In the famous words of Jackie Kennedy, I had my colonoscopy.
See. She didn’t say those words. Cause as I pointed out on Facebook the other day, I doubt that when Jackie Kennedy showed up at HER editing job that she announced her upcoming colonoscopy. As possibly I did. To everyone. I’d have put it in the newsletter. Jackie probably sort of breathed, “I’ll be out Tuesday.”
Anyway. When Ned and I turned 50, we were still dating, and we said, “Well, we’re 50 now. We’ll need to get colonoscopies.” And then we made a vow, a sacred vow, to take each other to said colonoscopies and two months later we broke up.
Say “colonoscopy” one more time.
I did end up taking Ned to his, just days after his 51st birthday last year. And just days after my 52nd birthday, he took me to mine.
I’d called my mother to ask if she could come to town and take me, as I did not really want Ned, my ex and all, to see me in that vulnerable state. Mom said okay, then booked a ticket to leave the day before my procedure.
Oh, and speaking of mom, I thought I’d throw in photos I’ve taken with my thank-God-I-finally-have-a-new-phone phone, just so we wouldn’t get bored. You’ll be stunned to hear I did not take photos at my colonoscopy.
“Why didn’t you take photos, June?”
“If you didn’t take photos it didn’t happen, June.”
How to annoy me, steps one and two.
So instead of mom, I got Ned, who said, “You know, I’m really looking forward to helping you on colonoscopy day. I know that sounds weird, but I like taking care of you.”
Here’s how I pictured it. And see, that’s what you don’t do. You don’t start picturing it, cause you’re doomed to fail. In my mind, Ned would gently lead me to and from the procedure, exclaim over how sexy my requisite loose-fitting clothes were, set me up at home with pillows and a bad movie and go get me anything I wanted to eat, then stay into the evening, watching The Way We Were and getting me nectarines, which I craved this whole week and couldn’t have. Cause fiber. And red and orange.
This nectarine craving may have been a thing my not-Jackie-Kennedy’s-coworkers know about all too well.
Waiting for, “SHE DIDN’T GIVE HIM GRAPES DID SHE?” in 3, 2, 1…
Mom left just hours before I was to begin my prep. I was really quite scared of my prep, as I envisioned me crying and gagging, saying, “I CAN’T DRINK ALL THIS.” Once I made that goddamn concoction, it was close, but I willed self to stay calm. Am rock.
Oh my god. And once the poopin’ commenced, was the whole world wanting to keep abreast of my every (bowel) move?
Text: Hey, you doing okay?
Text: Just checking to see how it’s going.
Text: Everything coming out okay har?
Like, EVERY TIME I emerged from the bathroom, yet another person had texted to inquire as to the state of the movement. One could point out that possibly had I not shared with the universe my upcoming colonoscopy news, perhaps one would not have had quite so many inquiries, a statement to which I reply…
I got up at 5:49 yesterday morning to take, and give, more of the crap, and at some point Ned rang. I pooped so much I turned British.
“What time is it, again?”
“We have to be there at 10.”
“TEN? Jesus, I might as well go to work.”
See. Ned is fancy president of his work. So if he went to work, he’d get caught up, and there I’d be at my house, crying at 10:45, texting him repeatedly and wondering where he was.
“Oh, Ned, PLEASE don’t go to work,” I said.
“Sigh. Okay. It’s just I have to get [insert diatribe about work things].”
[Insert further diatribe about work things.]
[Nod head distractedly re work things.]
In the end, (see what I did, there?) Ned showed up on time. “That’s your loose-fitting clothing?” he asked, eyeing me disapprovingly.
(In reality, I was reading an online comment thread, as opposed to a literal comment thread and what even is that, and one person was bitchy and the previous two photos were memes people put in in response to said bitch. Also included was this:)
When we got to the locale of my, you know, Ned noted the closeness to my house. “Geez, we could have walked,” he said, and while he was joking, you all know how he wants to fucking walk everywhere. “What? It’s only a 90-minute walk. Come on.” Then he acts like you’re the asshole for not wanting to. Trust me, the threat of Ned trying to get me to walk to my colonoscopy was legit.
A kind reader would abstain from pointing out the possible correlation between my refusal to walk long distances and my inability to find “loose-fitting clothing.”
When we got to the front desk, the receptionist had on–and I am not making this up–a giant stars-and-stripes elephant necklace, a red-white-and-blue bracelet with stars between the beads, and I think possibly a Trump Forever tattoo.
We had a lot in common. I could tell.
“Yes, I have a 10 o’clock. June Gardens?”
Republican Receptionist looked at her book. “Oh, yes. Yes, you do. And is this your husband?”
