Not my most flattering angle

Yesterday I took off work early to get a guided tour of a place I’ve never been before. Actually a place no one has visited before. I’d been putting it off for a while now. I hadn’t had a physical for about three years now. The last time I did the doctor said that when you turn 50 it’s recommended you know. No physicals for me for a while since I didn’t want to be reminded. I turned 51 several months ago and had procrastinated as long as I could.

Tuesday night I had my last meal with solid food. No solids until after the procedure. Wednesday I had a few six ounce cans of apple and grape juice, and a can of Cherry Coke for my sustenance. I noon I took four little pills. About six that evening they were starting to work their magic and it was time for me to go home and spend some quality time with the porcelain goddess. I had four liters of some sort of stuff to drink that would clean me out from end to end. It did. It continued to clean me all night and I didn’t get much sleep.

Yesterday morning I had nothing but water for input. At noon I stopped the water. About 13:30 Barb and I drove to the to the medical center. I was required to bring someone with me to drive and receive my care instructions afterward. They were going to mess with my mind as well as my alimentary canal. Barb was joking with me about it. I tried to threaten her about “When it’s your turn” but she knew she would “get it” even if she was easy on me and didn’t let up. Yeah, she was right. She knows me too well after 33 years together.

I filled out the paperwork, took off my clothes and put on the hospital gown that opens, full length, down the back. They put me on a stretcher, put an I.V. in my arm and wheeled me in to a room with a T.V. monitor and some other instruments. I knew what was going to be on the T.V. monitor. It was going to be me. All me and nothing but me. The nurses hooked me up to the other instruments. Oxygen saturation: 100%. Blood pressure: 100 over 60. Pulse: 61 to 64. All very good. That was before the doctor showed up.

The doctor showed up introduced herself and a student who would just be watching. An audience–the two nurses, a student, and the doctor. The doctor started to give me the meds that would mess with my mind. She said, “This is very fast acting so you will start to feel it right away. I presume you want to not feel…” I cut her off before she pushed the plunger on the syringe. “Actually”, I said, “I would rather you go light on that stuff.” “Would you like to try it without meds?” she asked? “Okay”, I agreed. I think the audience all started smiling. Something different I guess. I was going to be their entertainment for the day. I couldn’t see the doctor. She was behind me–of course.

One of the nurses announced she used to work in OB/GYN and that I needed to focus on something and take some deep breaths. “Relax”, she told me, “And keep your muscles soft. This is going to be a lot like having a baby.” The doctor quipped that I wasn’t going to be doing any pushing though. At my suggestion they agreed there wouldn’t be an episoitomy either.

It wasn’t bad a first. At the turns the pressure increased. At the third turn I asked to doctor to stop for a moment. She offered the meds and I said I just wanted to relax a bit. It’s tough to keep your stomach muscles relaxed when there is a five foot long snake writhing around in your large intestine. Now I wonder what my blood pressure and pulse were. At the time I didn’t really think about it.

After a few seconds with my breathing coach praising me and putting her hand on my stomach to help focus on the relaxing of the muscles I told the doctor okay and she continued pushing the one eyed snake until it’s head reached the junction with my small intestine, my cecum, and appendix.

The trip out was much easier. And that was when we got to really see things. But they pumped me full of air, inflating things so the snake could get a better view of things. That air pressure caused some discomfort but not too bad. Especially compared to the pushing around those corners. I focused on the monitor and the doctor explained all the different things we were looking at. The student, with a great deal of glee said, “It’s rare we get to give guided tours.”

After it was done they all praised me. “Wow. That’s not something you see every day–no meds.” The student asked the doctor if I get a two for one deal next time. The doctor said they should have some gold stars to hand out for people like me. I was just glad to have the alien out of my belly.

Everything was normal. The doctor told me I didn’t have to do that again for seven years. And the question she wanted answered is if I was going to do it without meds next time. I said I didn’t know. I liked being able to see what was going on but there was a lot of discomfort.

They gave me pictures of the various places we visited. Sort of like those pictures you get at tourist attractions except these were much, much, more expensive. I’d post them but I don’t think the pictures were taken from my most flattering angle.