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If Katie Couric, Can Show Her Asshole On National Television? Then I Can Certainly Talk About Mine, On My Own Blog.

Ever since I was diagnosed with Crohn’s Disease back in ’06, I am subjected to an annual colonoscopy. However, just because I’ve had this procedure done before, doesn’t make the experience any easier, or any fun. Oh, no.

Let’s start with ‘Prepping For A Colonoscopy’ – Shall we?

The day before the procedure, you have to fast for 24 hours and attempt to survive on a diet of clear liquids. You will also have to fill a prescription for a very special kind of laxative. And by special kind of laxative, I mean the kind of laxative that is so powerful, it actually makes a person beg for mercy. And by special kind of laxative, I don’t mean some tiny, little, pill that you can swallow and forget about. No. Because that would be far too easy. And there is NOTHING easy about a colonoscopy, my friends.

This special kind of laxative is the kind of laxative you have to drink. And without getting into graphic detail; let’s just say, I’d rather drink battery acid. Because gagging down an entire gallon of cherry-flavored mucus, is really not my idea of a good time. You may never be able to get that distinguished taste out of your mouth.

Within a matter of seconds, I started writhing in pain. Intense cramps took over my entire body, that can only be compared to child-birth-back-labor. Beads of sweat formed a perfect line on my forehead. I raced into my bathroom and unleashed the immense pressure, also known as ‘Firewater From Hell.’ My stomach morphed into a blender and it was stuck on the ‘Puree’ cycle.

Luckily, I had these lovely *HOLY SHIT HANDLES* to grasp onto.

[Honestly, I never thought I’d be grateful for Poppa Sye’s medical toilet set-up.]

And then, I was trapped in the bathroom for the next 8-12 hours. My rectum convulsed violently, performing multiple seizures, as I expelled everything I had ever eaten over the past year of my life. And I silently prayed to the bathroom gods to ‘please make it stop’ right quick.

Thankfully, Poppa Sye’s ‘Shower Chair’ doubled as a ‘Portable Desk’ and I managed to find endless distractions, on the internet, while abusing: Baby Wipes, Fabreeze, and Facebook.

People will tell you that prepping for a colonoscopy is the worst part of the process. And they would be correct.  But sadly, that wasn’t the case for me.

And here’s why…

The next morning, I woke up feeling extremely weak and literally depleted. I took a cold shower, in order to revive myself, in lieu of drinking coffee. I threw my hair in bun, and put on a fresh pair of cozy pajamas. Because if I was going to be forcibly Ass-Raped, then by-god, I was going to be comfortable.

The drive to the Surgi-Center wasn’t all that terrible. The whore of a highway, also known as ‘The New Jersey Turnpike’ was rather forgiving, with little to no traffic. And, I arrived on time for my 11:30am appointment.  I filled out all of the necessary paperwork. I charged my $100.00 co-pay. I designated my mother as the ‘In Case Of Emergency Person’. And then I took a seat.

And waited.

And waited.

And waited.

And waited.

FOR AN HOUR AND A HALF. [Otherwise known as eternity.]

Here’s the thing about waiting.  It provides just enough time to imagine every single worst-case-scenario, and induce a full-blown anxiety attack.

What if something goes wrong? What if I don’t wake up from the anesthesia? What if my intestines explode? What if I have colon cancer? What if they find a tumor? Who’s going to raise my son? Good lord, I’m starving. Why is the doctor taking so long? Did someone die back there? Why would they give me an 11 o’clock appointment, if they are just going to make me wait? I could be sleeping right now. But, no. Instead, I am stuck here, sitting on the worlds most uncomfortable chair, with what feels like extra large hemorrhoids. Wait, I don’t remember my hemorrhoids ever feeling this gigantic. Oh well, at least I’m in the right place to have that checked out. I’d seriously kill for a cup of coffee right now. But, why am I still in the damn waiting area? Hello! Can anyone see me? Are you kidding? Wasn’t the prep enough torture? I really can’t take much more. Fuck. This. Maybe I’ll just walk out. Can I sneak in a quick cigarette? How can I be so cold and sweating at the same time?

I glanced around the waiting area, several times, trying to assess how much longer I’d have to wait. I even asked the front desk receptionist when she thought I’d be able to get back to see the doctor. She told me, “Oh, five – ten minutes.”  Fine. I thought. I can handle another ten minutes. So, I sat back down.

And waited.

And waited.

And waited.

And waited.

FOR ANOTHER HOUR AND A HALF.

Suddenly, I realized people who had come into the waiting area AFTER me, were getting called back BEFORE me. For a split second, I thought I was in the middle of the Seinfeld episode where they wait for a table at a Chinese restaurant. And that? Was more than enough to shove me, right over the proverbial edge. By the time the nurse finally called for me, I was ready to kill people.

