I arrived at the Endoscopy Center around 8:15 a.m. on Monday. I know what you’re thinking. The same thing I would be. That’s already too much information.
The waiting room was comfortable, but crowded. Business was good. Health care in America showing a strong pulse.
KM was with me because I had been told by the doctor, then his assistant, then by some lady who called to remind me, that under no circumstances was I to drive home. Good advice, and probably the kind that needed reinforcement for someone who had been in college in the ‘70s.
When having any new medical procedure, my tendency is to share beforehand my fears with others, and perhaps try and find humor in something so miserably unappealing. So I began calling friends for encouragement and support.
The first person I called went through his experience of the colonoscopy in detail, and when he finished I was forming numerous excuses on how to get out of it. He did say that the worst part was the day before, known as the “prep stage.” You may know about it.
Other “friends” I asked also said the prep was the worst of it, and by the time the day came I was expecting the worst, which was good because the expectation, as usual, is much more intense than the actual event.
Then there was the friend who had been through it and was actually having another one just 30 minutes after me, on Monday morning. Told you business was good. He suggested that on Sunday we go play golf. What? That didn’t sound right. But he was serious.
So I told him about a time I had gone to Acapulco with a large group for four days. The day we were leaving, a few began getting Montezuma’s Revenge. Then on the flight back, a few more began getting it. The day after we were home I was out playing golf when Montezuma visited me. So I passed on the golf.
Another friend said that when he arrived on the day of his procedure the first thing they gave him after signing in was a pill to take. His advice to me was, “Take that pill!”
So after I signed in I waited in front of the lady for my pill. It was obvious she was finished with me but I stood my ground, waiting on the pill. She looked up and said, “If you’ll just have a seat a nurse will call you when it’s time.”
“Don’t I get a pill now?” I could feel KM walking away.
“Pill?” The lady said.
“Yes, I was told there would be a pill.” I hadn’t come that far without the hope of some kind of temporary bliss.
“No pills out here, they will have something for you back there,” she said in a calm voice.
Back there. She had said, “Back there.” I thought a pill was in order to get one to even go “back there.”
She looked down at her paperwork, telling me silently the conversation was over. So I sat down and soon was called. I kissed KM and headed “back there,” where I was given a nice little cotton toga-like thing to put on. They told me to lie down on a gurney and they put a warm blanket on me. Not as good as a pill, but it felt nice.
I waited as doctors and nurses and patients moved about. There was music playing. The song was “Shake Your Booty.” Seriously. At least they have a sense of humor, I thought.
My nurse came over and asked a few questions, one of which was if I had any. I thought I’d try once more. “Isn’t there a pill?”
She smiled down at me and said, “You’ll be fine.” I thought about a threat, something like, “I’m going to drive home!” but I resigned to my fate and soon enough it was all over.