I was recently diagnosed with Irritable Bowel Syndrome. As far as I’m concerned, this is not a diagnosis. To me, IBS means “I Be Stumped”, meaning the doctor has no idea what is causing my intestinal discomforts and just wants to start throwing some pills at me to shut me up.
The fact that I have not actually talked to my doctor except for a brief introduction right before my colonoscopy may have something to do with my lack of faith in her advice. When I was first referred to this doctor she had no available appointments for the next 20 years, so I settled for meeting with the Nurse Practitioner instead.
The Nurse Practitioner was very nice, and seemed very knowledgeable, but I was the one that recommended I get tested for Celiac Disease after X-rays showed nothing unusual. Me recommending a test for myself seemed to me to be a reverse of the way these things are supposed to go.
She also recommended that I Google high fiber diets, which was further proof, as far as I was concerned, that the need to pay someone for professional medical advice is becoming obsolete.
Considering that I had to go somewhere else for all of my tests, and then was told that I should Google what I should be eating, I don’t really feel like my insurance company and I got our money’s worth for these office visits.
The nurse seemed surprised when I asked if it would actually be the doctor to whom I was referred that would be performing my colonoscopy. Considering I had never met her, I thought that was a fair question. For all I knew, the procedure was going to be done by a plumber. “Of course!” she responded, apparently offended by the question.
After the colonoscopy, the doctor apparently told my husband that I should call the office to schedule a “follow-up” in 4 weeks. I dutifully did this, suspecting the worthlessness in pursuing the matter any further.
“O.K., Mrs. Cap’n Firepants, you are all set for your follow-up.”
I was about to hang up when I had a thought.
“Uh, this appointment is with the doctor, right?”
“Well, uh, no. It’s with the Nurse Practitioner. The doctor is only available every other Friday and the fifth Thursday of the month during Leap Years.”
“I just called and said, ‘I need to schedule my follow up with the doctor,’ and you didn’t feel like it was worth telling me that I wouldn’t actually be WITH THE DOCTOR?” I said.
“Would you like to see the doctor?”
“I believe that’s what I meant when I asked to schedule an appointment with her, yes.”
Oh, great. I realize that I have probably been a little too sarcastic, and now I picture the receptionist labeling my chart, like poor Elaine on Seinfeld.
Elaine: I was looking at my chart [at the doctor’s office], and it said that I was difficult. Why would they write that?
Jerry: They’ve gotten to know you.
She finds that every doctor in the city has her chart, and tries to get Kramer to steal it for her.
ELAINE: Where’s my chart? Did you get it?
ELAINE: What? What happened?
KRAMER: I don’t know. But now they got a chart on me.
The receptionist miraculously finds a date on which I can meet with the doctor and I enthusiastically put it on my calendar despite the 20 other things with which it conflicts.
“Thank you so much!” I say, hoping to erase both the memory of my earlier sarcasm from her memory and the black mark from my chart.
“You’re welcome,” she says, and hangs up.
Why I’m Still Depressed (but I Promise it’s the Last Day):
I had my colonoscopy at 7 a.m. I woke up from the anesthesia with absolutely no side effects. I was completely lucid. I had hoped that I would be slightly loopy, and Cap’n Firepants could post me on YouTube so I could become a viral internet sensation like “David After the Dentist”.Vodpod videos no longer available.
No such luck.
After fasting for over 24 hours, I was ready for a great meal, but the Nurse Who Apparently Needs to Have Her Own Colonoscopy kaboshed that by saying all I could have was some eggs and toast. No Starbucks. No breakfast tacos. No Diet Coke. On the way home, I tried to tell Cap’n Firepants that the Nurse Who Apparently Needs to Have Her Own Colonoscopy And I Would Be Happy to Give It To Her was wrong. Every single one of my colonscopied friends has told me that they went to a restaurant afterward and chowed down. Cap’n Firepants said, “Now, if every one of your friends jumped off a bridge -” O.K. He didn’t say that. He just shook his head condescendingly, drove me home, and made me some scrambled eggs. He wouldn’t even put picante sauce on them.
The upshot of this whole adventure is that my colon has nothing wrong with it. Which should be good news. But that means that my symptoms now get the vague diagnosis of Irritable Bowel Syndrome. Which makes my bowel not the only thing that is irritated.
Wonderbutt’s nursing skills are about as empathetic as the Nurse Who Apparently Needs to Have Her Own Colonoscopy And I Would Be Happy to Give It To Her Without the Benefit of Anesthesia. I thought he would cuddle up with me on the couch while I took a nap. And he did. What I did not know was that he would end up snoring with his face a centimeter away from mine and that his 65 pounds of puppy love would make me feel like the marshmallow in a Smore.
After I decided to abandon Wonderbutt for my less affectionate, but less nasally challenged, bed, Wonderbutt apparently felt slighted. Before I left the room, I told him to pretend I was at work, but he seemed to interpret this differently than my intended message.
Cap’n Firepants came home that afternoon, and Wonderbutt happily greeted him with something in his mouth. My glasses.
Ironically, Wonderbutt’s stomach can happily accept my twisted wire frames, and I cannot even eat an apple without experiencing an intestinal Civil War.
Cap’n Firepants seemed to think the glasses incident was amusing. He said we could probably take the lenses in, and just buy some frames.
