Saturday, June 28, 2014

My New Not-Best Friend: Sorry, Dr. *****

my arch-nemesis

a great man who took martyrdom to seldom-before-seen levels

Some things are best left unsaid, or at  the very least, best left not discussed in polite conversation. Colitis and sigmoidoscopies fall under those categories.  Even here among those of us who are basically friends, I'll try hard to be discreet in the discussion. I've  had both, PLUS a colonoscopy in recent months. 

Note to Judge Alex Ferrer in the event that  this ever crosses his eyes: I've had an endoscopy, too, but I was not so naive/macho/outrightly sub-moronic as to allow anyone to attempt the procedure on me without benefit of sedation simply because I didn't want any of my relatives to have to transport me there and back. WHAT THE HELL ARE RELATIVES FOR? It's a reciprocity sort of thing: you go to your mom's house and tell her that her cell phone is not, in fact, her TV remote control, and she drives you to and from an occasional medical procedure (unless your mom drives the way my grandmother does, in which case you're safer taking your chances in hitching a ride with just about any drunk who crawls out the door of a pub than you are in riding with her at the wheel) for the benefit that you do not convince everyone in the outpatient clinic in which you are to undergo the procedure that you are a maximum of three IQ points above the clinical status of imbecile.

Imbecile, incidentally, used to be an in-use clinical diagnosis, by the way. (It was, in the relative cognitive ranking, considered above an idiot but beneath a moron.)Then imbecile was supplanted by the term "moderately mentally retarded."  School children across the U.S. and probably other English-speaking nations soon adopted "retarded" as an insult at which to hurl at adversaries on schoolyards. This, courtesy of the advocates of a particular cognitively challenged individual named Rosa, caused the Powers That Be to change the name of the category of cognitive deficit to 
"moderately intellectually disabled." Someday school children will insult each other using that term, too, as an epithet, or perhaps they'll just call each other "Rosa" until some new advocate of an individual with intellectual challenges enacts legislation for a new and even less offensive moniker. (I nominate "Matthew.") I'm not sure what it will take for special education advocates  everywhere to get it through their rather thick skulls (my uncle Ralph once told me about special education students that they're best taught, administrated, and advocated for by their own kind) just what a losing battle it is they're fighting, and that the very best they can ever hope to accomplish is to remain one-half step or less ahead of the children of the world, linguistically speaking. I'm confident the same thing happens in nations where other languages are spoken, though I haven't a clue as to how their respective Powers That Be respond to the conundrum.  

I digress, however. The point here is that Judge Ferrer had numerous options for undergoing the procedure and being transported home safely (including but not limited to asking his wife for a ride to the surgical or outpatient center, as he's probably transported her to the occasional E.R. visit or doctor's appointment [driving one's wife to the hospital to give birth does not count, as a husband can  be presumed to have been at least 50% responsible for the condition that necessitated the hospital trip]) none of which had to be the choice  of allowing a sadistic man in a white coat with the quasi-prestigious initials of MD behind his name to shove a tube down his throat sans any form of sedation whatsoever while morbidly laughing at the patient totally at his mercy.

Back to the procedures of which we do not like to speak in polite company . . . Not one of them is a walk through a field of daisies.  Nonetheless, if God comes down and pays you a personal visit to tell you that you are going to have one of the three aforementioned indignitites inflicted upon your body, and you may either name your poison or let God roll the dice for you, DO NOT choose the sigmoidoscopy.  The doctor and his flunkies tell you you're being sedated, but in all seriousness, the amount of sedation that runs through the IV that's been stuck into your arm (the IV is there for the primary purpose of having instant access to your blood supply just in case you clinically die on the procedure table, which has happened more than once; read the fine print on those disclaimers they make you sign) is not sufficient to dull the pain of a mid-sized cockroach undergoing a leg amputation. The cockroach would be thrashing around on its little gurney just about as much as I was during my procedure described so euphemistically as a sigmoidoscopy.

So now the gastroenterologist, who is a friend of a friend of my dad, and I are not on nearly such friendly terms as we were before the procedure. Lest he show up here and attempt to tell  his side of the story, I shall beat him to the punch. I did NOT  use any expletives. He says I did, but I have nurses and God as my witnesses that such was not the case. I did scream at him at the top of my lungs, and I did  accuse him of trying to kill me.

I do not believe that anyone on the face of the Earth would attempt a sigmoidoscopy on an unanesthetized Barack Obama (not because Mr. Prez himself is so formidable but because the Secret Service would be obligated to take the doctor out of commission), Mike Tyson,  or that guy who bit an opponent in a recent soccer match, without first putting on major protective gear.

Note to Jaci: I seriously considered using a display of tampons as my Twitter pic, but there are limits to which even I cannot stoop, plus I didn't want to embarrass the judge if he saw the pic before I took it down.


  1. Wow. So you weren't properly anesthetized before that procedure?

    Incidentally, my dad is in the hospital today. He just had his gallbladder removed. I'm a bit worried because he doesn't have the best track record coming out of anesthesia.

  2. I'd be worried, too. that procedure alone worries me. mine was taken ut when my spleen was removed and I had no issues, but many people have complications. Sometimes it has to come out, though.

    with anesthesia issues on top of regular gallbladder issues, it's a scary thing. I hope everything works out OK.

    Incidentally, was your dad a redhead in his prime?

    1. No, he's always had black hair… although when his beard grows in, it's kind of reddish (or silver now).

      My sister says he's doing better now. He isn't intubated and he was chewing on some ice. Apparently, his gallbladder was very inflamed.

  3. So sorry you had to go through this!

  4. I'm often in attendance at the business end of such and related procedures. We NEVER do them on a conscious patient .All have neurolept anaesthesia or sufficient sedation. Even so the insult-physically( to say nothing of to your dignity if still aware!!!) -is sometimes glaringly apparent.A considerate practitioner will wait for the sedation to take effect or request more sedation.

    I had to submit myself to the torture for a colonoscopy when the years clocked up. The devil's solution indeed. NOTHING makes me toss my cookies to borrow your apt description but the ordeal of trying to swallow it.Bleh! I came close. Then the after effects!!

    The best piece of advice I can hand on came from a colo-rectal surgeon friend of mine. Baby wet wipes.Think about it.

    1. Wish Dr.Strangeglove felt that way. Sometimes there's absolutely no sedation, or I've been told that anyway, for sigmoidoscopies. With full-on colonoscopies, you''re out enough that you at least don't remember much of it.