August 8, 2007, 10:17 am

You Will Remember NOTHING!



Try more like seventy!

(They’re just jealous that the guy in the middle still has hair!)

If these old geezers are fifty, then I’m seventeen.

Actually, that may be the definition of fifty: adolescent enthusiasm in a middle-aged body.

My great-grandmother once said, “I don’t know where this body came from, in my mind I’m still a teenager!”

Your mileage may vary.


Ah, here at Starbucks the Bangles are walking like Egyptians!

Julie from Life in the NHS asked if I lived at Starbucks.

In my dreams!

Actually, I’m still acting as chauffeur for my youngest daughter, so whenever I have to drop her off, I hit the closest Starbucks until it’s time to pick her up.

There are three different Starbucks in the area that know my “drink” by heart. If they start start playing McCartney the minute I walk in, I know I’m a fixture!

Today’s drink is a Grande Non-Fat Caramel Macchiato….with whip, of course.

(Oooooo! It’s “Don’t You Forget About Me” by Simple Minds! I ADORE that song!)


The dreaded colonoscopy. A rite of passage for those of us who have reached the mid-century mark.

If you know what that is, you are showing your age. If you do not, you have nothing something to look forward to.

Looking forward to it is all you are gonna get, because you won’t remember a thing after it’s over!

I have yet to experience this unique screening procedure, but my husband is now an official member of the “I Survived My Colonoscopy” club.

He did not get a T-shirt.


I must give out discharge instructions for conscious sedation twice a day.

No driving for 24 hours. Light on the diet to start. Have someone with you for 24 hours. No major life decisions for 24 hours. Don’t sign any contracts for 24 hours. No alcohol for 24 hours.

In other words, put your life on hold for a full day.

And be sure to discuss these with the patient and their driver/babysitter before the procedure.

Blah, blah. Yadda, yadda, yadda.

I can do it in my sleep.

Now I know why we give those instructions.


After waiting dutifully for hubby in the waiting room while the gastroenterologist surveyed the scenery, I found him resting in a gurney, drinking juice and alert. Very mellow, but alert. Clear speech.

He remembered nothing about the procedure!


Then the very nice gastro doc came in and discussed the findings. He told us how long it would take to get the full report, where he would send it, what to watch for. We discussed Hubby’s health history and made arrangements to follow up. Hubby asked a lot of pertinent questions.

Later that night, Hubby was miffed that the doctor had given us zero information on what happened.


He didn’t remember a single bit of the post-procedure conversation.


When the instructions for the colonoscopy prep said “clear liquids only” for the twenty-four hours preceeding the event, Hubby took it to mean, “oh hell, why bother to drink anything but water” meaning he essentially fasted the entire time.

I told him that he should have taken fluids with calories for nourishment at least.

As a result, he had the lowest blood sugar he’s had since his diabetes was diagnosed (86) and he was famished after it was all over.

Wanted a cheeseburger, he did! And not just any cheeseburger, but a big, greasy 1950s style burger from the local retro joint.

I couldn’t talk him out of it. I wanted to first stop at the local coffee drive-through across from the restaurant. While I’m ordering my drink, my husband gets out of the car and walks across three lanes of busy traffic to go pick up the burger!

He chides me for my concern that he is up and wandering through traffic less than an hour after being sedated. “I’m fine!” he says.

Eight hours later he doesn’t remember the meal.


After napping for five hours (having been up all night secondary to the “prep”), Hubby decides to go visit the neighbor.

He comes back and raves about the wine our neighbor had poured.

“Hubby!” I reprimanded. “You aren’t supposed to have alcohol for a full day!”

I can’t let this guy out of my sight for a second!

He had no recollection of any alcohol instructions.


So this is why you make sure a patient has someone with them after conscious sedation and for a full day!

Trust me, once that medication is given, I don’t care how alert, how appropriate or how steady the patient feels, they are not going to remember anything, including what they do for hours after the procedure!

Nothing like being on the other side of the coin to have something drummed into your head.

I’m just ticked at myself for not taking advantage of the situation and running Hubby to the local Apple Store to buy an iPhone and a 17-inch MacBookPro.

But honey, you said I could!

Whaddaya mean, you don’t remember!


  • Mother Jones RN

    August 8, 2007 at 12:00 pm

    Wait a minute. I remember your husband saying you could buy 2 iPhones and 17-inch MacBookPro computers, one for me and one for you.


  • emmy

    August 8, 2007 at 1:02 pm

    Sorry, I have to differ. I had the screening early due to the breast cancer. I don’t remember the procedure itself, but I do definately remember the prep. Have fun.

  • Julie

    August 8, 2007 at 1:45 pm

    Starbucks in the UK doesn’t as far as I can remember play any music at all, I wonder why? Great sedation story, I must say I remember patients following endoscopy going a bit crazy and then remembering nothing afterwards. What a stress these men are!

  • Annemiek

    August 9, 2007 at 5:03 pm

    Powerful stuff that Versed. I remember a nurse telling me she had that med once, and she woke up from a nap at home and found a knife under her pillow. She had no idea how it got there.

  • Dawn

    August 10, 2007 at 7:50 pm

    Ah yes, the ol’ GoLytly prep – I remember it fondly. Not that I ever drank that stuff, but I handed it out to patients when I worked at a GI practice as an LPN.

    Favorite line – “I’m not going to drink a gallon of that crap”

    “Okay, how about a 1/2 gallon?”


  • Sophie

    August 17, 2007 at 3:18 pm

    Ah, the trusty colonoscopy. Nothing like swallowing bucketfuls of laxative and then getting a camera stuck up your butt while people observe and take notes. Fun for all the family!

  • Ken

    December 8, 2007 at 2:52 am

    Why arn’t we as patients told that the affect of Versed is amnesisa, and the word amnesia used during the preprocedure instructions? I was told that I was going in for a “20 minute nap” and I went into the colonoscopy thinking it was about the same as a trip to the dentist. Later that day I found myself on one of my tractors doing work in a field on my farm. I was so completely confused and disoriented because in my mind I never left the hospital that I started to have severe panic attacks and intense fear anxiety attacks (none of which I ever had before in my life) that I ended up in the hospital ER having a breakdown. It took over a year of therapy to stop the panic attacks which happened almost daily, and another year to get to a point where I will think of ever go into a hospital for anything again. I own a very large livestock and crop farm, and being careful and safe is always on your mind. Never in my many years on this farm have I been in so much danger as I was after those people put me out of the hospital without letting me wake up or recover from those drugs. Even though I tried to find out what happened to me, my call to the Dr. was never returned and I never spoke to him or anyone at that hospital again. Most my answers as to what happened to me came from searching the internet. What I sincerely hope is that you did not write this story to be funny. Versed is a very dangerous drug which is passed out too freely and carelessly. When patients are not fully informed of it’s affects and are not monitered closely the end results have the potential to be devastating

About Me

My name is Kim, and I'm a nurse in the San Francisco Bay area. I've been a nurse for 33 years; I graduated in 1978 with my ADN. My experience is predominately Emergency and Critical Care, and I have also worked in Psychiatry and Pediatrics. I made the decision to be a nurse back in 1966 at the age of nine...

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