Thursday, July 9, 2009

It Ain't over till it's Over

Today is July the 9, 2009. This is a day I have been looking forward to for weeks and I had marked it on the calendar. And why have I been looking forward to the 9th so excitedly? Because it meant it was no longer July the 8th. The dreaded Colonoscopy and Endoscopy were things of the past. Finis. Over. Done with.

Back in April, God pulled the ultimate April Fools joke on me (after I had mockingly said "they'll do a Colonoscopy on me when we have full camera pill technology available in Jefferson, ". And I said that in here of all places!) He had pointed His gigantic finger at my gut line and produced a little life threatening abscess on my colon. "Deal with this, smarty pants", He seemed to say. And therefore taught me the meaning of an old saying "never say never".

So, after a life altering two week stay at the Carolina Pines Hospital Resort and Vacation Spa (not) I sort of rethought my decision on Colonoscopies and me in general. Dr. Dameron, my surgeon, set the date for July the 8th. Since June 15th the box marked HalfLytely & Biscacodyl tablets Bowel Prep Kit has sat on my dressing table, mocking me. And it has the nerve to say in bold print (no whisperer this box) WITH FLAVOR PACKETS. The flavor packets being, cherry (yummy) pineapple (really?) and orange...oh no, the dreaded orange. The box mocked me every morning and every evening, so I stuck it in the closet where it could mock in darkness and leave me to my delusion that I could stave off July 8th with will power alone.

On July 6th a sweetheart of a nurse called me to remind me of our date with destiny. We did a preregistration by phone which meant saving scads of time on July 8th. There it was again, that date. July the 8th. I brought the box out of the darkness and got my hospital folder down from the bookshelf. Inside the folder were the directions for taking the Preparation. I read the directions and it didn't seem so bad. I put a brave face on when talking to Mac about what was coming up. The air of nonchalance and utter disregard for my upcoming event gave me a sort of courage that I hadn't known was there. I announced to the world that there was an upcoming party and I was the pinata...it was about then that Mac gave me the Jane Wayne award for bravery.

My pal Lee (Chrysalis Dreams) and I discussed the procedure ad nauseum by phone and by instant messenger and I knew that I would not back out of this. So on July 7th, at 6 a I mixed the solution which made up 2 litres of what I hoped wouldn't be a terribly vile drink. I added the pineapple and the cherry packs to the solution and shook well. I placed it in the fridge to chill (shaken, not stirred comes to mind...James Bond invades my daydreams on the occasion). On this day I could eat nothing. It was a clear liquid diet of tea, broth and hard candies (no red colors it announced in bold letters on the diet instruction sheet). No caffeine (I was doomed) no aspirin, no arthritis pain meds. This was going to be a pretty crappy day. In more ways than one.

At three p I was instructed to take the first of the two Bisacodly tablets. Then, I began drinking the solution at 5 p. It wasn't as bad as I had imagined it to be. Not great, I mean I wouldn't take it over say, tap water...but not bad. I had to drink the whole two litres in two hours 8 ounces at a time every ten minutes. What fun. I don't know why I a straw in the bottle wouldn't have accomplished the same thing, but I am a stickler for instructions so eight ounces every ten minutes it was. It was along about 6 p that I warned Mac not to get in my way when I began to beat a hasty retreat to the master bath. At 7 p I took the second of the two tablets and finished off my not so tasty cocktail. And the trotting to and fro began in earnest. This little drama continued till about 2 a. Exhausted, I threw myself into bed at 2:30 a and slept the sleep of the seriously disturbed until 5 the same morning.

I needed no alarm clock. My eyes opened wide in consternation, and I ran for the bathroom for what I hoped was the last time during this event. Having been NPO (nothing by mouth) since Midnight the night before, I fought the urge for that hot life giving cup of coffee that I knew the pot was brewing at that very instant. I also fought the urge to dump the contents down the sink so that Mac couldn't have any either. I'm sort of evil that way. But I took a sip of water with my blood pressure meds, the altace and the ToProl xl...and enjoyed the very wetness of that water against my lips. Mac got up and asked me if I was okay and I assured him that I was. "Piece of cake, " I threw off while feeling as though I could throw up.

