First Three Days of the Year
January 1 started with a bang—from a bottle of laxative.
It was the first step in the preps for my scheduled virtual colonoscopy (or CT colonography) two days later.
It turns out that all those first three days of 2015 have surged to the top of the chart of my life peaks, or days I’d rather forget.
Flashback a little: just before Christmas, I had an aborted colonoscopy due to problems too unsavory to discuss. This prompted my doctor to make me go through another try—this time, the virtual colonoscopy. I thought all preps would be virtual, too, because unlike the first, this procedure required no hospital confinement nor anesthesia.
Was I wrong.
After that bottle of laxative on New Year’s Day, I am plunged into a clear liquid diet for the next 36 hours, and as though those aren’t torture enough, I take a second bombs-away bottle. On the 3rd day, the 20-minute drive to the hospital seems like 20 years.
Then just as you are about to collapse from hunger and hysteria, the CT-Scan technician takes you into the cold, Antarctic-like room where your tush is pumped with gallons of air till you’re ready to burst, but too weak to complain.
With your sanity now running on empty, the attending doctors around you say, “Just ten more pumps.”
Your exhausted inner self whispers, Lord, into Your hands I commend my spirit.
Whrrrr. Some tiny red lights blink above as you, flat on your back, are slid through a white, gleaming, surreal circle. A robotic machine voice commands, “Breathe in. Release. Hold.” Then after a minute says, “Breathe.”
Another whrrrr. Now lying prone on bloated tummy, pain everywhere, you are again slid through that icy circle. “Breathe in. Release. Hold . . . now, breath. We’re done.”
You open your eyes, not to oblivion, but to the same world from whence you came. The angel hands you wads of tissue paper, with which you wipe your wet eyes, nose, and mouth.
Then like a tire having a slow flat tire, you try, but fail, to discreetly release the pumped air while the technician, your new best friend, smiles, “Results tomorrow.”
Tomorrow is a hallelujah moment.
No mass. No polyps. Just some humor of nature, or age: a tangled-up colon somewhere in the middle. Inoperable. So your gastroenterologist scrawls on a prescription sheet, outlining what foods to avoid and what medications to take whenever discomforts above and below set it—the rest of your life.
You could say, my new year began auspiciously. With a bang, that is.
“For I, the Lord your God, hold your right hand; it is I who say to you, ‘Fear not, I am the one who helps you.’” Isaiah 41:13 (ESV)