Tuesday, February 12, 2019

The Colonoscopy

This souvenir polyp photo was a
lovely parting gift

10:45 a.m.

TD to hospital front desk receptionist:  I have an appointment for a colonoscopy. The doctor said I should be here an hour early. Where do I go?

Receptionist: Can you tell me your name?

TD: Of course I can.

Receptionist: Well, what is it?

TD: Thomas Dryden

Receptionist: Middle initial?

TD: J.

Receptionist: Date of birth?

TD: November 17, 1951.

Receptionist: Take the elevator to the third floor and turn left. The GI lab is the second door on the right. 

TD: Thank you.

10:48 a.m.

TD to GI lab receptionist:  My name is Tom Dryden. I have an appointment for a colonoscopy.

Lab receptionist: Your full name?

TD: Thomas J. Dryden

Lab receptionist: Your date of birth?

TD: November 17, 1951.

Lab receptionist: OK, somebody will be with you in a minute.

11 a.m.

Admitting Clerk:  Thomas?

TD: Right here!

Admitting Clerk: Come with me. Have a seat.

TD: Okay.

 Admitting Clerk: What is your full name?

TD: You already called me. You know it.

Admitting Clerk: I have to ask. It’s the law.

TD: Thomas J. Dryden.

Admitting Clerk: What’s your date of birth?

TD: November 17, 1951.

Admitting Clerk: Do you know why you’re here?

TD: Of course. Do you think I’m here for the sport of it?

Admitting Clerk: Okay then, why?

TD: I’m having a colonoscopy. 

Admitting Clerk: I see we have your insurance information. Go back to the lobby and a nurse will be calling you shortly.

11:16 a.m.

Nurse: Thomas?

TD: Right here.

Nurse: Follow me please. Here’s the room where you’ll be changing into a gown and waiting to go into the examination room. Can you tell me your name?

TD: Why do you people keep asking me this? It’s not instilling much confidence you know what you’re doing.

Nurse: It’s a requirement.

TD: Thomas J. Dryden

Nurse: Now, give me your birthdate.

TD: November 17, 1951.

Nurse: And what procedure are you having done today?

TD: A lobotomy.

Nurse: That’s not what it says here.

TD: Colonoscopy. 

Nurse: Here’s a gown and a plastic bag. Please put the gown on, leave it loosely tied in back, and place any valuables — your wallet, Kindle, glasses, cell phone, etc — in the bag. 

TD: All right.

11:30 a.m.

Anesthesiologist:  Hello, I’m Dr. Payne. (Note to readers: I am not making this up. That was his name.) I’ll be administering your anesthesia today. Can you tell me your name?

TD: On one condition.

Anesthesiologist: What’s that?

TD: That you won’t ask my date of birth. 

Anesthesiologist:  I have to.

TD: OK, Thomas J. Dryden, November 17, 1951. Please knock me out now so I won’t have to answer that again.

Anesthesiologist:  I can’t until we’re in the procedure room.  An aide will be coming to wheel you in there in a few minutes.

11:42 a. m.

Aide: Hi, I’m Michael. I’ll be taking you into the procedure room. Are you ready?

TD: Ted Bundy. January 24, 1989.

Aide: I beg your pardon? What did you say?

TD: Never mind.

11:44 a.m.

Gastroenterologist: Hi Tom, how are you today? Are you ready to get this over with?

TD: I didn’t think there could be anything worse than drinking two jugs of that God-awful laxative stuff and spending the night on the toilet, but I was wrong. Did you know that …

Gastroenterologist: Can you tell me your full name and date of birth?

TD: I had an appointment with you three days ago! Don’t you remember?

Gastroenterologist: It’s policy.

TD: My God, please, please put me out now. I can’t do this any more.

Gastroenterologist: Do what? 

TD: Tell you my name and date of birth one more time.

Gastroenterologist: I have to ask.

TD: Thomas Joseph Dryden, that’s D-R-Y-D-E-N. November 17, 1951. That’s N-O-V-E-M-B-E-R.

Gastroenterologist: Can you tell me why you’re here?

TD: I’m having a C-section — twins, but it might be triplets, I think I felt an extra heartbeat today. 

Gastroenterologist: There’s no reason to yell. 

TD: I’m sorry, but this is fucking insane.

Gastroenterologist: Well, I’d like to remind you I’m holding a five-foot hose I’m about to shove up your ass. I can either be gentle or, if you won’t cooperate, I might not be.

TD: Because I’m having a colonoscopy. I’m sick and tired of having to answer the same questions over and over and over. Look at what the blood pressure monitor says. I’m about to … aaaaaahhhhhhhhhhh  (anesthesia kicks in)

12:15 p.m

Nurse: Hi, Mr. Dryden. It’s over, you’re in the recovery room. The doctor will be here to go over the results in a few minutes.

TD:  Ugg … ga … ga…

Nurse: Can you tell me your name?