Friday, August 15, 2014

Colonoscopies Are Not Scary

Warning:  Potty mouth  language and pictures of an actual colon

Preppers Log
12:34 am
So, last night I awoke from my slumber twice to get rid of more Gatorade.... No, not from my pee hole.  Again, this is only a tad annoying because I was having nice dreams.

6:15am
Holy Shit!!! Bilateral Charlie horses in my calves greeting me with the alarm clock.... and a headache.  This is all understandable with the dehydration that's bound to happen from shitting yourself dry like Sponge Bob Square Pants out of water.  It's kind of funny when you get these because you can't help but flail around with a ridiculous face and inability to speak proper English.


The paperwork suggested comfy clothing and no makeup:

My tummy was nice a flat, but look life a tourist in my own home


never mind all of that... It was temporary.

 7:40 am
The family drove me to the surgery center and I finished up the usual paperwork and copay.  No, it's not a free service when you have an HMO, but I think my life is worth a few hundred bucks.  
I got a cool plastic bracelet with my identification details; the same kind you get in any hospital.  After checking in, the boyfriend had to run across town and get the kids to camp.  I waited in the reception area no longer than five pages into a magazine when they called my name.

*****  I don't have my phone after this point but the time frames are fairly close


7:44 am ish
In a small curtained room, I was assigned to a gurney, given a cute hospital gown and my vitals were taken.  I got to keep  my super comfy sports bra on which really helps when the room is cold.  Just saying'.  The really sweet ginger nurse started a fluid IV and I was so happy at the thought of getting hydrated!!! We chit chatted about her dental history (I'm used to that) and joked about how I was going to write "Be Gentle" on my butt cheeks.... Totally forgot this morning :(  

8:01 am ish
Just a few minutes later, the anesthesiologist introduced herself and explained the procedure again.  Then, two nurses made quite an appearance by opening both right and left curtain walls at the same time like they were entering stage right and left.  Suddenly I feel like show tunes should start playing as we are about to go on some epic journey.  They went along with it and danced a little as they wheeled me down a short hallway into a private treatment room with a tv and romantic lighting.  The doctor came shortly after wearing a cute black frilly blouse and three layered necklaces.  "Very stylish getup for exploring people rears", I thought.  The four of us chatted for a minute or two and I was instructed to turn on my left side.  They promised to wake me up for part of the procedure so I could watch my colon on tv!

The anesthesiologist had a syringe of milky white sedation liquid that was a tad cold going through the IV line.... just as I was telling her that I'm a light weight, she smiled and said, "Oh, a cheap date?".....and that's all I remember.  Her timing was impeccable.  

The next thing I knew I was asking for my glasses.... and then I fell asleep again.

9:07 am ish
Now I'm back to that curtained room again and one of the nurses is asking me how I feel.  I tell her it's so strange that the theme song for my procedure (in my head of course) ....  I had to sing it to her.... she guessed correctly because my singing skills are just awesome really... It was John Legend's  "All of Me".... strange how many pen marks are on these curtains... they should have an office meeting about how to hold a pen while walking off of the stage.

I got four totally awesome color
photos of my perfectly healthy insides!!!!

Colorful right?!?

Holy amnesia because  I DO NOT remember seeing the live video..... The nurse calls my ride (who didn't even get back to the office yet), takes the IV out and I get my clothes back.

9:15 ish
The drive home left me with the best feeling ever.  I did it.  It was easy.  People need to stop procrastinating, especially when they have a family history.  There are several types of colon cancer and most can be treated successfully with early detection.  Usually doctors recommend this procedure at age 50 or ten years previous to a family "incident".  

My father died at age 59.  I watched him suffer and it changed me forever.  
He didn't walk me down that isle and never met my beautiful daughters.  
It is what it is but I'm not going out like that.  

Not if I can help it!




That's right folks!  Cancer is scary.  Getting a colonoscopy is not.



**the recommendation for a colon screening is age 50 (45 for African Americans, I never knew that until now) unless you have a family history.  In those cases, you would go back 10 years from the age of a close family member's polyp discovery or removal.

For more information:   http://www.loveyourbutt.org

Thursday, August 14, 2014

How to Prep For A Big Test: Part Two

Preppers Log
Thursday August 14

6:15am
I  woke up this morning kinda ready to seize the day and then I suddenly wondered why I would have any type if stomach upset this early.  Must be nerves?!?  

Oh yeah, I forgot... Mother Nature sure does have a witty sense of humor because she coordinated my period with my prep day.  Awesome. No coffee the way I like it and no chance of ibuprofen for the intermittent back pain and right side ovary screaming at me.   