We both looked at Ned, who was already distractedly answering work emails. I turned back to Rep Rec. I wanted to say, no, no he’s not, and I spent the last five years desperately wishing he were, but he’s unable to meet my needs, even though he tries, and it’s just that I find his style sort of cold and lacking, and he’s really legitimately trying to make me happy but it always falls short, somehow, and I tried to tell myself, Just settle for less, June. Settle for less.
But I can’t do that, Rep Rec. Cause it just leaves me resentful and leads to fights, and we have terrible fights, Trump-Loving Rep Rec, terrible fights. So although we do love each other, it turns out that, indeed, is not enough, and it’s sad but I’m at 92% acceptance of this fact, and that’s a good start.
“He’s a …friend,” I told her.
We sat at in the lobby and I got that kind of nervous where the back of your mouth feels tingly. “I’m scared, Ned.”
“Sweetheart, you’ll be fine,” he said, never looking up from his phone. I peered over to see if he was texting a woman. Unless her name was Eric, he wasn’t.
They called me pretty quickly, and put me in a pretty blue gown, so I could loosen up that pretty French gown, let me pour ya a good long drink (of SurPrep), oooo baby don’t ya hesitate. Cause.
In general, the procedure itself was really no big deal, and I’d like to order a few bottles of that at-home propofol, cause man. That was some delightful shit right there. So to speak.
The next thing you know old Jed’s a millionaire and also I was back in a room looking at Ned. “You look terrible,” he said. “You looked dead when I walked in.”
See. In my MIND he’d have been petting my hair, thinking of how terrible it’d be to lose me. 92%, y’all. 92%.
“You wanna go get something to eat after this?” he asked, after the damn doctor came in and said I had four small polyps, which I wasn’t prepared to hear and which freaked me out.
“Go get something to eat? Like, you want me to go to a restaurant?”
Going to restaurants is big with Ned. Before he met me, he spent a lot of evenings at restaurants, alone, eating up at the bar, a thing I’d never do. He seems to enjoy the act of being at a restaurant, which frankly is a gene I just don’t have.
“Yeah, we can go somewhere stupid, so it won’t matter how you look.”
“Ned, no. I don’t want to go anywhere. I want to go home.”
Ned sighed and rolled his eyes. “Well, aren’t you hungry?”
“Yes. I was hoping you’d go get me something.”
“Oh, go GET something? And bring it back to your house?” This was so something he would never do. He had to wrap his mind around the concept. “We went out to eat after MY colonoscopy,” he pointed out. Next he’d suggest we walk there.
“Okay,” he finally said. “You can have anything you want to eat. I’ll get it.”
In the end, I ordered from the pasta place nearby. I told Ned what I wanted, but he insisted I go online and order it myself. I was hovering over the build-your-own-pasta dish. “You can’t have that,” said Ned. “You can’t have that, either. The doctor said. June, you can’t have that.”
Oh my god, for six days I hadn’t been able to have anything I wanted to eat, and now I finally could, and I had MONSIEUR COCKBLOCK behind me, policing my every wave of the cursor.
Finally I placed an order for plain pasta with air, practically, and then Ned was all, “Place my order now.” And then he ordered all the things I’d wanted.
“What?” he asked, as I glared at him.
We had our respective lunches, and then Ned said, “Can we just hurry over to my house? The tree guy is there and I wanna catch him before he leaves.”
Leaves. Get it?
But see. I guess I just wanted one day to be about my recovery. Like, it was no big deal to drive the four minutes over to Ned’s, but couldn’t we just have ONE DAY where I got to luxuriate, and watch movies, and eat nectarines, and be fussed over? Just one afternoon, really.
I put on my shoes and we went to Ned’s.
“What?” he asked, annoyed with me when I sighed.
After that, we headed to Ned’s vet’s office, so he could get more meds for his cat, even though he’d been there the day before. The good news there is that the KITTEN ADOPTIONS sign was still up, and guess who rallied?
I took a screen shot of this, and sue me. The point is, first of all, you tell me there’s something called a kitten ROOM, I’m as happy as I’ll ever be. Then you open the door to said kitten room and it’s ALL GRAY KITTENS, my personal color, and I’m ecstatic. For all I know, I died in surgery and this was heaven.
[Everyone sips coffee and thinks about June actually getting to heaven.]
You can see how delighted the kittens were to all be picked up at the same time. Hey, I was on propofol.
Anyway, then since we were ALREADY OUT, I went to my own vet and got some meds for Edsel (he has a stomach thing) and then on to Target, cause hey, Target.
“Let’s get you home, druggie,” said Ned, at Target. Apparently I was not steady on my feet.
When we got home, Ned got out his laptop for awhile and read the paper. Finally I said he could go home.
“What? Why?” he asked.
I spent the rest of my evening alone, shakily walking Edsel and talking on the phone to my old friend Dot and then streaming dumb TV (Jane the Virgin), and that was fine. The worst was over, the crap was out of my system,
and I was ready to begin anew.