I pointed out that it might be difficult for me to see through all of the bite impressions. He thought the marks on the glass were just slobber, apparently.
I would like to know why Cap’n Firepants suddenly finds Wonderbutt’s escapades funny.
I may not be loopy, but I find it quite difficult to compose a blog post with a giant Diet Coke withdrawal headache crushing my brain.
I can’t see why no one can figure out what is wrong with me, and I can’t see why I can’t have a big feast to celebrate being a big girl and drinking a gallon of MoviPrep. I especially can’t see why I can’t have a Diet Coke.
And now, as Wonderbutt has communicated quite clearly, I just really can’t see.
I just took the first four doses out of 8 of my “pre-colonoscopy” treatment. Apparently my anti-depressant medication was one of the first things to evacuate my “No Fly” zone.
I am hungry. I have fasted for less than 24 hours, and if I hadn’t just taken half my medicine I would have raided the pantry by now. As it is, I am not going to do that because I. Never. Want. To. Ingest. That. Evil. Liquid. Again. Which is what my doctor will make me do if I chicken out this time.
I was told the Evil Liquid would taste better if I refrigerated it. They lied. And if you want to know who They are, join the club. You’ll probably laugh, and then you’ll probably think, hmm – he might have something there.
Please pardon this interruption for a disclaimer from our Sponsor: A colonoscopy is a procedure that has saved many lives and should never be put off just because this particular blogger is too much of a wuss to take her pre-treatment stuff like a man.
Even though I was one of the first people I know to enter my e-mail for the Pottermore Beta site, apparently the e-mail they returned asking me to confirm (why do I need to confirm when I already sent them my e-mail? Do they think I am that fickle?) got sent to my Junk mail, and I lost my chance to participate.
As of noon yesterday, I had 6 hits on my blog. That is the lowest ever, including the day of my first post. And I don’t think the earthquake in Oklahoma, the stupid time change, or the lack of electricity in the Northeast had anything to do with it.
I know I should not be depressed because there are many people who have worse problems than me. Which makes me more depressed. Because I’m that selfish.
Just so you know, I’m not trying to get any Sympathy Comments here. I hate sympathy comments. And no Sympathy Facebook Likes either. I can tell. Don’t ask me how. It’s a gift.
And now, please excuse me while I go swallow another dose of my Evil Liquid.
I did something truly frightening and scheduled a colonoscopy for myself on Halloween. In retrospect, that wasn’t my best plan ever. But Fate saved me from myself once again, and my doctor’s office called to reschedule because, apparently, the doctor’s husband is having surgery on that date.
I am not going to go into the details of the domino effect of this schedule change. Being a teacher of gifted students at two different schools, I had to personally notify at least 500 people when I cancelled class for next Monday. My students thought I was taking a day off for Halloween. I didn’t take off for my own birthday, but I’m going to relax at home on Halloween? If I was going to let that day effect my teaching schedule, I would go for the day after Halloween – when the kids are so sugared up from all of the candy they ate, and so exhausted from trick or treating that they are extra diligent about misbehaving, and drop their heads on the desk as soon as you ask them to expend some energy on anything that requires thought.
Anyway, my doctors’s office decided to reschedule me for next Wednesday. After I dutifully marked that on my calendar and hung up, I contemplated the nightmare I had just agreed to.
I had just finished emailing all of the teachers about next week’s schedule change, and let Transportation know so they could get a different driver because the current bus driver has already scheduled his life around me once and refuses to do it again. Now I was going to have to tell everyone that I was just jerking their chains. I really meant to cancel class next Wednesday.
And, let’s be logical about this. If the doctor’s husband is having surgery on Monday, and something goes wrong, is my doctor going to be in any shape to be doing the sensitive things they do during such procedures? What if the husband stops breathing during his mystery operation and everyone panics and the nurse drops a scalpel, and someone steps on it and slips, hitting the anesthesia guy in the crotch and then all Hell breaks loose? Do I really want the doctor to be working on me a mere two days after this traumatic experience? I think not.
Of course, rescheduling would mean I would have to call the office back again. So, I need to weigh the likelihood of my doctor going off the deep end due to her husband’s brush with death against the likelihood of me talking to a real live person who can help me before I stab myself with the butter knife after being forced to listen to scratchy elevator music for fifteen minutes. This is not Dr. Jimmy’s office where humans pick up the phone after one ring and magically pull convenient-for-my-calendar appointments out of their uncolonoscopied rears.
Then I looked at my calendar more closely. What? OK – hide the butter knives. Time to call the doctor’s office. I could handle re-notifying 500 people rather than calling back to re-re-schedule, but there was another event on the calendar that I could not cancel and I sure as heck didn’t plan to attend loopy on anesthesia with an aching butt.
David Sedaris is coming to town. That man’s writings – and his readings of his writings – makes life worth living, and I am not going to miss his humor injection for a dang colonoscopy that will probably result in my doctor officially declaring me a hypochondriac once and for all.
So, I called the office again. And, you have rightly deduced that I did not stab myself. The colonoscopy is rescheduled. I will be able to enjoy David Sedaris with my full faculties intact. At least the ones that are usually present.
I haven’t told the 500 people yet. I’m thinking of keeping things quiet. After all, it might not be so bad to have the day off on Halloween.