Chapter 4: Cool Blue Gatorade

So you’ve heard me talk about my mom a lot in previous posts; she is my greatest example of courage and definition of strength. My moms’ first cancer was due to malignant pulps in her stomach; she was that one in a million case. Since we share the same surgeon, he wanted to be sure to have me scoped before surgery, just to make sure I didn’t have any signs of it. By scoped I mean, Endoscopy, a nonsurgical procedure used to examine a patient’s digestive tract and Colonoscopy, a test that examines the inner lining of your large intestine. Both procedures utilize a flexible tube with light and camera. Definitely a benefit to sharing doctors; makes explaining family history so much easier. I’ve shared doctors with my mom most of my life, and they’ve always been so thorough. I remember being overwhelmed in my early 20s’ as my primary doctor would always ask these meticulous questions. This time though, I was all for it, I had seen what my mother went through and I wanted to be in the clear. With that being said, the following may not be appropriate for younger audiences.

A moment afterwards, it dawned on me. I was going to be knocked out, with one tube down my throat and another up my butt. That’s convenient! Lol! Like, where’s that little monkey emoji with the hands that cover its eyes when I need it. I’m just saying, G.I. doctors probably have really dirty minds. Then came the prep, the day before is basically a Gatorade and Jell-O diet, but remember, no red. This is because the food coloring could dye your colon red and be interpreted as blood during the procedure. After 3pm, starts the fun; I remember, asking my Store Manager if I could be out by 3:00pm the day before, because well, I knew I would need my own bathroom. She laughed and told me to leave by 2:30p.m. So I got home that day, with my gallon of cool blue Gatorade, bottle of miraLAX and box of duralax (and please be sure to read the box and get the pills you swallow and not the suppository.) Next I took the duralax, mixed the bottle of miraLAX into the Gatorade and the countdown began. I had exactly one hour to drink the full gallon and well, everything else, is just TMI (Too Much Information).

The next morning one of my good friends drove me to TGH for the procedure; they warn you in advance that you may be a little drowsy after the procedure, so to be sure to have someone to drive you home. I can’t explain how grateful I am to have had friends in the Tampa area to support me through this time. After checking in, they had me change into a gown and hooked me up to an IV (I know, my favorite). I waited a while that morning and well, when there’s nothing in your body the IV fluids flow pretty quickly through you. I remember the nurse having to disconnect me a few times to go to the ladies room. Apparently the G.I. that was suppose to do my procedure that morning had called out sick, and they were working on getting another G.I. to complete my procedure. Go figure. Eventually, it was all worked out and I was on my way. All I remember was being asked to lie on my side and to count back from 10. Next thing I knew I was in the recovery room. Not too long after the doctor stopped by with my results, I was clear! What a relief! My friend then picked me up and drove me home. I felt a little drowsy, but that’s about it. I was just happy it was over, I was clear and I could eat real food again!

It’s kind of funny to me now, because my dad had his first colonoscopy a few months ago, you know, at the normal age to start doing these things. I told him “Oh, well this is a life experience I’ve already had, I’ll give you all the tips!” He laughed and jokingly said, “Well, what if I like it?” and so I laughed and told him “Don’t worry, I promise you won’t remember a thing.” He laughed. You know, my whole life I’ve been told I’m an exact split between my mother and my father, both my personality and physically. My dad’s that kind of person who’s really goofy and makes jokes about everything and you always end up laughing for one reason or another; I get this from him, well, the goofy part. But you see, he wasn’t as good at this when it came to medical stuff. (This is where I step in.) I remember him asking me once before surgery if I was okay with everything and me saying “yes”. He then asked if I had cried, and I said, “Yeah, once, but what’s crying going to do for me.” I don’t think he expected me to say that. I then said, “but I am really disappointed that this surgery isn’t closer to Halloween, I could put a fake knife on my neck, it would be so cool!” I’m not sure he was having my joke, but he laughed either way. Everyone processes things differently, but what I always needed was to not be treated differently. At the end of the day, cry when you need to cry, but don’t let it consume you and most importantly, never stop laughing!

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  • Strength- My Parents
  • Confidence- My Parents
  • Perseverance- My Parents

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