulsion” the night before. She also told me that the Gatorade is actually filled with electrolytes and is a thirst-quenching substance to help me through the 24 hours of no eating and drinking. That made total sense but it still didn’t help that the shit was nasty.
Within 10 minutes of waking up from the sweetest sleep I’d had in years I was dressing and Anna was wheeling me out in a wheelchair to my car where Tim drove me home. Colonoscopy complete.
I DID learn that the Gatorade/Miralax mixture was the worst part of this entire process. Two hours of pure hell and the rest is so incredibly easy. I had nothing to worry about. I’ve learned that I just might be a secret bottom and didn’t even know it until after the procedure because it was painless. I thought for sure that my butt would be hurting the entire day today – but nope. Apparently I don’t mind being probed. As long as I don’t have to go through that Gatorade crap prior to the probing. The best part is now I can go back to my Primary Care Physician on the 13th and tell her “YES! I had my colonoscopy. Get off me.” According to the exit papers I received – I should get another colonoscopy in ten years. Would it be so difficult for someone in the medical field to come up with some other concoction besides the Gatorade crap??? You have ten years to get on that. Otherwise – if you’re going in for a colonoscopy (or considering it) it wasn’t bad at all. And it didn’t take long. I pulled into the parking lot at the hospital at 7am and was home at 10:30am. Take it from me – someone who HATES the whole idea – the colonoscopy was easy peezy.