It’s 4:19 p.m., the sun is out, and I’m about a half-hour away from destiny.
Four tablets of Bisacodyl and a glass of water, then the dreaded MiraLax.
I’ve done everything I could think of to prepare for my second colonoscopy in two years, maybe too much. Next time, I won’t go the dirty end of a low-fiber diet, as I’ve realized I’m most likely allergic/intolerant to sugar/bread.
I feel like shit inside and out, pun intended.
Vaguely aware that a lot of people a lot smarter and healthier than me refuse to get a colonoscopy, ever. Even if polyps are found, as in my case.
As my luck would have it, I happened upon a Facebook post warning against colon cleanses, because they destroy the good bacteria keeping us all alive and cancer-free. Of course, I had to go on Google to search for the drawbacks to colonoscopy preps.
Good ole Google. You never disappoint me.
My husband’s off to Bellingham for a gig. He wanted me to come enjoy the waterfront view and the live jazz again, but I had to remind him of the colon prep. Every time I start to feel really overwhelmed, I think of what he has to go through with the Bacillus Calmette-Guerin (BCG) therapy and why he has to go through it. The man’s been my hero the past two years, facing death head on and doing whatever’s necessary to get through it.
It’s 4:27 p.m. already, and I’m starting to shake.
The first and last time I had to do a colonoscopy prep, well, it didn’t go well. I may have even blanked out the details of some of the trips to the bathroom.
You’d think I’d be used to sudden trips to the bathroom by now, what with my IBS-D and my myriad butt ailments. With IBS-D and my weakened sphincter from many anal surgeries, there’s always the risk of exacerbating/worsening/creating hemorrhoids. If I have too much diarrhea, those hemorrhoids tend to bleed and grow bigger.
One of those hemorrhoids grew until it prolapsed. The prolapsed hemorrhoid they removed in 2015 contained a tubular adenoma, a precancerous polyp — not the kind you leave behind. I developed prolapsed hemorrhoids early on, since I can remember.
Each and every time a doctor has removed one, another would grow in its place, bigger and more stubborn to treatment.
I remember these doctors telling me there’s nothing to be done other than living with them if they don’t really bother me. This is what I tried to tell the doctor who did my first colonoscopy. She dismissed me, outright, focusing on the suspicious mass. She might as well have wished cancer on me.
Had the previous doctors told me the prolapsed hemorrhoid should be removed, I wouldn’t have let it go so long.
I dreaded my first colonoscopy. I was afraid of the normal things normal people were afraid of. But then I was also afraid of triggering a major IBS-D flare that would last for years like the time right after my anal fistulectomy (to remove a fistula down there) in 1995. I couldn’t eat or drink without soiling myself badly. For over a decade.
Nobody could fix me, either.
The colon prep is possibly the worst thing someone like me could go through. I literally don’t know if I’ll be soiling myself all the way down to the clinic and on the examining table. I don’t know if I’ll start hemorrhaging from a bloody hemorrhoid or two from the diarrhea.
I don’t know what will happen.
Hunger and lack of sleep are the least of my concerns.
A week ago, I confided my fears to someone I thought would be compassionate. He just recited the usual Christian line about not fearing death since he’s already been saved by his Lord and Savior. IOW, he checked his humanity at the door and checked out. I’m sure he didn’t mean to, but he came off condescending, cold, and well, not much fucking help.
I’m scared of what I’m about to go through so soon after the first colonoscopy. I’m not supposed to have so many within two years. They’re usually spaced out three to five, even if they find polyps.
I’m scared about what they might find, even though the doctor assured me that waiting nine months past the due date (I was supposed to have a follow-up back in Oct.) wasn’t “unreasonable.” They need to monitor the site of the prolapsed hemorrhoid another surgeon removed. They’re not sure all of the adenoma got removed, you see, so I’m fucked again.
What would I rather be doing?
In my last dream, I found myself back in high school, staring at a freshly developed photograph of the old sugar mill in Aiea. I was young again, and this geeky boy liked me. My only concern was making the next deadline and dealing with an asshole principal who was trying to force us to sign over our rights to free speech.
I also wouldn’t mind a nice English tea on the deck of a friend’s beachside cottage, with a few people I know would show me compassion or, at the very least, a fun time.
Now, it’s 4:45 p.m., and I’m about to cry, so I’ll head downstairs soon to start the process and endure the long night ahead with my yarn and my conspiracy theories.
See you later.