And by surgical procedure, I mean anything that puts you out entirely with anesthetic. I’ve had locals shot into my mouth to make it easier to fix fillings or yank out teeth (my dentist has probably made a small fortune off my mouth).
I’ve been to a few specialists about my core area issues (digestive trouble, intermittent pressure & pain, menstrual… all in close proximity, so you get the idea). They wanted to make sure I didn’t have anything wrong in there because I have odd white cell count issues, though taking iron supplements has helped the red cell count immensely. But because of my see-sawing issues in my stomach, I was scheduled to have a endoscopy and a colonoscopy.
Yeah, a camera tube down the hatch and one up the ass. Sounded like fun.
I was a nervous wreck for days and trying desperately not to look up info about what could go wrong during such a routine procedure, because something always can go wrong even if it’s a remote chance. I was trying to just stay calm and obey the doc’s orders and whatnot as far as prep.
Didn’t help that I was supposed to stop taking my iron pills five days beforehand, so my lethargy came back with a vengeance and I needed a midday nap for three days straight. I wish I’d eaten better on Saturday because I had to start my liquid diet on Sunday, but I was so nervous I was trying not to throw up what little I HAD eaten.
So, Sunday was spent trying to drink as much liquid as I could (hot tea and honey, some Sprite–at least til the heartburn made an appearance–, hot apple cider, apple juice, water and that god-awful bowel prep solution. It’s that liquid concentrate stuff that you’ve gotta dilute with water and then within an hour drink 32 more ounces of water.
I had to do that stuff twice. The first time, awful. The second time more awful because I knew what it tasted like already. It was odd because it smelled a bit like Pixie Sticks and that magnesium citrate stuff that you get at the pharmacy as an oral laxative (sure felt like it going down), but also had a major plasticky taste to it. It tasted like someone had thrown some Legos in a tub, stirred the water around a while, and then dumped it into the cup I was supposed to drink from.
I think that was the most nauseous I got. I basically held my nose, took 12 heavy gulps, came up for air, and repeated three more times. Then I stuck my tongue under the faucet to wash that awful taste away, and swished and spit for probably two minutes straight. The other two cups of water I had to drink really helped get that taste out some more, but it was hard because my stomach was starting to hurt from all I had thrown down the gullet so quickly. That was probably the closest I came to throwing up, within 30 minutes of taking that stuff (and with one more 16 oz cup of water I had to drink to chase it down). I would’ve been pissed off if I had gotten sick off of it, because it cost me $95 to get (insurance wouldn’t pay and the uber-helpful receptionist gave me a coupon to knock a bunch off the price–thanks, dear lady).
I rewarded myself with some hot apple cider after I was done with each dose, and once that full feeling went down. I think the sugar helped stop the gurgling and “fed” the stomach and that taste helped kill the leftover ick factor.
I think over the course of the day, I gradually didn’t want food, so it wasn’t all that bad. I’d wiped off my old notes from the front of my fridge (found out a month ago that dry-erase markers work extremely well on a stainless-steel fridge door because magnets and white boards don’t stick… as long as you don’t use green because it’s too light), and wrote what I could drink. And I couldn’t drink anything the morning of. That wasn’t so hard when I was at home, but as the morning went on and the procedure got closer, my stomach did NOT like that.
Bad enough that I had to show at 10 a.m., was supposed to start about 11 a.m., and by the time I would theoretically get home, I would’ve been without coffee for 48 hours and solid food for at least 41.
But, on to the procedure. My ride took me there, I forgot to hit registration first and had to go back over there (like I said, total newbie to hospital procedures), and they took me practically right away. I had to be in an hour early and hoped that maybe they could get it all done and ready to go. Got checked, filled out paperwork, got gowned up and laid down on the bed.
And I waited.
That was the suckiest part, because I’d brought a Nero Wolfe book with me in the car, but had left it in the bag of stuff for my ride to hang onto. I could’ve finished that whole book while laying there bored off my ass.
I’d hoped that maybe I could pay attention and listen to what was going on around me, get some fodder for a possible story later (that’s probably the one thing that relaxed me yesterday morning before going in–some personal experience to write about). I tried to play Dark Side of the Moon from start to finish in my head (which sometimes helps). But my nervousness and my churning stomach and my hunger/caffeine deprivation headache made it really hard.
