Saturday, February 20, 2016

Top 10 Signs You're an Iowa High School Wrestling Tournament Newbie

This may be your first time at the Iowa High School State Wrestling Tournament if...

1. You make it to downtown Des Moines just fine and even find a parking spot, but then you immediately get lost in the skywalk.

2. You make it to very crowded The Wells Fargo Arena (never underestimate the ability of teenage girls to find teenage boys) and still manage to find the group from your high school without texting anyone.

3. You set out to find a seat on your own (because you don't want to embarrass your teenage daughter), only to find out the only available seats are in the third tier. You make it to the third tier only to remember that you are Deathly. Afraid. Of Heights.

4. Deathly. Afraid. As in, almost paralyzed and unable to leave your seat in the third tier. As in you nearly wet yourself every time one of the teenagers around you climbs over rows of seats for no apparent reason other than to give you a heart attack.

5. You treat yourself to a Thelma's ice cream cookie sandwich for second breakfast, because you survived the third tier. Life. Is. Good.

6. You decide that it is better to stand out on the concourse and occasionally check the scoreboard rather than to try and find a seat in the third tier again.

7. You manage to score a seat in the top row of the second tier, which doesn't require walking up or down any steps. YAY!

8. Through casual conversation you find out you are sitting with the great-grandparents of the 126 lb. wrestler from Logan-Magnolia. Along with his great-aunt, parents, grandparents, and younger brothers. You cheer along as he wins his first consolation match. YAY

9. You make the following fashion observations:
  • It's Iowa, so 75% of the teenage boys wear ball caps advertising something.
  • It's wrestling, so 27% of the teenage boys wear stocking caps.
  • It's a high school tournament, so 98% of everybody has on a coat, sweatshirt or t-shirt announcing their school, wrestling in general, their wrestlers in particular, cheer leading or some other sport.
  • It's Iowa, so 60% of the teenage boys wear cowboy boots. The other 30% wear tennis shoes.
  • You are witnessing a fashion shift (at last), as less than 5% of the teenage girls are wearing Uggs, but now 75% are wearing white Converse tennis shoes. Don't get too excited about change, as 85% of the girls still wear skin-tight black leggins and 10% wear skin-tight jeggings. The other 5% wear cheer skirts, and then change to leggins. This makes it nearly impossible to tell the girls apart from a distance.
10. You realize Iowan's travel in packs – by school, by family, or in groups of girls or boys. This makes it very difficult to navigate the narrow concourse or sidewalks quickly. This is annoying, but makes for interesting people watching. You also wish you had a sheep dog with you to move the herd along.

11. You have a great time hanging out(ish) with your daughter and her friends. But you still wish there was less... wrestling... involved in wrestling and you'll be happy if you never see another teenage boy getting his dislocated shoulder popped back into place.

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Colon-NAP-scopy, the Rest of the Story

I hadn't planned on writing a follow-up to my last blog about preparing for my first ever colonoscopy, because really, who wants to have a colonoscopy, let alone read about someone else having a colonoscopy?

Not me!

Which is good, because I really don't remember anything that happened Monday. Except that I slept. A lot. And sleeping is my very next favorite thing, right after eating.

So, if you ignore the part where I couldn't eat solid foods for 24-hours and I couldn't eat or drink anything for 8 hours, and concentrate on the part where I got to sleep for more or less seven whole hours, my colonoscopy wasn't such a bad thing.

I've taken to calling it my colon-naps-copy.

I'm still a little hot about the whole “no eating or drinking” clause, because I woke up Monday morning thinking “Woo Hoo! Coffee counts as a clear liquid! Come to Mama!”

But then I thought – and who knows why I had this rational thought after not eating solid food for 24 hours already – “Wait a minute....” And sure enough, there in CAPITAL LETTERS, buried in the middle of the instructions, it said “DO NOT EAT OR DRINK ANYTHING 4 HOURS PRIOR TO PROCEDURE.”

Of all the mornings to sleep in.

Yes. Yes, I would have set my alarm for 5:30 a.m. just so I could have a cup of coffee. If I would have remembered that little detail.

Everything turned out for the best, though, because Me+No Coffee=Tired.

This means that after arriving at the hospital at 8:30 a.m., checking in and changing into an adorable matching gown and robe set, I sat in the waiting area and promptly dozed off. I woke up in time to listen to the final boarding instructions and to have the I.V. started (not of coffee, unfortunately), then promptly dozed off again.

After this short nap I was given my boarding pass and ushered down a short hallway and into the procedure room. Once comfortably seated... er, arranged... on my side, the Wonder Drugs were administered. I don't remember what they were exactly, but it doesn't matter, because I will always refer to them as (cue the choir of angels) The Wonder Drugs.

Nurse A (my favorite nurse of all times) administered The Wonder Drugs and told Nurse B (second favorite) to mark the time. It was 10:03 a.m. This freaked me out a little because in all my vast TV medical drama watching experience, the only time they ever “mark the time” in a hospital is when someone dies.

I was still checking to make sure I was alive when (and this is where things get fuzzy) Nurse A asked the time (10:05, apparently she realized I wasn't dead yet), and the doctor asked me if the drugs were working. I couldn't figure out why she was asking me this so soon, or how I would know if they were working, or why her voice was coming from across the room when she was standing directly over me and why her face look so loooooong and wavy.

