07 February 2015

Vonnie's GI Adventures

Alternatively: How Vonnie Paid $2000 to Star in Her Own Medical Tentacle Porn

Last November, I had my first colonoscopy and endoscopy to try and figure out what the heck was going on with my body.

If you didn't see my last post, I have had some really shitty things going on with my body since last September, generally gastro stuff. Nausea. Vomiting. Inability to be more than a quick dash away from a toilet. Oh, and being stuck on a clear liquid diet for what felt like an eternity.

Adore perfectly captures how I felt about the whole situation.

Fuck this noise, I want a pizza.

The Prep

Everyone told me how terrible the prep would be, so I was expecting the worst. You're essentially ingesting something like two weeks worth of doses of Miralax over the course of a few hours the night before your procedure. I expected terrible cramping and being latched to the toilet while everything in my body expelled itself in a long night of pain and agony. 

I set myself up in our small bathroom - pallet on the floor to sleep if I needed to, iPad with Netflix ready to go for a Futurama marathon, Gatorade so I wouldn't dehydrate. 

Every twenty minutes or so I drank the 8oz of Gatorade with the Miralax (gag) and watched Futurama. 

So I'm expecting something to happen within an hour. I made myself comfortable on my pallet prepared myself for the worst.

It took almost four hours for anything to start happening at all, but thanks to the clear liquid diet I didn't experience a quarter of the pain I'd set myself up to experience. I did start to get really tired because my sugar levels were dropping lower than what I expected. 

By the time I got to the last of the 64oz of nasty Miralax mix, I couldn't take it anymore and ended up hurling. Below is a reenactment. 

Life would have been so much better had I been vomiting rainbows.

It wasn't quite that magical and mystical. It was more disgusting and sweaty, and ended with me crying like a baby because I thought I had botched the entire prep and would have to go through it all over again at a later date.

The Procedure

After what was a pretty tough 14 hours, I went in for my procedure the next morning. I didn't think I was going to be able to make it to the surgery center because I felt so terrible. I had nothing left in my body to hurl or do anything else. All I could do was ride it out and hope for the best.

It felt like hours in the waiting room, filling out paperwork and making payment arrangements. Luckily it was only me, my husband, and a bitchy old customer of mine in the waiting room. I avoided her and laid out in the seats, waiting to be called.

An imagined eternity later a nurse came and got me, made me repeat my name, birthday, allergies, and procedure like a million and a half times before taking my clothes and giving me a really spiffy hospital gown and cap.

She hooked me up to an IV with fluids and it made me feel better almost immediately. When I dehydrate even the tiniest bit is screws up my body. Getting the fluids was a great relief.

From waiting game in the lobby came waiting game in the prep room. I think I went through half a bag of fluids before they moved me into the room for the procedure.

I remembered going in for surgery with my ankle and I was wheeled into a very bright room, so I was expecting something a little bigger and a little brighter. In all realities the room for this procedure was rather dim and small, nothing like the OR at the hospital.

There were so many people in there it was pretty packed and uncomfortable.

It felt kinda like this, but without the noose.

I almost panicked when I was given a mouthpiece to bite onto so I wouldn't bite into the endoscope. I have a very bad gag reflex. I gag when I brush my teeth. I gag in the dentist during xrays. Fortunately, this piece of plastic was flexible and didn't bother me to the point of gagging.

My anesthesiologist was absolutely amazing. He greeted me already in the prep room and we discussed the meds he would be using (propofol = amazing) so I'd be prepared when the time came to inject me. It's a little milky, a little thick, tastes strange, and feels funny going into the IV, but it's very effective. He asked me to count to ten, which I did, and I still wasn't out so he asked me to do the same thing in Japanese.

I made it to roku and I was off to sleepy land.

The Recovery

The next thing I remember was waking up in the recovery room confused as hell. 

I had been out for maybe forty five minutes at the most. Unlike my last experience with propofol, I didn't feel or remember a thing.

I had another moment where I felt fortunate: I knew my nurse in recovery. She was the same nurse that helped me when I was admitted into the hospital with my broken ankle. It was helpful having a familiar face to keep me calm and collected. She brought me some saltines and apple juice to see if I could keep it down. Being able to keep a bit of food and drink down are something important after a procedure like that. No nausea generally means no complications, which is totally bueno.

Some people report pain after a colonoscopy, though I had none. I was a little gassy and uncomfortable, something that is normal, but not in pain. I freaked out a little bit when I looked at reviews for my GI doc and a woman reported having a lot of pain after her procedure. I'm not going to automatically judge and say she was a pussy for not being able to handle the pain, or that she didn't do something right with prep or follow-up, but her review was enough to scare me into following every instruction to the letter.

Tip: Get over passing gas in front of the nurses. It's something that is completely normal, something that they want to hear. If you aren't expelling any air after the procedure, something may be wrong.

So don't be shy, make like Elsa and let it go.

You may feel like this:

We know it was you, gassy ass.

But your nurses will feel like this: 

They won't show it, but they dance on the inside.

After I changed back into my clothes and chilled in a recliner for a bit I was released to go home.

The surgery center here has THE BEST recliners in recovery. They are super soft and kick back with ease. I wanted to stay and sleep in the chair or take the damn thing with me. It was relaxation to the max .

On the way home we stopped and got some food and I got to eat after almost 18 hours of fasting/broth only. It was one of the most satisfying subs I've ever eaten in my life.

Once I had eaten and I was setting comfortably at home, I crashed. Hard. My energy was so low that I just let it happen.

Almost two months later I got my results and learned I went through all of that for absolutely nothing. No celiac, ulcerative colitis, crohn's. Just a delightful case of gastritis.

And now it's on to the next specialist.

Love and Spoons~


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