Paying the piper (part ii)

Yesterday was the big day for my first colonoscopy. And I really wasn’t looking forward to the experience, as the various sources of information on the internet, and a friend who has been through it, led me to believe that it wasn’t going to be pleasant. Quite the reverse in fact.

But, back when I was first diagnosed I promised myself I’d do whatever was required to get well, and so far I’ve stuck with it. So at 4:30pm my wife dropped me off at the hospital, where we sat in reception for about 45 minutes – which is unusual. Eventually I was collected by a nurse, and ushered through to a room where I could get changed and wait for my consultant to come and brief me, and get me to sign the consent forms. There’s really not much to do at this point, so my wife took off to sort out tea for the kids, leaving me to my fate with promises that she’d be back to pick me up and bring me home later.

And apart from a brief visit from my consultant to sign forms, there things stood for the next three hours; so I watched the news on TV, played with my new Android phone on the hospitals free WiFi, listened to the Archers, and then found a rather good programme with Jamie Cullen on jazz music on Radio 2 … and slowly but surely got more and more wound up. They say that anticipation heightens the thrill; well, I can certainly testify that it heightens the stress.

Then the nice theatre nurse showed up, and walked me down to the theatre where they got me on the table. My consultant proved why he is a consultant, and got me cannularised without me even noticing, while the theatre nurses hooked me up to some oxygen and the dreaded machines that go “ping”. At which point my friendly consultant decided I needed calming down; a mix of pethidine and midazolam, and 60 seconds later I’m very calm. Very calm indeed.

I then got to watch the consultant check the entire length of my colon for any abnormalities, which from my perspective was quite interesting, especially as my consultant is a good egg, and was happy to give me a running commentary of what he was looking at and why. The whole process took about 30 minutes, and I have to say was completely painless – though my consultant did say that because of the “replumbing” I’ve already been subjected to, there are less awkward bends for him to negotiate on me than on a “normal” person.

And that was it – on into recovery for about 15 minutes, and then back to my room where the nurses insisted that I had to have some water, and tea, and a sandwich, and that I couldn’t go home until I’d eaten & drunk something, and managed to go for a wee!

That last one was an issue though, because having been on osmotic laxatives for the last 36 hours, wee was in short supply, and all I wanted to do was go home and go to sleep. Fortunately my nice consultant stopped by before heading home, to let me know (again) that all looked well to him, and promptly over-ruled the “wee before leaving” rule, which allowed me to get home before midnight.

So now I just have the full-body CT scan to negotiate, sometime early in the new year. But in the meantime I can relax about health matters and get on with enjoying Christmas.

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