Wednesday, December 8, 2010

FIRST ICE & YESTERDAY'S TEST


It's a lovely day here along the riverbank—the sky a bright jay blue, and sunlight sparkling like diamonds off the snow. Yet even though stalactite icicles along the eaves are dripping steadily, it's still cold out, only 18˚F according to the thermometer on the wall beyond my deskside window. 


When I stepped out with Moon the Dog after breakfast this morning, it was an even colder 10˚F…which to my way of thinking is a bit much for what is officially still autumn rather than winter. I noticed the river was beginning to sheath itself with ice. For the past few days, there has been a narrow ice shelf along many portions of both banks, but this is the first time I've seen ice creeping into the middle of the slower pools. It will doubtless take a few more days and nights of below-freezing cold to close the gap; right now, the mid-current areas are mostly slush. A precursor, perhaps, of a possible early and colder-than-normal winter. Time will tell…


Time will also tell the outcome of yesterday's colonoscopy, though there's no reason at the moment to expect anything other than a benign report from the one polyp that was removed and sent off for lab evaluation. The procedure itself almost didn't happen. I'd spent a pretty awful night beforehand, getting up and down, restless, cold, shivering, unable to sleep more than a few minutes at a time. I wasn't worried about the test; I simply couldn't seem to get warm—possibly due the day's diet of a clear liquids only. I finally got up for good at 5:00 a.m. and fixed myself a big, steaming mug of black coffee. At 6:00 a.m. I began drinking the half-gallon of Gatorade/Miralax mix, which immediately began making me nauseated, though I got the stuff down and kept it there in the prescribed two hours.

However, I wasn't feeling much better by the time I checked in at the hospital at 12:30 for my 1:30 p.m. procedure. Due to some underlying health issues, plus the fact that my blood pressure was on the high side from the sodium in the prep mix, the gastric surgeon considered scrapping the procedure because of possible risks from the anesthesia. I suggested we do the procedure without using anesthesia, which I knew is often the protocol in other countries. The surgeon considered and agreed—whereupon they wheeled me in and things proceeded without a hitch. No pain, I got to watch on the monitor, and no post-anesthesia recovery time. 

Afterwards, Myladylove and I stopped by the grocery on the way home, and once here, I cooked us a late lunch while she gathered wood and built a nice fire on the hearth. Moon the Dog wagged profusely, barked at squirrels, and begged for handouts. Then—fed, warmed, and relaxed, Moon and I sacked out on the couch, while Myladylove changed CDs as needed and worked on her beadmaking. 

That's my report…perhaps a bit too detailed. What I really want to say again is very how much I appreciated each and every one of your well-wishes and prayers. Thank you so much for such genuine concern. It truly meant a lot.
———————

26 comments:

George said...

Glad to know that the procedure went forward and that everything looks good at this point. I've had several benign polyps removed through the years, with no complications.

Your post began with "It's a lovely day..." Just for the record, every day after a colonoscopy is lovely, regardless of the weather.

It's all happy sledding now! Enjoy the holidays.

Scott said...

Here's hoping you get good news, Grizz! I've had three colonoscopies and been sedated for each; I always wondered what it would be like without the sedation. As I was being sedated for my second, I got extraordinarily nauseated, freezing cold, and I very nearly passed out; that was fun. Most recently, I had no severe adverse reaction, although the spot where they plugged the IV into the back of my hand was really sore for weeks afterward.

Temperatures here in the PA Piedmont in the mid-30s during the day and upper 20s at night with wind. Cold, but not as cold as SW Ohio!

KGMom said...

As they say, the prep is the worst part. My husband and I have managed to do the quick version--less of the gunk to drink, more like a concentrate. But of course there are gallons and gallons of clear liquids--broth, 7-up, tea--whatever.
Oh the things we do to stay healthy.

Bonnie said...

Hoping you get negative results, Grizz.

Does the river freeze enough for skating? How I loved, as a child, to lace up my skates in the dark and skate on a nearby creek with only moonglow to light my path.

The Weaver of Grass said...

I thought about you today too Grizz. When I was ill three weeks ago I gained such strength from all the good wishes that came through cyberspace - and I know you will be doing the same. Blogland is a wonderful thing and I know it gives us all strength.

As to your beautiful photography - every single day I am amazed at the beauty of your landscape.

Take care now.

Grizz………… said...

George…

As far as I'm concerned…any morning not began by sipping a 64 oz. Gatorade/Miralax cocktail is a winner! Didn't mind the procedure; hated the drink.

But taking the bigger picture view…and morning you're still around to see is a beautiful blessing.

Now, I'll get right to that sledding…

Grizz………… said...

