I had my first colonoscopy today!
Because I have been dealing with GI issues for much of the past year, my GP recommended that we get to the bottom (heh) of it by ruling out anything serious. Y’all know how it works – when you’re getting a picture taken, you clean up and present your best self. Sadly, a shower wasn’t sufficient for this procedure. As such, I consumed my last solid food was 36 hours prior to the exam.
I woke up yesterday anticipating a fairly miserable day, knowing I wouldn’t eat anything aside from chicken broth, water, or white grape juice. Moreover, I wouldn’t be able to ease my menstrual cramps with any anti-inflammatory medication. At 3 PM, I saddled up and took the first dose of my laxative, anticipating the worst:
I wasn’t sure if I could Bear (sorry) what was surely to come. In truth, I would describe what ensued as more tedious than painful. My stomach never hurt. I simply got urges to use the restroom at ridiculous intervals. At around 7 PM, I reported to Adonis that I was “only” going about twice an hour, having forgotten that this was still quite a bit. I smiled and laughed a lot – indeed, I was reminded of how satisfied I can be with little food. Not once that day did I feel extreme hunger. Each bout of broth (carefully timed, of course) was delicious.
The second and final dose of the medicine was at 10 PM. I couldn’t imagine having anything left to give! I found myself appreciative of simple tastes and, curiously enough, of other people. The bathroom is a lonely place, y’all. I was engaged in conversation and would have to excuse myself in mid-sentence. I was afraid to go to bed because I didn’t want to miss any important appointments. By 2 AM, the storm had calmed.
I woke up this morning feeling nervous about breaking my 30 year run of no general anesthesia. “Will they give me too much? Too little?” I’ve seen loved ones tolerate it well but all that came to mind was a show I used to watch as a teenager – When Anesthesia Fails. “What if I wake up normally conscious but those a$$e$ messed up mine? What if they kill me? Nobody will get the music right at my funeral!!” I know it was ridiculous for just a colonoscopy, but hey. I’m tryna live here.
Thankfully, the most painful part of my experience was my copay. The nurses at my side were great. The doctor joked that I didn’t do the prep properly because I was in such good spirits and did not describe it as terrible. I suppose that laying down with an IV with nothing to do except challenge myself to remember Bible verses for nearly 2 hours was helpful.
Be anxious for nothing, but in everything, with prayer and supplication and thanksgiving, make your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.
Philippians 4:6-7. Over and over, I repeated this to myself before the moment of truth – the anesthesia. I watched as the anesthesiologist attached the vial of white milky goodness (Propofol) to my IV. “Hey wait I’m not ready! Did you do it?” She reassured me that the doctor was still to come and talk to me first. He talked to me, I saw her push down and I asked her if she did it. “Sure did,” she says. I felt a weird tingle in the upper half of my body. The next thing I knew, my Mom was waiting with me.
Result – my colon looks fantastic! The only recommendation is to up my fiber game. It will be another 10 years before I need to do that again, but I hope the biggest lesson stays with me: I need less than I think to be satisfied.