Sunday, June 7, 2009


WARNING - WARNING - NO ILLUSTRATIONS PROVIDED - If you only like picture books, do not bother reading any further.

"A colonoscopy is used to view the inside of your lower digestive tract (colon and rectum). "

Translation - a CAMERA gets stuck up your BUTT and take PHOTOS which get posted on YouTube, FoxNews and the back of every milk carton in the state of Tennessee.

Okay, maybe not the milk cartons.

But they COULD.

It's suggested that once you hit 50, you should have a colonoscopy done - just to check if cancer is lurking somewhere in your digestive track.

And I have a friend whose father died kinda early from colon cancer, so she has undergone one of these every year since her early forties.

Okay, let's get it over and done with.

My own physician readily agrees, and refers me to the local gastroenterology office (number 1., I can't believe that is a a real word and number 2., yes, I did spell it correctly).

After the first appointment, I should have been smart and simply canceled the whole thing.

Some doctors have a wonderful, welcoming attitude that makes you want to pour out your innermost digestive secrets immediately.

And there are some who don't.

The doctor came into the exam room with an entourage of fluttering nurses surrounding him, wearing a smug face of pure arrogance - was my ass going to be good enough for him to stick his camera up?

While his Porche or Hummer is being paid for by MY health insurances.

Perhaps I had assumed that someone who deals daily with anals, rectums and fecal matter would automatically have some humility.

The procedure was scheduled, and I procured the required medication to begin at 4 p.m. the day preceding the exam.

From here on is where you do not want any illustrations.

Slightly larger than a gallon container of milk, and empty except for an ominous layer of white powder on the bottom, the pharmacist kindly offered to put it in a bag for me.

When I inquired as to why, she blushed and stammered out "well... so people don't know what you are having done!"

After a full day of only fluids, I was able to choose from four different flavorings (I still can't believe they did not have chocolate), filled the container with water, vigorously shook it until all the powder was dissolved and then...

(** shudder **)

... drank a 8 oz. glass of the somewhat thick and mildly repulsive tasting mixture EVERY FIFTEEN MINUTES until the ENTIRE amount was gone.

I didn't throw any of it up... but man, did I want to.

Now the actual procedure was a breeze - I slept through it all. In fact, I was asleep before the anesthesiologist has administered more than a couple of ccs of whatever the white stuff was he put into my I.V.

I didn't even see the arrogant doctor - at ALL.

However, I am counting on all of you to inform me when the photos are posted in any sort of public forum.


Annette said...

I've had one done almost 2 years ago...only 8 more years and I have to do it again. We have a new doc in town who offers pills to swallow for prepping for it. The pills cost $20 but that's a bargain compared to drinking that ghastly crappola. So hopefully in 8 years this procedure will be as easy as a bone scan.

Jen said...

No fun! I have a nasty history of colon cancer in my family- my dad grows polyps like crazy (way more than you ever needed to know about my dad, huh?) He always gets to keep the pictures and then shows them to everyone.
I've heard of the pills- do that next time! That drink is evil.