dichroic: (oar asterisk)

Writing up an account of what the whole colonoscopy thing was like for me (avoiding graphic detail!) in case it’s useful info for anyone who needs to have one.

Overall verdict:
Not as bad as expected.

Liquid diet: actually, I thought this would be the worst part of hte whoel thing, but it was OK, really. I was able to ingest enough calories to keep from feeling dizzy, lightheaded or “hangry”. (So much so that I may eventually decide to do a liquid diet for Yom Kippur, on the theory that it drives in the notion of abstention and departure from every day practice, without ruining my ability to focus on the contemplation we’re supposed to be doing.) I was allowed to eat a “light” breakfast before 6AM and went to some lengths to make sure I had acceptable food prepared, and then I totally forgot to bring it in to work, and arrived at work to a whole bunch of emails that needed immediate response and forgot to eat anything else. So I was basically on only liquids from the time I woke up.

That famously nauseating stuff you have to drink: There are several variants of this – one friend mentioned having to drink disgusting stuff over 6 hours. Oig. The stuff I had was called MoviPrep, and what it tasted like most was the Japanese sports drink Pocari Sweat, only more so.(Think Gatorade, but more salty and less sweet.) Keeping it in the fridge definitely helped. I’d never drink it if I didn’t have to, but it didn’t make me gag, even at 6AM, and was all around not as bad as reported (quite possibly some of the other variants are worse). I think it basically combines a laxative with the electrolytes of Gatorade. After spending all of Thursday on the liquid diet I had to drink a quart of it that night – 8 oz (roughly .24 liter) every 15 minutes starting at 6PM, then another quart the next morning at 6AM. The morning time depends on when your procedure is scheduled; they want you to have it ~3 hours before you have to show up, so you’re not, like, white knuckled and wishing for in-car restrooms on the way there.

As for the results of the prep, for a person with IBS it can best be described as “a random Tuesday when maybe lunch didn’t quite agree with you”. Well, OK, it was a little more thorough than that and went on a little longer, but on the other hand it was easier for me to put up with and less traumatic because a) no queasiness, everything going the proper direction and b) this was, like, what I was supposed to be doing. I had the time planned and I was at home, not trying to finish up, quit hogging a work restroom and get back to whatever I was scheduled to be doing. Also, while I did spend most of my prep time in the bathroom, I was able to go sit on the sofa between times – I never felt I didn’t have time to get from there to the bathroom.

The colonoscopy itself was weird because I’ve almost never been in a hospital as a patient, except for having my wisdom teeth out at 18, and that was outpatient surgery. This time they took me to my “own” room, where we sat around for a bit, then they stuck heart monitors on my chest, started an IV (which took two tries), then we sat around a bit more. At this point, the IV was just saline solotion, probably a good idea since I’m sure I was dehydrated by then. About ten minutes after the scheduled time, they kicked Ted out wheeled me into the procedure room, plugged various wires into the monitors they’d put on me before, and then sat around watching the readouts for another ten minutes or so until the doctor was ready. (I’d given all my stuff to Ted, but wished at this point I’d brought a book. There were nurses around to talk to, though.) The nurse in charge of anesthesia asked me how out of it I’d like to be and told me they “were happy to customize my experience” in a way that sounded oddly spa-like, but I didn’t feel they really needed my (conscious) presence. After that, they hooked some drugs into my IV, told me to roll onto my left side …. and the next thing was that I have a woozy memory of being offered some water, OJ, saltines and graham crackers, then walked out to where Ted was waiting with the car.

Apparently they pump air into you during the procedure; for my doctor it’s standard procedure to pump it back out (I gather this is not universal – I asked, after reading a recommendation to somewhere online). I did not feel bloated at all afterward. I was afraid my gut would remain a bit unsettled afterward, but it really didn’t. When we got home I crashed and slept HARD for a couple hours. After that we drove out to the lake house (2.5 hours); I did request a couple of pit stops in the first half of the trip (I’d warned Ted in advance this might happen!) but was OK after that.

They tell you not to drive or make important decisions for 16-24 hours after the procedure. I intended to row lightly Saturday (which would have been close to 24 hours later), but got out there and somehow it was just a giant NOPE! so I came back in. Sunday I still felt slightly fragile somehow so I just erged 5K at about a half-pressure pace. Other than that I took it fairly easy over the weekend, doing nothing else more strenuous than a bit of weeding.

Mirrored from Dichroic Reflections.

This is surreal.

May. 18th, 2016 10:19 am[personal profile] kass
kass: I am slinky (sleek flapper girl) (slinky)
I've worn glasses since I was three. In high school I wore contacts. Sometime during college I stopped wearing them, because my eyes were getting itchy and irritated -- allergies or something. So I went back to glasses. That was, oh, 20-odd years ago.

