Yesterday, I had a colonoscopy. It seems by now most folks have learned about this, and I think almost everyone who reads my blog knew about it, so there’s no shame in mentioning it. However, I will spare folks the boring details of the last few days and just say that everything went well and that except for a few minor issues I am A-OK in the gastrointestinal department. I am home today and not in class because I just can’t seem to get running on all cylinders. I was fairly weak anyway because, as many of you know, you can’t really eat anything for a full day before the procedure, only liquids. Not only that, but the colonoscopy prep-kit, which includes a liter of liquid to flush your system, made me really sick, and let’s just say I had a hard time keeping it down. OK- I actually didn’t keep a lot of it down, but I digress. Anyway, it just lent itself to making me feel even more tired and sick. Poor Katie has had a few days quite full of other people’s vomit. But I digress.
The thing that is most interesting to me are the things I can’t actually remember. Shortly before the procedure, I received a full shot of Demerol. I was to drift into what the nurse described as “twilight sleep” and that I would remain drowsy after the procedure but would begin to be somewhat lucid within the hour. Here’s where it gets interesting. No harm was done, but I was given a full dose of the drug because I am a “big guy”, ie, 6 feet tall. However, I think the average body weight for 6 foot guys is about 160 lbs. I, on the other hand, weigh almost 30 lbs less than that, so the Demerol hit me like a ton of bricks. Evidently the staff was surprised at how out of it I was and how long it was taking me to come back to lucidity.
Now, all of this is according to Katie, as I cannot remember any of it, but I was REALLY out of it, and it took a long while for me to even be able to talk and recognize anyone. There was a guy named Mike and a nurse named Sherry who were taking care of me, they put me in a wheel chair, I started to gag a bit and they made sure I was OK, I rode home with Katie fairly lucid and talking the whole time, and after sleeping a bit, I ate a big bowl of Jello, again talking to Katie the whole time- And I remember none of it. I remember nothing for hours after the procedure, even stuff that I was doing after I was up and walking around. I have little snippets of things here and there, like hearing Katie around the house or having a quick visitor (who seemed to be doing much better than the last time I saw her- Hi, friend!) Later that night I talked to my mom and I even had trouble remembering what I had eaten for dinner 30 minutes before. And I was evidently telling Katie the same stories over and over again, and every time I remembered something new to tell Katie and began to describe it to her, she just smiled and would finish the story for me. Really a freaky experience. I evidently told her about how bad my IV hurt at least ten times just on the ride home. What was the strangest aspect of it is that everytime I told the story, Katie would laugh and tell me that I had already told her. I would be surprised and express disbelief that I had already related the thought to her. And then I would promptly forget the whole exchange and start telling her the same thing again within a few minutes time, with no recollection that I had not only already told her, but that I had numerous times already been told that I had told her. (I'll probably find out later that I have already posted a blog entry about all this yesterday.) It is very strange to be somewhat functional but to have no recall of it. Katie and I were discussing that this may be what the early stages of Alzheimer’s Disease is like. I knew my memory loss would eventually pass. I can’t imagine what it would be like to simply lose your own life in this manner.
So I am better now, and though very groggy, my system seems to be readjusting back to normal. I should up and rolling along OK by Thursday.