Wow, I'm not sure exactly why but I am whupped. I can literally barely stay awake today and that is after 32oz. of coffee already. I'm guessing this is at least partially due to the residual effects of the sedatives I received yesterday for my "procedure". Why is it that they use the term procedure to describe any host of things that are not really surgery but are not simple examinations? Tell it like it is. In this particular example of the overloaded definition, it's an effing probe of your internals and by all counts, and according to my personal experience it sucks, before, during and after. OK, I guess "procedure" sounds a little better than ass raping.
In honesty, the during portion isn't really all that bad as they basically sedate you into oblivion. In past "procedures" I've had vague recollections of my time under, almost dream state though. This time I don't really recall much of anything. I suspect that part of the issue is that I was pretty tired from the prep leading up to the "procedure". The idea is that they restrict your food choices for a number of days before. This corresponded with the weekend of racing at Battenkill, though luckily the guidelines were not too restrictive as to become problematic for optimal athletic output (crap, that means I can't blame it on this.). Two days before you are only allowed a small range of foods and drinks. The day before though you get nothing but clear liquid. This makes for a great weight loss opportunity and I used it to it's fullest by doing the Tuesday night left for dead road ride. 50 miles with almost zero calories consumed on the day was a hoot, for sure. In all honesty it wasn't nearly as bad as I thought it may be. I'm guessing that means that I have plenty of reserves. No surprise there.
This brings us to the absolute, without a doubt, worst part of the whole ordeal, which is the two part cleansing agent that they make you consume the night before and then morning of your "procedure". This stuff tastes like absolute ass. NOTE: I'm assuming ass is a bad taste, and not speaking from experience. It made for a great post ride recovery drink and also allowed for some interesting sleep patterns the night before the "procedure". The morning of, you are then to get up at 5AM and slam back the 2nd part of the two part noxious tonic. This flushes whatever is left as well as the top layers of gastrointestinal lining, I suspect. Now that you are up and prepped you're not going back to bed so might as well jump online and work, right?
Anyhow, I showed up yesterday at the hospital and the nurses at the front desk tell me that because it's Wednesday, and I'm the 20th patient of the day, I get a two-for-one and they are going at it from both ends. Excellent, 'sign me up I says'. It seems that the nurses were a little under-staffed for the day and so there was a bit of a bottleneck. This resulted in me getting processed a bit late but did afford me the luxury of finishing the book I'd been reading, "Come and Gone" by Joe Parkin, while lounging around in my spiffy hospital johnny and non-slip racing socks. Not a great read or particularly compelling story but it did mention a bunch of local folks I've raced with, which was cool.
Another neat thing that happened on the way to the "procedure" was that the nurse processing me, who was adamant that she would not work late that day despite requests from the supervisor, as she had "things to do", which I believe involved her children. As she was filling out a mound of paperwork there in front of me, which I got the impression should have been filled out beforehand by someone else, I chimed in to inform her not to freak out when my HR drops near or below 40bpm. This happened last time and alarms went off so in order to save panic and confusion, I thought it worth noting. She asked if I was a runner. Why do they always ask that? No, I'm a cyclist, and ride my bike 12+ hours a week in all kinds of wet, gritty and miserable weather, which is why my ass looks like a baseball glove that was left outside all winter and then chewed on by the neighborhood dog and is in fact, at least partially, what brings me here today.
We get past the pleasantries and paperwork and she gets down to business, the first course of which is screwing up the "IV setting". I feel like Dr. Evil here with all the quotes I'm using all over the place; just can't get enough of them them though. So, I f-ing hate needles and am not super excited about this part of the show. Being a pro, she goes for the IV into the back of my hand, which is a sort of tender place to get stabbed. Unfortunately for her, and me, it didn't "thread", whatever that means but it sure did hurt like hell. She then had some concern in her voice, and is applying pressure so it "doesn't bruise" or "collapse and die" (did she just say that?) and the young, female nursing student who was observing was busy taking notes, and , oh wait, did I forget to mention that they asked me if a student nurse could observe them sticking a garden hose up my, never mind, and then down my throat. Man, you have to pay for that kind of action on the Internets and she's getting an eye-full for free, dang! Sorry, sidetracked again. Lucking after questioning whether or not they planned to clean that thing off after the first run, they assured me that they would not be performing the procedures in that order. They also assured me that it had been properly wiped off after it went up the previous guy's, well, you know.
Back to the story. So, apparently at the hospital it's a one strike rule and if you eff up an IV set you have to get someone else more qualified to do it for you. I'm guessing that is so they don't kill you or something, probably an Insurance company mandate. Anyhow, she finally finds some guy, might have been the janitor for all I know, to come in and set the IV up. He nails it first try but cautiously went for the safety of the arm rather than the back of the hand. All is good. They then haul me in, turn me onto my side for easy access, get the oxygen on and the bite guard ready to go and start the meds. It was at that point that it occurred to me that these guys are all a bunch of f-ing hacks, who hate their jobs, just like me, and would rather be doing most anything else, and whom I told not to worry about monitoring my HR and that I may very well not wake up from this simple "procedure". A fleeting moment of panic and with that I blacked out.
I awoke fully rested and alive to a nurse asking me if I'd like some soda and graham cracker. What the hell kind of question is that? "I've had nothing to drink today except toilet bowl cleaner and have eaten nothing at all for almost a day. F-ing right I want a graham cracker, bitch." I didn't actually say that and in truth, didn't even think it, I just put it in for effect. Honestly I was grateful to be alive and not paralyzed and as thankful as the Pilgrims on the first Thanksgiving for the bounty which I was about to receive. Shortly after I was given permission to dress and move to a waiting room until Cathy arrived in the wait zone with the car. A nice older gentleman brought a wheelchair up and took my sorry ass away, where he dropped me off at the curb. I wondered if I should offer him a tip, you know, for the effort, but decided to play it cheap. Was that wrong?
Anyhow, I'm beat, and we're supposed to be doing a wicked hard MTB ride tonight. Guess we'll just have to see how that goes.