Wednesday, July 02, 2008

A little experiment

So here I am, clean as a whistle inside and out, waiting for Jerry to come home and take me for my colonoscopy. I'm just a little leary of the anesthesia because I've never been "out" before. My doctor assured me I won't be all the way out; they will be able to rouse me if they need to. My dad, who has had several colonoscopies over the years, offered this scenario based on his experience:

"They'll give you something and tell you that you will be going to sleep soon. The next thing you know, it will be over. You'll wake up in another room, with no pants, laying in a bed. Jerry will be right there. The doctor will come in and tell you how everything went, and give instructions for Jerry how to take care of you. Then, Jerry will help you get dressed, help you into the car, drive you home, and help you to bed, where you will fall asleep for about three more hours. When you wake up, you will remember nothing of the procedure, and in fact nothing about waking up afterwords, getting dressed, coming home, etc.

Although I forget lots of things on a regular basis, the idea of "lost time" is still kind of scary for me. My friend Kathi, who has been under anesthesia for a number of different things, says the drugs give you amnesia, and that's why people don't remember stuff even though they were supposedly awake and responsive at the time.

I have decided I will try a little experiment: I will have Jerry think of an animal with an unusual attribute, like a gorilla with a top-hat, or a frog with wings. Something weird. On the ride home, he will engage me in a conversation about it. Just enough so that he can confirm that I heard and understand what the animal in question is. If I do pass out when we get home, he is to ask me about the strange animal when I wake up. We'll see if I get amnesia.... I am back from the doctor with a clean bill of colon health, and a mostly intact memory. I remember being semi-aware during the actual procedure, and I remember them telling me I was all done, but I think I was sleeping as they wheeled me back to the recovery area. I remember shifting around, trying to find the best position to release the air trapped in my guts. I shifted so much, I got my tubes tangled in my gown a little. The nurse came and straightened me out, and then Jerry was there. He murmered "pink fox" to me, but I don't think I was paying full attention. I didn't need help getting dressed. We had a leisurely walk back to the car, and he asked me if I remembered the animal. I told him I remembered he told me something, but I wasn't paying attention. He said "pink fox" again, and it did ring a bell. From then on, I remembered it all the way home.


  1. Do you make everything fun? I think so! Congrats on getting through your test. I am still putting it off! I am a big chicken! Never have seen anyone have a problem with it though, and just about all my friends have had one...and my brother is having one tomorrow! Glad you have a clean bill of colon health! YEAH!

  2. Well, I wouldn't exactly call this fun, but it was just something to think about. And now, a few hours later, I find I can remember very little about the actual procedure. I remember the nurses joking about how the patients always need to fart to release the air that gets pumped in for the scope. The doctor came in, and they re-read and confirmed my identity and medical info. I don't remember the scope going in, or coming out for that matter, although I was aware of a couple of twinges of pain (not too serious), and I could hear them talking. I think I was in and out, but I heard them say OK, you're done.

    The most critical part of a colonoscopy is the prep. On my last day of solid food, (Monday) I ate moderately, and avoided dairy and other things that tend do irritate my bowel. I did need to "camp out" close to the bathroom yesterday, but I didn't have any discomfort or cramps. And I ended up drinking less than half of the jug of nasty makes-you-poop stuff. It was all I needed

    Hope all goes well for your brother.

  3. Thanks Cindy! My bro did great...just like you. Clean bill of health also! Yeah!


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