There’s nothing quite as humbling as a consultation with a gastroenterologist in preparation of your first colonoscopy. Get the hell on the table and let’s have a looksy.
The doctor, who looked like she might still be playing with American Girl dolls, walked into the examination room. “You look so familiar?” Really, I thought. Wait till you see my other end.
Anyhoo, she sat down at a small desk and removed a piece of paper from her folder. It was a page long list of questions. “Do you have depression, anxiety, trouble sleeping?” I looked at her. “I’m human and I’m breathing.”
She smiled. “Good point.”
I finished answering her questions, and she went on to tell me about the procedure, and, in great detail, what she was going to do to me.
I don’t know why people get so bent out of shape over a colonoscopy. I’ve given myself an enema or two— there was a time in the early 90’s when it was au courant. And, well, let’s just say that I’m not butt shy. What’s the big whoop.
I think it’s fascinating that we can see the lining of the large intestine that’s projected onto a screen, like a movie. I’m not sure, however, that if I went to medical school, gastroenterologist would be the speciality that I’d raise my hand for. What makes a person say, “Me! Me! I want to do that. Sign me up.”
“So we’ll inject you with a…” I interrupted.
“Does anyone ever opt for no anesthesia?”
She shook her head. “Some. But very rarely.”
“What kind of people want to go it alone?”
“All kinds. Some women who’ve had natural childbirth, some people have medical conditions. Some just don’t like to be sedated. I wouldn’t recommend it.”
“Is it painful, painful, or just uncomfortable painful?” I like to test my limits, and it would be interesting to know what my threshold was. Like climbing Kilimanjaro.
“It’s painful, painful. And once we start, we can’t stop. It’s like having a big gas bubble inserted inside, and you feel very full. It makes taking deep breaths, or bearing down because of the pain very challenging.”
She had me at gas bubble. I’ve been doubled over in that hellish pain at the most inopportune moments (sex) and it is not a day at the races. Anesthesia it is.
Then I suddenly realized that I didn’t know much about this doctor. “How long have you been doing this?”
“Over ten years for this particular procedure.”
“So you’ve probably done hundreds, right?”
“Yes, too many.” Oh, my god, she sounded bored. I didn’t want a bored doctor probing my insides.
“Okay, but you’re going to be super excited on the 12th, right? It’s going to be fun. You’ve never had me on the table. It’s going to be a party, right? Bring your A game.”
“Of course. You’ve got nothing to worry about.”
“Do I get a copy of the video? I have one of my Lasik eye surgery and it was a real crowd pleaser. I’d be fun to be able to show a double feature. The holidays are coming up.”
“No, but I might be able to hook you up with a few photos.”
She smiled but she was ready for this consult to be over. “You can pick up your prep instructions at the front desk. The procedure should only take about an hour, or less. And you’ll want to have someone pick you up afterwards.” And with that she was gone.
Uh, oh. I started to gather up my belongings. Who was going to pick me up on a Thursday morning? The handful of people that I knew will be at work. The other handful live in California, and my parents will have already flown the coop for their winter resting place in Florida. Who’s left?
On my walk home, I couldn’t stop thinking about how I didn’t have a single person that I could call and ask for this favor. Do I really need someone to pick me up? How out of it am I going to be? Maybe it’ll be like a hangover. Maybe I should go drug-free.
As I made my way across town, I started laughing to myself. Wouldn’t it be funny if I asked my ex-boyfriend’s daughter to pick me up? We’re close. And then I stopped laughing. That would be so inappropriate, and unreasonable, especially since she didn’t even live in the city.
I laughed again. Ooh, what if I asked my ex to pick me up? It’s the least that he could do. I picked him up after his ass probe. I was right there when he opened his eyes after the anesthesia wore off. Or was that my dad?
No, seriously because I think I also picked up my dad once after his probe and drove him home. Where the hell was my mom?
The pity party is over. I’ll figure it out. Please don’t respond to this post with a ride offer. I appreciate the thought, but it would be weird. I don’t even know you.
Shit, was this why people had kids?
I think I’ll be able to hobble outside of the doctor’s office and hail a cab. Ooh, wait, I wonder what my doorman is doing on the 12th.