Thursday, November 4, 2010

A Visit to the Outpatient Clinic

This has been a bad week! Beginning Tuesday with the prep for a colonoscopy, when you are forced to drink a gallon and a half or two gallons of foul-tasting liquid as fast as you can with a little touch of lemon added. I know this test is very popular among older people for some obscure reason like the prevention of cancer, but it is pure torture. After you've devoured the liquid, your stomach starts to rumble and roar and you visit the bathroom several times in hopes of  a little relief, but your stomach keeps talking to you off and on for hours, And you can't have anything to eat except clear liquids, no alcohol to ease the pangs of horrific thunder and lightning in the belly parts. I don't drink anyway, but on this occasion a little nip would have been helpful.

The next morning you ease out of bed after a nearly sleepless night and mentally prepare yourself for the actual exam of the lower pipes. The reason I'm here so soon after the last exam (a year ago) is because the doctor found a polyp that had a lesion of some sort around it and he couldn't take it all out with the little snipper. He sent part of it away to be looked at by microbiologists or whatever they call themselves to see if there was any cancer found and painted the rest with india ink. There was no cancer, but he recommended another exam within six to twelve months, and voila! here we are stumbling toward the outpatient department, my wife and I.

We stop at the registration desk to let them know we are here and sit down and wait. After an interminable amount of time (it was actually only about five minutes), they call my name and take me into a little room where I have to divulge every disease, bruise, and operation I ever had in my life and what they did to cure it and all my personal history in case I didn't survive the exam. And then fork over my driver's license, medical cards, will, medical living will, trust account, and keys to my car, plus all my coupons for restaurants. That last item didn't sound kosher to me, but luckily I didn't have any coupons with me. And then I had to turn in my dentures, wooden leg, hairpiece, wrist watch, and metal inserts and other paraphenalia that might interfere with the procedure, and I was told to go wait in the room under the TV and they will call me.

Thirty minutes later, I was sitting up in a hospital bed naked except for one of those gowns with no back and getting my blood pressure taken and needles stuck in my arm and another round of questions. The doctor came in and introduced herself and left and I was wheeled into another room, told to lay on my left side, and kerplunk! the next thing I knew I was in the recovery room with the pretty nurse yelling my name over and over. I finally came out of it and saw my wife sitting in a chair patiently waiting for me with a picture of my insides. It was the most disgusting photo I'd seen in a long time with a little piece of metal sticking out of my intestine.

"That's where they're going to operate," said my wife. "They have to cut out that ugly thing there," pointing at the picture. "Otherwise, you're just fine." She gave me a wink and a nod, and chuckled.

I got dressed, collected all my wooden legs and such and we went home, sore belly and all. She had to drive, because I was placed on limited duty to just sit and relax and laugh at the ugly picture and wait for the doctor to call. "We have to take that out before it gets cancerous," the doctor told me.

The cute little nurse named Roshon was very helpful and did an outstanding job with the needles and such for which I was grateful.


  1. Phew! Glad everything went well, Oscar. As well as these things can go, anyway. Sounds quite an ordeal. Worth it though. Hope you remembered all of your wooden legs.

  2. Thanks! I think I left with everything except my dignity.

  3. Your wife's got quite the sense of humor. . .

  4. I have been there and done that once myself. But you have now reminded men (thanks for nothing) that I am to go back again before summer. Went in today and had a tooth pulled, number 3, hope I don't wear out too many more or I will neeed to borrow a wooden leg to carve out some new choppers. Thanks for giving me a smile today.

  5. Ron, the wife's Irish-English so I think she inherited the humor.

    Old Guy, Your welcome! My choppers are getting to be a memory and I'm thankful I don't have to make 'em myself.