Tuesday, March 16, 2010

The Colonoscopy

Top Photo-My face turned red and puffed up after the prep for my colonoscopy. They didn't seem concerned. It was sort of like the time I got a large vitamin hung in my throat and broke the capillaries in my face trying to cough it up. I looked like I had a sunburn! Maybe it was a reaction to something or maybe from straining. I asked, but they didn't know.
The day of the procedure, my daughter and oldest grandson drove me to the clinic. They waited in the exam room while I changed clothes in the bathroom, then sat on the guerney, waiting for the nurse. Those IV bags always look so ominous. And I felt silly, sitting there with a hospital gown over my blouse! And I thought that my new haircut looked like someone put a bowl on my head and cut my hair like in the Depression times!
I asked the nurse to not probe for a vein and told her some possibilities. My veins do not want to be poked and do not cooperate! She probed anyway and I thought I was going to faint or cry. I just covered my eyes and hoped she would get it soon. She finally got it in and I was afraid to move, fearing that the needle would come out.
She rolled me to the surgical area, with its monitors and machines. They rolled me in backwards from the way I had been for the endoscopic procedures.
Drawing 2- The nurse busied herself behind my head, and I could see the various monitors and machines. I hoped I would be asleep quickly. I sort of wanted to see, but thought it wold be best to sleep through it all.
Dr. D. came in, listened to my heart, said "Hello", and busied himself behind me. With the last endoscopic exam, I didn't go to sleep right away. They put the "muzzle" on my mouth and the dr. came toward me with the wand. I tried my best to tell them that I was still awake, but that was hard with a "muzzle" on my mouth. The dr. and nurse pushed on the needle in my hand until I finally went to sleep. I didn't want this to start while I was still awake! I panicked before.
The nurse told me to turn over and face her. I wondered if I could do that with my knee still sore from the knee replacement surgery. I did and held onto the rail.
Picture 3-The nurse balanced 3 huge needles in her hand. I hoped that those were not going in me, but in the IV. She asked, "Three?" And she shot them into the IV. She told me that I would be going to sleep soon, and she turned back to the counter.
I waited. Seemed like I was wide awake, despite having little sleep the night before.
When am I going to get sleepy!
Picture 4- I watched the clock on the wall and waited, with the nurse and dr. still busy at their places where I couldn't see them very well. The room was bright, the clock was very white. Time didn't really seem to change much. This was taking so long, I wished I had my sketchbook, or my camera.
The numbers on the clock seemed funny. Why was there the numbers 10, 11, and 12 on the side where 1, 2, and 3 were? I guess that was the way they kept time there in this room. Different from normal clocks.
Bottom Picture-Suddenly, I was telling some kind of a story, probably about Calvert or ancestors, and being rolled into a cubicle that had curtains that looked like quilt blocks. Squares of fabric in blue, soft pink and purple. There was a chair in the corner by the curtain. The IV was gone and I sat up on the bed.
My daughter and grandson came in to sit down for a short while before I was sent home with instructions.
Dr. D. came in and and stood by the bed. He said that all went well and everything looked good. All he found were some internal hemorroids and I would get a report within a week.
I don't remember putting on my shoes. Maybe I left them on. I don't remember leaving the building. I remember riding in the car. I had to put on my sunglasses.
At home, I got on my bed and curled up with the cat. We had a good nap..... All afternoon!
I didn't hurt, didn't have the gas problem that some people talk of having, and wasn't particularly hungry afterward.
It wasn't all that bad. The puffiness and redness in my face went away after a few days. It happened again a couple of weeks later, so I'm not sure what is going on with that. I asked the dermatologist about it and he just advised using glycerine soap and moisturize twice a day. That doesn't work for wrinkles!
Anyway, I survived the test and had a good report. Maybe I won't have to do that again.
I still don't know what causes my stomach problems. The dr. advised using Lomotil every 6 hours, or take 2 in the morning, another at lunch time. Sometimes that helps, sometimes, it doesn't.
They're still talking about Harry Smith's Colonoscopy-live on tv. On their own program, Harry Smith was teased about the pictures. They laughed about using those on his Christmas cards.
An actress made a joke about it, but she used some word that had to be bleeped. I couldn't understand what she said. And, of course, David Letterman was talking about it.
I guess it is good if it gets the message across to those who might be reluctant.
One thing that might help would be to develop a prep procedure that wouldn't involve drinking nasty stuff, or spending uncomfortable hours in the bathroom. And, to let people realize that the test itself is not that bad.
I put a box at the top of my blog, saying Contact Congress. I hope that D.C. gets the message that this Health Care bill is wrong. We need reform, not takeover and what is being proposed.


A Painter's Journal said...

What an ordeal! I had no idea there was so much involved! Good for you Cecelia, keeping up with these health checks.
And its so true... there isn't much these Drs and nurses haven't seen. You're a mother too - not much that we haven't been through!!

Cecelia said...

That's true, Robin! I think that, after a lot of figure drawing classes, and having children, there isn't a lot of modesty left! LOL