And that's when I thought “Yes. Yes they are working. And I like them.”

The next thing I knew it was 11 a.m. and I was in the recovery room.

My husband, the long-suffering King, was there waiting for me and looking forward to taking me to the Hamburg Inn for breakfast. Despite not having eaten for more than 24-hours, I vetoed food. Apparently when they were scoping my colon, they left behind a fully-inflated beach ball. I couldn't bend over to put on my socks, much less think of eating. If you've ever had a fully-inflated beach ball in your tummy, you know that not even pancakes or biscuits and gravy sound good (although they sound good now, hint hint).

I managed to stay awake for most of (a little bit of) the ride home, then curled up tight around my beach ball and slept for another five hours.

Best. Day. Ever.

I have decided to use my enforced fast as inspiration to clean up my diet. I have made a pledge to become a mindful eater, to pay more attention to the foods I eat. This means I will carefully consider and fully appreciate each and every Cheeto and Oreo that I stuff into my mouth.

Long story short? If you are putting off having a colon-naps-copy – I mean colonoscopy -- don't. Early detection saves lives. There's nothing to worry about (but I'm not a doctor).

And everything to nap for.

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Bottoms Up: A Colonoscopy Primer

Now that I am no longer 39 years young, I've had to start doing all sorts of grown-up things. My most recent grown-up activity? A colonoscopy.

I've been getting the girls checked with yearly mammograms for a while now, so I'm no stranger to uncomfortable medical exams. I really wasn't too concerned about this new exploration of the southern hemisphere, either. Until I made the mistake of telling a few people about it.

“Is this your first?” They asked. Yup.

“There's nothing to be worried about.” Nope. Didn't think there... wait, what? Worried? Was I supposed to be worried? I WASN'T worried until you told me NOT to worry. What exactly should I NOT be worried about?

So here I am, less than 24 hours away from C-Scope, and the only thing I'm worried about is lasting another 17 hours without solid foods.

I got through the morning alright without eating. Like most mornings I had coffee, followed by coffee, with a coffee chaser. But after I'd been awake for an hour I started to get a little hungry.

I indulged in a glass of water. Followed by a bottle of Gatorade. Followed by a glass of water.

Mmmm-mmm. Nothin' hits the spot quite like clear liquids. Nothin' like a hamburger, that is.

Do something to keep your mind off eating. Ha! That sounds like something someone who has been eating would say!

There's nothing better for mindless distraction than a little Facebook drama, so I logged on and tuned out. Do you have any idea how many people post pictures of food on Facebook? A lot.

Around 2 pm I decided I'd have a little clear chicken broth to take the edge off. Yep. That really hit the spot. But I couldn't shake the feeling that there was something missing. Something like a cracker. Or a box of crackers. Or maybe a hamburger.

Next up on the list of approved (non) foods? jello.

How long has it been since I made jello? Plain jello. Jello without mandarin oranges, Cool Whip or vodka? Apparently a long time, and apparently my jello making skills require frequent practice. Still, I enjoyed my partially set jello curds. I would have eaten the unmixed jello powder at this point.

Mmmm-mmm. Plain jello. You know what would go good with plain jello? A little whipped cream. Or maybe a hamburger.

By mid-afternoon I was certain I had made a terrible mistake. I wanted to call the doctor's office and reschedule. Or just cancel. Just canceling would be fine. I don't really need to know what's going on in my insides, do I? I wondered how many people fail their pre-colonoscopy eating restrictions.

No solid foods? No solid foods? Are we really sure that crackers are solid foods? What about bananas? What about hamburgers? Really?

I wanted to quit. But I'm no quitter. Besides, it was time for phase two: the evacuation notice.

I mixed up the first dose of purgative and took a big swig.

I lost my appetite.

Remember back when you had your first warm, skunky beer? Remember how you squinched your eyes closed, wrinkled up your nose, stuck out your tongue and shook your head (as if that could dislodge the taste)?

Yeah. No. This was worse. Much worse.

The good news? Psych! There is no good news. Still 30 of 32 ounces left to drink. For the first batch.

“Follow with 16 oz of clear liquids of your choice.” Does beer count as a clear liquid? Does white wine? How about vodka? Cause I'm gonna need at least 16 oz of Chardonnay to prepare me for that second liter of purgative.

Instead I followed up with Sprite. In hind site this was not the best option, as it left me feeling bloated, made my tummy gurgle and I belched up purgative-flavored Sprite bubbles.

Just one cracker. That's all I want. Just one Cheeto. Just one hamburger.

I was going to make soup for the rest of the family for dinner. Then I decided it would be in everybody's best interest if they went out to eat. Somewhere far, far away.

But they didn't.

My son microwaved a pizza. It smelled really good.
My daughter burned microwave popcorn. It smelled really good
My husband munched on potato chips. It sounded really good.
The cat crunched his kibble. It sounded really good.

I had a lemon drop. Woo hoo.

I know there are people who fast for religious or political or health reasons. I know there are people who go to bed hungry every night, not by choice but by necessity.

At some other time, when I'm feeling more introspective and philosophical and less hungry, cranky and nauseous I will ponder the deeper lessons I could be learning. And I'll make a donation to the food pantry.

But right now I have another liter of purgative to drink.

I'll let you know how it all comes out.

No. No I won't.