Coping | Daily Life | IBD
Hey there all you amazing, talented musk oxen! I wanted to share a somewhat funny experience I brought on myself.
Colonoscopies. A majority of us get them and we all react differently to them. For instance, my first colonoscopy I got completely knocked out. A true KO via IV. When I awoke I was swearing like a sailor and giving thumbs ups to the older people in the colonoscopy loading dock. It was magical.
My father then took me for a giant plate of IHOP pancakes. I was back to my normal self around the time the farting kicked in and spent the afternoon farting mercilessly on my couch, and then went to a family barbeque, where I continued to stuff my face.
The second time I got a colonoscopy – everything was different. The prep day was basically the same: the super salty, awful concoction that is MoviPrep and watching Footloose while hovering over my toilet. Oh, and all the blue jello. So I figured this procedure wouldn’t be any different. I’d go, I’d stuff my face again, and then do something in the evening. Check, check, check.
Well, my new GI doctor exposed me to the magic that is known as twilight drugs. I didn’t receive my KO via IV. Instead, I was mildly aware of what was going on – in somewhat of a dreamlike state. No cussing this time, because, well, everything was magical and wonderful. I got some Oreos post-oscopy and downed those delicious devils with some apple juice.
Apparently, my ride then picked me up and we went out for hamburgers. How do I know this? There was a line on my credit card statement and a receipt wadded up in my wallet. I’m sure the burger was delicious, but I don’t recall much from that afternoon.
I do remember coming home and napping while my cat curled up with me. It was January in Chicago, so the weather was cold and the sky was dark. It was the perfect scene for a nap. I scheduled a wakeup call from my mom, because I had plans that evening. Speed. Dating.
Yes, yes, speed dating. I decided to go speed dating with one of my friends post-colonoscopy and post twilight drugs. I thought, if I can handle a family barbeque after cleansing my colon, I can totally handle speed dating.
The wakeup call happened, I got dressed up, and waited for my friend to pick me up. While waiting, I read over that fancy little sheet they give you of what to expect after the colonoscopy.
I completely forgot about the fact that you can’t drink alcohol after you have a colonoscopy. Good thing speed dating was at a bar. I figured, I’d fake it. I’d get a kiddie cocktail and no one would tell the difference. Too bad kiddie cocktails don’t calm your nerves, but rather hype you up with an insane amount of sugar when you have a tiny amount of food in your system. I make great choices.
My friend picked me up and when we got to the bar we picked up our nametags from the host and drink tickets. I immediately gave them to my friend, to which she responded, “How are you going to get through this WITHOUT drinking?” Yeah. Don’t know. Thanks.
I ordered my kiddie cocktail and made my way over to the hostess who directed me to my designated booth for the night. Yes, it’s exactly what you’re picturing. The ladies remain seated through the event and the boys make their rounds after every five minutes. The lights were low and red and the music was great. I felt like I was in a movie scene. Surely I’d meet my dreamboat on the same day I got a colonoscopy and we’d have the cutest little story.
I decided to not bring up my UC during the five-minute-make-a-good-impression-without-being-creepy session. After a few sips of my Sprite and grenadine mixture, the hostess unleashed the men.
And every. single. man. that came to my booth, asked me what I was having to drink. I mean, I did pound the kiddie cocktail in hopes of mustering some sugar-induced confidence. (Note: It doesn’t work – it only makes your heart race faster and your palms sweat. Sexy.)
Well I told them, every single man, “A kiddie cocktail.”
The dialogue went as follows:
Random Dude: “What are you drinking tonight?”
Me: “A kiddie cocktail, and you?”
Random Inquiring Dude: “Oh, you don’t drink?”
Me: “No, I do. Just not tonight. What’s your drink of choice?”
Random Won’t Stop Inquiring Dude: “Why aren’t you drinking tonight?”
Frustrated Me: “Uhm. I had a colonoscopy this morning, so I can’t have alcohol. WHAT ARE YOU DRINKING?!”
Like, take a hint everyman, I’m trying to change the subject.
The reactions varied. Some of my favorites:
Idiot 1: “Wait…don’t you have to be old to get those?”
Going for the joke guy 2: “How old are you?!”
I Don’t Know How to Stop Inquiring 3: “What’s that like?”
I Don’t Buy It 4: “Haha, can’t say I’ve ever heard that one before.”
So my response to these dudes was about the same.
“Yup. This morning I was half-conscious and on twilight drugs, which is why I can’t drink. I had a tube shoved up my butt and some biopsies taken of my guts. So, to top off the excellent start to my day, I decided to dress up, come here, pound Sprites and grenadines, and chat you up.” Sass, class, and I’m sure mildly insane-sounding.
Five minutes is a long time, folks. Especially when you stare down someone and tell them about your colonoscopy. And then explain what UC is and some of your favorite symptoms.
When the hostess called time and that everyone had made it through…well, relieved doesn’t even BEGIN to cover it. I was joyous! I wanted to climb on top of the bar and shout to the heavens that I just survived one of the weirdest days in my existence. I think I was still half-loopy from the drugs.
Surprisingly, I got a few matches. I’d like to tell you all that one of my matches is now my soul mate and he LOVES my spastic colon and nonstop pooping. But alas, it didn’t happen.
So, the only solid advice I have to offer this month is, take on new challenges. Whether it’s the same day as your colonoscopy, endoscopy, stomach dilation, what have you. And at least it’ll make for a good story.
Mandy, I loved your story. It’s a complete hoot. I wonder if you’ve ever read Dave Barry’s essay describing his first prep for a colonoscopy. I laughed so hard the first time I read it, I couldn’t get the words out while I tried to read it aloud to my husband. I included part of it in a book I wrote, which I think you’ll relate to. It’s called Gut Feelings: Social and Emotional Struggles with Crohn’s & Colitis, and it’s precisely about the issues you’re talking about. As a professional journalist (M.A. Columbia Journalism School, jobs at the Providence Journal and Philadelphia Inquirer in their heyday), I interviewed more than 100 patients about their experiences with IBD. You can find it on Amazon and look inside the book and read part of the book. I wish I’d interviewed you and included your story. Moral I took from your story: don’t make big decisions or go speed dating after a colonoscopy. In fact, don’t do anything after your colonoscopy. Thank you for posting it.
Hi Linda! Thank you so much for the recommendations!! I will definitely check them both out 🙂 And thank YOU for reading it!!!
Have been keeping up with girls with guts for 2 years now and completely in love with this strong group of women and this post. Just saying thank you, thank you, thank you!
Crohn’s for 16 years and as of last December, it’s controlled! Whoo hoo!