Tuesday, October 09, 2007


As the patients that I used to take care of at Jewish Hospital used to say, "Oy noise, mein tokhes she hoits." For the non yiddish among you, "nurse, my butt hurts."

The worst part of the colonoscopy is the preparation. I arrived at the doc's office and was given a page of instructions, a waiver form and two boxes that contained vials of a vile substance made by the Fleet enema company (Their motto, "Our Job is Number Two")

The instructions told me to mix one of the vials with water or 7up and drink it at 10 am & 6 pm. Since I was working that day, I waited until lunch time for the first and after a cup of chicken broth at noon I drank down the horrid concoction. My Lord, that was nasty, nasty stuff. It was like drinking a glass of salt water mixed with Alka-Seltzer. About an hour later I felt queasy and quite bad. But no results.

Keep in mind on this day I cannot have any solid food. I can only eat broth, jello (no red or purple) and sorbet. I can drink juice without pulp and clear soda pop. After finishing a delicious dinner of lime and orange jello and raspberry sorbet I downed my second glass of Dr. Jeklyl's elixir. Still no results however. I went to bed.

The second thing to keep is mind is that I still have a broken ankle and a sprained ankle. I can take my aircast on and off, but my ankles still hurt.

At about midnight I thought my stomach was going to explode. I made it to the bathroom and spent the next five hours trotting from bedroom to bathroom. I think I probably lost about 10 pounds of water that night.

I was supposed to be at the doctor's office at 6:30 am but I overslept, since I didn't get to bed until about 5 am.

At the doctor's I was whisked into a pre-op/recovery room and told to take off all my clothing. I did and had to hobble to the toilet again. After getting back to the stretcher, I was attacked by two nurses. Each grabbed an arm. One stuck an IV needle in my hand while the other took my blood pressure by pumping the cuff up to about 400 lbs per inch. Then it was off to the surgical suite.

My nurse told me to lay on my left side. She sized up my bare heinie.

I could see a LED TV screen in front of me and the long black snaking hose behind me. The scope was over a meter long and narrower than what I recalled from my OR Tech days. Back in the 1970's the doc would view the bowel by looking into an eye-piece at the distal end of the fiber optic scope. Today it is hooked up to a camera and the TV monitor. The scope was giving a lovely picture of the interior of a rayon surgical sponge.

My doctor came in and asked how I was doing. "OK", I replied. I mean, what can you say?

"Are you ready?", he asked. "Let's get it over with.", was my answer.

He stuck some valium through the port in my IV and I waited to fall asleep. I must have, but I recall being awake and watching my insides on the TV screen. If anyone tells my that I am yellow, I will not take it as an insult. I have seen my inards and by golly, I am yellow, cavernous and watery.

Although I don't recall saying anything, my wife tells me that in the surgical suite the doctor asked the nurse why I was talking so much. The nurse asked me what I was doing and I said, "Watching TV. This show is really bad."

I never got to talk with the doctor after coming out of the surgical suite as I was in the bathroom. Apparently I was fine except for diverticulosis, which he said was normal for a guy my age (cold comfort there.) I don't have to do this again for 10 years or 100,000 miles.

I'm trying to put this all behind me. Well there's a pun! I try to remember it as being abducted by space aliens and having an anal probe.

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