Monday, October 17, 2011

Friday Fun - (you may want to read Thursday's post first!)

Lindsey came to the house and off we went to the appointment - to be there at 7:30 AM - no earlier. I went to the window to 'register' and provide duplicate information of what was given 2-weeks ago to the gal at the other window, then asked to have a seat, that they would call me back soon. The waiting room was freezing cold! An hour later, I am called back - and nurse Jill escorts me past a curtained hallway - lots of 'recovery' areas I assume - most of which are empty. Now, on with the 'prep' "a la Jill".

Basic questions, she wrote answers, as I sat on the edge of the 'bed' - a gurney really with a thin mattress. One particular question led to another pre-op test: a pregnancy test - I kid you not - heck she wasn't kidding me either! Good news! I was NOT pregnant and the procedure could continue.

I was given the ultra-fashionable 'gown' that opens in the back - ooh la la! A front pocket and everything! I was told to take everything off, but could keep on my bra if I wanted - hah! Fooled her - I didn't even wear one! Glad I brought some socks and thanks to a nice warmed blanket, I could sit back and wait for my IV.

Jill connected the IV - even numbed the back of my hand - and told me it would just a be about 15 minutes. Patients - who I assumed just finished their procedure - were wheeled past me to their curtained area. Jill dimmed the lights in my area and apologized for the wait. Every once in a while I heard a radio station - my 'usual' morning show - but it never lasted too long. Another patient was brought to the curtained area next to mine - so I got to hear the same type of questions - including one "where do you work?" I was surprised to hear that my curtain buddy also worked at my place, although we probably wouldn't share stories.

Another 15 minutes and a promise of a short wait - and off I went to the operating room - ah - that's where the music was coming from! They had it quite cranked up! I met my doctor for about 5 seconds and answered a couple of questions, then came the lady who would help me take a nap. She asked that I put on my c-pap - which was a little comical considering all the other various and sundry wires to which I was connected - and I managed to get my hand stuck in the contraption on top of my head.

She assured me that they did this (the c-pap) all the time - and then - she fixed my pillow just perfectly!! Relaxation set in when she had me take a couple of deep breaths - and I was OUT!

I woke up quite alert - which I didn't think would happen given my normal reaction to medication that could even possibly make me sleepy. I was rolled back to a different 'recovery curtained area' and told that it was my job to "bear down and release the air that inflated the colon during the procedure". I was told it would be "music to their ears" - if you can imagine that. I had no problem following her direction and the next thing I knew, I was sitting up and drinking some grape juice.

No light-headedness, no sleepiness, grogginess or anything else that resembled a drunken stupor. I actually felt pretty good. No pain, no headache, I was joking with the nurse (not Jill) and Lindsey came back. Little did she know she would be in on the 'consult' with Dr. A - and get to see my pretty (?) pictures and a brief explanation of the lower extremities that is my colon! Lucky girl!

She promised not to post my pics on facebook or otherwise share them - then signed the release papers so she could take me home about 11 am. She pulled up outside the door and the CNA helped me to the car, although I did not feel dizzy or goofy at all. We even stopped for Mexican food (brunch-o?) on the way home. I was SO hungry and it tasted SO good!

I stretched out on the couch (my normal MO) and Lindsey took the chair. I thought I would just drift off to a comfortable sleep - but much to my surprise - I was wide awake! I got up and insisted that Lindsey take the couch - where she promptly took a nap. I made a couple of calls and let folks know I was "done" - then played on the computer. No laundry or other house work is allowed, ya know!

Dad stopped by to see how I was doing - and had to look at my pictures where he proclaimed that I was "clean" - heck, I should be!! The procedure included removing a couple of polyps, but rather routine I was told.

After he left, Lindsey and I sat around some more - she made sure I was ok to be by myself - reminding me not to bend over without support - and then she headed home. I watched some TV, checked the mail, then took a nice nap.

So, all in all, my fears for future procedures were quelled. I was well taken care of at the facility and of course by Lindsey. The prep from Thursday was definitely worse than the procedure on Friday - but not bad at all. I'll do it all again in three years!

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Thursday prep for Friday Fun....

I heard about it...but never actually been formally introduced. I have listened to stories from those who survived and advice on the 'best practices' insure an easy 'go'. Dreaded it, somewhat, but the prep would be worse that the procedure....or so I was told.

My last visit to the doctor resulted in a referral to a local office of gastric inspection - for my first ever colonoscopy. Gee, I am not that far beyond 50...but, recommendations are recommendations. Given a family history of gastric pathway roadblocks and such, I knew it was just a matter of time.

Armed with my list of 'special stuff', off I went to WalMart. The consulting nurse was kind enough to point out her recommended flavor of Gatorade with which to make my very own colon-cleansing solution with Miralax - lemon-lime! Of course you can't have the 'good' color drink or jello: Red or purple. Why make it tasty? It's just going to run right through!!

The day prior to the procedure, I took off at 1pm to start my prep. 2pm: 4 times the usual amount of itty-bitty pills to start...followed by a large glass of water. 4 times the usual amount = a quick turn around! I make quick trip to the bathroom before taking a little nap - and low and behold - no running water! Nada! Zilch! Zip! No water = no flushy! I called the water department and am told there is a leak 'in the area' and 'no, they cannot estimate when it will be repaired'. Ok, a little panic, but hey, I had time before I had to start the solution intake...scheduled to start @ 5PM. So, not too worried at this point, I took a nap.

I woke up at 4:45 with a little rumbling in the tummy - and headed for the second bathroom, still no water. Rats! (or something like that) - Now what! I had to stay on schedule - so off to the fridge for my perfectly pitchered portion, which I poured into a pretty stemmed glass - and drank it down - similar to someone on a drunken binge: chug a lug! Recommended to drink quickly - ya think? I mean who wouldn't want to linger over a glass of lemon-lime flavored liquid, thickened ever so slightly? The first taste wasn't so bad - 1 8-oz glass down, many more to follow - in 15 minute increments. Now the question was how much more ..... could be added ... in the toilet bowl?!?!?

I quick check told me all I needed to know....I had water again! Yes! Flushing commenced and the pipes chimed in with some loud gurgles. Whew! I survived that hurdle!

After a full day of 'clear liquids' - with the exception of my cafe Vienna which isn't exactly clear - but coffee was on the 'can have' list - I craved something more substantive. That craving quickly subsided with each beep of my kitchen alarm, followed by repeated trips to the bathroom.

I stayed up a little later, anticipating 'sleeping in' until at least 6:30 - having to report @ 7:30 on Friday.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011


It's time to say Happy Birthday to Sophia Louisa who is FIVE today!!! Hugs coming your way, Sophia! Stay sweet and I hope to see you soon! XOXOX