Wednesday, April 8, 2009

The Procedure That Must Not Be Named- Part Two

I started sharing "the procedure that must not be named" a couple a days of go.
Here is part 2. Once again, for those who don't like details, turn back now..

I awoke the morning of "the procedure that must not be named" to the sound of small animals (and a few larger ones) in obvious pain and discomfort. The noises actually woke me several times in the night. But no animals were harmed in the preparation for this procedure. It was actually just my stomach complaining loudly that it was beyond empty and was about to consume other parts of my body in protest.

I splurged on supper and had 2 cups of broth and Gatorade. I put some mild seasonings in it since I was allowed to and tried not to scowl at the boys and my wife too much as they ate various meals around me. Normally innocuous exclamations, such as "this is really good" began to appear downright mean. My wife opened a new jar of preserves and insisted (and quite innocently-or so she said) that I see "how good it smells." Whether it was my dirty look or the tear in the corner of my eye which made her realize her mistake, I may never know. I was so hungry for salt I sipped a teaspoon of Soy Sauce around bedtime.

Nothing but nothing after midnight not even water. I checked in at the hospital and filled out enough forms that I may have bought a house. The lady who checked me in was, self admittedly a bit stressed. I told her that it was OK and I was early and not in a hurry. She thanked me for my patience and wanted the secret to my good attitude. Little did she know that I was so hungry that she was actually in danger. You know those cartoons where the cat makes friends with the bird and then hallucinates that the bird is actually a roast or something? Thankfully the check-in went quickly. It was 10:30 a.m.

I went upstairs only half listening to the directions. I was, after all, here a mere month earlier. I stayed overnight in a "cubbie" in the day surgery area where I was headed and another night close by. This was like old home week.

To my credit, I believe I only made one wrong turn and DID ask directions.

When I went through the door that said "Authorized Personnel Only", (with my wife protesting) and was met by a woman with a look on her face that said I was in the wrong place. When I explained why I was there, she looked at the board and then went to the desk and picked up the phone. All I could think about was having gone through all that "prep" and going without food for so long, I was not leaving peacefully. I handed my paperwork to another woman, who was obviously not as tired as the first, and she told the woman on the phone that I was in room 3. The woman on the phone stammered some words through the phone and hung up rather embarrassed and said to me, "Did I scare the hm, hm out of you." I replied that there was none left.

Hooked up to an IV I waited about an hour before it was my turn. Apparently it was "Colonoscopy Day" in day surgery and there were at least two gentlemen ahead of me.

I signed some more forms, one of which informed me that instead of anesthesia I would be under "medium" sedation. I was a bit concerned. I wanted to be out. I asked the doctor for clarification. I won't feel anything, right? "Right," he replied. That's what I wanted to hear.

I was wheeled into the endoscopy room and introduced to a woman in surgical garb. I remarked that this was a hell of a way to meet someone for the first time. She laughed. She told me to roll on my left side. all I could think was "where is the sedation." After a few adjustments the nurse that wheeled me in said they were going to give me some stuff to help me relax and sleep. And that was that. I seem to recall making the remark that things were a bit uncomfortable at one point but have no recollection of pain or discomfort. The rest of the story comes more from my wife's perspective as she was the more sober.

The gentleman in the "cubbie" next to mine (curtains for doors, paper thin walls) had a different doctor than mine. My wife thinks that the other doctor used more gas than mine (they pump air into you to get a better look at your insides). She made this observation because "Mr Moreno" let loose with an award winning and quite prolonged passage of air which apparently was quite impressive.

My wife says that when I did the same, (in more modest tones) it was followed by the words, "uh oh, I messed up." When I complained to the nurse I was told that a certain amount of lubrication was used and I was off the hook. All of this I'm getting "secondhand."

Apparently every time I got up to go to the bathroom, I told the nurse that my wife said I had a cute backside. The nurse replied that while that may be the case I didn't have to show the entire hospital. However, my gown had no ties and they had to tape it shut.

I spent the rest of the day in a pleasant haze. I made supper though my wife refused to let me use the stove. We settled on Tuna Salad. Normally we add a hard boiled egg to our Tuna Salad. It took 3 tries with the egg. One I dropped and one I soft boiled.

The haze finally lifted today. But I'm tired and going to bed.


eulogos said...

You don't need the running IV-they didn't give me one; they just put in a saline lock.

Conscious sedation should be enough....I don't know if that is the same as "medium sedation."
I had the conscious sedation and was quite fine soon afterwards. I wanted to do it unsedated, chiefly because my husband had done so and said it didn't hurt at all, just some pressure. But I must be built differently on the inside, smaller pipes, or perhaps I have some adhesions from my long ago C section. Anyway, every time the doctor jabbed the tube upwards, I tensed and winced, and that made him nervous. I let him put me out...and even though they call it conscious, it sure felt like out to me... more because of his discomfort than mine. After having 7 unmedicated births I surely could have handled a colonscopy...but not without some wincing. Anyway, the inside of my colon looked just like the inside of anyone elses' colon, and I have seen plenty of pictures in hospital charts.

Thanks for the amusing description.
Now you can enjoy the rest of Holy Week.
Susan Peterson

eutychus said...

I think that "medium sedation" which is what the form said, is the same as conscious sedation but like you, I sure felt "out".
And that's the way I wanted it. though to be honest I would have liked to watch it all on the screen as my wife, for perhaps the very first time in her life, is not giving me a very detailed account.
The fact that you had 7 unmedicated births just proves once again that women are MUCH stronger than men in many important ways. God bless you and your family.
My colon looked a bit rough which was not entirely unexpected and kind of why we went in to begin with. Not exactly sure what that means yet but we'll see.