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Git Er Done November 20, 2012

Posted by Fritz in Yachts and other things that float.
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I just had my first colonoscopy. I was told to have one at age 50 to serve as a base line but I was a weeny and put it off for four years until today. Last Christmas I made a promise to my wife that I would get it done before the end of the year so I just made it.

First let me say it’s not anywhere as bad as anyone has ever said. I guess 20 years ago the prep was pretty hideous, drinking four liters of a solution that tastes like shit and then shitting for eight hours. Well they’ve improved the solution dramatically but you still shit for eight hours. Oh, and the fasting for 24 hours sucks too.

This morning I arrived at 7am and checked in. Before they called my name at 7:30,  I watched two others head back. Once in, a lovely nurse named Mary Kay got me naked and gowned, took my vitals and opened an IV line. Now, this little process has been my biggest nightmare. It’s really the reason I didn’t do this before now. I hate needles in the vein. Taking blood is a freakin’ nightmare. I’d rather someone punch me in the nose and hold a bucket under my head instead of getting stuck.

Anyway, I went to my happy place and Mary Kay proceeded to miss the first vein. She muttered “shit”, then excusing her language started looking for a second try. Success! Or so she thought. I guess they check the flow and after about 30 seconds said she missed again and started apologizing profusely. OK…no problem. I’m now sweating bullets in a chilly 65 degree pre-op room wearing a thread bare cotton surgical gown with no back to it. Obviously sensing I’m no longer in my happy place she asks me if I’m ok, I lied and said yes. She re-torques on the tourniquet around my bicep and goes for try number three.  Hallelujah! After her flow check she exclaims ‘bingo’. Since she had already hooked me up to a heart monitor I could hear the beeps of my beats on the monitor behind me. They were clipping along pretty damn fast there for a while.

Ready for something to take my stress level down a notch I was obliged when Mary Kay abruptly whisked back the privacy curtain to reveal a hulking dude in blue scrubs standing at my feet staring at me. Shades of the scene in the Wizard of OZ when they pulled back the curtain revealing the wizard flashed in my mind. He was the anesthesiologist. Of all the people I encountered today he was the only one who didn’t smile. He asked short, snappy questions, stared at me like I was lying and generally exuded no warm fuzzies.

Thankfully my time with him was short and as soon as he was done they wheeled me into the operating room. A very pleasant male nurse greeted me and explained the next steps. They re-hooked my vitals up and had me roll on my side. Being the curious George I asked what goodies I was about to get. The nurse announced, “Propofol”. “Wow,” I remarked, “the same stuff that offed Michael Jackson!” That got a laugh out of the nurse which happened to be the last thing I remember after hearing the anesthesiologist say, “good night”.

Almost immediately I felt light headed and the next thing I knew I was in post-op looking up at the grinning male nurse. Bing, bang, boom…all done.

Now for the fun part. In order to get a good look at all the twists and turns in your bowels, the doc has to pump air into your lower intestines so the colonoscope can see everything. So once in post-op, the first thing the nurse told me was to pass all that gas. Now, I’m usually a little reticent about farting in public; decorum and all. But my fears were set aside after hearing the cacophony of flatulence all around me. There were at least four other post-op patients hidden behind their own privacy curtains tooting up a storm. It was hilarious! I joined in and reveled in the fart free-pass we had all been given.

Ten minutes later I was dressed and out the door, driven home by my Dad. I can’t wait for a cup of coffee!

Oh, got a clean bill of health too!

my colon

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