“And how are you, today?” The nurse politely asked.

To which I nastily replied, “How am I? Really, lady? I’m scared. I’m starving. I’m freezing. And I have the worst headache ever. I am clearly suffering from caffeine withdrawal, and I’m also having a nicotine fit. Plus, on top of everything, I have my fucking period with horribly painful cramps. And I’m terrified of needles. Oh, and y’all left me in the waiting room for three goddamned hours. So how am I? WELL, I’M NOT VERY GOOD!”

I immediately felt terrible for spewing my emotional vomit all over this poor unsuspecting nurse. Uncontrollable tears streamed down my pale, white, face. I became completely hysterical as I changed into the dreaded paper gown.  When I came out of the locker room, the nurse I screamed at, had assigned me to a different nurse. Probably a good idea.

With tears still streaming down my cheeks, I walked over to the gurney filled with more anxiety than ever. It was time for them to place the IV in my arm. And just for the record, Meleah + Needles = MASSIVE PANIC ATTACK. The nurse tried her very best to stick one of my superficial rolling veins. But, when I nearly fainted, she had to stop. Hyperventilating, I laid down on the bed.

“Sweetie, you need to calm down.” She quietly tried soothing me.

“I know. I’m just really bad with needles. Like seriously, I am terrified.”

“Well, I have to get this into your arm, otherwise you can’t have the procedure, okay?”

The mere thought of having to go through the prep all over again, was enough to get me to try and focus.

“Alright,” I stammered, “but I’m going to have to sing, while you try again.”

“Go right ahead.” She smiled.

The instant I felt the cold alcohol wipe on my once already pricked arm, I belted out the alphabet, on the top of my lungs.

“A. B. C. D. E. F. G.”

My voice trailed off and I thought I was going to faint, again.

And of course, she was unsuccessful.

“We are going to have to try using your other arm.”

Fuck. Me. Dead.

The nurse tried two more times in my left arm, all to no avail. And every single time she pricked me, I sang the alphabet, on the top of my lungs.

“A. B. C. D. E. F. G.”   “FUCK!”   “H. I. J. K. L. M. N. O. P.”   “PLEASE STOP! IT HURTS!”   “Q. R. S. T. U. V.”   “JUST SO YOU KNOW I SEE BLACK & WHITE SPOTS – EVEN WITH MY EYELIDS CLOSED!”   “W. X. Y. And Z.”

Eventually, after busting up all of my veins, the nurse gave up.

And she decided to call in ‘The Big Guns.’

Janet.

Janet, a short and hefty lady, sporting Hawaiian themed scrubs walked over to me. She has wild, curly, dark-brown hair, and wears silver rimmed glasses. And she’s the master of placing an IV. Quite frankly, I don’t know why they didn’t get her sooner.

[Oh, how I *heart* me some, Janet.]

“Okay, Meleah. I’m Janet. I am going to place this IV in your hand. But you have to do me one favor.”

“What’s that?” I nervously asked.

“Can you please stop singing the alphabet?”

With that, I finally stopped crying and started laughing. “Okay. But I have to sing something.”

“Well, what’s your favorite song?”

My mind went blank.  “I don’t know. I can’t think of anything right now. I am so scared of needles, and I’ve already been stabbed four times. And, apparently I revert back to the age of five when anyone comes near me, wielding something sharp.”

I continued babbling,  “And I have this terrible headache, from caffeine withdrawal *sob* and I’m having a nicotine fit *sniff* plus I have my period *sob* and, I was really, really, really mean to another nurse, and I feel absolutely horrible about that…” *sniff, sniff*

“Okay, okay…” Janet interrupted my ramblings, “Oh, honey. You’re really having a bad day.”

“Yes! Yes, I am. And, thank you for validating me.”

Now feeling as though I’d bonded with Janet, I trusted her a lot more to stick my hand. I took a deep breath and said, “I think I’m ready for you to try again.”

Janet smiled, “Take another deep breath, and look away.”

So I did.

But as soon as I felt that cold alcohol wipe, like an instant reflex, I started singing the alphabet.

Janet, cut me off at the letter A. “How about we sing, ‘The Wheels On The Bus’ instead? Do you know the words to that?”

“YUP!” I shouted.

Janet acted like a Pre-K schoolteacher, and I acted like the obedient student, while the two of us sang in unison.

“The wheels on the bus, go round and round. Round and round. Round and round. The wheels on the bus, go round and round. All through the town.”

I could feel the weight of the eyes from the entire staff, and every single patient. Staring at me, like I had just escaped from a mental institute. And I did not give two flying shits.

