I reluctantly made the correction, signed all kinds of forms, and then sent Robert on his way. Shortly after he left, I went to the bathroom again.
At just after 7, the nurse called me back to start prepping me for my colonoscopy and asked as she greeted me, "How are you today?"
"I'm like the ; I just keep going and going and going," I replied.
"The restroom is right over there," she said.
At my bed, which was surrounded by one of those curtains you can pull to enclose the area, she said, "Take off everything but your socks and your glasses." I thought this sounded a little kinky, but didn't say anything.
"Put your shoes in this bag," she went on, indicating a plastic bag hanging off of the end of the bed. "Put the rest of your clothes in this plastic bag," she said handing me a loose one. "Don't forget, just your socks and glasses left on."
After undressing and putting on that gown (that tied in the back), I made yet another trip to the bathroom.
After a while, an LPN introduced herself, took my temperature and blood pressure, and covered me in some sheets -- not my head.
Shortly after that, an RN arrived, armed with paperwork and a bunch of stickers with my name, DOB, and doctor's name on them. I pointed out that my birthday was ten years off, and that I had corrected it out front. She had to have all of the stickers re-done, as the information from them goes into my record.
She put an IV in me, and reviewed my answers to all of the questions on the questionnaire that I'd filled out and brought with me as instructed.
"This IV does not contain any meds; it's just saline. I'm telling you this because, often, after a few minutes of it being in, people will say, 'I don't feel anything, is that thing working?' It's just water. You're not supposed to feel anything." When I heard the word "water," I thought, "Oh god. Something else to make me go."
Not too long after this, yet another nurse came for me. Her name was Calvina. I believe I have that right. I liked her right away. She pulled up the sides of my bed, and started "rolling me to the back."
"You got a license to drive this thing?" I asked her.
She laughed and said, "I do pretty good," and then as she had a little trouble turning a corner with me, said, "Oh you got one of those ones with the bad wheels." I pictured myself as a piece of fruit (Things that make you go, "Hmmmm.") trapped in a Harris Teeter grocery cart with the same problem.
We got to some double doors, and she pushed a button to make them open automatically. She pushed me through, and as she did I thought, and said, "Oh this is like going into one of those fun houses at the fair."
She gave this evil chuckle and said, "Ha. Fun house? Here? Well, I guess you could call it that -- at times."
"That's better than going into a crazy house," I replied.
She laughed harder at that, which didn't really make me feel good. You know what they say about jokes: the harder people laugh at one, the more it rings true with them.
In the room where the procedure was to be done, she parked my bed in front of a couple of monitors -- one a TV screen, where presumably "The Tunnel of Love" would shortly be showing, and the other, a vital signs monitor.
I thought about the imaginary tattoo that I have just above the crack of my ass, and I pictured covering its message, "EXIT ONLY," temporarily, just this morning, with one that says, "Tunnel Open 7AM to 9AM ONLY."
Here I met Navonna. I think that was her name. At this point, I thought of the "celebration of diversity" involved in this morning's activities. That first LPN was white. The RN that hooked up my saline and reviewed my history seemed like some combination of Hispanic and Asian, these two nurses were black, my doctor is Indian, and they're all working on a big old queer. Celebrate Diversity.
Dr. Chander took a while to get there, and after a while Navonna said, "Well, if we have to wait, we might as well have some fun. What do you do?"
"I work for IBM, doing quality assurance -- making sure people follow processes they're supposed to follow to develop products."
"That sounds interesting," she lied.
She turned me over on my side so that I faced the monitor, and she opened the back of my gown to expose my ass. "I'm just going to get you in position and ready here, then I'll cover you back up," she said as she worked.
I asked her, "How come the picture on the monitor is showing sideways?"
She picked up the scope that I couldn't see, butt [sic] would soon be seeing deep into me, and said, "That's because this thing is laying sideways. See?" She started waving it around while making a noise like kids do when they're play-flying airplanes.
"See, here's the back of your neck... zzzsrrrr... and here's your whole backside... zzsssrrrr... and over here we have..." The other nurse was cracking up, saying to her, "You crazy, girl..." and I had to stop and remember that she wasn't talking to me.
Dr. Chander eventually arrived, and the fun and games ceased, thankfully before anyone's eye was poked out.
I said to him, "Good morning. How are you feeling this morning, pretty good? Did you have a good breakfast? Get some exercise in? Not feeling harried are you?"
He laughed, and said that he was fine.
Then I said, "I just wanted to make sure you got the word that that crazy person who you talked to in your office about a month ago who said he wanted to be 'lightly sedated to watch?' We'll he's here today to tell you that that was nonsense. I want the maximum dose of drugs."
He read my information aloud, so that everyone had a chance to say, "Wait! This isn't David Renalstone, and he isn't here to get his right kidney removed!"
Before he administered my anesthetic drugs, I said, "Don't forget. Good pictures for my blog."
I'm happy to report that he obliged, and that everything was "normal." Would you look at the colon on him!
I "came to" in the recovery room in what seemed like the next minute, and as expected, remembered nothing about the procedure. The nurse asked me if I wanted something to drink, and I replied, "Yes. I'll have a bourbon and Diet Coke, please."
"We don't have bourbon," she laughed.
"How about some diet bourbon, then?" I replied.
"I'll get you some Diet Coke," she said chuckling and walking away.
Dr. Chander came by to tell me that everything was "normal" and "looked good." He gave me a few instructions about how to act the rest of the day.
Robert came in, and I felt warm seeing him.
The nurse escorted me to the car, and Robert drove me home.
I made myself two eggs over easy, and had them with some toast. Yum.
I slept from 10:00 until about 3:30. Glorious.
I went to get some water, and noticed my dishwasher had been emptied, and all the dishes put away.
I went to put something in the garbage, and noticed my trash had been emptied. And then noticed all of the trash cans around the house had been emptied.
My outside trash can and recycle bin had been taken to the street in time to be taken care of today.
Thank you for everything you do, my dear Robert.
Steve called me, I think around 5:00, in the course of telling him about my procedure, I mentioned Dr. Chander. "That's the same doctor Phil had," he said.
This really blew my mind, because, when I went for my consultation in mid-August, I told both the nurse and Dr. Chander that I was there, not because I was having any problems, but because my uncle had died from colon cancer, and a good friend of mine's brother-in-law was just diagnosed with it, and that he was my age and totally asymptomatic.
They had both replied, at separate times, not in each other's hearing, "Yeah, we just diagnosed a guy, your age, in here in the last couple of weeks. Totally asymptomatic. It's very rare, but it does happen."
Turns out we were both talking about the same person, and didn't know it.