February 14, 2005

Procedure My Ass!

Happy Valentine's Day to all.
Having gotten that out of the way, this post has less than nothing to do with Valentine's Day, so I shall proceed.

I'll admit, I stole my topic today from a blog comment I just read on Beth's site. (sorry Beth ... couldn't help myself)

Let's have a show of hands for anyone who has had the divine experience of enduring a Lower G.I. Series (aka barium enema). Come on, I can't be one of the chosen few. In order to fully appreciate this marvelous ritual, I will explain it to those who haven't been so blessed.

I was about twelve years old and had been dealing with stomach issues for a couple of weeks. I'd get these gnawing pains dead center in my stomach and it didn't seem to have anything to do with eating, not eating at all, or any such thing. After trying various quick fixes, all to no avail, my mother decided to take me to the doctor. Everyone knows that it's almost impossible to detect stomach woes without further investigation, so they put me into the hospital for some tests.

The first day there, I was placed on a diet of clear liquids and given a bottle of very dry lemon/lime flavored "stuff." By the time I finished my dishwater broth at suppertime, I needed a toilet in a major way. Citrus of magnesium will get you every time. They were flushing my system with this stuff in preparation for things to come. Oh joy of joys.

Bear in mind that back in those days, Joe-public wasn't as well informed about medical ailments as we are now, and even less informed about medical treatments. I had no clue what fun I was about to be treated to on the following day. At one point that evening, I was on my way back to bed from my fifth trip to the head when a nurse came in and handed me a small jar. "We need a stool sample" she grumbled and left. Another fine example of vocab ignorance on my part. I looked around the room, shrugged my head and put the little jar on the window sill. We didn't call shit "stool" in our house. Silly us. Had I known what they wanted, I could have given them buckets of the stuff.

With no sleep at all under my belt and a sore ass to boot (no pun intended), I was harshly disturbed at 7 a.m. when a wheelchair was brought in and I was instructed to take a ride. Down in the elevator we went, me in my breezy hospital gown and Cathy-Candystriper in her peppermint garb. As we rounded the corner to the diagnostic lab, arctic air hit me in the face like a frying-pan hits Wile E. Coyote at any bend in the road. I was parked outside a door with a skull and crossbones sign, or something to that effect. "This cannot be good," I thought to myself.

The man to my right was apparently very angry - at everything and everyone. He griped loudly from the moment I arrived until they finally wheeled him off to another area. I kept thinking "please don't let me get old, please don't let me get old" the whole while. Hospitals are SO much fun.

After a brief eternity, a man came out and spoke my name. By then there was ice forming on my blue lips, but I managed an audible signal. He took me inside this room where there was a metal slab with a pole attached and assorted sadistic looking devices all about. Above the table was a large Xray machine attached to a slide-bar on the ceiling. "Ohhh, Xrays ... that's not so bad," I figured. Wrong!

The man helped me onto the slab which any of my bare skin immediately stuck to. Every time I tried to move, I squeaked. Then he explained the procedure to me ... and I sat there in disbelief.

"Okay first we're going to take this tube and insert it into your rectum, I will release the little clip here and the barium will fill your colon, allowing us to take some really good pictures to find out what's going on in your tummy," he said, quite matter-of-factly.
He got as far as the word "rectum" and I was squeaking my way to the edge of the table to make a run for it. It was no use. Frostbite apparently had set in, adhering me to the slab.

Now I was taught (not in so many words) that stuff is supposed to make its way OUT of this particular orifice and NOT the other way around; least of all ... chalky-white, smelly, weighs-a-ton enema crap! So here I was ... in a MOST precarious position ... lying before a perfect stranger ... waiting for the dreaded "click" of the clip. Then, without further warning, there it was. "CLICK"

I swear to you this crap weighs about eighty pounds a quart and just as I was sure to split at the seams, the man said, "let me know when you feel very full and don't think you could stand anymore." I kid you not. "Okay," I answered through chattering and clenched teeth, "Well then that would be about five minutes ago!"

What he didn't tell me was that this doesn't mean didley-squat. He continued to "fill-er-up" for about another 20 seconds, which, when your ass is on fire and you know you're about to explode where you lay, is a very, very long time!
Finally I heard a most welcome "CLICK" and he removed the torment device from my body.

The rest is too ugly a tale to tell. Trust me on this.

Let's just say there was no shame involved when I gave the man PLENTY to do during the rest of his work shift. It couldn't be helped. They wanted to get good pictures ~ well I hope they got them because they also got a whole lot more than that.


Blogger brooksba said...

Hi Carol!

Fun story! I'm sure it was not fun at the time, but again, you spin a great tale. I'm glad my idiotic flirting attempts were able to help bring this topic to light.

Be careful, you may find quite a bit of traffic to your site because of the word "enema". I get a lot of searches for it. I'm pretty sure none of them were actually looking for my type of story though.

Keep up the fabulous writing!


6:18 PM  
Blogger The Rambler said...

Hi Carol,
I was laughing out loud when I read this one. I bet getting rid of the stuff when you were done was fun too!

9:58 PM  
Blogger Wally said...

I've had an upper and a lower, so I know it isn't a laughing matter. However, your story sure was! I must say... (pun intented), that you have tales coming out of your tail! ;-)

9:42 AM  
Blogger CarpeDM said...

Yikes! I've been threatened with this but it never happened, thank God.

You sure do know how to tell a story. I love your writing.

11:02 PM  

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