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Updated: Bottoms-Up! (Literally, unfortunately.)

3 Apr

For those of you who read this earlier… an update has been posted at the bottom. I survived! 

I’m posting from the hospital room, waiting for someone to come and wheel me down for a colonoscopy. I wish I were joking – or over the age of 60 since this would at least be par for the course. As it is, I’m sitting here with an empty stomach, clenching my ass checks and scowling at the empty gallon jug of GoLYTELY next to my bed.

Don’t know what GoLYTELY is? Consider yourself lucky. It sounds cute, and I was tempted to applaud the pharmaceutical pun-master who named it, since it’s a laxative with the explicit goal of “cleaning you out to the point that your stool becomes clear liquid.” Sorry, but something that does that definitely does not go lightly.

In fact, there were times in the past 12 hours where I was alternately curled in my bed, moaning, “What have I done to deserve this?”  and staring at the toilet paper roll thinking, “I feel like a POW.”

Quick backstory… I came to the ER yesterday because I’d had sharp abdominal pains for 24 hours and was thinking it might be appendicitis. I’d put it off for quite a while because I remember one of my friends who is an ER doctor telling me that most people who think they have appendicitis just need to pass gas. I did not want to be that person, forced to slink out of the ER with a can of Glade. Hence why I waited 24 hours.

Once I was admitted they did a CT scan. The nice guy who administered the CT scan had a thick Indian accent, so I couldn’t exactly understand everything he was saying. As he explained the procedure to me, I thought I heard him say the word “anus” but I quickly dismissed it. But then he was standing in front of me with something that looked like a whoopie cushion with a tube hanging out of it, saying, “Roll onto your side.”

What. The. F+ck.

Hours later, I received confirmation that my appendix was perfectly fine, but that they found something that might be an indicator of Crohn’s Disease. Next thing I knew, I was admitted overnight to prep me for a colonoscopy. I nodded my assent, thinking, “Katie Couric had a colonoscopy on TV. No big deal.”

Turns out? I kind of want to bitch-slap Katie for false advertising. That, or maybe rich people don’t have to go through the whole GoLYTELY prep. Maybe they just go in and let loose all over the table like a woman giving birth, but the hospital charges so much that it makes it worth their while.

Fortunately, the night nurse (who is about my age and awesome) prepared me for what would happen, so I was able in turn to prepare my roommate, whose bed (unfortunately) is right next to our shared bathroom. “Ma’am,” I told her. “I apologize in advance. They’re about to pump me full of something that will have me trotting in there repeatedly, and I don’t expect it will be silent.”

As it turns out, she’s using a bedpan, so while I may have beaten her in frequency, she’s the one who should’ve offered an aromatic candle as a hostess gift.

Also: I felt sorry for her when I checked in because her chart indicates that pain management is a top goal, whereas I’ve been in virtually no pain since getting to the room. This morning, however, when her breakfast arrived – filling the room with smells of bacon and coffee – I’m thinking I’d gladly trade places with her… I haven’t eaten anything since Sunday. This is like Torture, Part II.

Of course, I suppose I should be careful what I wish for or define as torture. I still have the actual procedure ahead of me. Wish me luck!

UPDATE: I survived! The actual colonoscopy was a piece of cake compared to the prep.

When they rolled me into the room for the procedure, I had two doctors, two nurses and an anesthesiologist surrounding me. I looked around before they put me under and said with a straight face, “I’m pretty sure you’re about to have an amazing experience.” 

As it turns out, they did. How do I know? Because I WOKE UP (no joke) halfway through, looked around and said, “Shouldn’t I be out for this?” right before they adjusted the drip and knocked me back out. Apparently my need to manage situations is a bit hard to give up.