I’m abnormal. Nothing new there.

So as many of you know, I went in for the dreaded colonoscopy on Friday. You can read about more of that here: It’s going down…and then back out.

The morning of the procedure I tried to sleep as late as possible since I didn’t need to be there until 9:15 and I couldn’t have anything to eat or drink. Not even water. I couldn’t even take my morning meds but were told to bring them with me, as they didn’t want that water in my belly. Now, remember, the day before, was only clear liquids, so let me tell you, I woke up hungry and really wanting a big glass of water. To add insult to serious misery, my body decided I needed to start my period 4 days early, cause honestly, what’s one more fluid coming out of me? (Yes, they can still do the procedure. You just need to wear a tampon.) Joy. Fine, whatever. I was too drained to care anymore.

Kari, my savior, showed up, and tried to hide the coffee she brought with her. Did I mention the massive caffeine withdrawal headache I had too? Yeah, I was a pleasant person. Anywho, Kari brought me to the hospital where they took me into a room that had a sign saying: Welcome Danielle! They were far more excited about my being there than I was. (They were all really sweet. I dropped off a set of my books the following day as a way of saying thanks.) They brought me a nice warm blanket, which, when you are dehydrated, is like heaven.

Everything was great, until they came at me for an IV. Sigh. Let me preface here by saying that I am a “hard stick” (their term, not mine.) This means that on a good, hydrated day, I’m a challenge to put a line in. I’ve had them eyeing my jugular before. Not even kidding. So, naturally, I’m nervous. Not to worry, I’ve got a nurse who has been deemed the ‘one stick wonder.’ She is known in the hospital for getting it right the first time, and she told me that starting IV’s was her favorite thing to do. She wasn’t even kidding! As though to calm my fears even more, she got a call before she began working on mine to start another IV on Monday. They were booking her out specifically! That’s how good she was! I started to calm down. Until she started looking at my hand.

I have never had a successful IV start in my hand. I have had several failed attempts and lots of large bruises as a result of those attempts, but never a successful hand IV. I nervously asked why she couldn’t do it in the crook of my arm, like the labs do when I go in for lab work every 4 months. Apparently, they aren’t supposed to do it there. My procedure is unique and they need to position my arms and they don’t want the IV in such a bendy place. Well. Might as well pass out now and be done with it. (I didn’t pass out, but I sure wanted to.)

So they started prepping me and wiping my hand down, pulling out needles, all that jazz. But I felt okay, my one hit wonder was going to get it right the first time. When I saw my hand puff up with fluid from her failed try, I wanted to cry. I probably would have if she tried the other hand.

My lovely bruise

Seeing my apprehension and knowing how utterly dehydrated I was, she went against protocol and placed the IV in the crook of my arm and nailed it on the first try. She was willing to take the heat from the docs for the comfort of her patient. For that, she is a rock goddess.

They wheeled me into the procedure room where they put me on oxygen, now, I’ve had oxygen before, those little tubes that go up your nose. Easy, right? Well, this one had a flap at the end that covered your lips. WHY? Then they try to talk to you. I have a flap of plastic over my lips, I can’t talk, people. It’s like being at the dentist and trying to have a full blown conversation when my mouth is full of cotton. It can’t be done without looking like a moron, which I’m sure I did.

I did learn that both the nurse in there and the anesthesiologist had both written non-fiction books. Authors. We’re everywhere.

After they got that in, they placed me on my side and that was it. Lights out for Dani. No countdown, no nothing, just gone. After I woke up, they gave me toast and ginger ale so I could take my meds. Ahhh, food, glorious food! A few moments later, the doc came in and said my colon looked abnormal, just as to be expected for someone with Ulcerative Colitis. Apparently my chronic illness had not miraculously gone away. Bummer. He did say it didn’t seem to have progressed further up my colon, which is the good news. They did take biopsies as that’s what they do and I’m still waiting to hear on that.

Shortly after he left, Kari brought me home where I slept the afternoon away while she worked at my desk. After I woke up, she went to the store to buy me a chocolate cheesecake to “bind me up”. That’s what friends are for. I also got some rum balls later that night from another friend. I’ll keep them around.

I guess my rest period is over. Back to the keyboard and the novel I’ve been avoiding.

Danielle Bannister, author and cheesecake-for-breakfast-eater.


2 thoughts on “I’m abnormal. Nothing new there.”

  1. I am a “hard stick” as well, but I am the reverse. You can’t get into the crook of my arm for anything, and woe to the person who tries. Unfortunately, I’m a back of the hander for all sticks, whether drawing blood, or putting in IV’s. And when someone is new to drawing my blood or giving me an IV I always hear, “But it hurts so much more on the back of the hand.”

    Yeah, not when you goof up to 10 times and can’t get it in the crook of my arm. Blah!!!

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