8 mm

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The second colonoscopy was… interesting.

I spent most of the procedure transfixed on the screen, where the doctor kept trying to find the polyp. She blew tons of air and washed the area a million times. I think I even saw a ghost of a yellow trail. That must’ve been it.

My doctor didn’t stress either. She had the Dave Matthews band playing in the background while chatting about something — a TV show? “Game of Thrones?” — with the two nurses.

Whenever I’m at the hospital for any reason, I find comfort in the conversations of strangers. When nurses are talking about their day, gardening, what they’re having for lunch, stupid shit, I come out of surgery a lot less nauseated. It’s the same with this colonoscopy.

As soon as I turned to my left side, they let the sedative medicine loose. What a wonderful feeling of release! Unfortunately, my curiosity always wins out, so the sleepiness disappeared abruptly as soon as the doctor casually remarked, “Where’d that polyp go?”

They found the polyp, 8 mm, smaller than a centimeter, smaller than my first two from my first colonoscopy Oct. 2015. Nothing at the site of my prolapsed hemorrhoid, the whole reason for this early follow-up.

I even got a snack this time, yay! The Shasta Cola and Saltines tasted like a Roman feast after a month of war.

The doctor came in afterward, breezed through the results and breezed out. Such a different experience from that first cancer scare. I’m glad I switched.

The nurse assured me that they vacuum up all the remaining liquid stool in the colon from the prep so there’s no danger of accidents. In fact, most people don’t have a bowel movement for several days.

I just had mine, as normal as can be.

The colonoscopy prep wasn’t as bad as it was the first time. I didn’t feel like I was going to throw up from the stool softener and the first drink of that nasty laxative. I actually drank the laxative quickly, no problem. It didn’t taste that bad, either. I wasn’t starving to the point where I resorted to the beef broth, just mostly subsisted on Ginger Ale, some white grape juice, and Gatorade.

I even got some sleep.

What was bad: the low-fiber diet I put myself on a week before. This time, I decided to enjoy myself and pig out on the decadent side of this diet.

Well, now I know that I’m allergic/intolerant to breads and excessive sugar, because I felt like crap, I was never hungry, and I broke out in hives. I also began snoring again, which only happens when I go to sleep so soon after eating and/or eat a lot of carbs.

After my son’s soccer practice today, I headed to the nearest Whole Foods to find cooked shrimp (they make the best cocktail sauce), berries, and a few vegetables to tide me over. Out of curiosity, I finally went over to the salad bar and really looked.

This was the greatest salad bar ever. Whole Foods had grilled asparagus, grilled bell peppers in every color, grilled garlic, onions, cherry tomatoes, cauliflower, and broccoli, edamame, shredded raw beets, shredded zucchini, every kind of lettuce under the sun, chunks of chicken or ham… It is a healthy person’s dream come true, and my salvation the next time I find myself at a soccer tournament in between games.

I’ve missed salad, Persian cucumbers, green tea, Rainier cherries, healthy, natural food.

Tomorrow, I’m taking a friend (Sarah) to one of the best Korean BBQ places ever, not far from where my son practices. She’s been checking in, like a good friend would. I know with her around, I’ll feel less lonely and afraid.

I’ve felt so lonely and afraid, the kind of lonely and afraid that I used to feel when a bully singled me out in grade school for a fight and nobody came to my defense (nobody ever would), or a bunch of popular girls whispered, giggled, pointed, and made slanty eyes at me as they walked by in middle school back in New Jersey.

A few days ago, I was on my husband’s Facebook when I read a few replies to an article I found and reposted about a old ex-CIA guy who supposedly confessed to being a part of a group that was ordered to take down the third World Trade Center building on 9/11. I found the article on Facebook with tons of replies about 9/11 being an inside job.

But when I reposted it, two men said it was fake, with one of them calling me “honey,” and a third telling me to visit a link before I make any more posts like this, like I was a child and he was my Maker. I didn’t appreciate the condescending manner in which they put me in my place for doing what everybody else was doing.

I felt lonely, and afraid that I don’t belong here, that I never belonged, and I never will… that maybe I have a normal chip missing that everyone else has.

I felt retarded, and I’m not making an insensitive slur. I mean actually retarded, like there’s something wrong with me developmentally. They made me feel that way. I’m sure they didn’t even give what they posted a second thought.

Nevertheless, it worked. I deleted the 9/11 thread out of shame.

Later, I read another Facebook thread where these young women (in their late 20s-early 30s) were uplifting one another about knowing when to leave a bad situation (job, place). They used fancy lingo and terms that were both delicate and elitist-sounding, way over my head… the kind of vocabulary ladies who lunch down in the South use to get to know one another in the pecking order, vocabulary I’m unfamiliar with as someone who was born in an extremely poor situation and grew up in a trailer park as an immigrant.

I know there’s something off about me every time I look in the mirror, or try to make conversation — even with the friendly nurses who forget me the minute I’m wheeled out (they forgot to take my weight this time btw). I know I don’t look or sound like everybody else. I know I’m not as smart as that Seattle trumpet player’s beautiful, social, pregnant wife who always knows what to say and writes like a dream. (I do know that I don’t really like either of them very much anymore.)

I just don’t know what to do with my feelings sometimes. I hope that’s okay.

As for my second colonoscopy in almost two years, I’m so very grateful I got through it and am able to get back into the groove of eating healthier.

One day at a time, right?

It’s 3:31 a.m. now. I think I’ll go to bed.

Good night.

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