Scott…

For what it's worth, the procedure was no big deal without anesthesia; I have had far worse things done to me, medically, also without sedation, including few stitching-up jobs.

About an hour into drinking the prep stuff I became really sick, and the nausea, to a lesser degree, was still there when I checked into the doctor's office at the hospital. (BTW, I was also plugged in for a line via the back of my hand; it isn't sore, but it's a bit puffy and looks like it might have a very light bruising.)

Over the last few years I've taken several friends and family members to have their own colonoscopies, and watched the post-procedure effects of the anesthesia as it wears off. Maybe my procedure went extremely easy. I do know, given the choice next time time, I'll opt out of anesthesia.

Grizz………… said...

KGMom…

Yup, I'll stick with coffee and tea at 6:00 a.m. Even with juices, early on I prefer tomato and seldom drink anything sweet before or during breakfast.

The preceding day's worth of clear liquids was no problem, though I betcha next time I pick reduced sodium broth—or just stick with coffee, tea, and water.

Ahhhh, the fun things we get to do as we mature…

Grizz………… said...

Bonnie…

Unless I start seeing woolly mammoths, I'd never trust river ice for skating anywhere in Ohio. Though, some do. And some do it once too often.

I've fallen through the ice on rivers and creeks plenty of times over the years when the ice thickness appeared plenty safe, passing a close-to-the-bank poked-hole inspection. That I ended up with nothing more than a near-freezing dunking was because I attempted my crossings at spots which I know were, beyond the shadow of a doubt, shallow enough to get myself out of should I fall through.

Sure, there have been times when I got across without incident. But I do a lot of my late-spring through early-autumn smallmouth bass fishing wading "wet" in shorts and sneakers on countless Buckeye streams. Wet wading teaches you the nuances of water temperature as felt against your bare legs. You soon learn that every stream has its share of spring holes—where cool water is pumped out in the summer, but becomes really warm water in the winter. Warm water that melt ice and keeps it from forming nearly as thick as ice a few feet away. Undetectable by a topside skater and potential deathtraps.

Pond and lake ice in protected bays, is okay, but still requires caution. Rinks are really safe except for the Zambonis.

Grizz………… said...

Weaver…

You're so very right…in many ways cyberspace allows us bloggers to sort of choose our own families. An amazing thing, really, and a genuine blessing because like families have always done, we can encourage and lift up our fellow family members in times of trouble, at least helping them through in a small way with our heartfelt words, whatever hardship they face. We can't always cure what ails them, of course, but we can support them with our words and prayers. I do believe in that old saying…troubles are halved when shared with a friend, and happiness is doubled.

Thank you, always, for all the lovely words you write. Too, I'm also so glad you continue to enjoy the photos.

Arija said...

I've just found your blog from Weaver's comments and am enjoying your photos of snow an dice immensely.
So glad you had the procedure without anasthetic, that is my way also as it sometimes takes months to get over it. I sincerely hope your tests are clear and wish you all the best.

PS I hated the 2 litres of gunk as well.

Bernie said...

Hello my friend, I have to go through this procedure every year so I know how draining it can be, I also know that every year they remove polyps and every year I am fine, so this is what I am thinking your test will be as well
....."fine" I have never been put to sleep, do not remember ever having pain but I have been heavily medicated and that's okay. Here is praying all is well and that you will have many years to enjoy myladylove and Moon.....sending big hugs from Canada.....:-) Hugs

Grizz………… said...

Arija…

First off, welcome to the riverbank! I'm glad you found your way over from Weaver's, and pleased you liked what you saw.

Second, thank you for your nice comments and encouragements re. the test. And will certainly agree the gunk tasted awful.

Please visit often.

Grizz………… said...

Bernie…

I'm not worried about the test results. The doctor didn't seem to be, so I won't be either until told otherwise. Even then, it is always best to be early rather than late.

Sounds like such a procedure is routine to you. So far as the lack of anesthesia goes, I had nothing beforehand, and see no real reason to need anything given similar circumstances. But I also know many folks simply wouldn't do it if they couldn't be put out completely or at least into a sort of twilight sleep. And there's no doubt the test saves lives. So anesthesia or no anesthesia, whatever it takes—just have the test.

Gail said...

HI GRIZZ-

First, I love the icy river pictures - our pond out front has an icy glaze too - like that of a glazed donut :-)
Now, about that test - without anesthesia!! what? Did you at least have the twilight stuff - what they refer to as conscious sedation? I'm thinking not since if you did you wouldn't be able to watch the monitor while>>>>>>>>~~~~~~~~~!!!! Good Lord. You are way braver than I ever would be. Like I said I cry all the way in to the procedure room until they give me the twilight meds - phew - and I am really not awake - no way!!!! And the new twilight meds have no after effect - once they stop delivering it in to your IV the 'sedated feeling' stops completely. I got up and walked out of the little recovery room in a half hours time. I am glad it is over for you and that you enjoyed a nice lunch and warm soothing hearth fire with your Lady-love and Moon to warm your chilled bones.
Love you lots
Gail
peace......

