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Front Page - Friday, March 25, 2016

Are We There, Yet?

Jay Edwards

The waiting room was comfortable, but crowded. Business was good. Healthcare in America showing a strong pulse, at least for those of us present that morning fortunate enough to be covered by insurance. 

KM was with me because I had been told three times that under no circumstances was I to drive home. 

When having any new medical procedure, my tendency is to share beforehand my fears with others, and perhaps try and find humor in something so miserably unappealing. So the week before I began calling friends who I knew had reached the five-century mark and beyond, for encouragement and support. 

If you’re a guy, and your calling old friends for encouragement and support, you must be an idiot, which I guess I am.

The first person I called went through his experience of the colonoscopy in detail, and when he finished I was forming numerous excuses on how to get out of it. He did say that the worst part was the day before, known as the “preparatory stage.” You may know about it. If not, it requires a lot of Gatorade and a close proximity to facilities. 

Then there was the friend who had been through it and was actually having another one just 30 minutes after mine. Told you business was good. He suggested that on Sunday we go to Hot Springs, to Diamante, and play golf. That didn’t sound right. But he was serious. 

So I told him about a time I had gone to Acapulco with a large group for four days. The day we were leaving a few began getting “Montezuma’s Revenge.” Then on the flight back a few more began getting it. The day after we were home I was out at North Hills playing golf when Montezuma finally visited me. I got off the phone after declining his Diamante invite. 

Another friend said that when he arrived on the day of his procedure the first thing they gave him after signing in was a pill. His advice to me was, “Take that pill!” 

So after I signed in I waited in front of the lady for my pill. It was obvious she was finished with me but I stood my ground, waiting on the pill. She looked up and said, “If you’ll just have a seat a nurse will call you when it’s time.” 

‘Don’t I get a pill now?” I could feel KM rolling her eyes. 

“Pill?” The lady questioned. 

“Yes, I was told there would be a pill.” I hadn’t come that far without the hope of some kind of temporary bliss. 

“No pills out here, they will have something for you back there,” she said in a calm voice. 

Back there, she had said. I thought a pill was in order to get one to even go, “Back there.”

She looked down at her paperwork, telling me silently the conversation was over. 

So I sat down and soon was called. I kissed KM and headed, “Back there,” where I was given a little toga-like thing to put on. They told me to lie down on a gurney and they put a warm blanket on me. Not as good as a pill but it felt nice. 

I waited as doctors and nurses and patients moved about. There was music playing. The song was “Shake Your Booty.” Seriously. “At least they have a sense of humor,” I thought. 

My nurse came over and asked a few questions, one of which was if I had any questions. I thought I’d try once more. “Isn’t there a pill?” 

She smiled down at me and said, “You’ll be fine.” I thought about a threat, something like, “I’m going to drive home!” But instead quietly gave in to my apparent sober fate.

Jay Edwards is editor-in-chief of the Hamilton County Herald and an award-winning columnist. Contact him at jedwards@dailydata.com.