When the anesthesiologist finally came by an hour into the wait and did her routine check on me and my med history and whatnot, she was like “we could add some pain meds to the line.” I declined because I figured I was about to be knocked out quite nicely so the headache wouldn’t be felt (and who knows how much money that little bit of extra drugs would’ve been–I am cringing at the thought of added charges that’ll come in the mail).
The strangest thing I could say is I have no idea when the anesthesia actually hit me. They told me they were gonna do it, and told me there might be a slight burning feeling as it went in, but I just kept my head there and closed my eyes.
Woke up coughing with my throat slightly irritated in recovery.
That must’ve been some good shit they gave me, because it wasn’t sleep. Sleep I am awakened by movement and noise; a reaction to living in the sticks and being aware of dogs moving around or birds making noise. This was being completely out. I guess I wasn’t expecting that. My coughing is what woke me up, and it took a bit for my eyes to adjust. It was just strange, very strange, and that nasal cannula was still around my head. I hadn’t budged since I closed my eyes the first time.
Yeah, that definitely didn’t happen… thankfully. Though when I was wheeled in I kept playing these Dr. Nick surgery scenes in my head, trying not to laugh before they hooked up the lines and put me out. I didn’t want to have to explain the joke while they were being super serious.
When I started to cough more and move around, I was slightly out of it but started to comprehend a little better. They mentioned I might want to talk to a sleep study or something about sleep apnea in the near future because I was snoring very loudly. When I’m in a partially elevated position, oh yeah, I can snore. If I fall asleep sitting up in a car, I’m so loud I wake myself up, which makes everyone else crack up (especially when I look around and go “that was me, wasn’t it?”).
I was mostly afraid of waking up during the procedure, but damn–I was VERY knocked out. That’s something I don’t think I’ve seen in medical shows and the like, or heard about. Snoring. I’m guessing I wasn’t snoring DURING the procedure, maybe afterward, but I was groggy while they were telling me this so I just kept having a mental image of a camera going up my bum while I’m snoring loudly from the other end.
…sorry about that, folks.
But yeah, it was just bizarre. The waiting was definitely the hardest part. Today I feel a bit sore in my stomach area. I didn’t go crazy gorging last night, and a good thing, too. Under my jaw feels really tender and I’m not sure why. Maybe it was the way my head was during that time, or the fact I had to have that mouthpiece between my teeth for that half hour and change for the camera to go through. My stomach feels a bit like it’s bruised up on the inside, the way if you’re violently ill and throw up and there’s nothing left but the heaving and that violence just hurts like hell. Yeah, that’s what it feels like.
The only part that doesn’t seem to hurt is my rear. Of course, not putting too much food in to digest hasn’t taxed it yet, either.
I celebrated coming home around 1:30 with my first coffee in 48 hours and heated up some Spaghetti O’s. I didn’t have any money to get a good breakfast from IHOP or anything like that, though we probably could’ve done that as it was just a block or two away. And I was still groggy and just wanted to get home.
Besides, that would be too much fat and grease for my first meal, and I was warned against such things being too much for my system. Spaghetti O’s are bland as hell when you’re an adult, but when I was tired or super lazy, I’d add some spices to make it palatable. Even after that first jolt of coffee and the last handful of powdered donuts I had in the cabinet, within half an hour of eating I was worn out and my eyes hurt. I put music on in the living room and went to bed with the door open so the dogs could check on me. Funny enough, within two minutes both were on the bed with me, snuggling close.
I woke up about half an hour later. We’d all been snoring together.
I kept it easy the rest of the day, didn’t exert myself much because of general weakness and have limited my salt and sugar. Other than the donuts earlier and the little I put in my coffee (in the form of a splurge on caramel flavored syrup), I’m doing my damnedest to not add a whole lot of excess sugar to my diet.
I figure now is the time since my “slate has been wiped clean,” so to speak. Good chance to start fresh with better food and learn to detox. That’s one of my goals in the coming week, and I’m good with that. Finished up some reading today and now I’m doing more reading about recipes and body chemistry and the like.
Today I’ve got fixins for a beef stew and about a dozen recipes to choose from. Time to get prepped for cookin’. I’ll be a hard-working, penny-pinching wreck the next few months, and I’m gonna see how it all goes (and how much healthier I can get).
Seriously, got about 30 cookbooks and a few more coming in the mail. Canning supplies out the wazoo and how-to books on that… I can be a crazy cooking machine with the little bit I’ve got, if I am sensible and take the time. And it’ll make using that food journal worth it.
Found about a dozen beef stew recipes in this book alone. One or two might be worth it (hee hee).