Tag Archives: surgery

Been a Tough Year: Surgery

My appointment with the surgeon didn’t start so well.  I had to sit in the waiting room for a half-hour which in itself isn’t so bad but a woman sitting across from me was crying.  She told me she had been in agony for a month with stomach pains.  I felt sorry for her and impotent.  Surely something could be done.

The surgeon was a big guy kind of doughy.  He was professional and friendly and very clear that although it didn’t look like cancer it could very well be.  We wouldn’t know until it was removed and analyzed.   The surgery was scheduled for my birthday, for some reason that seemed appropriate.

The next day I had to go to the hospital for pre-admission testing.  Once again they had trouble getting blood from me.  Finally an older nurse came in and said she had been doing it for nearly forty years.  She got the blood in seconds with no pain.

I was weighed, questioned and told all of the risks.  I had to sign papers and prepare myself for the surgery.  One interesting thing was when they took my blood pressure and such I was in a little room there was a drawing of  a surgeon cutting into a patient with Jesus guiding his hand.  I told the nurse I’d feel more comfortable if the person guiding his hand had some medical  training.

The night before I fasted and was at the hospital bright and early.   As I waited I called my mom on my cell phone.  I told her I was worried about the surgery.  She said, “Look, it’s not your brain or your heart,  it’s your ass.”   My mom has a way of putting things into perspective.  So I got into my gown was ready to go when a nurse walked in who looked familiar.  She was someone I went to high school thirty-five years ago.  After we got acquainted she told me she was there to shave my butt and give me an enema.  Now that is a high school reunion.

When I told this story to my mom she said, “I’ve had a bunch of surgeries and no one has every shaved my butt!”  I asked her how hairy her butt was and her reply was, “I don’t know, I’ve never looked.”

Then the nurse came in and tried to put in an I.V.  She tried twice and failed.  Then another tried twice and failed.  Then a third nurse tried and got it in on the third attempt.    The anesthesiologist was young, pretty and seemed very competent.

The surgery went well and I took a couple days off from work to recover.  The big deal would be the results.  Although it wasn’t likely, it could be cancer.  If that was the case everything would change.

I went to the surgeon for my follow-up appointment and the time in the waiting room was unbearable.  Finally a nurse took me to an examination room and time slowed.  After twenty minutes the doctor walked in and said, “It’s not cancer, It’s not cancer!!”  I could feel every muscle in my body relax.

He gave me some guidelines on what I should do as far as diet and he strongly suggested that I get a colonoscopy every three years.  This I am going to do.

I dodged a bullet this time.

This scare has really helped me focus on what is important in my life.  I need to retire and get on with it.

Been a Tough Year: Colonoscopy

It’s been a tough year for me.  Much has happened that has been out of my control.  I have to admit it hasn’t been boring.

Back in September I had a routine colonoscopy.   I was nervous because it had been much too long since my last one and my family has a bad history of colon cancer.  My grandfather Clarence Bott died of colon cancer back in 1937 at forty-one and his son Edward Robert Bott died in 1970 from it at forty-two.

Edward Robert’s son,  Robert died in 1992 from it at age thirty-five.  In 1999 my brother Brad found he had colon cancer, had it removed and died of a heart attack while undergoing treatment.   Since then another brother has contracted it.  Plus there are many cousins that have had colon issues.

As you can see I had reasons to be nervous and even more since I had been foolish enough to let time pass.  I know the best way to stop it is early detection but things you don’t want to face are easy to ignore.

The night before I had to drink a gallon of what I call affectionately ‘poo juice‘.  It is awful stuff that used to be impossible for me to get down but I found the secret.  The key is to put a little ginger ale in the bottom of your mouth and drink the glass straight down.  Then all you taste is the ginger ale.  I drank the entire botttle effortlessly.  The stuff works as advertised, enough said.

I had an appointment for my colonoscopy and in order to work it out I needed to be dropped off an hour early.  I thought I could read a book and relax but just as we drove into the parking lot the phone rang.   It was the surgery center saying my colonoscopy was being rescheduled for later that day.  I said no problem and right then my phone slipped out of my hand into my wife’s coffee/hot chocolate mix.  It was ruined.

The postponement wouldn’t be so bad but I hadn’t eaten in three days and so I dropped the wife off and went to the park to play guitar for a few hours.   Eventually the time came and I went in.  I’ve had them before so there were no real surprises except that this time I had one of my customers from my route getting one too and right in the bed next to mine (although we were curtained off).

I tried not to listen to the conversation between my customer and the nurses but it was impossible.  Instead I thought about all of the people in Sheffield Lake that I have delivered to for over thirty years.  I know so much about each of them but they barely know me.  It is an odd intimacy.  Hmmm.

Before I went in the nurses attempted to put an I.V. in but failed miserably.  After the fourth attempt the anesthesiologist put it in effortlessly.  I was wheeled in, the doctor introduced himself and within seconds I was asleep.

The anesthesia they use nowadays is much better than it used to be.  I woke up and felt great.  The doctor told us that there had been nineteen polyps had been found an eighteen removed.  One was a mass that a surgeon needed to take out.  From the look at it is wasn’t cancer but you never know.  I was scheduled to see a surgeon the next day.  When I met the surgeon he gave me a picture of the mass.  I’ve included the picture after the fold so you don’t have to look at it if you don’t want to (and I don’t recommend that you do).  Tomorrow I will write about he surgery.
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