Thursday, October 13, 2005

In The End

Well, the day of the endoscopy & colonoscopy has come and gone, and I have survived. And since I am alive to tell the tale, I shall begin the story at the beginning: yesterday.

Yesterday I had to go on liquid fast. No solid food, only liquids and non-red jello. I also had a truckload of shopping to do. So for breakfast I chugged down a bottle of apple juice and headed to town with a 7-up in my hand. I got my hair cut, then went to Theisen's, Waldenbooks, Wal-Mart, Menard's, Toys R Us, a couple of consignment shops, and Fareway. Besides getting the normal family supplies I was also shopping for Mary's birthday, which is Saturday. I was doing OK - I even scored a major find at one of the consignment shops. I bought three boxes of Peanuts "It's the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown" figurine toys (contents of each box was different) for a grand total of $15. The boxes had never been opened, but I couldn't bring something like that home and not let the girls play with it. However, Carl managed to save the packaging pretty much intact, so I can put the toys away after Halloween and keep a little of their collectible value. However, after the consignment shops I had to go to Fareway and get groceries. Ooooogh. Grocery shopping is hard enough on an empty stomach, but its close to torture to buy food and know that you have to wait until the next afternoon to eat any of it. But I got the shopping done, went home, unloaded and put stuff away before the kids got back from school.

Then it was time for the dreaded Liquid Colon Purging Solution. I started that at 4:00. I had to chug down a total of four liters (slightly over a gallon) by drinking an eight ounce glass every ten minutes. I was fine for the first three glasses: it tasted bad, but my doctor said I could suck on hard candies between glasses so I had a bag of Lifesavers handy for that. But after the first three glasses I was starting to feel full (and really gassy) so the next couple of glasses went down pretty hard. Shortly after 5:00, though, the medicine kicked in full force and the bloated, gassy feelings disappeared, along with the contents of my colon. I managed to drink the whole container of solution by 7:00, and had passed almost all of the solution out by 11:00. However, I didn't sleep very good. My stomach wouldn't let me.

Mother Nature wasn't being very nice, either. I was supposed to be at the hospital this morning by 8:30, and wouldn't you just know it, school was delayed for two hours because of fog. Carl, though, asked a friend who lives close to the school to keep the girls until school started, so that worked out OK except that Hannah missed her bus to Norway and the Atkins principal had to drive her. Arg. But we got to the hospital in decent time, and they set us up in a nice room. They made me change into the obligatory hospital gown, and then the nurse started asking me all the necessary questions, for which she got some pretty humorous answers. "Are you allergic to anything?" Stupid drivers. "Do you have any religious convictions that would prevent us from doing these procedures?" Well, I don't believe in dog sacrifices. "Do you smoke?" Only when I get a hot idea, then it rolls out my ears. By the time she was done with her form I about had her rolling on the floor laughing. Then Pastor Bill showed up. We prayed together, and then we visited for a while. During this time another nurse came in and put an IV thingy in my hand. Right around 10:00 the ops nurse came in to get me, and they wheeled me into the procedure room.

From here things get kinda fuzzy. I remember them giving me the sedatives (it burned) and I remember complaining about my stomach hurting (they said it was because they were pumping me up with air) but other than that I don't remember anything. I sort of remember them saying "You're all done" and wheeling me out, and I remember laying there trying to wake up but not doing very well at it. When I finally was awake enough, I got dressed, signed my discharge papers and left. We stopped at Wal-Mart to get some Citrucel (doctor's orders) and we stopped at Fareway to get ice cream (because I forgot it yesterday) then Carl took me home and made me scrambled eggs and toast for lunch. What a great guy. I spent the afternoon asleep on the couch, and woke up with a headache that I hope is caused by sedative withdrawl. But now I'm starting to feel much better (except for this persistent headache) and I really, truly, recommend that everyone have a colonoscopy. Its worth the trouble you go through to make sure that your gut is OK.

And yes, I mean you, Mother.


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