You know a good friend, when they will pick you up at 6:30 in the morning to drive you to the hospital for your colonoscopy.
We arrive at the hospital, check in, and end up having to wait a half hour until they come to get us.
As we are sitting in the waiting area, I am telling my friend that I'll treat him to lunch and a movie after the procedure.
Because I am sure I will want to eat right away.
I mean, 2 days on a liquid diet, and absolutely nothing since midnight last night.
The male Nurse finally comes to get me for the procedure.
He is asking me questions as we walk along the hospital corridors.
How's my health ? Any complaints ? When was the last time I ate ? Current medications ?
Then, the best question I have ever been asked in my entire life :
"Have you lost ten or more pounds within the last 6 months, without any cause?"
I stopped, and looked at him.
"Dang, don't I wish !"
He must get that same answer to that question very often.
We are now in the Pre-Op room. And I am in my little cubicle.
I get undressed, put on the gown, and lay down on the rolly-polly gurney.
They prick my finger to check my blood sugar levels.
I am hypoglycemic, and I've been on a liquid diet for two days.
And guess what? My sugar is to low.
I need a glucose drip.
Except all my veins are hiding. They are buried deep down because there is no sugar in my system, and I'm alittle dehydrated.
So they try to prick me, but its not working.
They do place an IV in my arm, but they tell me something about the Nurses will have to jiggle the IV to get the glucose to flow.
Oh, thats just great.
The Assistant who is going to be with the Doctor comes to wheel me in the gurney to the room for the procedure.
Me and my gurney are right next to the TV monitor. I am thinking "Great, I can watch everything."
My doctor comes in, and they are not happy with having to jiggle the IV tube to get me glucose.
My doctor says "I hear you left your veins at home today."
Plus there is something about the blood pressure monitor not working with the way the IV is placed. They try the blood pressure monitor on my leg, and it about kills me.
So they call in an Expert Vein guy.
We must wait about 20 minutes for Expert Vein Guy. And my hands and arms start turning blue.
Not good, need sugar.
The Assistant starts to rub my hands and try to keep them warm.
Well, that won't help. I need sugar.
As Expert Vein Guy starts to do his thing, I start to pump my hand to help the blood.
He says "Please don't do that, I'm a non-violent type of guy."
The Expert Vein Guy has my glucose drip in place in easily under 3 minutes.
Once in place, here comes my doctor and one more assistant. They tell me to lay on my left side.
And they say "We're going to give you the anesthesia. You will just be in a twilight state".
I feel the room start to spin.
I start to panic.
"No, no - I don't like this. I don't like being drunk. This isn't good"
I close my eyes to stop the spinning.
And I am out cold.
I'm not sure if I just didn't "do" twilight state. Or if, because I was panicking, the doctors decided to up the dosage, and just knock me out. Whichever, I was out.
Next thing, I wake up in the Recovery room.
And unlike my surgery back in August, where I fought to stay awake after coming out of it. This time I drift in and out of sleep.
I am just to sleepy.
Here is how to tell the results of your Colonoscopy.
If the doctor appears in the recovery room, its bad.
If its just a nurse who could care less, then you are fine.
The Nurse looks at the chart "Ok everything is Normal. Normal colonoscopy. See, here on the paper. The doctor wrote Normal. Now, sign it."
She kind of tosses the clip-board at me. And I sign it.
No chance to ask any questions.
I read it later, and it states that my colon is unremarkable.
Me and my unremarkable colon.
Not so much as a speck of anything in there.
My friend and I drive back towards Hollywood.
Oh, my tummy.
He is driving via the hills near the Hollywood sign. Yes, it is pretty. But the roads are to twisting.
But stomach is not in a good mood.
I tell him "There is no way, I can do lunch. I need to just go home."
Once home, I decide on some Campbells noodle soup to break my two day liquid fast.
I opened the can, look at the noodles ... and barf up in the sink.
How can there be anything at all to barf up ? I've been on a fast for two days.
I decide on lots of white bread. Hawaiian White Bread.
It seems to suck-up whatever is making me sick to my stomach.
The directions they sent me home with say No driving, No Alcohol.
So I spend the day on the couch eating white bread and canned soup.
Its about 7pm, when I finally have a little chicken, and alittle baked potato.
Second Day, Liquid Diet and other things
I continued on with the liquid diet for the colonoscopy, just like yesterday.
Then, at One o'clock in the afternoon, I was getting ready for the awful part.
Drinking the Fleet phosphate that makes you poop your brains out, followed by the fleet enema.
I had all the little green boxes lined up on the bathroom counter.
I read the instructions.
Gee, it seems like they want me to take alot. 2 bottles and an enema.
Which seems about three times the dosage.
Then I read the little "Warning" paragraph:
"Do not use if you've had kidney problems."
