Fact of life: A gastroenterologist’s office is not full of happy faces. Oh, yeah, and the furniture is brown…
I recently accompanied my husband for his much-dreaded colonoscopy. I wouldn’t have gone, but the thought of him driving without being sedated alone makes my eye twitch. So I signed my life away, swearing that I’d stick around and shlup the poor guy home like a wounded animal. For God’s sakes…
“Just think of it as an oil change, honey,” I said. “You know how you like your cars all clean and feeling good. Now you, too, can run smoothly with all your various internal combustion parts lubricated. Just because you’ll have a three-inch wide PVC pipe with a camera up your ass does not justify you comparing it to child-birth. Well, maybe close…”
Entering the waiting room, I saw a virtual Noah’s Ark full of paired-off couples. The one with the book…or knitting needles…or an eye twitch, was obviously the lucky one. The suckers…I mean patients…sat quietly eyeing each other with sympathetic glances. It was like a silent Twitter convention. I could hear the less-than-140-character thoughts bouncing off the unadorned walls. “I can chug that crap in 6.5 seconds.” “I set up the big screen in my bathroom.” “I can never look at Crystal Light…ever…again.” “I’m buying stock in baby wipes.”
I’d like to meet the Dr. Jekyll who came up with the rule that you need to be in the office one hour before your procedure. That is just cruel. The form took 3:01:04 minutes to fill out. Then there was the waiting…and waiting…and waiting. Stomachs growled and echoed in their cavernous solar plexuses. Feet shuffled. The cumulative blood pressure in that waiting room had to be 928/560.
I breathed a sigh of relief when they called my husband into the great abyss known as “the back room,” which I pictured as a large Ford assembly line. I made a mental note to check him for stitches and make sure he still had both kidneys before we left.
Since we had to be there at the butt-crack of dawn, I so needed to find a cup of coffee. So out I bolted to the nearest deli. God forbid the doctor’s office might have refreshments for those waiting. But I know the smell of coffee would probably have had Starving Sam grabbing those knitting needles and stabbing someone’s eye out. Makes perfect sense.
But upon my return a few minutes later, I noticed the waiting room had filled to the brim, and the natives were getting restless. The desk nurse bravely came out from behind her desk and made an announcement that their computers were down, and there would be about a 15-minute delay so things were a bit backed up. Nice choice of words.
I glanced at the woman sitting next to me knitting. “Uhhh, does this mean our husbands are in there with their innards being raped with no camera to smile at?” I asked. She just shrugged, methinks a little perturbed that I made her lose count in her reverse stockinette stitches.
Nancy Nurse then tiptoed back in and approached with caution as she suggested, “If anyone wants to reschedule…” She didn’t get the rest of the words out of her mouth as TwelveAngryMen gave her the death stare so bad it relaxed her jheri-curls. She tiptoed back to her desk and advised the IT guy to move quickly and quietly, less he start a mutiny.
Alas, all was well within minutes, and before I knew it, I was accompanying Whiney and his wooby back to the car. He was cleared by the doctor, who explained that everything was “uneventful,” (easy for him to say) and we headed off to get Hungry Herman a double cheeseburger with fries.
Apparently, he never noticed there was a delay since he was in la-la land during the entire procedure. But just to be sure, I’m going to check to be sure there’s no unprocessed film floating in the toilet tonight.