At 6:45 we gathered everything I needed to take with me and walked out into a blanket of fog. We could have been in England the fog was so dense. (Lie back and think of England...could this be what they had meant?) Announcing that it was a good thing we were able to get an early start, Mac loaded my few things into the truck. We arrived at 7:30 and I was escorted to the Out Patient Services department. Once taken into what was called a Holding Room, where I was hooked up to an IV and my b/p checked, I waited for the eventual trip to the OR. Mac was allowed to stay with me till the appointed time and he kept asking me why I was so quiet. Okay, if you knew me personally you would know this is an important question. I talk incessantly sometimes. My brain never rests. I had to tell him that I really had nothing to say except "get me out of here" and I knew that if I said it often enough he would oblige me. So, it was best to say nothing. At 9a they came for me.

The nurse chatted lightly to me all the way to the OR area. She was very pleasant and cheerful. It had helped to know that I was not the only person in the hospital for this procedure that morning. I was one of 9, she told me. As we rolled into the OR room that I would be getting my procedure done in, I finally gave in to the inevitable. I was asked by someone, I'm not sure who, if I was ready. I put as much bravado in my voice as I could muster and told them, "lets get this party started, the Pinata is here!"

I came to at about 10:45 and they were bringing me a Sprite Zero and asking me how I felt. Amazingly I felt fine. I asked if was all over and they assured me that it was. Hmmm. Mac came into the room, kissed my forehead and asked how I was. I told him I was fine, that I couldn't believe how upset I had been over what was nothing really. Earlier I had quipped "a piece of cake" and now I knew it really was. The hardest part had been the preparations the day before, the constant run for the bathroom...that had been the worst of it. I was in utter disbelief.
And Mac said that Dr. Dameron had found nothing to be alarmed by in the bowel and no bleeding in my stomach to explain the low hemoglobin, either.

So, children that is why I am so glad that this is July the 9th. It's all behind me, now.
No pun intended.
Post of the Day

79 comments:

Carol @ TheWritersPorch said...

Well Sandi, I was supposed to go the 7th but it got postponed till the 21st. This makes me feel better about the actual procedure but now I'm really dreading that cocktail prep! HA!

Penny @ The Comforts of Home/Lavender Hill Studio said...

So glad it is over for you and that all turned out well! I have had one a few years ago and you are right...the worst part is the prep....
Hugs,
Penny

Gaston Studio said...

SO glad that's over for you Sandi. Can't imagine having to look forward to something like that.

Tee aka The Diva's Thoughts said...

I am really glad this is over for you.

Mary said...

Not nice is it Sandi Glad all is OK What I want to know is WHY GOD DIDN'T FIT US WITH A ZIP? how much easier would that have been? Mary

Lee said...

Sandi, that's one awesome description of what has to be the most dreaded of all medical exams. I'm SO glad it's all over for you and that nothing untoward was found. You can be my courage and prep coach next time I have to have one.

Hugs!
Lee

Nessa said...

I am so glad this is over for you and that the results were good.

The fear of the unknown is a powerful thing.

Maggie May said...

Sandi...... I am so glad for you that it is all over & nothing bad was found.
I was glued to your post and was hoping for a happy ending.
If ever I have to have this done, I will be reassured by your experience!

San said...

Sandi, HAPPY JULY 9!

Your colon was born to be in pictures, babe. Did I hear a rumor of a Vogue cover?

Anonymous said...

I had one, and now don't need one for 10 years! I'll be seventy when I have the next one! Those of us who have health insurance are priviledged to have the opportunity for these preventive tests. Unfortunately, the friends I've made at my little local market aren't so lucky. Tija S

Hilary said...

Only you could have me glued to a Colonoscopy report. I'm glad it wasn't as much of a.... bummer as you'd anticipated. :)

Vee said...

Brave good girl! Wonderful to know that you've received a clean bill of health not to mention how nice and clean certain pathways in the system are. %}

Yay for the 9th indeed!

Anya said...

I am so happy it is over for you and that all turned out well :)
hugs
Kareltje =^.^=
Anya :)

Jeni said...

Having had numerous forays into the realm of colonoscopies over the past six years, I confess I chuckled over many of your descriptions of the prep stuff for this test yesterday. I probably told you several times in the past that the test itself is a "piece of cake" but the prep is total crap! And your words verified my sentiments there, completely!
It is always a big relief to get one of these tests over and done with, out of the way for hopefully, a long, long time but just be thankful too that the medical field HAS these tests to show us if/when anything has reared an ugly head. I still can't handle lime or lemon jello very well and chicken broth -don't even come near me with that stuff nowadays!
Back to bigger and much better things now too!
Peace.

Kathy's Klothesline said...

