Friday, February 26, 2010

A diagnosis and an appointment next Tuesday, 10:00

This is a test. If I can sit here and spin a story, then I've made considerable progress. The gist is that I'm not on the slippery slope, but am still in deep shit.

My preparation for the colonoscopy was less than adequate, but what little I drank of that stuff undid the progress of the previous two days when I'd at least been able to eat a little. 

We got there. And I lied through my teeth. "Well, I drank almost half of it," I said to the first nurse. "Well, he's probably not going to be able to do the procedure. And you'll have to go home," she said though she gave me the gowns to put on. Another nurse put in the IV while she asked my history which I gave a bit of reluctantly. And then I waited, maybe an hour, giving me time to review my history of colitis that started in 1952, the old friend that plagued me for years at a time, causing much weight and blood loss.

The next nurse asked how much I drank of the medication. I lied again (never would I have admitted that I started throwing up before finishing the second glass) and she repeated that he probably wouldn't be able to do the procedure before wheeling me into the room where I waited. She tried to ask my history and I gave her a few high points before some fellow, who looked, from my vantage point, rather like a sweaty car salesman. I forget his name, but he wanted to do the procedure, "It's alright, I've done them before, he said airily." I agreed because I agree to everything, but didn't sign the papers because he wanted to hear my history. "But I haven't seen my doctor. I want to tell him," whereupon he disappeared. The nurse said, "He seems to be quite good at what he does. He's not just beginning." 

And I waited.

Finally my doctor came in (not all that different from the other one, but he had a good recommendation from my doctor) and I asked if I could tell him my story. He was rather rushed and probably would have preferred not to listen, but listen he did. " I'm going to use a metaphor," I said. "Metaphors are alright," he said. So I talked about getting the first pains I felt a month or more ago in the lower colon which scared the shit out of me (this wasn't the metaphor) because they were so similar to those I had for all those years of ulcerative colitis in high school, that my whole system felt as it it was roiling, as if it was furious, and then I gave him various dates of long-term attacks, the last of which was in the early eighties when my struggle with the head of the department was so entangled and brutal that all I could do was bite my tongue, roil my gut, because I had to get my daughter through high school.

I apologized for not have drunk enough of the stuff and he said it might be alright, what with suctions and water, whatever, who cared. "I'm sure it's colitis," I said, signed the papers and drifted off when the nurse pumped in the awake-sedative. I heard myself (who else could it have been?) asking, "Is it cancer?" "No, no, you were right. It's colitis. You were right." And I asked again, about cancer, which I hadn't known I was worrying about. 

And at the end, when I was a bit less sedated, and before he dashed out to the next person, I said, "Good, can I come to your office and get medication?" "No," he said, "I don't do that. There are two gastroenterologists in the practice. You have to wait for the biopsy results and get an appointment with one of them next week."

I'm still in deep shit. Food is incredibly unappealing. I have an appointment on Tuesday. It's not the slippery slope.  Not well written, but at least written. Longer than two sentences. THANK YOU SO  MUCH FOR READING THIS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


  1. Glad you are back and hope you are snoozing with the dear dog!

  2. I've never heard a colonoscopy story that I've liked. Know you feel punched sideways just now, but try to sleep and rest as much as you can for the weekend, in preparation for Tuesday. Can you choke down some cans of nutrient drinks, just to keep your electrolytes up? xxoo

  3. Ghastly stuff.

    My husband had a heart attack the time before last during a routine colonoscopy. It's a long story but I've been wary of that procedure ever since.

    Your story sounds extremely painful too in more ways than one. Metaphor is probably the only way you can describe it. It's brave of you to try.

  4. It's absolutely written - so much better than anything I could ever write. Green with envy of your writing skills but I'll take my good health instead. I hope they get to the bottom of your ailment(if you'll excuse the expression). I wish you a speedy recovery!

  5. you're so much braver than i. and more stubborn too, a quality one really needs nowadays, when they're usually ready with the answer before you ask the question. some luck, too, that the guy went ahead with the procedure. i had to swallow every damn drop of the stuff, and i swear it was a gallon. i'm with you, dear friend, and i hope the worst of it is over. for me, the fear lingers every day that the bleeding will begin anew.

  6. 青春一逝不復返,事業一失難有成。........................................

  7. Hoping you're alright, Melissa - sending you comfort and concern from the South of the South Island, NZ.

    Love, Claire

  8. Checking in on you. Hope you are on the mend.

  9. to melissa's friends:
    melissa is in the hospital, but doing better. she needed more immediate pharmaceutical intervention than she was able to get from the second-tier drugs, taken at home, and was admitted last week. she is slowly responding to the medication, and should be released to her home this coming midweek or earlier. i have spoken with her a few times, and finally remembered this morning to ask her if it was okay to let her "followers" know what was going on. I knew that you have been worried. she sends her love and thanks....

  10. Thank you, Susan. It was very worrisome not to know or hear how she was/is. Feel better soon, Melissa.

  11. Melissa, it takes a special kind of person (and I mean this in the best way) to induce laughter when writing about a horrible event. Bravo, and a speedy recovery to you!