Grizz………… said...

Gail…

The river is still flowing, holding its own against the ice. Actually, there's less ice today than yesterday because it's slightly warmer—in fact, heading toward noon, we're currently at a balmy 20˚F.

You assumed correctly re. the sedation, or lack thereof. No anesthesia, no "twilight" sleepy time (though perhaps a bit of Twilight Zone) just li'l old me on the gurney, a surgical nurse, the good doctor and possible acolyte of the Marquis de Sade, with his trusty video camera on a looooong flexible tube…plus a conveniently placed TV monitor so I could watch the whole spectacle in vivid color.

Gail said...

If you could see my toes curling right now you would know how I am moaning for you as well. God, you are SO freaking brave. No, really, so freaking brave.
You could win on that show "Fear Factor"

Love you
Gail
peace.....

Grizz………… said...

Gail…

How I wish I were such a brave fellow. Honestly, I'm not.

I'd done enough research beforehand to know that in many countries the procedure is accomplished routinely without benefit of anesthesia. So while I might expect mild discomfort, I didn't expect much in the way of real pain. Bravery wasn't required. Moreover, given my health situation at the moment, anesthesia presented an unnecessary risk. My choice was based on minimizing that risk—and the surgeon concurred. And while I'd hesitate to call the whole business pleasant, there was no pain or even mild discomfort whatsoever during the actual procedure…though I was glad to escape their clutches and head for a meal.

sage said...

prayers for a good report... I like your river shots--I hope to get the canoe out one last time before the rivers completely freeze

Grizz………… said...

Sage…

Thank you…I can always use another prayer!

I bet you'd enjoy floating "my" river—and maybe you can one of these day, after your BIG trip.

Kelly said...

...glad you were able to make it through without anesthesia. You were all the better for it, it sounds. Next year when I get to drink all that stuff and do the same thing. I'll keep the no anesthesia thing in mind!

Beautiful images of the ice and river. These temps are definitely throwing my family for a loop, although, I think we are finally adjusting to the cold. Our blood seemed to be staying "summer thick" from the summer that stretched into fall.

Grizz………… said...

Kelly…

Do what your doc recommends when your time comes…just have the test.

I like to see the river sheathed with ice, but I guess this weekend we're to get some serious snow, which I'll like, too. BTW, your family isn't the only one confused by the sudden switch from a warm to wintry fall.I nearly froze to death for the first few days.

The Solitary Walker said...

Glad the procedure went well. Sounds like your choice of no anaesthesia was the right option. Well done! I must admit, I've been lucky, and have never yet been to hospital in my life, except to visit others. So I'm afraid the prospect would unnerve me, to say the least. Fear of the unknown, I suppose.

Btw, that blue jay photo yesterday was superb. A lovely flash of colour in the wintry scene. (The snow here in the UK is in no hurry to leave, and may be here for some time yet.)

Grizz………… said...

Solitary…

I've not spent all that much time in hospitals as a patient (knock on wood)—though literally weeks on end on more than one occasion as a visitor. Perhaps for that reason I don't find them at all frightening—frustrating, often unhealthy and/or detrimental to whatever ails you, but not particularly frightening. One thing I will say about health care nowadays is that you must be proactive about your own issues, willing to speak up, be truthful and forthright, and take part in things, and also to be informed enough to know when there's an alternative to the proposed course of action, or realize when that action seems too little or too much or simply wrong. You must let doctors and technicians do their jobs, and you must do your part, but the bottom line is that it is your body, your life, and the best possible outcome will always result only when everyone on both sides of the equation is on the same page.

Now, speaking as a friend, Robert, you really ought to think about having this procedure yourself. If you'll excuse my saying so, you're at that age. It's too valuable, informative, and possibly lifesaving to procrastinate about…and trust me, not that big a deal.

That ol' blue jay is, indeed, a lovely bird. They're not that regular in visiting my feeders, though quite common hereabouts. My neighbor up the hill has them in droves.

Hilary said...

Just catching up after a few days away from my computer. I'm glad to read that your tests seemed to go relatively smoothly. It's not a pleasant procedure but I've never heard of anyone being put under for it, here. Sedation, but nothing stronger than that - that I know of.

Beautiful shots in this post and of the feathered friends in the previous post.

Grizz………… said...

Hilary…

I didn't have any sedation or anesthesia…and frankly, I'm glad things worked out like they did. Hated the drink, but the procedure was really no big deal.

Glad you like the bird pix.