Friday, January 14, 2011

Hey, That's an Exit; Not an Entrance

One of the consequences of turning 50 is the necessity to endure a certain medical procedure which involves a part of your body you can only see if you are trying…I mean really trying. Let’s put this another way: The area in question is designed as an exit, but this procedure requires one to endure a kind of contraflow.

So I found myself, on an otherwise unremarkable Friday morning, wearing a loose fitting backless gown under a gossamer blanket preparing to surrender my dignity in the name of preventive healthcare. To make matters worse, I was exposing in all its glory what might be considered my “best side” to a man with whom I’ve had dinner. That’s one of the downsides of knowing all your doctors.

Looking back on it with twelve hours of, um, hindsight; I can say it wasn’t bad at all. In advance of the event, certain preparations were necessary. The stuff you are forced to drink and its inevitable result didn’t bother me a bit, although I had to hang around the house to have easy access to a particular room. The hardest part was being on a diet of clear liquids for more than 24 hours. I have to admit I got pretty hungry.

I don’t remember anything about the actual event. I recall being wheeled into the procedure room under the comforting protection of my little thin blankie. Then, there was some small talk with the nurse. The doctor moseyed in with a wisecrack and some last minute questions. Then the nurse said she was about to push drugs into my IV. I remember saying, “Wow. That works fast.”

One second later, it seemed, I was looking up at my wife and saying “I thought they wouldn’t let you in here.” She said it was all over and I was back in recovery. Apparently, we had already engaged in several conversations, including a dispute about whether or not I had on any underwear. She later said hospital personnel kept coming in to tell her we were free to go, but she couldn’t get me to wake up. I guess I would meander into consciousness long enough to say a sentence or two (or to put my underwear on) and then lapse back into la-la land.

As I was being wheeled out of the GI lab, the nurse who had been in the procedure room said, “Sorry, I didn’t write anything down.” I didn’t understand what she was talking about. She said, “You said if you said anything funny or weird to write it down so you could put in it your blog.” I think she’s probably just being discreet.

I made it home, obviously, but I don't remember leaving the hospital or getting into the car or the ride home. I have a vague memory of eating snack items (cheese and crackers, maybe?) and turning on the TV, thinking it was Saturday and a game would be on.
Otherwise, I slept the day away and don’t remember much about it. I think I've been asking my wife to tell me certain stories over and over again. The strangest thing is, I keep having this feeling like I should be sick. I was, after all, in the hospital today. I had an IV and drugs, along with a tube spraying oxygen into my nose. I was mostly naked, and comfortably so, in front of a bunch of co-workers. But I’m not sick and I fully expect to be perfectly normal after a good night’s sleep.
As for the results: clean as a whistle, I guess. I’m told they said to come back in ten years, although I don’t really remember that. I hope somebody wrote it down.

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1 comment:

Burns said...

I must say Darrell... I always admired your writing. Your eloquent use of prose actually makes me feel better about the topic, though you never said what it was.
Why would I feel better? Well, I admit I read it out of curiosity because it won't be long before I'll be wearing a back-less gown and going through this very ordeal. I'm not looking forward to it. But, I must say, thanks to your personal insight, I'm not as worried.
Plus, I love the word "moseyed." Don't think I've ever used it in a sentence. I will now. :)