I had both procedures done a couple years ago and no matter that everyone told me the prep was the worst part, I was still anxious, too. Now if we have to have a follow-up, that anxiety won't be there. Some things you just have to experience yourself!

® ♫ The Brit ♪ ® said...

Hi Sandi,
I am so happy that everything worked out great and that your dreaded day is now over!
Your post is wonderful and it has given hope and reassurance to those of us who may need to have this procedure done too!
Big Hug and may you now have a great big rest! XX

Bonnie said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Cheffie-Mom said...

Happy July 9th! enJOY this wonderful day!

Donna said...

GoodLord!!! When I did it, they just gave me a small bottle the the "stuff" (4ozs) and it did the trick! Knocked me out and that was that! Bing Bang and that was It!
Poor Thing!!!hughugs

Akelamalu said...

Trotting backwards and forwards to the toilet - that'll be why they call it the 'trots' eh? Sorry couldn't resist.

My Dad had to have this procedure just recently to find out why he was anaemic - they found nothing.

ancient one said...

So thankful for your good report...

the flea market is between New Bern and Morehead...

Pat@Back Porch Musings said...

It's good to hear all turned out well, Sandi.

J's experience was something else. He could not get rid of the "tiny bubbles" and ended up staying over night! He's beginning to wonder if any of his outpatient procedures, are really outpatient. A friend of ours was with us, at the hospital. When J came around, we were sitting in a couple of recliners, across the room, where the procedure was done. He unintentionally "mooned" us. He'll never forget that trip and neither will I!!

Denise said...

Oh girl...... I have so been there and have to have and Endoscopy every 18 months because I have what they call Schatzki ring in my throat and it has to be stretch out about every year and half......Colonoscopy every three years due to family history of Rectal cancer!!!!!!! BUT Praise the Lord you are finished and home and all is well.......... God is good even if the flavored packets are NOT!

menopausaloldbag (MOB) said...

Great, well done you. Another hurdle jumped and in the clear! You are so entertaining writing about this stuff. X

JanaBanana said...

Hi Sandi :) I have missed you!!! My fault I know :(
Happy your day is over,.. a dreaded procedure for sure. I made my hubs get one about 10 years ago (he was in his 30's) because of some red in his poo.. (he will die if he ever reads this)... THANKS GOD the red was the tomatoes and beets he had eaten the few nights before. Muahhh revenge :) No just kidding. I worry for him so I am always making him go in if I think he needs to :)
Thanks for stopping by my blog. HUGS

SandyCarlson said...

I am glad for every bit of you that it is all behind you now!

Woman in a Window said...

They put you out down there? No, not there! Just down there where you live? Up here they make you stay awake and endure. That's free health care for you.

Hope it all turns out alright in the end. (It's hard not to do that!)

♥ Boomer ♥ said...

I'm happy to hear this, Sandi. I shan't forget my colonoscopy. Right beforehand, the doctor came in and sat beside me and HELD MY HAND while he talked with me. Ew...where had he been right before that? I know not.

Mary Isabella and Kiley too! said...

I am so glad it is over for you and things sound good. I will keep you in my prayers..m..

Judy ~ My Front Porch said...

So glad that is behind you...and that all is well. I know all about that 'procedure...and the dreaded prep...having been there several times!

introspection said...

I can feel exactly how you may have felt Sandi, as I am here though with my spouse. Hospitals can cause so much mental damages one can hardly fathom. I am glad it is over for you.
Congrats for making it to David's POTD, so well deservedly.

Country Cottage Chic said...

think that in ost cases the anticipation is worse than the actual event.
So glad it went smoothly & everything is fine.

Jayne
xx

Merisi said...

Only you could manage to give the word "retrospection" a whole new meaning! I am so glad for you that it is over when it's over in that regard and with good news too, you go girl, now! :-)

Congratulations on winning David's Post of the Day Award - there could not have been a worthier winner!

Southern Lady said...

Oh, Sandi, I loved this ... because I've "been there, done that" THREE times, and it doesn't get any better the third time either. I loved your "pinata" analogy.

Congratulations on being chosen David's "Post of the Day." You deserve it.

AirmanMom said...

Congrats on the POTD and a thank you to David for pointing me in your direction.
Glad you have good news!
~AM

Cathy said...