But I recently started getting allergy shots, which means my allergies are far less annoying than they used to be. And someone took a photograph of me last month without my glasses on and I was surprised by how much I liked the way I looked in that picture. So I thought: maybe now that I'm getting shots for my allergies, I could try contacts again.

This morning I went to a guy who fitted me with contact lenses.

It is totally weird. I'm going to have to retrain myself in the art of putting them in and taking them out (especially taking them out). And I have learned things about astigmatism and eyeball shape and my apparently inadequate tear ducts. The doctor isn't convinced that I'll be able to wear them all the time. I'm going back in a week to re-evaluate.

But I just bought a pair of cheap non-prescription sunglasses. And right now I am looking around the room and I have complete peripheral vision. It is completely surreal.


May. 17th, 2016 10:07 am[personal profile] kass
kass: A glass of iced coffee with milk. (coffee)
1. Green leaves on the trees.

2. Cold coffee, light and sweet.

3. Tulips blooming.

4. Kind words from loving friends.

5. Increasing light.

gut punch

May. 16th, 2016 03:46 pm[personal profile] dichroic
dichroic: (oar asterisk)

Other things I can’t say outside this blog: My friend who lost her baby? Literally the day before the baby got sick, the mother posted on Facebook about how said she was that her own grandmother would never get to know her daughter. I will not write “be careful what you wish for,” because I do not believe, in my conflicted agnostic soul, that either an implacable universe or an omniscient God would connect that to a baby’s death.

But still, ouch. (Though I hope some day the image of a beloved grandmother rocking a beloved daughter helps comfort my friend.)

We’re all a little shell-shocked around my Ravelry community these days.

Otherwise my life is fine – we went to a fun wineblending event last Saturday, I went downtown shopping at the cool stores (Title Nine, Athleta) Sunday, and we’re looking forward to our big Galapagos trip in July I’m also looking forward, in the sense of “get this over with”, to this damned colonoscopy Friday. I just broke the code of silence around TMI matters to talk to a couple of coworkers (nice thing about older people: they’ve all been through this) and figure if they can, I can.

But I still keep coming back to that tiny hole in the universe that was once filled by a happy baby I only ever ‘met’ in photographs. Grief is like that; it never wants to go away – and it can be cumulative. Tomorrow is Dad’s yahrzeit, so that will be hard.

Mirrored from Dichroic Reflections.


May. 13th, 2016 03:58 pm[personal profile] dichroic
dichroic: (oar asterisk)

What a depressing day. An online friend of mine has just lost her child, and it’s giving me feelings of, “No, the universe isn’t supposed to work that way!!!” The three-month-old baby was fine Sunday, in the hospital with viral pneumonia Monday, better Wednesday, worse Thursday and now gone. I knew that any time you have an infant (or anyone, I guess), in the ICU, it’s very serious, but I guess I just expect that people will get better from diseases. I mean, I understand that miscarriages happen all the time because so many things can go wrong in developing a whole new person; I understand that sometimes neonates die because something was wrong with them or went wrong with the birth; I even understand that sometimes babies die for no apparent reason with SIDS. I’m just used to modern medicine being good enough that diseases get handled and people get better. It seems trebly tragic because her mother went through a lot to conceive her, then had a difficult pregnancy, and was so happy to be a mom. Also, the baby’s name was Felicity, so I keep harking back somehow to the loss of Joyce (Joy for short) in Anne’s House of Dreams – I guess I tend to sink into stories as a way to react to real life occurrances. (I am only writing about my own reactions here, in my own blog, because the mom is on other social media I participate in, and any mention of the death there should be about trying to support and comfort her.)

She’s someone I know via a Ravelry group; I’m really hoping we can pull together to do something, whether it’s a group donation, a blanket, or whatever. Not getting much response yet, though.

I’m a bit down at the moment anyway; this is the week between the anniversary of my dad’s death in the Gregorian calendar and the yahrzeit in the Hebrew calendar. Then yesterday, I got scheduled for a colonoscopy next Friday and I think this will majorly suck. Not so much the procedure itself, for which I’ll be sedated, as the prep and maybe the recovery. I have to go on a clear-liquid diet Thursday, which is going to make the workday interesting, drink 32 ounces of some stuff that’s said to be fairly unpleasant that night, drink 32 more ounces in the morning, go in at 9:15, come out three hours later and have someone to drive me because I’ll be groggy, and not drive a car for 16-24 hours after due to persisting grogginess. Apparently I won’t be completely knocked out, but the stuff they give you has an “amnesiac effect” (the doctor’s words) so I likely won’t remember it anyway. Somehow this has always seemed like slightly less of a big deal when it was my mom going through it, which is probably partly because it always seems worse when it’s yourself, and partly because she’s brave about this kind of thing.

Mirrored from Dichroic Reflections.


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