Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Colonscopy - 2008

We arrived at the hospital for my colonoscopy at 8:30 am. The procedure was scheduled for 10 am but you have to be there 1 1/2 hours early.

I was taken back to the waiting area at 9:30 where I changed into the hospital gown and the IV was inserted.

I was told that since I have a pacemaker/ICD unit, that it would need to be turned off before the procedure. I didn't know that!
I was told that if left on, with my history of polyps, if one or more were found, that they would need to be burned out. That would cause the defibulator to go off......OUCH.

Two techs came down to turn the ICD unit off. They asked what kind I had. Duh. I couldn't remember!! My mind was a total blank. I do carry my ID in my purse, but was told not to bring any valuables to the hospital so I left my purse home.
I made sure to bring my Drivers License for photo ID, my medical card and list of medications, but it never occurred to me that I would need the ICD ID.

The techs rattled off some names of companies that make them, and when they got to Guidant, that rang a bell. They tried it and got results. They did some 'tests' before turning it off, and those tests make your heart race. I really hate that feeling, it feels like my heart is going to literally burst out of my chest. I counted four times. Wasn't once enough?

Defibulator pads were attached to my chest 'just in case'.
It was 11 am before I was finally taken to the room where the procedure is done.

The procedure is a piece of cake. You're put into 'position' and then the anesthesiologist administered the Twilight anesthesia, which puts you into a light sleep, anxiety relief, and amnesia ( so you don't remember the memories of the procedure).

I've had a colonoscopy three times before, and also an Endoscopy once. None of those times do I remember anything about the procedure. This time though, and I'm positive I wasn't dreaming, I do remember something. It was while I was still in the room. I felt the colonscope ( the long flexible lighted tube that transmits an image of the inside of the colon to the videoscreen so the doctor can examine the colon). Although I don't recall at which point I felt it. It could have been at the beginning or at the end when they were removing it. It did not hurt. But I felt it. I also heard someone say that I wasn't totally clear. Well, I tried!!!!! I wanted so badly to say that I could hear them and feel the scope, but I couldn't. My mouth would not work. I also heard the word 'biopsy'. I think I must have lapsed back into my 'amnesia' state because the next thing I knew I was back in the first room, and they were awakening me.

I was told by the doctor that they found no polyps, but that there had been 'something' like a mass of cells, that flattened. They were sure it was 'nothing' to be concerned about. But I know for a fact when anything is found, it's removed and sent to the lab for a biopsy.
And I heard someone use that word during the procedure, so I know that I was not totally out at some point during it.
But because I was never in any pain, it didn't seem important.

But maybe it was. What if I had been in terrible pain, and I couldn't have let anyone know? That's pretty scary.

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