“The wipers on the bus, go swish, swish, swish. Swish, swish, swish. Swish, swish, swish. The wipers on the bus, go swish, swish, swish. All through the town.”

Before I knew it, the IV was properly placed.

When it was all said and done, Janet leaned over my bed. At first, I truly thought she was going to smother me with her enormous breasts. ‘Death By Suffocation’ was the newspaper headline that raced through my mind. But then Janet did something I’ll never forget. Instead of stifling the air to my lungs, she hugged me.

She hugged me.

And she told me I was going to be okay.

And I believed her.

Janet stayed with me, for the rest of the day. She even accompanied me to the room where they would perform the colonoscopy.

And just before I went under the ever-so-wonderful ‘Propofol Coma’ – she sang ‘The Wheels On The Bus’ with me, again. The last thing I remember is hearing my Gastrointestinal Doctor say, “Great. Now I’ll never be able to get that song out of my head.”

When I woke up, I was greeted with a large cup of coffee. And I’ll be damned if it wasn’t the best cup of coffee I’ve ever had.  Fortunately, I was released very quickly and sent home to rest. My mother drove, while I yammered on incoherently, about what a wonderful woman Janet is. I may have even confessed my undying love for All Things Janet Related.

The second I got home I immediately climbed into bed and pulled the covers over my head. But, just as I was about to pass out, I heard a knock on my door.  My mother had a ‘Special Delivery’ for me.

Much to my surprise, my very dear friend Monique [author of the blog: MoRae and owner of Renáe Rashael Photography] had gone above and beyond the call of duty.

She sent the most beautiful flower arrangement, complete with a ‘Bear Nurse’ and a ‘Three Musketeers’ candy bar.

[*Yes, I am crying in that blurry picture, which is probably why I look totally possessed.]

Overall, it was probably the most exhausting 48 hours, of my whole entire life.

Good thing I don’t have to go through this again.

At least, not for another year.

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  • Thank you, Selma.
    Janet was great.
    Monique is awesome!

    xoxo

  • Oh gosh, I’m so sorry you have to do this every year! Next time just ask for Janet. Although I’ve never had a colonoscopy, I suffer from crippling IBS so I have no problem talking about assholes. When I got my wisdom teeth pulled getting that IV put in was the most painful part; I thought they were trying to murder me. I actually got blood drawn today, but it went okay! Anyhow, I assume Katie Couric allowed them to air footage of her procedure but since I didn’t hear about that I’ll just gather your post title is some sort of dig at her general appearance. How rude!
    Glad I happened upon your blog 🙂

  • Hi!!

    Nice to *meet* you, Sara!

    And yay!

    Now I finally have someone to talk about assholes & blood-work with!

  • Anonymous

    oh honey!
     
    yet another reason we are destined to be together.  I have had to go thru this 2 times so far because of problems with my stomach.  Drinking that stuff is the worst.
     
    and have you tried a sigmoidoscopy yet?  as bad as a colonoscopy is, that was worse…

  • I KNOW! OMG!! THE WORST!

  • I’m so glad you had Janet to help you get through all of that. She is someone who is clearly right where she belongs, doing what she was meant to do! 

  • For real!

  • Anonymous

    I seriously hope I never have to go through that, then again I think having a tube stuck down the throat would be even worse!

    Thankfully I have huge visible veins, med staff always love me, no problems there at all!

  • The tube down your throat is called an endoscopy.
    And that’s a CAKE WALK!

  • Hmm…dying of colon cancer or having a colonoscopy…..hmmm……what’s wrong with health care today that makes that sound like a real choice? Can’t they do something to make it fun? Like maybe just making you watch a horror film festival to scare the s*** out of you instead of drinking the crap cocktail as prep?

    Meleah you are a very talented and funny writer.

  • I have to say this has scared the bejesus out of me! I should have started to have this procedure done five years ago but I am a complete chicken. I think I’d rather pass a kidney stone! Great post, though. Glad it’s over and you can enjoy your flowers.

  • Jay

    Oh, my goodness, Meleah, you poor sweetheart!  What a horrendous day (or two) you had, to be sure.  🙁  I sympathise particularly because I’ve now had three endoscopies and the third had to be done under general anaesthetic because the first two were such horrendous experiences that I became quite hysterical and flatly refused to have another done without going under.

    They told me it was fine, really it was, that I wouldn’t know a thing about it.  Fucking liars.  I was quite alert and aware thank-you-very-much, despite their ‘magic’ Valium shot.  The second time they promised me the max dose and that I really, really wouldn’t know anything about it.  Ha!  Again, they lied.  The only difference was that I was semi paralysed (a mix of terror and Valium) while I felt that horrible cold, PAINFUL metal tube go down into my stomach and poke around in there. 