What ev!  I got this. Thankfully it's not the left ovary-  that one is usually much worst.

7am "Breakfast":
One large black cup of coffee and a HEAPING spoonful of sugar.  Not allowed to have creamer or dairy....  



One bottle of water and six clear or yellow gummy bears. (for the purpose of actually chewing on something)


 My thought, "Hey, this is great.  The sugar rush I'm going to get will give me lots of energy."


10:45 a.m.
I'm pretty sure my chatty female patient is never going to stop talking so that I can just finish up... and I have a tad headache behind my right eye... other than that, just a few tummy growls.

11 a.m.
So, while cleaning a nice gentleman's teeth, Rachel Ray began a cooking segment that included steak and worstershire sauce.  It's nearing lunchtime and I had no problem telling my patient that there's a good chance I would gnaw one of his arms off.  He laughed but doesn't realize how serious I am.

12:06 p.m. "Lunch"


I am so happy to find a rejected and most likely expired can of chicken noodle soup in the office cabinet because I tore it up!!!  Another bottle of water and a few more gummy bears.  My goal is to drink enough water to get rid of this headache.  So far, it's just making me have to pee quite often. 

12:35 p.m. 
I say goodbye to a nice healthy six inch log as it swims down the toilet.  This is something I am proud of in life.  I love my bowels and they serve me well.  Kinda scared about the rumors I'm hearing about the liquids I'm going to drink very soon.  Something about "fire in the hole"?

2:06 p.m.
My work day is done.  My coworkers and boss are supportive and we laughed about my butt procedure for quite a while today.  I scoot home and called the doctors office to get a quick medical history done.  

Here I stand in front of the assortment of pills and concoctions that will clear my colon. (Not giving up these magic gummy bears).  Having never taken a stool softener in my life, I'm not convinced this is necessary.  But alas, THEY are the experts so I do as I'm told.


Two Dulcolax down the hatch.  

4 p.m.
Mixed 60 ounces of lemon lime Gatorade with a gigantic bottle of miralax.  It is a powder that smells like Elmer's glue.... Kinda reminds me of kindergarten.  



Drank one cup (8oz) and I will do this every 15 minutes until it's all gone. I don't see what the big deal is.  It tastes like normal Gatorade and my pee is going to look like supernatural magic!!!






4:40 p.m.
I'm fairly sure I set my timer wrong because this third cup seems to be happening way too soon.  My belly is cold and sloshy.  Whew!

5:13 p.m. 
Okay, I have 3 minutes before the next cup and my stomach is gurgling.  I'm starting to get a little gassy.   Slightly nervous.

...  Headed toward my next dose and had to make a B line for the bathroom.   
Holy cow!  When you start this process, do yourself a favor and don't go for a walk, car ride or anything that requires more than a few minutes of your time.  

5:15 p.m.

I just lost a pound or two of liquid in five seconds flat.  Totally weird and amazing. I can hear my productivity but I don't feel it.

5th dose was hard to choke down because I'm just full and getting annoyed with the flavor.  Thinking the wet wipes were the best advice ever.  


6:22 p.m. 
So, remember what I said about amazing pee colors... Yeah, um... There's none of that.  Not even sure where all of that is coming from at this point.  I've decided to just stay on this throne for a bit.  I'm tired of walking back and forth from the bathroom to the kitchen.  

I've also decided that my main goal is to do a pedicure on my toes if I can bend over without having an accident.  



I am certainly taking the time to appreciate this fuzzy bath mat.  The only reason I'm leaving this space is the fact that I think I can choke down one more giant dose and be done with that evacuation liquid.  

6:35 p.m.
Glad I've moved past the Gatorade and thinking I might go drink some pickle juice purely for the sake of getting this taste out of my mouth.  Unfortunately I can't seem to go more than five minutes in between visits to the toilet.  Again, don't get me wrong, this is annoying but not uncomfortable.  I am simply a busy body and not used to sitting around so much.  Shark week is on in the other room and I wish I had a television in here!

7:32 p.m.
Things are calming down a bit.  I can hang on the couch for twenty minutes or so and besides wanting to devour something solid, this whole process hasn't been so bad.  I rather enjoy watching tv and I've just started a cup of chamomile tea.  

I cannot tell you how relieved I am that the kids and man angel went out for dinner and some mall shopping!!!  I would not be in the mood for more than simple conversation at this point.  

So, unless something exciting happens tonight this is the plan:
No more liquids after midnight and my appointment is in the morning.  If this was the bad part that everyone keeps talking about, tomorrow will be cake!

