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September 2018



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My Colonoscopy

I had my colonoscopy on Thursday. People warned me that the prep would be the worst part. And drinking nothing but jello, chicken broth, and laxative for a day was not fun. I usually drink a lot of water so I thought I would have no problem drinking the 4 liters of laxative. But I was wrong. I was not able to finish it. And I was not able to sleep because I kept rushing to the bathroom. I tried just sitting on the toilet but that got painful after a while.

By Thursday morning I was tired, hungry and not very happy at all.

My friend Anne had agreed to be my driver. But she had a class at the same time as my procedure so she needed to pick me up early and didn't want to come into the hospital with me. At 9am Anne called me and asked if it was Ok if her husband David drove me instead. I was just happy that I still had a driver so I was Ok with that.

David turned out to be a real blessing. He is a professional bus driver and has been trained to work with wheelchairs for his job. He was also able to come into the hospital and wait for me.

We made the mistake of dropping me off at the lower entrance to the hospital. It turns out they have moved the main entrance back to the top. But I snagged a wheelchair, and since David came in with me he was able to wheel me where I needed to go. Even if Anne had come in she would have had a hard time getting around much less helping me.

As David was pushing me down the main corridor I remembered the last time I had to go there for a procedure when I didn't have anyone to help me. I remembered how much pain I was in from walking in from the parking lot. And how painful it had been to have to walk to the intake booths, and down that hall to the waiting room for my procedure. Now I was travelling the same route and I wasn't in pain because someone was helping me. Thinking about how different it was just makes me cry.

I didn't cry when I was in pain because I don't like to "make a fuss". And I didn't ask for help because I don't like to be a burden. David was so helpful and considerate the whole time it just made me realize how much I suffer because I don't want to bother people, or make a fuss, or be a burden. So I just suck it up and suffer.

When I was checking in they asked me if I had a medical proxy on file. I didn't, and I didn't think I needed one. If anything happens, my mother is my next of kin and I'm sure she will do whatever needs to be done.

David gently encouraged me to reconsider that and actually fill out the paperwork. I listed my mom as my proxy and my sister Gina as my second if Mom was not available. David also encouraged me to call my mom and tell her what I had done, just so she would know.

He kept me company and chatted while I waited for my procedure and stayed at the hospital until I was ready to go home.

Another thing happened that made me think about how much I suffer because I don't want to bother people. While I was lying on the gurney waiting for the procedure my left knee began to hurt, a lot. I bent my knee until it stopped hurting and asked the nurse if she could put a pillow under it. She got a rolled up towel and put it under my knee but it was a bit lower than was comfortable. She asked me if that was OK and I said yes, because it was better than nothing and I didn't want to be difficult. Luckily for me she ignored me and put another towel under my knee until my it was high enough to stop hurting.

It just made me realize how often I put up with pain and struggle, rather than ask for help. I think it comes down to a fundamental belief that help will not be available. That I am alone and there is no one to help me. I don't want to make a fuss, or be a burden because if I do than people will be less willing to help me. So I don't ask unless I'm really desperate.

ANd this makes me really grateful for people who volunteer to help. People who can see that I'm struggling and offer to help without me asking.

The whole procedure went as well as such things can go. But I would have been struggling and anxious the whole time if David hadn't been there to help me. I'm really grateful that he was.

One more note about the procedure. Everyone said I would not remember it. They were wrong. I was conscious for the whole thing. I even watched the monitor. Afterward the doctor jokingly thanked me for telling him that that looked like a healthy colon to me. I was right though. I have a very healthy colon. No polyps. Just some green jello and a couple of tomato skin remnants from my BLT on Tuesday.

Afterward, I asked David to take me through the drive through at Arby's for some solid food. I was so hungry from the liquid diet. I had brought my wallet so I could pay. But David insisted in paying for my lunch. That was just another real kindness. He was such a blessing for me.


I am so happy for you!

It is wonderful to get such help from someone. I'm very glad David was such a nice person.