I finally overpowered what some might call an irrational fear and went for my first colonoscopy. The entire colonoscopy experience established two things beyond a reasonable doubt. First, the colonoscopy itself is nothing, you go to sleep, wake up, and it’s over. It’s like you aren’t even there when it happens. Second, the day before proves that despite all the aren’t-we-soft-and-fluffy advertisements, toilet paper is made out of sandpaper. Not the fine grain sand paper, but the really course sandpaper, the kind you might use if you wanted to get the bark off an Oak Tree.
Actually, I learned a third thing. How to escape from the hospital after the procedure. No one calls it a colonoscopy there. You are there for a procedure, thank you very much. Procedure my ass which, come to think of it, is exactly what they did.Anyway, you are told to have someone drive you home because you will still be under the influence of the anesthesia. In my complete and utter lack of wisdom I decided I was going to drive myself home and, if I didn’t feel I could drive, I would call a cab, the latter being an option, I would later learn, that medical professionals frown on,
When I arrived I was directed by a rather fierce looking tiny nurse, we will call her Attila, to a curtained-off cubicle and told to take off all my clothes, and yes, I could leave my watch and Saint Christopher medal on. “Who is driving you home?” she asked, her pen hovering above a form on a clipboard, her mouth foaming with venom. “Uh, I’ll be calling a friend of mine to pick me up,” I said. A complete and utter lie.Attila’s eyebrows shot up, nearly reaching her hairline, and I swear to God a puff of red smoke came out her nose. “Number?”
“Phone number. We need the number, what’s the number. We will make the call.” More smoke.
Convinced I would be led before the nearest firing squad if I did not come up with a number, I gave her my friend Chris’s number hoping to God he wouldn’t answer or would at least handle it well if he did.“Good,” Attila said. “Clothes off, we’ll be with you shortly.”
It’s amazing how a tiny person can scare the hell out of you. Once the pro-ce–dure is over you are brought to another curtained-off cubicle where you are allowed to get your bearings and then told to get dressed. Once told, I got dressed. Now the question was, how the hell do I get out of here and to my car? How do I escape? I felt fine and able to drive.
But, there was Attila, pulling back the curtain with the same damned clip board in her hand.“Where is your ride?”“I’m sure he’ll be here.”
“I called and left him a message, you can’t leave until you have someone to drive you.” Another puff of smoke, more venom foam, and damned if she didn’t paw at the ground with her right foot.
“He’ll be here,” I said, figuring my next move was to figure out which door led to the waiting area which led to the hall which led to the elevators that would get me to the first floor and freedom. We were on the fourth floor.
“I will call again,” Attila said, snapping the curtain closed, leaving a puff of smoke in the air behind her.
I waited a few minutes and pulled back the curtain. Off to my right I saw a door open and close. When it was open, I saw the waiting area. When no one was looking I made my move. In the waiting area I stopped at the checkout desk to make my next appointment. I was handed my appointment paper and had just begun to turn towards the exit when I smelled smoke and felt a firm chilling tap on my shoulder. I turned toward the tap and there was Attila in full venomous foam, snorting blasts of red smoke out her nose. “You have no ride, now get back in there until you have a ride.”
I followed her back inside feeling very much like a little boy who just got caught playing hooky. Ten minutes later I see another opening! I am out the door in a flash, through the waiting room at high speed and soon I am punching the elevator button hoping to God one gets there before Attila catches me. The elevator arrives, the door opens, and in I go. And elderly couple get in with me. On the ride down the elderly man is standing to my right.“ How you doing?” he asked.
“I’m okay, actually. First colonoscopy today.”
“Surprised they let you leave by yourself.”
He knew what I was doing. He said, “Mind if I give you one piece of advise before the door opens?”
“You might want to take the hospital band off your wrist.”
Bless that man.