I had to get a colonoscopy yesterday *. When I was ready to be wheeled in for the procedure, a sweet Asian nurse walked next to my bed. She said that her name was Judy and she was my surgical nurse. She assured me that she would be by my side for the entire procedure. Her manner was friendly and sweet.
Next walked in Dr. Tall, Dark and Handsome. He said that his name was Dr. X and was the anesthesiologist. He was friendly and joke-y. He said that he was like my Bartender for the day and would make sure that I felt nothing. All was as great as it could be given the situation.
Judy started to wheel my gurney down the hall and Dr. X said "Watch out for Judy, not only is she a woman driver but Chinese. You know how bad Asian drivers are? Ha Ha". Judy chuckled with what I supposed was a nervous laugh. I did not know what to say. He continued "Judy grew up driving a bike through the rice patties, so hold on, it may be a scary ride!"
WTH??? I was so offended. This was a textbook EEOC complaint. I used to defend these cases when I worked for a law firm. (I really used to settle these cases as the offenders were very unsympathetic defendants/jerks)
In general, I would have nicely mentioned to Dr. X that he was a bigot but, he was going to inject drugs into my system momentarily. What was I to do?
Here were my options:
a) Bitch him out and explain how offensive his comments were and risk him giving me too much anesthesia or worse, not enough? I have teenagers to raise. Being in a coma would not be good right now.
b) Hand Judy my card and explain that I will represent her pro bono?
c) Complain on the comment card later about the nice dose of racism that I witnessed along with the propofol?
I'm sorry to report that I did nothing. I was too scared to bitch him out before my life was in his hands. I awoke well rested and grateful that I was alive and sort of forgot about the incident until the car ride home plus I did not see Judy or Dr. X after the procedure.
Furthermore, the smart surgical center asks patients to fill out the comment cards while they are still high on drugs. I'm certain that they get 100% ratings from patients still loopy from anesthesia.
Nurse Judy, I really hope that you get back at Dr. X in one way or another.
What would you have done?
*Even though I am waaaay younger than 50, I get colonoscopies every five years due to the fact that two close relatives did not get diagnosed with Colon Cancer until after it had spread to their livers. It is estimated that 1 in 20 Americans will get Colon Cancer in their lifetime.
The only good thing about colon cancer is that it is the one cancer that they can lop off while it is still in the pre-cancer stage. Screenings save lives.
People are scared of colonoscopies because they involve poop and your butt. If your doctor has recommended that you have one, don't put it off. I promise you that the very worst part is having to drink 64 ounces of laxative-laced gatorade. Flushing your system out is no picnic but I'd trade one lousy afternoon for chemo any day.
The procedure itself is simple, even with a racist anesthesiologist. You're knocked out and have no idea what they are doing to you. My gorgeous colon was perfect and I don't need to go back for another five years. I promise that if Dr X is still there then, I will make sure that I yell at him.
BONUS: I lost two pounds from the whole ordeal!