    Thank heavens for Janet!!  I’m so glad she arrived and stayed with you.   Are you going to insist on having her there next time?  I would!!

  • I like the way you think, Kelly!

  • Thanks, Annie.

    I don’t “recommend” colonoscopy’s!

  • Oh hell no, Jay!

    OH MY GOD

    That’s terrible.

    I demand to be knocked out ALL THE TIME.

    Even at the damn dentist!

  • Oh NO!  I sat there and LAUGHED reading your horror story!  What kind of person AM I!  The Holy Shit bars… and then everything else!  Oh honey I am SO SORRY you had to go through that… you have such a way with writing – making even something awful hysterical in a sad sad way LOL!  I wanted to sing WITH YOU as I read it!  THANK HEAVEN’S FOR THE JANETS IN THIS WORLD!!!  She was an angel sent JUST for you that day.  And the coffee?!  She has CLASS and HEART.  Just like you!

  • Aw!! Katherine!

    I’m so happy you enjoyed reading this.

    And NEVER feel bad for laughing!
    I have to find the funny in these situations.
    Otherwise, it’s just not worth it.
    Yanno?

    I still can’t believe I sang The Wheels On The Bus!

    Praise, Janet!

  • Oh Meleah, such comedy comes from such agony.  I felt every jab of the needle.  I tasted every mouthful of that nasty junk you had to drink (mine was lemon lime and I’ve never been able to stand lemonade since, limeade either).  I felt the cramps and the violent explosions, I felt the headache from no coffee.  Shit, I even wanted a cigarette.  Honey, I am so glad Janet was there and that it’s over.  I’m so sorry they didn’t whisk you in and out.  That just makes the whole thing 100 times worse.

  • Stafford

    Maybe you need a permanently inserted catheter! isn’t that first coffee just SO GOOD! 
    I’ve now had four of them, but luckily no problem finding veins but I do commiserate with you going through ‘prep’. The pic of the john and computer on the chair. Now that is THE mark of serious blogger! 

  • I love you, Sis!

  • Thanks, Stafford!

  • Right back atcha, little Sis.

  • Anonymous

    Oh, dear. You poor thing. You truly did have a very bad day. I dread, Dread, DREAD my first colonoscopy. I am not worried about the procedure but that night before. It sounds like absolute hell! But then to make you wait?!?!?! I’m so sorry. If I could I would give you a hug and let you sing the alphabet all you wanted!

  • And I think having my period, made it all the more horrible!!

  • Oh Mel, as a fellow crohnie, I feel your pain. That wait was inexcusable! 
    p.s. I have been told i have the veins of an 80 year old drug addict. My last colonoscopy i was stuck 7 times by 3 different nurses/docs and finally had the IV in my foot. not fun or pretty. Hang in there. Glad its over. 

  • In the foot?

    OMFG!

    You poor thing!

    xoxox

  • Ugh.  That sounds terrible.  Even before you mentioned the Seinfeld episode, I had it playing in my head.  “Oh, it’ll be five… ten minutes.”  LOL

    Glad it’s over with.  The world needs more Janets.

  • TOTES. Janet = Rules.

  • Roshan

    You are the funniest blogger in the world and one hot mamma. This post, although the ordeal must have been terrible for you, is hilarious. You actually sang the alphabet song? And then the wheels song? Hehehe, did anyone have a camera handy.
    However, I wudn’t mind being smothered for a bit by Janet’s bosoms.

  • Yes, I REALLY sang BOTH of those songs!
    But there were no camera’s around.

  • Bear hug…

  • 🙂

  • Jules

    Ugh. What an ordeal for you!  I”m glad that you found Janet. Hopefully she will be there next year and you can schedule your procedure on a day she will be there.  

  • Seriously! I will just request her from the beginning.

  • Oh, Meleah, this was such a wonderful post, you had me crying for you. I am so sorry you had to go through such an awful awful ordeal, especially since I got somewhat affected by it myself. I loved your makeshift laptop desk in the bathroom. And I loved Janet.    Gawd, I want pass out just THINKING about them chasing down the veins in your arm. I’m the same way and I HATE that. Isn’t it bad enough I’ll pass out at the THOUGHT of needles going into my arm and then my veins have to go and be difficult on top of it? Ugh – I just HATE so much that you had to go through that.  (((HUGS))))

  • At least I don’t have to do it again for another year!
    And, yes. The mere thought of a needle is enough to make me faint. Surprisingly, singing The Wheels On The Bus, helps!

  • Spicedmama

    You have so cheered me up!!!  Tomorrow is my day of adventure, and in just a few minutes I will begin the process of elimination.  I’m starving, and I want food…NOW!!!

  • Good luck, woman!

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