Hello Sandi
Glad you dropped in to say hello, nice to see you
In another life I worked in hospital admin, admissions etc and your description was like a rerun of all the many I heard over the years I was there.
Somehow I really thought that after all these years there would have been an easier way to cleanse the bowel. Drinking the 2 litres of yuk in 2 hours was the way then and obviously is still the way. Remind me not to have a problem with the bowel please.
I'm pleased to hear there were no abnormalities visible and hopefully it will stay that way, now you will have to think about where you plan to go each July 8th for an anniversary meal lol
Take care
Cathy

♥ Braja said...

Sandi!!! I. AM. COMMENTING!!! It's been a long 3 weeks....

See you soon and often :)
xx

jinksy said...

I must have got lucky last year when I had the same thing. No sipping yuk every ten minutes, just three times a day. I slept ok the night before and was booked in for 8.15am procedure the next morning. I was 'with it' the whole time, and watched everything they did, on the screen be the side of the bed. Fascinating! Does this make me ghoulish?! x

Vodka Mom said...

Sandi- thank GOD that is over and all is well.

My husband said the same thing after he had to have one.

Except the "no pun intended" part. :-)

Daryl said...

First .. thank you for giving me the courage to make the call to set up my own colonoscopy.. which my GYN will thank you for as well since she's been on my case about this for well 2 yrs now ... Second, I am so glad all is well and Third, the real reason I stopped by, congrats on being POTD! Truly well deserved and I hope your post makes more procrastinators like me step up and get this important test done

Thanks!

Brian Miller said...

i am sure you are glad that is all behind you. glad all is well. congrats on POTD!

i beati said...

you're so much stronger than I . I've had it many times and each time worse. I admire you my new shero

Hadriana's Treasures said...

Well done Sandi! Thanks for popping over to mine. I've not faced anything like this yet...you are so brave.... Hxx

Pseudonymous High School Teacher said...

I'm supposed to have a colonoscopy this year... Thank-you for your brave and poignant post.

Jamie Dawn said...

And so, it is not finished. Very well and good to know.
I have done that earnest back and forth toilet trot myself when I had a colonoscopy awhile back. I had to have a few polyps removed. I have no memory of the procedure at all except for the nurse saying, here's the doctor now. I don't even remember seeing the doctor at all. I am glad that it is July 9th too!! It is truly "behind" you.
:-)
I received your book in the mail today. Wow, that was fast! I have it on my bedside table and will read it bit by bit, at my leisure.

Jamie Dawn said...

That first line was supposed to say it IS finished, not it is not finished. I am having brain troubles. Please forgive.

indicaspecies said...

Brave lady, I too am glad that it's all over. This well narrated post truly deserves the Award. Congratulations on the POTD, and thank you for dropping by and leaving behind those encouraging words.:)

NitWit1 said...

It is a great Day when you can classify a colonoscopy as a piece of cake. Congratulations, you made it.

The preparation is worse than the test, isn't it.

Susie Q said...

No one tells a story like our Sandi...and this was one that truly hit the spot. : )
I am having my first coloscopy on Aug. 7th. Whoo Hoo!

I am proud of you...yo made it and made it look almost fun!

Love ya,
Sue

Susie Q said...

No one tells a story like our Sandi...and this was one that truly hit the spot. : )
I am having my first coloscopy on Aug. 7th. Whoo Hoo!

I am proud of you...yo made it and made it look almost fun!

Love ya,
Sue

SandyCarlson said...

Thanks for stopping by, Sandi!

Sally said...

Goodness~I hate those things and always dread it, then come away like you did thinkin' it wasn't so bad!! Glad it's over for you though!! :)

Moannie said...

Anticipating the unknown-yes, it must have been awful for you. So very glad it is done and dusted and the results were good.

Feel better soon, sending energy and hugs.

Dr.John said...

Never had one and really don't want one. Glad yours went well.

Kat said...

So glad it's over. I remember how fearful I was. I had the same experience. Piece of cake!

Praise God for your good results.

Hugs!
Kat

jay said...

Thank heavens all is well with your innards!!

Glad to hear it went OK. I too have heard that the prep is the worst part. I'm hoping I never have to find out! LOL!

Lynn@ The Vintage Nest said...

Yep, the day before is the worst part. There has to be a better way. Wonder what would happen if you ate the dreaded red popsicle? Sandi, you are such a dear for checking in on me. Have a super wonderful and mindless weekend. xo Lynn

Nancy said...

Thank you for this, Sandi - I'm next and terrified! Your post has helped a bunch!

Hairline Fracture said...

I'm so glad everything went smoothly for you.

Pouty Lips said...