Okay, whats that supposed to mean ? I only have one kidney. Is that a problem ?
I call up the nurse at the Colonoscopy office. I ask her if its okay to use the Fleet products.
She said she will ask the doctor, and call me back.
Don't ask me where I was, or what I was doing. But all of a sudden I looked, and there was a message from the nurse on my machine:
"No, don't take that ! We gave you the wrong thing ! Call us immediately ! But don't take that!"
I called her, and she mumbled something about only ever having one other patient with a kidney problem, so they forgot.
She needed to call in a prescription to my local pharmacy for a product pronounced "Golightly".
Now, I really don't mind the fact that they almost damaged my one and only kidney.
But asking me to get in a car and drive 5 blocks to the pharmacy, when I haven't eaten in a day and a half - well, thats just a bit much.
I literally eat a gigantic bowl of pineapple jello before I leave.
I find it does give me strength to make it to the pharmacy.
I bring home a huge container with a powder in it.
I fill it up with water, and put it in the fridge.
Then I get ready for bed - and, yum, easy access.
The "Golightly" product tastes like flat alka seltzer at first.
I follow the instructions, and drink one glass every 10 minutes.
Well, or as close to 10 minutes as possible.
Sometimes, it was time for another glass, and I was still suffering the effects of the previous glass.
As I make my way through the large container, I start to really taste it.
Its no longer flat alka seltzer.
But some kind of oily petroleum product in water.
At least the weird chemicals this stuff is made out of is keeping me hydrated.
Then there is the question of how much to drink.
Do you really think I want to drink the whole thing ?
There is something in the instructions that says until the effects "run clear".
Okay, what does "run clear" mean ?
The looks of plain tea ? No sugar, no cream.
Ok, good enough, I decide. Thats it. I'm done.
Donna's Hints for a Liquid Diet
Today was the first day of "Only Clear Liquids" for the colonoscopy.
If you ever have to go through this, let me offer some helpful tips.
Take time off from work. So you can just lay around the house.
Surf the Internet, watch TV, read books. Nothing the least bit strenuous.
They say you can have coffee and tea, but watch it. To much caffeine will make you hungry.
If you are hypoglycemic, like me - having only clear liquids is really difficult.
I started out with my friend's suggestion of Campbells Beef Consume. One can, 8 grams of protein.
But I found when drinking it, that it was to salty for me.
Instead, get those plain Gelatin packages. Knox or another brand.
Each packette is 7 grams of protein.
I put it in any hot liquid I could. It went into coffee and herb tea.
And it really helped alot.
This was the best stuff that I can recommend.
I made jello. I found pineapple flavor. Yummy yummy.
I also made a Chicken Jello, using chicken broth and plain gelatin packages.
I was trying to think of another way to get protein.
But I couldn't bring myself to eating the chicken jello. I ended up throwing it out.
Other than that. It was white grape juice. Lots of Seven-up and lots of Gatorade.
And an occasional clear popscicle.
About a half a cup of coffee - with Knox Gelatin - in the afternoon to fight the headache.
Pig Out Day
Okay, so I am getting ready to not eat for two days, and only drink liquids.
The colonoscopy will be happening in a few days.
So today for lunch it was Molly's Burgers .
Unfortunately, they had run out of Onion Rings.
It was my second to last meal, and I really wanted Onion Rings.
Then for dinner, I did something that I haven't done in ages.
I drove through Taco Bell. The one near my house also serves Pizza.
It was a cheese pizza and bread sticks for dinner.
No, this is not an anti-cancer diet for sure.
I haven't eaten like that in ages.
And I was alittle sick to my tummy. Well, not really sick.
More like "I can't believe I ate the whole thing" feeling.
I am kind of hoping the Burger and Pizza meals help me make it through the next few days on only clear liquids.
In search of Beef Consomme
Driving around Los Angeles, trying to find Beef Consomme.
You know Ralph's doesn't carry it. Vons doesn't carry it.
Mayfair Market in Los Feliz does carry it. But I thought I could find a better brand than Campells.
So I drove to the Gelsons in West Hollywood.
The Gelsons in West Hollywood on Santa Monica Blvd had Campbells as well.
As I drove around Santa Monica Blvd, trying to find the Gelsons, somehow I drove had to turn around on Robertson.
(Yeah, I know - I am the strangest driver.)
I pass a nightclub called "Here" Lounge.
On a Sunday night, that place was hopping. Tons of people.
I emailed a few friends when I got home. Turns out it is a Gay/Mixed Crowd. Well, of course, its in WeHo.
One of my friends said there is no point in going to a Nightclub if the men aren't going to at least look at you.
Well, I don't care. The place looks like a total blast.
It is now on my "To Do" List.
Thats for after I am done with the colonoscopy.
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