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  • Writer's picturemaggiehsmith07

In Shitness & In Health

The last couple weeks haven’t been great - but we got good news (twice!) today so perhaps things are turning around.  I also think this is because, somehow, a horseshoe we have hanging up got knocked sideways.  I don’t know when but perhaps that’s when things took a detour south.

Last night, I began preparing for my colonoscopy prep. The whole idea of a colonoscopy had arisen when I was trying to get to the bottom (heh. Bottom. Get it?!) of my stomach troubles this past spring. I had been told it was likely indigestion. I was also told that the age for a colonoscopy had been lowered to 45 (!!!) so I should get one. I recalled Katie Couric taking this on, bravely, on camera. I didn’t watch it but I thought, “Well, it can’t be that bad.” I don’t know if Couric filmed the prep or the actual procedure. I’m guessing she did not film the prep process. I was given pills to take for my prep, instead of the drink which I have heard is horrendous. I began the first dose of pills last night. There are 2 doses and each is 12 pills. And they aren’t small pills either. Twelve seems excessive but I dutifully took the first dose. By 7 PM, I was jogging to the toilet.  Frequently. I complained vehemently as it was a bit shocking. I went to bed before Andrea and awoke at around 4 AM with a blinding headache and vomiting. I went to the first floor of the house in the hope that Andrea could get some sleep.

Andrea: It actually seems fitting that the figurative shitstorm we’ve been dealing with over the past few weeks was capped off by an actual shit storm thanks to SUTAB.

Also, we recognize that our “problems” over the past few weeks (besides the passing of our beloved Wrigley two days before Thanksgiving) are minor in comparison to what many other people are going through and are really just inconveniences that have stacked upon each other as fast and as furiously as the prep made it’s way through Maggie’s poor GI tract. At around 8am Georgie arrived at my side of the bed begging me to relieve him of his nursing shift. Georgie is a dutiful, loyal guy who got up and accompanied Maggie to the first floor during her time of need (probably hopeful for an early breakfast) while I tried to sleep for a few more hours knowing I was going to need the energy to keep this boat afloat and get the patient to her very important date.

Maggie here…so I began the second dose of 12 tablets of SUCKTAB starting around 8 AM.  By 10 AM, I was vomiting again after a small, blessed reprieve from that. Vomiting is disgusting. I don’t know how you people with kids manage. I kept apologizing to Andrea, who at one point said, “In sickness and in health…” but I seemed to be testing this vow. I laid down and dozed for about 45 minutes and at 1045, threw up again. At that point, I marched downstairs and announced to Andrea, “I quit! I can’t do it! And my poop is the wrong color!”

Andrea: This announcement came after the first call to the Dr. when they said “maybe she needs something clearish with caffiene” so I ran out to 7-11 for Mountain Dew and Gatorade like I was nursing a hangover - if they only knew.

At this point there was also a very prominent aroma that had surrounded Maggie and while I very much wanted to just feed her coffee and a breakfast sandwich and start her return to the human race we were so close to the 1pm appointment. So one more call to the Dr., another conversation about the color of the output and again I was instructed to go out and get ginger ale. As I was putting on my shoes and collecting my keys my phone rang again and I grumbled who is calling me now?! Turns out the front desk person was wrong and drinking more liquids was a bad idea- but the appointment was still on. See you at 1pm. My phone rang again and it was demolition crew asking to come over today and get to work on our repairs that the leak had caused. I said the most assertive "no" of my life in response to them coming over today . They did give us our first piece of good news which was that we don't have asbestos.

Andrea gave me a pep talk about not quitting and how close we were. I acknowledged that I smelled dreadful and hit the shower.  Andrea dutifully completed the requisite paperwork and we climbed into her Jeep. I considered mentioning that I felt very nauseous but decided to keep my mouth shut, deciding I could scream, “PULL OVER!” And not vomit in her Jeep.  I grumbled, “Everyone better be nice to me and offer me ice cold ginger ale the moment I come to.” I made it to the doctor’s office without incident and was quickly taken back. Everyone knew about me due to our calls. The nurse who prepped me said, “You’ll feel better after the procedure. The IV has some anti-nausea meds. The woman who came in before you sick felt much better.”

At which point I asked, “Another sick woman? How often does this happen? I hadn’t realized that was a side effect.”

“Oh. Once or twice a day.” The woman said, “Not too often.” Which really made me wonder how many buttpipe inspections a day go down here?

The nurse administered the IV and offered a blanket. My head was killing so I desperately asked for anything to put across my eyes. I was desperate - so I meant anything, imagining a dirty tube sock from the lost and found. Thankfully, the nurse returned with a hand towel. Much better than a tube sock. I expressed concern that I was not certain how much of the 2nd dose had been effective due to my vomiting. The nurse considered what I said and assured me that it would probably be fine. Worse case, it wouldn’t be clean enough for the doctor to see and I’d have to return for a 2nd colonoscopy. “The fuck I will.” I thought.

As I lie there, a patient was coming to next to me following my procedure.

“Where am I?!” She asked. The nurse patiently answered and the woman then asked, “So I’m not at the Elliots’ for dinner?” The nurse explained she was not at the Elliots (thank god because worst dinner party EVER!) & that she was just waking up at the doctor’s following her procedure. The woman considered this, then asked, “Am I in Richmond?”

This level of impairment seemed a bit jarring. I considered making a run for it but I was enjoying the IV.

I was soon wheeled back and the doctor explained the procedure, etc. Then, bam. They were waking me up. I immediately pounced and asked the doc if he had a clean shot of my butt pipes so I would NOT have to return (I said it all professional and shit). He said yes, no polyps & all looked good so I will see you in 10 years.

I had considered Maggie vomiting in the Jeep and had two thoughts- 1. At least I have these weathertech floor liners clean up would be easy #notanad and 2. There can’t be much more in there since she had stopped drinking at 10:30am. Luckily we made it to the building without incident. The waiting room was quiet- probably all the folks waiting were just thankful to have some peace and quiet without talking about poop, colors of poop, water intervals, etc.

Eventually the doctor called me in to give me the results and to let me know Maggie was waking up. And soon after I was told how and where to pick up the patient- while I waited I put in the address for the requested milkshake stop she wanted after the procedure.

Andrea took me to get a delicious egg nog shake from a place called Cook Out and then to a place that serves brunch all day. She did ask if I was going to wear my outfit of sweatpants and one of her long sleeved t-shirts to eat in, then seemed to reconsider, and deemed me “fine”.

So, while looking like a hobo but not smelling like one, I enjoyed the delicious plate of food below

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