Yet Another Journal

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» Tuesday, April 12, 2016
Pass the Draino and the Snake
[Some medical chatter, nothing really graphic. Feel free to wander on if not interested.]

So I had my colonoscopy today, and I pretty much think I had to have it because I fouled up the fecal sample test Kaiser sends promptly once per year. I figured they'd just make me do the test again. My bad. Next time, all clean and sanitary and no trying to do it too fast.

Most people will tell you the prep is the worst part on these things. You can only have a clear liquid diet the day before (coffee, tea, juice, soda, popsicles, Jello, etc.) and nothing red or purple. I got apple juice, white grape peach, and white cranberry peach. The last was the best because it wasn't that sweet, but of all the juices I've had lately I prefer cranberry pomegranate because it's barely sugary at all. Unfortunately that flavor is dark red. I also had Campbell's chicken broth and some vegetable broth, and made a bowl of lime Jello. I don't want to taste juice again until Timegate.

(You may not know it to look at pudgy old me, but I really am not a sweets person. I like dark chocolate [milk chocolate is too sweet and I only eat it if there is no other chocolate available], the all-fruit blackberry spread we get in Ellijay, watermelon candies, gingerbread in fall and winter, cinnamon rolls/sticks if they don't have "ick" (icing) on them, and the occasional chocolate-frosted or old-fashioned doughnut (if we have doughnuts four or five times a year, that's a lot; we usually have a couple in the fall and then one on the way to Atomicon). I don't like jellybeans or other sugar candy, Danish, or gooey pastries, and a small piece of baklava is enough to last my honey sweet tooth for a year—as far as I'm concerned, even raisins are too sweet. Those big thickly-frosted cakes and cupcakes they have on baking magazine covers hold no appeal for me at all. And let's not even talk about Krispy Kreme doughnuts with all that nasty sticky stuff on it; a pity because the doughnuts themselves are raised and very light. Bread and the dark chocolate are my downfalls. (And I would kill to have a bran muffin from Ranaldi's one more time, but they went out of business years ago.)

Then you have to drink this stuff that's mostly antifreeze (prophelyne glycol?), plus salt, bicarbonate, and some other awful damn thing. The Kaiser nurse said to dump the flavoring that comes with it and put Crystal Light in instead, and I put in a packet of KoolAid as well (just the packet, no sugar). Compared to the orange-flavored stuff I had to have when I had the CAT scan to spot the now football-sized ovarian cyst I had in 2004 (nasty), this stuff was a walk in the park. The salt taste in the background was pretty foul, though, kind of like when you have a headcold and post-nasal drip. I had to drink half a gallon between six and eight p.m. and then drink the rest of the gallon six hours before the test (which means I had to get up at 4:20 a.m. to start chugging by 4:30). The prevous stuff from before the hysterectomy actually was very painful to take. This did not cause me any stomach cramps, but when it started working it was like urinating from the wrong orifice. And later it turned green from the KoolAid. (And that's all I will say about that.)

I worked my way through Susan Kandel's H for Hitchcock during the evening and read Facebook and started The Twilight Zone FAQ, and about 12:30 the "initial action" stopped and I was able to shower and get three hours sleep. Got James up so he could eat breakfast and walk Tucker, as I was leashed to the bathroom until we left.

The waiting was endless, and everyone was very nice. They took me back into a prep area with lots of other people, some in for the same procedure, where you got changed in a curtained cubicle with a bed and monitoring equipment. I was very honest about being nervous to everyone, and just happened to say I was worried about "not waking up" when the anesthesiologist walked in. Sigh. I seem to have two halves of my brain, the sensible half saying that I would just go off to sleep and then wake up (goodness knows I needed the sleep), and the other half which is like Snowy when he sees a hat: he's ready to run for it. I did pretty well until they started wheeling me to the procedure room; my mouth was so dry by then I felt like I couldn't breathe and I started hyperventilating and calling for my mom. The doctor came over and held my hands and lulled me down again, then the anesthesiologist tried to put the little clear oxygen canula in my nose. I am absolutely petrified of anything over my mouth and nose ever since I had the ether mask back when I had my tonsils out and started thrashing again. So they started running the anesthesia to calm me down a little and I guess they put in the canula and turned me on my left side after I zoned out, and, sure enough, the next thing I knew I was back in the little curtained cubicle with a female nurse, and very soon James could come back to sit while I came awake, which was pretty quickly.

The doctor said they found one polyp that they removed and will test, but she was pretty sure it was not cancerous. I also have a few diverticular pouches, which I wasn't surprised at because both my mom and my dad had diverticulitis at one time or another. She also said to make sure to eat fiber.

I was back on my feet a lot sooner than I expected. I don't think it was even a half hour from when James arrived to when they took me out to the truck. By the time we got to Panera for some food, glorious food, I didn't feel much worse than I do when I get up at six for work. Had the chicken soup with a baguette and just a glass of water, and James and I split a cookie. Came home to read more in the TZ book and eventually fall asleep on the couch for a couple of hours.

James made beef bits with wheat noodles for supper and we had a Russell Stover peppermint bark snowman each for dessert. Later on watched 10 Parks That Changed America and got back to the routine of walking Tucker.

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