Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Colonoscopy

I took Jane in for her routine colonoscopy yesterday. Her dad died from colon cancer at a too young age, so they recommend she start getting these done regularly at age 40. Her last one was 6 years ago. The doctor recommended she start having them done every 3 years from now on, but at least every 4. I'm sure that's easy for him to say at $1200 out of pocket for each one, but I think it will be money well spent for peace of mind.

Everything went fine, other than having to waaaaaiiiit (well, and I hear drinking the nasty stuff the night before isn't a lot of fun either). The procedure was scheduled for 7:45 at Lutheran. We left home at 7:15 and were there about 7:30. First we had to check in inside the front door, then register, then they took us to the lab where they took some blood (from Jane, not me); then they took us down to endoscopy. We didn't wait too long until they took us back into the prep area. Man was it cold in there. We both froze. I knew I should have worn my coat. Supposedly Jane was 3rd on the list for her doctor. After getting all her info, and having her put on her pretty gown, they told us they were on the 2nd person and she should be in about 30 minutes. In about an hour they came and told us they'd had an in-patient they had to rush in. FINALLY at 11:15 they wheeled her back. Yeah, 3 and 1/2 hours late is about right on schedule at Lutheran it seems. Ugh.

I "got" to go back into the room with her, and see the little camera and everything. Then the doctor came in and shook my hand and stuff. Uh... that was a little odd. I was kinda hoping they might give me some of the loopy drugs at that point. Finally they said I could go. I felt bad, but I was sooo ready for a cup of coffee. Also, one of my MLI cohort buddies (Hi Jim!) was at the hospital in the heart center with someone from his church. So I went down and chatted with him for a few minutes, got me a cup of coffee, and headed back to the endoscopy waiting room. I just sat down and one of the ladies working there comes up to me and asks if I remember who she was. I had actually seen her earlier. I did the funeral for her son a couple of years ago. So we chatted for a few minutes, and then they came and said Jane was done. It only took 20 minutes.

They wheeled her into the recovery room and she was sleeping peacefully with a smile on her face. The nurse suggested I try to wake her up. Then the doctor came in and gave me some pictures and said she was beautiful inside. He also said he gave her quite a bit of drugs at the end, so it may take awhile for her to come out of it. The nurses originally said it should take about 30 minutes, but it took Jane a good hour. I kept trying to wake her up, and she would, and she would smile, and then she would drift back off. She kept asking the same questions over and over. Then she would smile and drift back off. Finally after about an hour she woke up. The nurse asked her if she could stand, and she stood up, then she took out her IV and told her she could get dressed. She got dressed, they told me to get the car, and they wheeled her out in a wheelchair.

They suggested we just go through a drive-through somewhere, but Jane insisted on going to Bob Evans. Who am I to argue with a drug-crazed woman, so we went to the Coventry Bob Evans and had breakfast at 1 pm.

Several people talked about how they couldn't remember anything afterward, but Jane actually did quite well the rest of the day. Other than right when she was waking up she didn't have any memory problems or anything. In fact - even though they tell you not to sign any important documents or make any big decisions - we went and bought a car that evening! But that will be for another post.

All in all it went quite well. I just wish we hadn't had to wait so long. Jane couldn't eat all day Monday (though she could have juice), and she could have nothing on Tuesday. She did well, but I'm sure it's better eating. Now we have a few years to wait before the next round.