Tuesday, July 8, 2014

The Colonscopy

On Sunday, June 1st I did my cleanse.  It was disappointingly slow.  I had figured everything would just gush out.  Not so.  In fact, because I had drunk so much fluid, I was up even more frequently during the night, and by morning, not only was I tired, but I still didn't seem empty.

The Colonoscopy

The people at the gastroenterologists office were super nice.  They were funny and kind, and put me at ease.  Unfortunately, I awoke to some alarming news.  There is a blockage.  It is so large, the scope couldn't go through to do the colonoscopy.  Dr. McAndrews said he biopsied the heck out of the mass, and that they were scheduling me for at ct scan in the morning.  They set up an appointment for me to see a surgeon on Friday.  I sat there wondering how to make it to Friday.

The Ct Scan

Tuesday morning I went to get the ct scan.  That was fascinating.  I had just finished reading The Girls Of Atomic City by Denise Kiernan.  It is about the women who helped build the atomic bomb, and the things that had to be invented to make it happen.  So much of our advanced medical technology has been developed from that horrible discovery.  So Ironic.

The technicians at MIRI were incredibly nice, everything explained very clearly, every step of the way: how you go through the machine, what you will hear, smell and feel.  It is so helpful to know, especially when the things that happen seem so strange and unrelated.  

When the contrast dye is injected into your veins, you get this weird, strong taste in the back of your throat.  It is the strong medical smell that used to be in doctor's offices when I was a kid. It is like you are smelling and tasting it at the same time.

You also get this lovely, warm sensation that washes over you and a feeling the nurse described as the urgency to use the bathroom. To me it was a warmth that washed my chilly body, and then over my urinary area that was fleeting, but pleasant.

The whole experience passes quite quickly.  I pass into the doughnut, the large plastic form which makes the ct scan.  It makes a gentile whooshing sound.  I imagine the magnet in there spinning around me.  Just like the magnets they used to separate the plutonium from the tube alloy to make the atomic bombs.

As I am getting dressed the nurses make small talk with me. One of them asks how I have been feeling.  I told her I was fine aside from the diarrhea I had been having.  She seemed surprised and told me I was lucky that was my only symptom.  This made me think something very serious must be going on.  I know they can't answer questions, and I was told a radiologist would read the scan, but now I had this sense of dread.  It will be a long way to Friday.