This past Friday at 6am, I checked in to the hospital for my colonoscopy. I signed up to go first. I was happy to have the procedure because it meant I was finished with my prep: a clear liquid diet, four laxative pills causing explosive diarrhea, and two bottles of liquid solution torture water. My prep began at noon on Thursday and ended at 3am Friday morning.
Let’s just say I became very acquainted with my bathroom.
The morning of the procedure, I dressed in a hospital gown and jumped on my personal rolling bed. I had promised myself I would stay calm, but that was hard when the staff arrived. They asked me for my date of birth while they simultaneously took my temperature, blood pressure, and pulse.
One of the assistants asked the doctor, “Why do we ask all of these security questions for a colonoscopy? It’s not like he’s trying to sneak in here to take someone’s test!”
“That’s true,” said the doctor, before turning to me. “Any kind of music you’d like to hear?”
“Doesn’t matter to me,” I replied. “Whatever will help you all be calm and steady.”
“Ah,” he said. “Good answer. I think it’s time for some Michael.”
“Oh good,” one of the nurses replied as a grin covered her face.
As my IV was inserted, Michael Jackson sang, “I want to love you, PYT, Pretty Young Thing.”
Suddenly, Groucho Marx entered the room, removed his cigar, looked at me, and said, “So today, you get to be the guinea pig.”
My eyes grew large. “I’m sorry, what?”
“Don’t say that to someone about to have a procedure!” scolded the doctor.
Groucho shook his head and said, “Well, anyway, here’s his anesthesia iPad.”
I breathed in deeply as Michael Jackson switched to Blame It On The Boogie.
“We’re trying this for the first time,” said a nurse, trying to comfort me. “This iPad sign in, I mean, not your procedure.”
“We really are medical professionals,” said the doctor. “I promise.”
A nurse shook her head at his comment, turned to me and said, “Before we put you to sleep, can you turn onto your side please?”
I did as she instructed and noticed a monitor showing the ceiling. Something told me the picture was coming from the camera they would use to, well, you know.
“Ok,” said the anesthesiologist. “I’m putting you to sleep now. Believe me, you wouldn’t want it any other way. This might burn a bit at first.”
I started getting sleepy. The last thing I remember is the music switching to Montel Jordan’s This Is How We Do It.
I woke up later to hear a nurse say, “Looks like you’re waking up. Would you like some water?”
“Yeah,” I mumbled. “Thanks.”
I dressed as the nurse went for my water. She came back and shared my results as I sipped my water. Everything was fine.
As I stood to leave, she handed me a thank you note from the staff.
“We’re really glad you came,” she said as if I had visited her church.
“Ok,” I said, feeling awkward. “It sure is quiet at this end of the hall.”
“Oh, it will fill up soon. Your procedure was first this morning.”
“Oh yeah,” I said with a smile, “I always wanted to be number one, just not quite like this.”
*Photo courtesy of Clay Banks and Unsplash