My mother was diagnosed with colon cancer at the age of forty, and she beat it. So to be on the safe side, when you have a parent who’s had colon cancer (not sure about other types of cancer), doctors recommend you get checked out roughly 10 years before the parent got cancer. For me, that was around thirty years old and getting checked out meant a colonoscopy.
Well after being on a waiting list for three and half years I finally get a call from my doctor’s office to meet with a Gastroenterologist. The meeting was about ten minutes, basic general health questions and a quick overview of the procedure. Pretty simple stuff. He gives me two different sheets, one with instructions to follow if my appointment is in the morning and one if it’s in the afternoon.
He tells me I’ll have to fast twelve hours before the colonoscopy to make sure I’m on an empty stomach and that I’ll need someone to drive me over to the hospital because I won’t be able to walk right for a week after. Just kidding, I need someone to drive me because he’ll be giving me a mild sedative and I won’t be able to drive right after. He tells me to wait for the call and sends me on my way.
A month and a half later I get the call with a date and time. Wednesday at 9 AM. I remember what the Doc told me, a twelve hour fast before the appointment and need a driver, got it, no need to double check the AM colonoscopy cheat sheet.
That Wednesday morning my wife and I head on down to the hospital after taking the kids to school and daycare. I’m not pumped but also not dreading the colonoscopy. It is what it is plus I’d kinda be a hypocrite bitching and complaining about this in front of my wife 😉
I register with the nurse at the desk of the anal cavity search department. She tells me to grab a hospital gown and go put it on then I can drop my stuff in a locker and sit in the waiting room with the rest of the assholes…I mean patients.
Up to this point, I’m my usual chipper, smart ass, sarcastic, wise-cracking self. Looking around in the waiting room I notice everyone else ain’t doing so great. These people look like they had the will to live sucked out of them. They look pale and tired, no one’s talking. Then the nurse calls my name.
She takes me to another room and starts taking my blood pressure and checking my heart beat. While checking my vitals, she asks me how my night went to which I respond pretty good. She follows that question up with “what did you take?”. I’m confused by her question and answer “nothing, I thought I was getting the sedative here.”
Then she says “not the sedative, what did you take to purge yourself?” I tell her I didn’t take anything. “So you didn’t spend the entire night on the toilet seat ?” she asks. All of a sudden I get why the people in the waiting room look like death, they’ve spent the last ten hours emptying their souls in the shitter. I tell her no one mentioned anything about the diarrhea marathon I was supposed to run the night before.
She explains to me that my colon needs to be absolutely empty before the exam and that they’ll have to schedule me another visit. She tells me I can go get dressed and talk to the secretary up front to re-schedule. Before leaving that room, a male orderly who was cleaning up in the room tells me “you were in a way too good mood for a guy who’s supposed to have spent the last ten hours on the toilet.” Yeah, no shit I tell him.
So, I’m waiting to hear from them for my next opportunity at colonoscopy. Sooo looking forward to the prep, NOT. I may or may not write Colonoscopy, take #2.