I Don’t Wanna Wait

I was going to wait until the biopsy results came back to post an official post-colonoscopy blog entry, but they can take between 7 and 10 days to come back. It’s been six and my patience is clearly wearing thing. So I’ll write this entry, then if I find out that the results say anything, I’ll write another entry about that.

Everyone said that taking the prep was the worst part, and it was extremely nasty stuff. (Basically, it tasted like lemon dishwashing soap.) I don’t know if it was the worst part. It started working almost immediately, and everything was cleared out after two 8oz. cups of the stuff, but I had to finish 6 more cups. Anything else I drank came straight through. I almost gagged on the juice before the prep and afterward, I couldn’t stand any sugar in my system at all. Since the juice was hard to get down and I had to stay hydrated, I had to down 32oz. of water every hour that I was awake post-first round of prep. Obviously, since everything was coming through, that didn’t really do a lot of good and I was feeling completely dried out (and pretty weak) before the end of the night.

The next morning, I finished off the prep by 5am, like I was supposed to and got some more water into my system before sitting around and waiting until my dad woke up so that we could go to the hospital. My mom didn’t go because she’d had a procedure (five or six cortisone shots) on her back the day before. After getting checked in at the hospital and going upstairs, I had to check in once again–this time with the endoscopy nurses. They brought out the anesthesia booklet thing that I had to fill out, and I did. Before I was finished, I was called back to answer the same questions that were in the booklet for a nurse. The nurse was nice, so I didn’t mind as much as I probably could have.

After that, she had me change into the gown and socks, and she told me to get some urine so that they could do a pregnancy test. My dehydration made that part impossible. I came out of the bathroom and I told the nurse that I had no success. She said I could try again later, after they got fluids in me–via IV. I knew that that was a long shot and I told her that I was pretty sure that I wasn’t pregnant. Of course, she wondered how that was possible, and I told her that it was a biological impossibility to get knocked up when you have never had sex. This whole virginity thing became the talk of the nurses, anesthesiology folks, and doctors. It wasn’t really kept quiet and became quite the embarrassment. The anesthetist said that some people had sworn they  weren’t pregnant before and “burned” their service when they revealed later that they were and the anesthesia had messed up their kids. I told her I wasn’t lying. I pointed out the D&C/hysteroscopy, that had been clearly marked on my chart, had been done in a hospital and under anesthesia because I have panic attacks and screaming fits whenever anyone comes near that particular region of my body. This led to some problems later when we went over other parts of my history. According to her and to the different nurses, the anesthesiologist who was supposed to run my procedure was a real stickler for the rules and would require a urine test. I almost offered to have them bring a notary public up so that I could swear on some legal document that I was in fact a virgin because I knew the urine test wasn’t gonna happen. The rules-obsessed doctor finally came around and said it was fine to not have the test. I guess he figured that if a 29-year old was willing to have her lack of a sex life examined, ridiculed, laughed about, etc. by a bunch of strangers to get out of taking a pregnancy test that that 29-year old probably wasn’t lying.

Anyway, while that embarrassing escapade was going on, there was a bit of a struggle with trying to find veins for my IV. (I wouldn’t be me if there wasn’t a struggle over my veins.) I told them that I was a very hard stick–and I knew it would be more complicated due to the dehydration. One nurse bailed before even trying. (I liked that about her.) She offered to find veins for the other nurses, but when they’d go to check them out, they couldn’t find the ones that she had found. The anesthetist tried first, in my left hand, on the back of it, and it didn’t work. She felt a pop, so she thought she got it, but she didn’t. She even tried digging around to capture the vein, but it kept scooting away. She was a bit frustrated by her failure. Another nurse came around and tried my right arm, about two inches from my elbow, on the inside of the arm. She got a tiny flash and thought it would work, but it didn’t. Finally, the charge nurse for the center came over and got the IV started on the inside of my left arm, right at my wrist, where the bundle of blood vessels are pretty visible. (The last two sticks are still bruised, almost a week later.)

While the anesthetist went over my chart, she criticized my answers on the form. When I marked that I had trouble with anesthesia, she had an issue with that. I guess having your blood pressure drop and having trouble remembering to breathe in post-op aren’t significant enough to be put on her form. She also said it wasn’t important to know that sometimes the anesthetics could make me hyperactive. (I think she changed her opinion on that when I woke up right after the tests–while in the procedure room–and started talking a mile a minute.) I had marked that I do have a rapid/irregular heart rate. I’m pretty sure that a heart rate of 100-160 while I’m doing nothing qualifies as a rapid heart rate. She said I could just have a really fast heartbeat and that that could be normal. I told her that I had seen a cardiologist and he had told me that I had an arrhythmia, but he hadn’t told me specifically what kind. She didn’t believe that any cardiologist would do that. (Well, he did. Actually, his nurse said I had one.) I also told her about the murmur. By this point, she didn’t believe a word I said. She said that my heart was probably fast due to my having “constant panic attacks”–her words, not mine. Yeah, the anxiety can impact my heart rate, but I don’t think anxiety causes murmurs. When the anesthesiologist came in, he asked if I had ever had an EKG. I told him that I had. They got the last EKG that the hospital had done (during the July ER visit for the ant bites/faceplanting) and he kind of mumbled something about it. I didn’t really see the anesthetist again after the EKG debacle until after the procedure was over.

The test went smoothly. They found one polyp, in the upper left area of my colon. It was interesting that they found one there because I had been telling doctors for a while that I had some pretty bad pain in that area. (That may have had nothing to do with the polyp, though.) Because of that polyp, I have to have another colonoscopy in five years. Other than that, he didn’t see anything. He did send off tissue samples from the biopsies of my small and large intestine. He thinks that the diarrhea is a result of dumping syndrome, but I’m not really convinced of that since it predates the gastric bypass surgery.

So now I just have to wait to see if they found anything in those biopsies. It’s gotten to the point with all of these diagnostic tests that I want them to just find out whatever it is and get it over with. I’m tired of having tests done and finding out nothing. If I can know what’s causing me to be so sick, then maybe we can stop it and I can finally start to feel like a regular person.

About Janet Morris

I'm from Huntsville, Alabama. I've got as many college credits as a doctorate candidate, and the GPA of some of them, too. I have a boss by the name of Amy Pond. She's a dachshund. My parents both grew up in Alabama.