My husbands family history includes numerous colon issues so as a precaution each family member is required to undergo testing every five years as a preventive measure via a colonoscopy. A colonoscopy is a procedure in which a flexible fiber-optic instrument is inserted through the anus in order to examine the colon. (aka, they shove a hose up your arse and blast your innards with air)
In preparation for this procedure the patient must scale back their food intake for several days before to ensure the bowel and colon are cleared for testing. Three weeks ago my husband received a letter advising of his testing scheduled for this week and he took it like a man. (actually he sobbed all the way back from the mailbox)
Four days ago the fasting started, no fruit or vegetables, no nuts or seeds. Three days ago he had to cut out alcohol and any foods with a red pigment. Two days ago he had to revert to a ‘light’ diet’ i.e., no beef, no dairy. The day before the procedure he had to fast completely. He took to his bed, weak from hunger. At one point a friend called and I heard my husband decline their lunch invitation because he was afraid he might be anorexic.
That evening he had to drink a prescribed liquid that would further ‘clear out any solids’ in his system (it would, as we discovered, blow the crap out of him, literally!) His procedure was scheduled for early the next morning but we both spent a sleepless night; I, afraid we’d miss our alarm, and he having to dash to the washroom every 5 minutes.
Finally the big day came. I had a lovely breakfast of bacon, eggs, coffee and a fresh fruit salad (not my arse they’re blasting, why should I starve?) My husband dressed grudgingly, his mood morose. We got in to the car for the half hour drive to the hospital and more than once I could swear I heard whimpering. (that’s my he-man, I proudly thought!) Now I’m not completely without sympathy….such internal ‘exploration’ is humbling, and I did feel for his nervousness. On the other hand last week when I asked him to vacuum he didn’t do it, so maybe this is God’s way of evening things up for me. Either way, I’m ok with it!
We checked in at the hospital and were escorted to a small waiting room where a few other patients sat all looking as uncomfortable as my husband, except of course those of us who were their drivers. It was easy to spot us, we were smiling. I noted the patients kept shifting uncomfortably in their seats, as though anticipating what was to come. (I couldn’t help but smile) After a brief wait (and several more trips to the washroom) my husband was taken in for the procedure. He was as pale as a ghost and turned pleadingly to me as the nurse ushered him away. Poor guy….anyway, I got myself a coffee, pulled out a good book and settled in for a nice relaxing break.
Two hours later a nurse called me in. The procedure was complete and they were happy to advise they found little of consequence. He would not need another colonoscopy for five years. They sent us off with a list of instructions; he was to ‘take it easy’ for the next few days. (are you kidding? that’s his whole life) They also advised that his system would need to ‘expel’ the excess air in order to return to normal function. (makes sense, what goes in must come out) We headed to the parking lot, my husband with a notable spring in his step, serenading me with a symphony of ‘sounds’.
By the time we got home he was ravenous. He had two grilled cheese sandwiches, a pile of french fries, a cup of coffee and two cookies (apparently this particular form of ‘anorexia’ was fleeting) He then went up to lay down because the hospital did advise he should ‘take it easy’ for a few days. (ok, are we pushing it here?)
I had a number of household chores to complete (I had fallen behind when I had to care for my convalescing spouse just in his anticipation of illness) and a little help would be nice. It was a lovely spring like day and I suggested he wash the car. It was heavily soiled from the winter weather and the task was light enough to avoid strain while giving him much needed fresh air. He grumbled and moaned a little and as he mustered up his speech of refusal I said, “Hey, I just realized, we don’t need to go to the hospital for this procedure next time. I think I can figure out how to do it right in the comfort of our home”, as I lovingly unraveled the garden hose.
Boy, did he clean that car!