Sunday, 3 August 2008

I Went Hungry, Then What Happened

For those of you who read my post from Thursday, you will know that I had to have a colonoscopy on Friday. This was not the first time that I have had a colonoscopy, but it is the first time that I have been sedated for it. The hunger that I was fearing on Thursday did not seem to be a problem at any time; this was good because I knew that I was not likely to be getting anything to eat until sometime after 2.30 on Friday afternoon. I had my Friday morning psychotherapy session as normal and I was glad I did because I was starting to become anxious and this helped to concentrate my mind on other things, although it won't be until next week that I find out whether I made any sense in the things that I talked about, or whether my therapist just sat there and listened to me without saying too much because he wanted to help me over this anxiety without introducing any more into my life as a result of a difficult session.

After a slow start, my sessions always start with silence because I find it so difficult to talk, the time flew by and it seemed like only five minutes later that he was telling me that it was time to stop for that morning. I parted from him with a 'See you next week' went downstairs and suddenly realised that it really might be quite a good idea to make a very quick run for the loo. Accidents were avoided and the laxative that the hospital had given me to prepare for the colonoscopy seemed to have done its job.

I'm afraid that I had to have one of those infrequent cigarettes while I walked to the other hospital. I sat outside for a while but as the weather cooled and the possibility of rain became more likely, I decided to walk to the Endoscopy department because even though I was very early for my appointment, they did have comfortable chairs for me to sit in while I waited.

As it happened, having told the reception desk that I was there and gone over some details with them, I did not have to sit in the waiting room for too long. A nurse came through, called my name and invited me to take my clothes off and put on one of their lovely gowns, with the opening at the rear unsurprisingly. This was still more than an hour before my appointment time, but it meant that I could relax on a trolley and try to doze off if at all possible. I didn't because it seemed to be a constant trail of nurses coming to ask me questions, even though I had filled in the questionnaire that I received when my appointment was made, it seems that this questionnaire doesn't contain all the right questions. Why am I not surprised. After that I was given my label so that I wouldn't forget who I was. Then a few minutes later someone came to take my blood pressure. Then I was asked if I had signed a consent form. The answer was no, as my appointment literature told me that the doctor who would be carrying out the procedure would come and discuss this with me and get me to sign it before we began. Next it was time to find a vein to insert the cannula that was to be used to administer the sedative and painkillers. The nurse went to my right arm, which appears to have a very nice vein, but I know from past experience that it can be very difficult to get into this one, so I suggested she try my left arm which I knew to be my old GP's favourite when trying to get blood from me, and although she looked at it with some disbelief, she was somewhat surprised to find that what had appeared to be a poor specimen allowed her access with no problem at the first attempt. She was suitably impressed that I had managed to steer her in the right direction; but it's simply self-preservation because I absolutely hate having needles stuck in me.

Then the wait began. About 40 minutes before my procedure was due the Sister came over and told me that there would be a delay because my doctor would not be down on time due to some problems with patients on the wards. When he did arrive, 35 minutes late, he introduced himself, apologised profusely and assured me that the procedure would begin in just a few minutes, we went through the consent form and I signed it, and before I knew what was happening my trolley was being wheeled through to the room with the colonoscopy equipment. A few minutes of preparation passed as I was hooked up to monitoring equipment and oxygen was administered, then I was asked to roll over onto my side, the drugs were introduced via the cannula, and the procedure began.

I remember my last colonoscopy very clearly. As I said before I had it without sedation and I felt every movement along the length of my colon that was examined. This time I remember very little. Whether this is purely because of the sedative I was given, or whether its effect was heightened by the antidepressants that I take, I do not know, but while I was still awake I was certainly away with the fairies. I did as I was told and laid on my back when I was asked, and although the screen was easy enough for me to see, I seemed to forget to watch what was going on, although I had found it very interesting the last time I had undergone this procedure. I do remember the doctor saying that he would be taking some biopsies, but I forgot to watch this happening on the screen too, and I don't remember being wheeled out of the room and back to the position in the ward where I had been before. I have no idea how long it took, I have no recollection of them checking my monitor several times while I recovered from the sedative, but I really did enjoy the cup of tea and the biscuits that I was given when I became alert enough to handle a hot liquid.

My transport arrived a little later, my neighbour came to collect me, and we laughed and joked about what I was going to do for something to eat. I said I would be going for fish and chips after I had laid down for about half an hour or so. Actually, I went to bed and woke up again at 2.30 yesterday afternoon. So I still hadn't had anything substantial to eat since Thursday morning. And would you believe it? I still wasn't hungry. Now all I have to do is phone the consultant's secretary tomorrow morning to make an appointment to find out what they have discovered and what treatment is going to be necessary.


Lemon said...

Ah, so you finally got that cup of tea you wanted!

I hope the results are what you're hoping for.

Elaine said...

Sounds like you had excellent care this time.

My son had a colonoscopy, but couldn't tolerate it, poor baby (well, 44 is still a baby!)