April 22nd, 2008
Look, I know: shut up already about your intestine and what may or may not be inside. Just keep quiet about fatty livers and polypy gallbladders and for God’s sake, lady, you already told us you were a hypochondriac and you really expect us to believe you’re sick?
Well, fine. I’m just writing this for me then. Because I may need the documentation for my wrongful colonoscopy suit.
Let me just tell myself that you can pray to God and to your dead mom and ask that the gastronenterologist you’ve been referred to is capable, has strong hands and knows his poop. And you can ask God and your dead mom to guide this man and give him insight into your condition and heal you with his eyes and gentle manner and benevolent spirit, and that even though you were fervent and reverent, God and your dead mom will think it’s hilarious to assign you a gastroenterologist who is 89 and a half and looks like Andy Rooney.
So ha ha, you get it, cosmic joke and all and don’t take yourself so seriously. Funny, you guys.
And you can go into this doctor’s office, which looks like an attorney’s office from The Firm and has vacation pictures ALL OVER every tapeable surface and you think: when does this guy practice? All he does is see the Great Wall and hike the volcanos in Hawaii and shop the little roadside stalls in Thailand and he really seems to like Asia Pacific and then — yes! he does! there’s dragons and Asian art all over the place too…AND one dragon has his head cut off and maybe that’s the ancient God of heartburn and the decapitated head is the primitive metaphorical equivalent of Pepcid? Perhaps this guy is old but wise, and maybe all will be fine. Just fine.
So he proceeds to ask you questions, questions you think are leading somewhere, only to find they don’t. Questions like, “do you have post-nasal drip?” and you think, “yes! yes! I do! Is the post nasal drip causing my stomach pain? Is my post-nasal drip acidic? Wow! This guy is GOOD“. And then all he says is “why do you have post-nasal drip?” And you think: maybe because I live by the beach? I’m not sure. I may be allergic to the ocean? You don’t know. And you think and you think and 20 minutes later, while the both of you are pondering your drip, you are no closer to a diagnosis.
Also, he asks you twice how much you weigh and how tall you are and what your husband does for a living and what types of stories you like to write and OH MY GOD! AND DEAD MOM! Joke over, please?
So after about a half hour, after Andy Rooney knows where you went to college and what you studied and what you ate for lunch and how you sleep and how many kids you have and how old they are and what kind of wine you like, you proceed to the examining room.
There, he diagnoses a heart murmur (hellsa-lo?) and calls it a day.
So you go back to his leathered, Old Englished office and he tells you maybe you should also have a colonoscopy. And he writes the order with shaking hands and he would be the one doing the colonoscopy and then now, you’re thinking God is carrying this one too far. But you sit there and say, “maybe we should check if there’s blood in my stool first?” and he says, with pen poised over his doctor’s notes, “yes and what else should we do?” And you’re like, “get my lipids checked?” Because that’s what Google thinks.
So, in shaky script, he writes out the doctor’s orders, which you MADE UP, and you’re on your way.
But not before being reminded about the colonoscopy and scheduling him for the procedure. So fine. What’s the worst that can happen? A perforated bowel? I bet God and my mom would find that hysterical.
p.s. (and this is strictly for me and my pending possible broken bowel lawsuit): the doctor really was quite sweet and told me that I had two small gallbladder polyps and they’re really nothing to be worried about unless they get much bigger and that I have minimal fatty liver and that this is quite common and that I seem healthy and then I may or may not have a heart murmur and it was really minor and he’s not quite sure he even heard it. Also, he showed me my test results, which were pretty normal aside from the gallbladder and the liver and that they weren’t sure about the tail of the pancreas, because it was obscured by a blanket of bowel gas.
Now that, God and mom, is funny.