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

How To Prep For A Big Test!

I've taken hundreds of tests but I'm here to give you all the intimate details of the most important test of my life to date.  At the tender age of 38, I am getting myself geared up to have my first colonoscopy!

loveyourbutt.org


Prepper's Log
Wednesday 8p.m.

Just ate my last real meal for quite a while.  I filled out a few pages of paperwork and read this statement three times:  "You will be on a clear liquid diet for breakfast, lunch and dinner the day before your procedure."  That would be tomorrow.

If you know me at all, you understand that I don't do well without food for very long.  When you have the metabolism of a rabbit and drop the kids off at the pool at least twice a day, eating every few hours is essential to having any sense of humor and hearing words that other people speak.  "Hangry" is accurate.

Luckily, I am only working until 1pm.  I thought this would reduce the risk of bodily harm to my patients.  

8:17pm 
I may have over-shared the plan with my children so I will go ahead publicly apologize for the emotional trauma they just endured.  In an attempt to simply explain that the man of the house would be taking them to dinner tomorrow because I wouldn't be able to eat and might not be my usual cheery self (food jealousy), I was questioned. "Why"... and so I described the cool tube with a built in camera that will be traveling into my backside to make sure I don't have any weird lumps or bumps.

Oh, their cute little faces just couldn't hide their emotions.

  I could almost see the dozens of thought bubbles swirling overhead.   My youngest wanted to know if she will ever need this done to her butt.  She doesn't want it done EVER. I assured her that it's just an easy test that old people like me get and it's no big deal.  I may have thrown in there that grandpa died of cancer that started in his butt and maybe if he got this test at my age, he would be hanging out with us right now.  In an attempt to change the subject a bit, I then went on to explain that the Gatorade is for me only and I would be spending a good part of the afternoon drinking liquids and sitting on a toilet because they can't see clearly if there's a bunch if food "in there".    (Ten second of silence)


My ten year old corrects me, "Mom!  All you had to say is that Matt is taking us to dinner... GAWD, She's SEVEN Years old!"



... to be continued :D




Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Custom Beach Sand Pendant

Custom Pieces Rock!

After my last post about the family visit to the beach and subsequent glass vessel pendant containing beach sand, a customer requested a similar piece with sand from the place she got married.  

And so I took my mom and kids to Indian Rocks Beach for some "market research" and shell collecting.  






We snagged the perfect FREE parking spot with a shower near the car!  SCORE!

The weather was the usual HOT but a nice breeze kept us cool and the water temperature was just the way I like it :)












I just happened to spy the most amazing dream house with a pool, fake grass, white and orange chaise lounges and walls adorned with Audrey Hepburn....  (what must I do to live in a place like this???)

Creeper Style Photo as I perched on their wall like an owl.






So, we all spent a few hours picking out the brightest and biggest coquinas from the THOUSANDS of squirming snails in the surf.  These will be used for future jewelry and art projects!


Then, I used a fine mesh bag to get a handful of perfectly white beach sand.










Four very special coquinas were chosen to hide in the sand.  A few taps and as the sand disperses, you can peek at these little guys.  




A special thanks to Stacey for her continued support.  Our whole family really enjoyed making your necklace.  



For your own custom jewelry, feel free to message through the Etsy shop:   www.HelloDragonfly.etsy.com 
or "like" and send a friendly message 

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Look No Further!

Pass-A-Grille Finds


Finally the whole family got a day off together so we decided to postpone household chores and head out to our favorite beach for a few hours.

It was a completely gorgeous day and the water was a perfect temperature.  

Heaven really.  


We spent most of our time digging in the shallow surf with our toes and hands trying to see if there were any shells worthy of bringing back home.  I had my usual mesh bag in hand for the good ones.  

And then Matt came up with the best idea!


"Instead of walking the beach like you normally do and pick up the obvious shells, you should just throw a few handfuls of surf sand in the bag and use what's in there!"

I thought it was a brilliant idea so we all pitched in.


I spent a bit of time filtering out the fine sand and was left with this bag of would-be treasures.


That night and the next, we used spoons and tweezers to organize and search for perfect little baby shells like the ones above.  This will be an ongoing project I believe.


Although I have lots to show you let me start with this one necklace!  Why discard the little bits of shell when you can create cute necklaces like this!  No, it's not an original idea at all... but I am offering them on my Etsy shop anyway.  I used my metal stamping kit to imprint the letters and scooped out a little happy beach for others to show some St. Pete Beach love.  These can easily be personalize on the back or painted to your liking :)




Thanks for taking the time to stop and read this blog!