What happens in an exam room usually stays in said exam room, but I’m over fifty now and apparently I’ve lost most of my inhibitions. So, I’m going to share my colonoscopy adventure with you today. No, I don’t have the video, but I can give you the gist of it.
Being of a certain age, I was finally cajoled, pushed, pressured, and reminded enough that I set up an appointment for a Colonoscopy. Hearing vaguely unhappy reports from others who had gone through this procedure, I put it off like a five-year-old on a playground digging her heels in the sand when her mother takes her hand and says it’s time to go home. There was no actual kicking and screaming, but inside my head there was definitely an argument going on between Me, Myself, and I about whether I’d keep the appointment.
The day before the procedure I was required to be on a clear liquid fast. That means no colorful, caffeinated, or alcoholic drinks may pass your lips. So not only was I in starvation mode, but I wasn’t even allowed the Nector Of The Sane… coffee. A headache set up residence behind my eyes in a vain attempt to prove to me how very bad caffeine was for me and what a pitiful addict I had become. It didn’t work. It just made me want it all the more.
In the afternoon, I began drinking 64 ounces of Gatorade laced with a bottle of laxative powder that looked a whole lot like Sweet’n Low. Well, it did make things move very low.
Can I just say that when your bowels are clean as a whistle (whatever that means) – but they are still on high alert because of all the various laxatives you’ve consumed – the slow release of gases through the intestines make an eerie high-pitched sound like an all string band called Whippoorwill. I can only imagine that this very sound is where the country of Wales got its name.
The whole process brought to mind an old 1980’s movie starring Dennis Quad. A drunken and disgraced astronaut volunteers to have himself miniaturized and injected into the bloodstream of a caged rabbit but ends up in the body of jerky, manic, nervous Martin Short. It would’ve been a whole different scenario if he were put into my colon after drinking that awful stuff. Instead of calling the movie, InnerSpace, they would’ve called it S**t Storm of Massive Proportions. A combination between The Perfect Storm but with a Dante’s Peak ending.
You might think I’m telling you that having a colonoscopy is the worst experience ever. But you’d be wrong. The worst experience ever would be to find out you had colon cancer because you were never checked in time.
The nurse in charge of me said she’d had three colonoscopies in the past fifteen years. Most people don’t need that many, but she was extra vigilant after the doctor found polyps each time and got rid of them before they could become a problem. Her brother wasn’t so lucky. He refused to be checked and died last fall from colon cancer.
I can’t say it was a pleasant experience, but after the fact I will say that I feel very relieved I don’t have to worry about it again for ten more years.
As I sit here drinking a mug of lovely dark coffee and nibbling on a Dove’s chocolate, I am thankful for life, health, and caffeine.
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