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Thursday, May 13, 2004


the docs 


I took a friend to get a colonoscopy yesterday. Before we went in England was one explaining her reasoning for posing in pictures, basically saying she was ordered to. My friend turns to me and says, “She has no remorse. Absolutely none.” And there wasn’t. Not a lick. Somehow the setting I found myself sitting in seemed appropriate to listen to her.

Later my friend went in for her procedure. It didn’t take long. When I went into the recovery room, she was in the first curtained off space. Essentially the recovery room held about 15 beds separated by curtains. She was out of it. The demoral hadn’t worn off so she’d ask a question then pass out then wake up long enough to get out another question. Three nurses came over at different times during these episodes and tried to rouse her from her stupor. Once she woke, she asked for juice. The nurse sternly said, “only after you pass gas.” They really wanted her to pass gas. My friend is on the introverted side, so this request seemed awful.

Why is it that in those situations I feel like I am reduced to a 13 year old? It’s not so much gas as air. The docs pump a bit of air into the abdomen or colon or whatever they need to see and try to get it out before recovery, but sometimes it’s not possible. In the curtain next to us an old woman couldn’t contain herself and it sure didn’t sound like just air – they were, well, juicy. While she was letting it go, the doc is talking to my friend pretending like he can’t hear the woman next door. I started to laugh. I bit my tongue so I wouldn’t laugh. And I kept thinking this is serious business, these colons and intestines and such. Quit laughing. But the more she passed, the more I thought I was going to lose it.

Suddenly my friend looks at me with this horrified expression. Eyes wide, her hand covers her mouth, and a small plane takes off beneath her. Then she giggles and says,” It’s so odd. I have no control whatsoever. It’s not passing gas, it’s deflating.” I went to get the car.

No wonder I get along with my kids so well. Pull my finger, sweetie.

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