Getting a colonoscopy – all the hilarious details. Say what?
Well, as someone once told me, “if you don’t have a sense of humor you might as well be dead.” And so I look for the humor in any situation even if it terrifies me, like my first colonoscopy did.
Have you noticed that people love to dramatically carry on about how horrible colonoscopies are, especially if they know you’re about to undergo one yourself?
I get it. They’re want you to be fully prepared for the clearly horrific experience — and apparently they want to make sure you’re as scared as they were. “Welcome to the Colonoscopy Club!”
So yeah, the prep is kinda hard and yucky but truthfully not as bad as I thought it would be. You have to endure 24 hours of fasting and drinking copious amounts of a revolting liquid that well, makes you poop your brains out. Firstly, I HATE fasting. My love of food and my hunger pains make me a big, fat wuss in that regard so I anticipated being a grumpy, hungry bitch for the 24 hours preceding the “event”. Eh, not so bad really. Yes, I was hungry but I could drink clear beverages like ginger ale which I never drink so it was kind of a treat. I also made sure I was as busy as possible but without much human engagement. I’m smart like that 🙂 Then, after many fasting hours, I had to drink the revolting liquid – a full 8 oz every 15 minutes to be repeated 8 times. Four hours before the scheduled bum invasion, I was required to repeat the process. Okay, sounds awful. Add to that everyone told me it WAS awful, nasty, disgusting….blah, blah, blah but truth be told it was like drinking salt water. Sure, by the 6th glass I was gagging but here’s a tip: hold your nose while you drink and don’t stop until all 8 oz is down. Repeating this required that I get up at 3:30 am. Again, no big deal because I was still making frequent trips to the bathroom, my tummy was growling with hunger pains, and I was so stressed out about my appointment I couldn’t sleep anyway.
Last step: “THE PROCEDURE”.
Now I honestly don’t know why I stressed so much about the colonoscopy itself. I was told by everyone who has been probed before that the drugs were awesome. Still I had this image of my naked bum exposed in a most unladylike manner. It bothered me, being the lady that I am.
But the train is leaving for the butt exposing station and I must board, hungry but totally cleaned out and grateful that in a mere few hours it would be over with. I began thinking about what my first meal would be. It was a good distraction.
Now here comes the funny, surreal part. At the appointed time, I’m brought into an open waiting room area with hospital beds separated only by curtains. This is important. Remember this.
I am then greeted by Tinkerbell’s grandmother. Yup. Really. This diminutive woman with lavender hair is to be my nurse for the procedure. She has lavender colored hair! And she is a darling as can be. I am so enamoured of her and her hair that I’m completely distracted until she starts to tell me what to expect after the procedure.
“Now, your job today will be to fart.”
She explains that I can’t leave until I fart. Apparently with all the air they blow up your ass, you must release that air after the procedure by, you guessed it, farting. Gives the term, “blow it up your ass” a whole new meaning, doesn’t it? She comments that they have a contest for which patient can fart the loudest. She is amused. Me, not so much. I don’t even fart in front of my husband for goodness sake. I certainly can’t do it in public!!! Oh geez. I’m feeling the pressure. How will I eat again if I don’t fart and they don’t release me? I have my next meal all planned out!
As Nurse Tinkerbell is chatting away, they roll this woman into the room. She is MOANING and mumbling that she’s in so much pain. My sweet Tinkerbell cheerfully tells me that I’m next. Oh god, oh god, that woman is in pain. I don’t want to be next! I don’t want to be in pain! I don’t want to fart in public!
They roll the woman in the space right next to me. I can see her face where the curtain is slightly parted. Her nurse reminds her to fart so she can relieve the pain. She can’t. (Oh god.) Her nurse cheerfully tells her that she’s welcome to get up on her hands and knees and raise her butt in the air because that often helps the process. (Oh god.) The woman begs for her husband. Her nurse asks if she’s okay passing gas in front of him. She gasps out, “yes”. I am thinking Bill (my hubby) is NOT going to be in this room when I have to fart. No way, no how.
The woman’s husband comes into the room and is filled in. He enthusiastically encourages her to fart. Everyone is encouraging her. And suddenly she does – big time. Wow! I am actually impressed. People madly applaud her success. She giggles in relief. I weakly say to Nurse Tinkerbell that the woman will most certainly win the prize for today’s farting efforts. She tells the woman this who seems overjoyed and oddly proud.
And then it’s my turn…
Well, I can tell you that the drugs are great. At one point I asked them when they were going to give them to me as I watched a TV screen of what I now know was my colon. They laughed and said they were almost done. Wow! Okay then, not so bad. Sort of a wham, bam, thank you m’am procedure if you will.
One of the side effects of the drug is that it makes you forgetful. I’d been warned earlier by Nurse Tinkerbell not to buy anything for the rest of the day. I know, weird right? But apparently this fugue state can get you in spending spree trouble that comes back to, uh, bite you on the ass at a later date when the drugs have worn off.
So anyway, I remember being wheeled back into the fart room if you will. The next thing I remember is trying to put my jeans back on without falling over. I’m pretty sure my required fart was delicate and lady-like but I can’t for the life of me remember and my husband ain’t talking.