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Tuesday, 4 April 2017

Daughter/Dad chat

In endoscopy you swallow a small fibre-optic thingummy plus 1 metre of cabling. A gift subject for a blogger.

Alternatively the thingummy enters by (Ahem!) the basement. Thereafter good taste governs what you write.

I described my top-end job (A journey to the middle of the patient) on May 21 2008 blogging as Barrett Bonden in Works Well. It drew one comment.

Unheralded, yesterday, came an email labelled "Endoscopy" from younger daughter, Occasional Speeder:

Well that was a barrel of laughs... All clear though x

I responded:

Were you told - four times, as I was, and by different people - you would be dosed with something tasting of lemons? The actual taste being definitely acidulé but magnified to the power of ten, intended to put you off lemons for the rest of your natural. And thus you lay and there'd be a little twitch way down; you told yourself "I mustn't gip, I mustn't gip." but you gipped anyway and it felt like you were wearing your backbone inside your throat, instead of outside as is normal.

OS responded
They didn't say “lemons”, they said it tasted “agricultural” - which was quite accurate as to me it tasted of the smell of chicken shit. Gipped quite a bit. Eyes watered but yes that weird backbone thing was there. There was a lot of soothing as my leg kept involuntarily twitching. It's possibly in my top 5 horrid things ever - along with childbirth, tooth abscess (in fact most teeth things), finding cucumber unexpectedly in your mouth and the Intermarch√© at Jct 54 on the A75.

The latter two shockers are deeply personal and need not concern readers. I asked to use OS's emails in Tone Deaf and I'm proud of her style.


Lucy said...

Agricultural, hmm. A promising looking restaurant at the river port in Dinan proved most disappointing, though the grilled marrow bone starter which drew me in, reminding me as it did of Fred Vincy's breakfast and his sister's disapproval of it, was rather good if a little heavy on the sea salt. Thence things went downhill; the stuffed cabbage - I thought of you when I ordered it - was soggy and tasteless, the whole culminating in a couple of blokes ordering a pierrade of sliced andouillette and cooking it themselves on the next table. Now that was farmyardy.

Your paternal pride is quite justified.

Rouchswalwe said...

I agree with Lucy that your paternal pride is justified!

When my doctor finally insisted I have the procedure ... once ... twice ... thrice ... I finally relented. Then I insisted that I not be put all the way out (I am a German-American after all, and not wussy like most 'mericans). The nurse asked me once ... twice ... thrice, are you sure? Ja! I told her I was ready to view my insides. Do your worst! And I must say, it was thrilling ... somewhat like a Dr. Who episode. On my side, I watched the full-color screen zooming through my innards and then, the end station, "That is your appendix," announced the doctor. "Wow" I shouted in a tipsy voice. The room laughed, including the pregnant nurse. Later, my close friend, who is younger and still has this fascinating procedure ahead of her, laughed as I told her what I had seen, "my appendix! From the inside!"

I'd rather repeat this procedure in ten years than take a ride on the highest roller coaster in Ohio.

MikeM said...

A colonoscopy without heavy sedation? I screamed enough to make them stop halfway through it. Years later, colon removed, I had the privilege of viewing my post-op bleed painted out with a gold probe cautery. Only 6 inches up, and the operator was a stunningly beautiful brunette named Dr. Fox.

Avus said...

I remember this procedure well, reposing on my side whilst the doctor pushed what felt like a large cucumber up my rectum. Meanwhile the nurse, standing by my head and endeavouring to lighten the mood chattily enquired, "Where are you going for your holidays this year?". Surreal!

Roderick Robinson said...

Lucy: Goodness me! Goo-oo-oodness me!! You know how to do a comment full of me-targeted detail. The carefully unattributed reference to Fred Vincy (plus his sister's disapproval) and the leap back in time that involved stuffed cabbage. Bless you. Even though I'm so sad the cabbage didn't turn out well, that the shared sacerdotalism failed. Never mind, I pray that later in the year you'll come upon a chalk-board that says blanquette de veau for under €10 and that the bonds of friendship will work more profitably.

Cooked it themselves! By what means? Is France changing before I even get there this year? Later, this time since Zach's a big boy now and his schooling is becoming more and more important. In fact he's just passed his 11-plus and I'm told the academic world is his oyster.

I fear there was a degree of self-service in my pride. I couldn't help thinking OS had found an exemplar.

RW (zS): Thank you on behalf of OS.

As it happened I lay on my left-hand side (all the better to match the curve in the cable) and the screen was behind me. I saw nothing of The Fantastic Journey (You won't remember that movie, you're too young.) that transpired. I see you use the phrase "not to be put all the way out", reminding me that the lemon-tasting dosage - a spray - was anaesthetic, albeit local not general. No doubt it saved me from pain but it did nothing to allay my apprehensions and the conviction that - any moment now - I was going to gip and the consequences would be terrible.

But how did you manage to shout "Wow!"? For me it was as if my mouth was stuffed with the Verrazzano Narrows Bridge.

MikeM: Like many things that happen in hospital, a mixture of the devilish and the aesthetic. I am pleased that your literary senses were sufficiently alert for you to dwell on that difficult-to-define adjective "foxy". In my teens (a time of feral perturbation) I broke my wrist and I remember in hospital "going under" beneath the gentle gaze of Nurse... What was her name? I would pay good money to know. A face quite bony yet comforting and womanly in the extreme, leaving me with a further revelation - as to why men might go willingly into battle, borne up by such a memory. That was sixty-five years ago and yet I can still see the faint down on her cheek, back-lit by the operating theatre's overhead lights.

I find myself disagreeing with WS. We are not such stuff as dreams are made on. It's reality that counts, reality that lasts.

Sabine said...

By total coincidence, I mean you could not have known at all (?), I had said procedure yesterday and not for the first time (I am a veteran) but I opted out, i.e. I was given a nice little dose of whatever (iv) and was gently transferred to a comfortable bed in a dark room after some time by a nice person and left to sleep for a while longer until eventually a cup of decent coffee was brought to me. Nothing agricultural was involved.

I am due for what you so nicely call the basement version in two weeks - again, not for the first time and I am utterly blase about it. I am simply wonderful. Yuk.

Roderick Robinson said...

Avus: You have awakened earlier, unwelcome memories. When my GP, wearing a plastic glove for decency's sake, assaulted me - there was no other word for it. And I, with more than a note of wonder, said to him: "I didn't think that was possible." Speaking dimensionally not morally, you understand.

This was many years ago. Some time before Julian Clary was drummed temporarily out of the BBC for reducing a similar if imaginary act (said to involve the then chancellor of the exchequer) to an eloquent four-letter verb I for one had not heard of before.

And where were you going? No doubt to a holiday resort where tight bathing trunks were fashionable.

Sabine: An excellent comment in that you have adopted the laconic style (which Tone Deaf approves of) in reference to a subject which might, in a less free-thinking blog, have been deemed unspeakable.

If you wish to re-cycle this experience elsewhere, it might be worth lying. Saying that you persuaded your violaters to provide you with a photographic print of your internal examination and that this was then reproduced fifty times in the form of a Christmas card, later vouchsafed to the Flugpost. A worthwhile gesture, you see. Proof that your friends are with you all the way.