It Was Shoved Down My Throat

Ever feel like something was shoved down your throat?

Well, this Monday morning, something was.

Q: What’s the definition of a flexible sigmoidoscope?

A: A fiberoptic tube with an asshole at each end!

Ha-hah. Yeah.  So instead of that, I got the fiberoptic tube shoved down my throat.

First a perfectly inept nurse tried to start an IV on a vein that NOBODY ever uses.  Everyone knows it’s a shitty vein.  One reason is that it’s in a completely awkward and difficult to access place.  The other reason is that it always has a valve in it.  I still can’t believe she tried to use it.  But I didn’t prevent her from trying.  I didn’t say, LADY, NO ONE EVER USES THAT VEIN, FOR VERY GOOD REASONS, fer chrissake.  No, I didn’t say those things.  For one thing, I try to absent myself from all invasive procedures by going Somewhere Else.  You know, Somewhere Else.  That Place.  For another thing, I try not to piss off people who are sticking needles into my body.

Lord, how many times I have squelched the urge to say, “Gimme that goddam thing and I’ll do it myself, you blithering idiot!”  I think I have, once or twice, because, yes indeedy, I am perfectly capable of starting my own I.V. line and have done so.

But this time, after the blithering idiot had completely botched the job and sent the needle in one side of my vein and out the other, then adding insult to injury by actually sliding the catheter into my subcutaneous tissues AND STARTING THE INFUSION so that I bled like a stuck elephant, she simpered, “Oh, I think I’ll call someone else to try again.  I don’t want to beat you up any more.”  The bleeding imbecile.

The “someone else” was so horrified at the mess the Imbecile had made that she decided to use a baby-sized catheter on a baby-sized vein in my hand, which promptly blew up, looking like someone had pumped the back of my hand full of blue ink.  Oh well.

Then they wheeled me into the operating suite, where someone sitting behind me, who did not bother to introduce herself, slipped me a mickey.  As I felt myself slipping into unconsciousness I whipped around (well, maybe I sloshed around) and said “Who the hell are YOU?” and she said, “I’m a nurse.”  And I’m like, fuck, don’t they introduce themselves anymore, as in, “Hi, my name’s Candy, and I’m you’re nurse aneasthetist.  I’m going to be sending you bye-byes today.”  No.  They just slip you a mickey from behind, as another nameless creature feature sticks a gag in your mouth and then you remember nothing except for the man in the white coat breezing in just before you lose consciousness, informing you that he’s the doctor.  Would have been nice if he’d popped ’round while I was getting stabbed to death, just to say “hi” but I suppose that takes up too much time.

Next thing I knew I woke up with a prodigious sore throat, which I still have.  Seems the white coat was a little rough on the ol’ epiglottis, you know, that little thingie that flaps over to cover your windpipe when you swallow so you don’t get nothing down your goozle.  Damn thing feels like a baseball every time I swallow.  I ate nothing but ice cream yesterday, which felt mighty good but then I started thinking about the 15 pounds I’ve gained since September and switched to soup.

My arm is very colorful.  I had thought about taking a picture and posting it here, but I don’t want anyone to faint or throw up on my account so I’ll just briefly mention that it has the colors of a beautiful sunrise: dark blues fading into reds and rosy pinks.  There, that’s enough, don’t you think?

Oh, and why did I submit to this ordeal in the first place?  It all has to do with my body’s refusal to digest food without the aid of exogenous pancreatic enzymes, which means I have to take enzymes in order to digest my food.  So my gastroenterologist, who is very big into doing high-tech expensive tests when low-tech cheap tests would do just as well or better, ordered an endoscopic ultrasound of my pancreas and surrounding structures.  What a crock of shit.  I knew very well the results would be normal except for the gastritis I’ve had for years.  I managed to wrench the results out of the departmental secretary today, playing the “doctor card,” which comes in handy in certain situations.

So I’m back to square one, in which the gastro is going to say, “I told you it’s Only Irritable Bowel Syndrome,” and I will parry, “Then how come I don’t have ANY of the symptoms of Irritable Bowel Syndrome?” and she will reposte, “You don’t HAVE to HAVE any of the symptoms in order to HAVE it.”  And I will thrust, “How about you write whatever you want to on the “Diagnosis” line and just continue prescribing my enzymes, and I will come see you every six months so you can bill Medicare for a followup?”   Win-win, eh?

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  1. Owie, I’m sorry!. I had an endoscopy performed in my early 20s after two ulcers. I’m not sure how much different the instrument they use for an endoscopic ultrasound is, but I went home, slept off the rest of the anesthetic, and (as far as I can remember) didn’t have so much as a rasp in my throat. But then my gastroenterologist was awesome.

    I did get some really cool pictures of my stomach and the remains of the meal I had eaten about 14 hours prior. Apparently I am a very slow digester, knowledge that turned out to be very helpful to me given all the times I have been under general anesthetic since then.

    I hope you feel better soon!

  2. Good grief, what an ordeal. And I am content with your description of your colourful arm. A photo might have been a step too far. Although people seem to “Instagram” anything these days 😉

    • True, the Instagram has taken invasion of privacy to new heights (or lows, actually). I refuse to participate in it, mostly because of my native paranoia. Instagram collects all sorts of metadata that I very much prefer to keep private: my exact location, for instance. I don’t want my underground bunker revealed to the world–oh there I go again. Sorry.

  3. The Like is for your last paragraph.
    “Ouch!” is for the rest!

  4. Natalya

     /  February 7, 2013

    Ouch, sounds like quite the nasty ordeal you endured! Sorry you had to have such ineffective people tending to you. An introduction seems only polite and what most would expect. I find some medical professionals to behave very badly, appallingly so at times. Glad you survived the ordeal.

    • Yes, rudeness seems to be SOP these days….thanks for your well wishes!

      • Natalya

         /  February 7, 2013

        Aw, that’s a shame doctors and nurses can’t be polite enough to at least do simple stuff-like introduce themselves and tell you what they’ll be doing! 😛


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