This week I had food poisoning. It’s everything they say and worse! It started around midnight on Wednesday night. Once I had expelled all the food from my body and had not been able to sleep for six hours, I spent the next day with a fever. When that broke on Friday, I had a headache that is in consideration for the Hangover Headache Hall of Fame. My head felt like a scooped out cantaloupe, and it hurt whenever I bent over. Also my body hurt. Like I had been working out really hard. Which I hadn’t. On Saturday, finally, my headache lessened – it still hurt to bend over, but it seemed to have persisted on just ONE side of my head. #blessed
Sunday was the first day I felt human again (as if that’s a good thing), and wouldn’t you know it, as luck would have it, and another defeated saying, I had to prep for a colonoscopy. Now, I’ve had one before, and I have to say, colonoscopy technology – Colonology? Technoscopy? – you’ve come a long way, baby. The last time I had to prep, I drank two liters of something called Half-Lytley, which I had to force down because it was so disgusting, never mind what else was going on in tandem. Thankfully, this time I had to drink two 5 oz cups of mystery citrus flavored drink, and it was totally fine (Science!). However, after three days of having nothing but water, flat ginger ale, saltines and Jello – yes, I desperately made Jello, which is weirder than I remember – I had to do a clear liquid diet for another whole day. And the worst of it? I’m still not skinny! I will have to go back to the gym and continue to eat as little as I can, if I want to be thin again. That seems unfair. Why is life so fucking hard?
Monday was Colonoscopy Day. Oh. You didn’t celebrate? No no. That’s ok. There’s always next year… (turn away, eye roll, head shake jussssst enough that you can see it) I woke up. I ate and drank nothing. I headed to the doctor. I put on my blue booties over my socks, undressed from the waist down only and put my gown on – open to the back. Just the way I like it. What what?! I hopped onto my wheely bed and was informed that I have the best anesthesiologist in the business.
I’ve never been squeamish about the doctor, the dentist, or anyone else who prods and sticks needles in you or wants to steal your teeth. (I’m looking at you, Mad Scientists in gothic novels and you, Tooth Fairy.) But lately, I’ve been a little nervy. I’m not sure why…it’s just…MORTALITY. Oh. That. So I was glad to hear my anesthesiologist (that word is tiring to spell) wasn’t going to accidentally paralyze me or kill me. I was concerned with the fact that I have no idea of my exact weight, because I don’t want to get more depressed and eat an entire bag of potato chips, thereby adding to said number. So on the form I had to fill out, which I figured helps the anesthes-you-finish-typing-that decide how much anesthesia to pump into your thirsty veins, I may not have been accurate. That worried me, but not enough to tell anyone. After all, I was weak from my all liquid diet.
I was wheeled into the tiny room where my doctor and Lady A were waiting for me. There was some small talk. Turns out, I’m good. She asked if I could be pregnant. “No!” I protested. “I haven’t had sex in years.” Not quite accurate either, but considering the last sex I had, it’s what I actually choose to believe. She put a needle in my arm and asked me to roll over onto my left side. I obliged, bending my knees and getting comfy. I was hoping she would explain how this was going to work. The doctor said, “We’re not driving or going to the gym. We’re going to Hawaii.” That made very little sense to me, seeing as I was on a rolling cot about to have a colonoscopy, but I do love Hawaii. She attached something to the needle and pushed liquid in. I thought I felt something in my head. I waited for them to tell me what to expect when —
My long haired Chihuahua scoots from where she’s been tucked into the bend in my leg, up over my hip, walking away from me, looking for more comfort. I should follow her. I should find more comfort too —
“You doing ok?” the nurse asked.
The mass of dreams, just beyond reach, just lost, like a wave crashing overhead and then ironing out the sand – something about owning a hotel? Even in my dreams, I do something to make everybody else happy.
She offered me cheese and crackers, the kind that comes in the plastic packet with two compartments and the little red “knife,” which I love because my high-low taste in food knows no bounds. Bonus offer: Juicy Juice. It’s not Whole Life Challenge compliant, but Jesus Christ, after this week, it felt like I’d been invited to Per Se on someone else’s millions of dimes.
Lounging on my bed, I looked down from the cracker crumbs on my lap to my blue booties. OK? I was a freaking Roman Emperor.
“Great!” I answered. “What are your rates?”
“Fifty dollars a night, but you have to bring your own food.”
The doctor came by shortly thereafter. A clean bill of health, and I was released, sadly, back into the wild.
I remember now, that after my last colonoscopy, I thought it would be a great idea to provide the service of being knocked out to New Yorkers. Just a giant room with beds lined up side by side. You come in, you’re put under, you fall headlong into swirling dreams. You wake up later, somehow feeling better. I’m not sure it’s refreshed; it’s just better. It’s that instant, complete loss of consciousness and that strange but satisfying feeling of waking up without even knowing you’ve been gone. Maybe that’s why you feel better — the surprise of being alive again reassures you it’s actually worth it.