I'm in Daryl's camp. I think maybe now I have the courage to call and make my colonoscopy appointment.

Congrats on Post of the Day! This was very well written I think. Word of the day - brave.

Southern Drawl said...

So glad it's over for you!!! I handle things just about the same exact way...Denial until I can no longer deny...then suck it up and forge ahead. I'm glad it wasn't too bad. I'm a much better nurse than patient!

NeereAnDear said...

I dont know of anyone who can tell a story of such dread with such humor that all one can do is chuckle while reading the adventures of Sandi and her procedure...

Not to make light of something that is serious.... I adore the way you tell the story itself....

Glad all is well and glad it is all BEHIND you.... pun intended

HUGS AND LOVE
JO

tlc illustration said...

Heh - "lie back and think of England"! lol. Thank you for your good humor. I'm glad it went as well as it did, all things considered, and that you do not appear to be worse for wear! No procedure is 'fun'. Wish we were all healthy forever!

cheshire wife said...

Glad the story had a happy ending.

Congratulations on POTD.

Suldog said...

Glad to hear everything worked out right in the end. We'd hate to lose you to something that shitty.

Coffee Bean said...

First of all, I want to say how glad I am that everything went smoothly for you and that you are okay!

Secondly, I've been through that and, yes, the procedure itself is no biggie. The prep was so horrendous that it involved our bissell carpet cleaner. And that is all I'm going to say about that.

Trubes said...

Oh Sandie, what an awful experience, glad though the outcome was good. Whilst i was writing this to you my youngest Daughter Astrid phoned and she has Chronhns Disesase so can emphasise with you as she's had so many of those tests.
Thanks for your kind comments on my site and again, I am so glad that you are OK!

Di.x

Deb said...

Hi ~ So glad that is 'behind' you. I actually had a colonscopy last Spring and like you I was a nervous mess but...it really was not as bad as I had anticpated. Anticipation frequently is much worse than reality. Take care and enjoy the day!

DogLover said...

Glad the test have been negative, Sandi.

Here in England, we don't get knocked out and stay awake during "the procedure"!

But first, in my case, I had a sigmoidoscopy. Not so far in as a colonoscopy. Nothing sissy here - I was fully awake and that was ... unpleasant! Air pumped in again and again till I felt like a balloon and quite a lot of pain. Glad when it was over.

It revealed a polyp, so I was then booked for the full colonoscopy. Drank all that stuff (different names, but same medicine) and astonished and impressed at the effect! Then, terrified after the previous occasion, into the theatre. Small jab "to relax you". The thing was inserted and pushed in and pushed in - felt it, but it wasn't uncomfortable. After a few minutes, "That's it, then - we'll wheel you into the Recovery Room and you can have a drink and some biscuits".

The motto of the Parachute Training Centre I went to in my Army days was "Knowledge dispels fear". Too true. No doubt in due course, some of your readers will have reason to be grateful for your story, Sandi.

Strawberry Jam Anne said...

I know how you felt Sandi - I had a similar procedure last summer. The thought of it was worse than the actual event for me too. So pleased all well. A x

CatHerder said...

YIKES!!! I been away, just wanted to check in with you...so sorry for all you have had to go through....i wish ou all the best :-)

Hadriana's Treasures said...

P.S. An award for you over at mine! Hx

Pondside said...

It may have felt like 'nothing' after the fact, but it was a big deal and you are a brave lady. I loved your quip about being the pinata!
I we're sent those little scares to remind us to get out there and squeeze every ounce of living out of every day.

KINHA said...

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Obrigada

david mcmahon said...

Looking forward to your next post, Sandi ....

joan said...

So glad it's all over Sandi. The worst part is the prep. I thought I was dehydrated fron it, I was shaky and clammy, thank God You only have to do it every ten years........

imbeingheldhostage said...

Pun was brilliant, but I am SO glad to hear it went so well. I have two friends who have been doing this procedure this month and their story isn't half as reassuring as yours was. Well done, Jane Wayne!

Susie Q said...

You have made me feel so good Sandi! I am having my first coloscopy on Friday. I begin my preps Thursday of course so I am so happy I found this post today!
I am nervous, not scared really as Bill has had his as have 3 of my friends, all who tell me it is fine, nothing to fear.
But I KNOW Sandi would not fib to us...so...I will be thinking about England all Thursday and into Friday morning!

Love,
Sue

disa said...

I love it ! Very creative ! That's actually really cool Thanks.