June 20th, the day of the procedure, got off to an uneventful to start. The trip there was not too bad though I was feeling dehydrated and my mouth was a little dry. I was alert and probably a bit anxious, questioning the sanity of a fool that would have a colonoscopy without medication! A fool such as myself!
My driver was afraid Waze traffic estimates were low and the time would be tight so we left early, arrived well before the appointed time and promptly sat in the waiting room an extra 20 minutes. I read some magazines from my own stash and listened to music from my phone until my name was called just after 8AM.
Upon meeting with the intake person, she started with me reciting my name, date of birth and reason for my visit. Next she copied my drivers license and insurance card. That was followed by her reciting all the legal HIPAA stuff and the releases I had to sign. She was perplexed when I declined the anesthesia form and wouldn't even initial it. She asked if I wouldn't sign it just in case? I declined again.
I watched as she clamored to find someone to approve my prearranged agreement with the doctor. One of the nurses was walking by and she asked the nurse, who told her my request was rare but allowed.
Once past that hurdle, I was given a wrist band and escorted to a curtained off hospital bed in a row of such beds. The curtain was closed and I was instructed to undress and put the gown on with the opening in the back. I was permitted to keep my socks on and covered up with a warm blanket. My driver was allowed to come sit with me until time for the procedure. There were two pads under me. One was a disposable chuck and the other was a larger, vinyl backed washable under pad beneath that.
We chatted a bit until the nurse came to insert my IV at about 8:20AM. I told her I was not getting anesthesia and did I really need the IV? You'd have thought I had two heads! She said they required the IV as it is much harder to find a vein if something goes wrong. I have good vein structure but she had a bit of a hard time finding one since I was somewhat dehydrated and cool. She finally got me setup and started the saline at a slow drip.
The nurse and my driver both discussed my mental state. How did I come to insist on passing on the blissful ignorance that anesthesia granted? Needles to say, when she checked my pulse it was a bit elevated and my blood pressure was a good 40 high on both numbers. I'm usually perfect 120/80 +/-5.
As the clock slowly approached 9:00AM, I tried to breath deeply and slowly. 30 minutes of the IV fluids, nervousness or both made me have to drain my bladder. They had a toilet just a few steps from my bed so I carried the IV bag and hung it on the convenient hook in the toilet for just such a purpose. That relaxed me a bit. I had accepted my fate and knew I had made the right decision. I just hoped I felt that way after the scope in through the out door.