It’s about to get personal…

A few days ago I had to have a colonoscopy. I don’t know if I’ve shared on here or not but I have a disease called ulcerative colitis. Don’t worry about trying to pronounce it, it took the hubs years before he said it correctly. It’s an autoimmune disease that I was diagnosed with when I was 6. It’s basically when the colon becomes inflamed and gets ulcers in it. If it sounds painful that’s because it is. When it’s not active, luckily, I barely suffer any symptoms. I’ll spare you the symptoms for now; I assume you all are proficient at using Google. I’m thankful, though, that the medicine I am on seems to be working and I haven’t had signs of disease in years. Anyway, because I’ve had the disease for so long the doctor recommends I have a colonoscopy every year to screen for cancer since I’m at an increased risk. Ok, now that you know a little back story, let’s go back to the colonoscopy.

If you’ve never had the, ahem, “pleasure” of having a colonoscopy, let’s educate you. The colonoscopy is actually the easy part, the prep the day before…notsomuch. The whole day before the colonoscopy you must be on clear liquids the entire day then you have to mix an enormous amount of laxative with an enormous amount of Gatorade and you chug the whole thing. (Typing this made me think about the movie Dumb and Dumber when Lloyd puts a ton of laxative in Harry’s drink before he goes on a date. Classic.) They made me do it differently this year and I had to drink half of it the day before then I had to wake up at 4:00 am the day of the procedure and drink the rest. It wasn’t my favorite thing to do but I found out I am ridiculously productive if I have 3 hours to myself before my kids wake up. I mean, let’s be honest though, the fear of pooing on myself is about the only thing that’s going to get me out of bed at 4 am. Or a trip to Mexico. I’d do it for Mexico.

So I finished the laxative and got the kids ready and off to school (in between bathroom breaks). When Kyle and I get to the hospital we’re handed a number and told to go sit and wait. The waiting room was very crowded so we couldn’t sit together. I get out my book to pass the time when I look over and see this elderly man fiddling with his phone. All of a sudden his phone gets really loud with voices. You know when you’re trying to scroll through your feed quietly and a video comes on and breaks the silence? It was like that. The man is pressing buttons fiercely and Kyle and I just look at each other and sigh. The elderly and technology is not always a good mix. No offense, Mamaw and Grandmother. So this video goes on for what seems like forever so I try to ignore it and read my book. As I’m sitting there I realize this man isn’t watching some random video, heck, he’s not even trying to turn the volume down. The more I listen, I am certain he’s watching a soap opera. Seriously? In a waiting room? Then I start hearing the sexy music and the people start talking in those breathy, husky voices. I look over at the older man and he’s just staring at his phone while I’m over there making awkward faces and fidgeting in my seat. I’m so uncomfortable right now. I look around and everyone else is a lot better at pretending this situation isn’t totally awkward because they’re acting like nothing’s going on. Or they all forgot their hearing aids and literally can’t hear what’s going on. So I try to block it out the best I can. Whew, sexy scene is over. Breathy voices are gone.

A seat opens up next to Kyle so I get up to go sit by him. Big mistake. Huge. The woman on the other side of me seems to have whooping cough or some other ailment that causes her to cough about every 10-15 seconds. But don’t worry, she was covering her mouth with her snot rag tissue that most certainly had holes in it. Apparently she has not had her lesson about coughing into the elbow. I’m sure she’s not contagious, we’re in a hospital after all. It also felt like her phone beeped or rang every 5-10 minutes. I can’t be sure that was the actual time frame but that’s what it felt like. At one point, she’s talking on the phone (Did I mention she was a loud talker?) and a strobe light starts happening on the other side of her phone. I assume this is what happens when she gets another call while she’s on the phone. The Lord was teaching me patience that morning because He not only thought I could handle the loud talking and constant hacking, now I have a light flashing in the corner of my eye. It’s a miracle I didn’t stroke out right there. At one point I asked Kyle if he thought we might be on candid camera. Unfortunately I think this is what’s happening in waiting rooms all across America. Bless.

After an hour and a half of waiting they finally call my number. I tell Kyle I’ll see him in a bit and go with the transporter lady. We start to walk and she asks me if I don’t want to go back and kiss my husband. No, he’s fine, I say. Then I get all insecure that she thinks we have a sham of a marriage since I didn’t kiss him before I left. Just what I need, more insecurity before I’m about to get naked. As I’m telling myself in my head that a lack of a kiss doesn’t define my marriage, we get to my room. “Room” is a little strong, let’s go with “space that has one wall and 3 curtains around it to make it feel sort of like a room”, that’s more accurate. So I disrobe and put on the oversized that gown that could house 3 of me. I like it. It makes me feel little even if it is a bit drafty in the back. I get in the bed and nurses swarm around hooking me up to machines and starting my IV and asking me questions. During this time the doctor comes in and chats it up with me, all the time acting like it’s normal that he’s going to put a long tube in a place where nothing should go in. It’s a weird relationship. In the nonmedical world, if someone saw what he was about to see I would have to move to a far away land to make sure I wouldn’t bump into him on the street. I would die of embarrassment. Just die. Same goes for gynecologists. My gynecologist is someone I don’t care to ever see outside of his office.

I do a little meet and greet with everyone that’s about to see my hiney then they wheel me back to the procedure room. You’d think I’d feel more awkward about it but unfortunately I don’t. When you’ve had a poop disease for as long as I have, a colonoscopy is old hat. All those things that embarrass the normal person (i.e. a bare bum, smells, weird noises) don’t even phase me anymore. All I think is, “Ya’ll aren’t getting paid enough. Let me rephrase: the nurses aren’t getting paid enough. I’m sure the doctor’s being well compensated for his time. I’ve seen the bill.” I get into the room and turn on my side then the thing I love most happens. No not that!! That’s disgusting! The nurse anesthetist pushes the medicine into my IV that makes me feel like Michael Jackson wasn’t crazy for wanting to feel like this all the time. Propofol is amazing. It’s the best shortest sleep of your life. Is it weird that I look forward to this every time I have a colonoscopy? In my dreamy sleep I dreamt of eating food. Lots of food. Then after what seemed like 5 minutes I woke up. It’s that slow sweet waking up you do on vacation when you’ve had enough sleep but want to just stay in bed a little longer. It’s so good ya’ll. The doctor came in and talked to Kyle and me and let me know my colon is all good which was amazing news. Then I got dressed and was wheeled to my car. Whoop there it is. Done and done. Easy peasy. After having food dreams I made Kyle take me to lunch so I could pound a Newk’s sandwich. It has never tasted so good as it did that day.

-Courtney

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