The night before my colonoscopy a couple of weeks ago, I woke up drenched in sweat. The extra blanket I had added before I went to bed now seemed like a terrible idea. I looked at my phone. It was 12:30, which meant I had just passed the cutoff for having anything to drink before my procedure until the second round of prep in the morning. (It was close enough to midnight that it probably would have been ok, but I didn’t want to risk it.) I got up to use the bathroom and was so sweaty and shaky and lightheaded that I thought I might pass out. Even though there was nothing in my stomach, I felt nauseous and wondered if I would throw up. It was my fifth colonoscopy, but for the first time I doubted whether I could get through the prep.
Then I remembered the advice one of my best friends gave me when my first boyfriend and I broke up my sophomore year of college. When I called her the next day, she said, “This is the worst you will feel. It will only get better from here.” She was right. I’ve thought of those words many times since that day, and I thought of them again that night as I stumbled the few feet from the bathroom back to my bed. I knew that my body had just woken up really warm, that I was a little dehydrated, and that those initial moments of being awake were probably the worst I would feel that night. If I just gave myself a little time to adjust I knew I would probably start to feel a little better.
I lay on top of the covers for a few minutes, and that’s exactly what happened. I started to cool down. I pretty quickly needed to use the bathroom again (yay colonoscopy prep) and worried that I would pass out when I got up, but I didn’t. I gradually felt a bit better and was able to get back in bed and fall back asleep.
I think we all have those pieces of advice that we’ve been given that stick with us. My friend’s advice doesn’t apply to every situation, but it has stuck with me and it surfaces in my mind when I need it. I’m grateful that it popped into my mind that night, and got me through the colonoscopy.
What advice have you gotten that’s stuck with you through the years?