Help me, I’m awake!


No, not this Colin (Image courtesy of Google)

It’s that fun time of year again – time for that riotous medical event, the colonoscopy. I’m a few minutes into it and I’M WIDE AWAKE! I know I started out asleep because I remember getting the happy drugs. But now, here I am looking at my colon on the screen, and trying to figure out how to let the doctor know that I’m awake, and pretty sure I’m not supposed to be. I can see everything in the room – the IV pole, the business-like medical equipment, and my colon looking fresh, pink  and perky on the large monitor. Wish I had brought my glasses so I could get a better look. But hey, I’m paying for the sedation, so I better let them know it’s not doing its job. But I can’t. I try to speak and nothing comes out. Okay, so maybe I can move something, but can’t seem to get that coordinated either. Just like in a dream when you’re trying to run away from danger, or yell for help, nothing is happening. Finally, I manage to make a soft moan. It sounds pretty pathetic; wish I could have mustered something better, but hey, it works because I’m out again.

Nor this Colin (Image courtesy of Google)

And, I’m up. Wide awake again. How long is this thing going to take anyway? I  can hear them talking. They better be talking about how fascinating my colon is, and not about calling their broker or updating FB. I do the moaning thing again annnnd, I’m out. Meanwhile, what’s going on around me? Like parents who sit down to relax after they finally put their kids to bed, this doctor is thinking “Didn’t I just put her out? What is she doing up? Next thing you know she’ll be asking for a glass of water and wanting to watch TV.”

Now, fast forward a few years and it’s colonoscopy time again. I’m sitting in the doctor’s office (a different one this time)  and describing to him my vivid memories of waking up, not once, but

It's this colon! (Image courtesy of Google)

TWICE the last time. “Occasionally we get people who are resistant to the anesthesia” he says, “but I’ll make sure I give you something extra strong and you’ll be out for most of the day.” Great. I’m going to get the dart gun reserved for the 300 pound gorilla. I’m fine with sleeping through the colonoscopy – after all I’ve already seen it once. But I don’t really want to be out for an entire day. What if I want to blog or watch TV or go to a movie? Guess that’s out. Seems like there ought to be something in between wide-awake colonoscopy and 24-hour coma. I’m feeling a little skeptical, but let’s see how it goes.

Okay, so it’s colonoscopy day again. This is what I remember: moan, out, moan, out, moan, out, and so on. Apparently this happened repeatedly, basically every time they moved the scope, according to the doc. I have been officially declared the kind of person who just does not sleep soundly through a colonoscopy, despite copious amounts of happy drugs.  

Fortunately, despite the wake-ups, everything went well. And now that I’m home I can ddkje jo cmma  iojmm  ioje329c zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

All kidding aside,  March is colon cancer awareness month. Know your risk factors. Don’t be a sissy –  get a colonoscopy. 

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18 thoughts on “Help me, I’m awake!

    • Well, I wasn’t really paralyzed, just not awake enough to do what I wanted. I was a little afraid of scaring people off from colonoscopies by printing this, but in reality, 99.9% of people who have had colonoscopies go to sleep, have an uneventful scope and wake up feeling fine and not remembering a thing.

  1. Heh heh, I wonder if that happened to me. I had a colonoscopy on Feb. 28. I had a gastroscopy first, then the colonoscopy. I was just wondering how I was going to handle having a tube shoved down my gagging throat, when I woke up in the recovery room. That stuff acts fast! And both ends had been done. Here’s to successful colonoscopies 🙂

  2. Lmao! I had one last year and made sure they gave me enough to knock an elephant out…. I woke up in recovery, happily farting my eyes out, with no memory whatsoever of anything…… that is the way to go! 🙂

  3. As Huffygirl’s husband I can say that I do not remember anything about the three colonoscopies that I have had. Fortunately the docs have not found anything bad.

  4. Had 2 so far, and no problems. However, I’m the same as Paulo at the dentist–I think I had 4 shots once.

    • I’ve done that at the dentist too – finally gets numb when I get home. I’m glad to hear that you had no problems, as I’m wondering if I’ve scared people away from having colonoscopies. I really should reiterate – 99.9% of the people have no problems and no memory of it.

  5. Not easy to write a funny post about a colonoscopy, so congrats!

    I’m not equating getting a tooth filled with a colonoscopy, but I have the same problem when I go to the dentist. I don’t numb easily. It takes a lot of drugs and a lot of time before I can’t feel anything. I had a dentist once who didn’t believe me, thought I was just chicken and drilled anyway. As a result, I avoided going to the dentist for something like 15 years. Bad idea.

    • Yes Todd, avoiding the dentist IS a bad idea. Several people have shared the same experience of dental anesthesia not taking effect. I’ve had it hapen too – after 4 shots and still not numb, I finally tell the dentist to go ahead and get it over with. Then, later at home, it finally takes effect and my hair is numb for the rest of the day! My dentist explains it as trying to get the anesthesia close enought to the nerve, which is smaller than a strand of hair, but not directly in the nerve. Maybe I’ll have to Google this for more info, or better yet, one of us will have to blog about it!

  6. Yes, this is a hectic subject! I have a friend who woke up in the middle of her C-Section, was able to feel everything before passing out.
    And then there’s my Nutrition professor. We were just talking/watching a video about colonoscopies last week. She had a colonoscopy recently and requested no meds ’cause she had to teach afterwards. Said it was extrememly painful, doesn’t recommend the no meds thing. Kinda crazy. But she does think very highly of the procedure for life-saving early colon cancer detection.

    • Ouch! Yes, I don’t think I’d go the no meds at all route. I remember when Katie Couric had a colonoscopy on the Today show – she seemed quite alert so must have done it without meds as well.

  7. Gosh sorry you experienced that Donna. However, normally the worst thing about a colonoscopy is the cleansing the day before. The best thing about having it done is that IF they happen to find something early they can take it out and save your life.

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