And what a day it was.
The Event was scheduled for 1:00 pm, but for some reason they wanted me there at noon. After I sat down in the waiting room (emphasis on wait) I started talking to the guy beside me. (It’s around 11:30 at this point) His scope had been scheduled for 9:30. This made my 1:00 appointment look like a pipe dream. I counted heads in the waiting room, trying to sort through those waiting for their own Event or those waiting for other Eventees and it appeared like there might be seven in front of me. (I was to find out later it was only six)
So the wait began. I played games on my phone, counted ceiling tiles, watched the bomb house burn, eaves-dropped on the life and times of Oklahoma living from those around me, tried to nap, and thought about all the other things I’d rather be doing than sitting in that waiting room.
At around 2:30 they call me to the nurses station. I thought to myself an hour and a half late – that’s not bad. I had to completely undress, except for my socks and teeth, and put on one of those uber-sexy hospital gowns, open in the back – untied. On a side note, ninety percent of the patients that get a colonoscopy are men, so why do all the gowns have little pink and blue flowers?
Forty five minutes later they were still trying to find a vein. A side product of not eating solid food for two days and drinking the stuff designed to clean you out completely, is dehydration. And when that happens your BP lowers and your veins get somewhat deflated. I turned into a dart-board and for the next half-hour, every nurse in the department got their shot at the target. After four different staff members surrendered to their inability, they called in the resident expert. One of them said, “If so-and-so can’t hit him, nobody can.” I started praying for so-and-so. As it turned out, they were right – so-and-so found the sweet spot and I barely felt a thing. (it was 3:15)
Next they wheeled me into the procedure room where I finally saw it. You know, that long black snake looking thing that was going to go all Hollywood up my butt. For the first time I started getting nervous and expressed a need for Valium. “Oh, you won’t be needing any Valium, Mr. Mills,” was the expressive reply from the charge nurse. I questioned her sanity. A few minutes later the doctor came in with his own set of question for me. I don’t remember what he asked. I was still focused on the snake.
He told the nurse what drugs to administer. Ten something of this and fifty something of that. I know now he was just plying me with drugs. I looked at the clock – it was four in the afternoon. And then I fell down the rabbit hole. I can’t tell you much about the procedure after that. I felt pretty uncomfortable a time or two. I remember seeing that big high-definition screen showing the insides of Mickey Mills, but beyond that. It was all so anti-climatic and clinical. No dinner, no flowers, no candy, and the movie was about some tunnel.
Next thing I knew, I was coming to in post-op playing Seventy-Six Trombones, slightly out of tune, with my butt-cheeks. They let me get my clothes on and the nurse came in with the instructions for the rest of the night. No driving, watch for blood, and get something to eat. She also told me that they removed two polyps and could tell me more after they get lab tests. More waiting to be done. It was 5:45.
On the way home we got a pineapple shake and a large order of onion rings. Perhaps the best I ever had. (I wonder what I’ll have to write about tomorrow?
A physician claimed that the following are actual comments made by his patients (predominately male) while he was performing their colonoscopies:
1. ‘Take it easy, Doc. You’re boldly going where no man has gone before!
2. ‘Find Amelia Earhart yet?’
3. ‘Can you hear me NOW?’
4. ‘Are we there yet? Are we there yet? Are we there yet?’
5. ‘You know, in Arkansas , we’re now legally married.’
6. ‘Any sign of the trapped miners, Chief?’
7. ‘You put your left hand in, you take your left hand out…’
8. ‘Hey! Now I know how a Muppet feels!’
9. ‘If your hand doesn’t fit, you must quit!
10. ‘Hey Doc, let me know if you find my dignity.’
11. ‘You used to be an executive at Enron, didn’t you?’
12. ‘God, now I know why I am not gay.’
And the best one of all.
13. ‘Could you write a note for my wife saying that my head is not up there?’