A colonoscopy? Who, me?
I’m a fairly modest guy. I don’t jog shirtless in the neighborhood. You won’t catch me popping off about my encyclopedic recall of the lyrics to every Bee Gees song. I don’t drive a pickup with truck nutz. I don’t have a tribal tattoo. I don’t brag about my colon.
But today a little recognition is certainly in order. My colon is a champ. It has successfully processed well over 50,000 meals and other assorted non edible items including tuna casserole, my wife’s eggplant surprise, several crayons, a Skoal pouch, a tire from a Hot Wheels car, a near lethal combination of Taco Bell and Pabst Blue Ribbon, numerous pot luck dinners, and a cricket.
My special appreciation for this organ started at my doctor’s appointment in August.
“So you just turned 50″ said my Doc. I knew where this was going.
Nervous laughter. “Who? Me?” I asked while looking around my shoulder at an empty examining room for someone else he might be talking to.
“Turned 50 in March right? Says you were born in 1963.”
“1963? No. No. That’s a year off. I was born in 1962.”
I smiled knowing that even though every medical record proved otherwise, I bought myself another year.
“So you’re 51?” he asked.
I was never very good at calendar math.
“Then you’re a year late. We need to get a colonoscopy,” he said. He made it sound as though we were going to do it together, like two good friends riding a tandem bicycle. “Go ahead and get that scheduled when you leave today.”
My colon consultant set me up with a Super Bowel prep kit (not to be confused with the Lombardi trophy) and scheduled me for Friday September 13.
I resigned myself to the inevitable. The day before the procedure I was to have only clear liquids, and no solid food.
Around noon my wife called.
“What do you want to do for dinner tonight?”
“I’m on this liquid diet, remember?”
“Oh that’s right. Maybe you can have some of that leftover tomato soup.”
I could vaguely recall that we had tomato soup…last April.
“I don’t think so. That’s probably very spoiled.”
“Well if it’s going to go right through you anyway. I hate to see it go to waste,” she said as though I was about to become her human garbage disposal.
“I don’t think so. Only clear liquids are allowed.”
She got excited. “That’s easy enough! I’ll pick up a couple of bottles of Chardonnay on my way home.”
My prep kit had 2 six ounce doses of liquid magnesium sulfate to aid in the “cleansing process.” It tasted like rotten Robitussin. (Note to scientists: If you want to advance humanity, stop looking for the Higgs boson or trying to clone dinosaurs and work on making this even mildly palatable)
I choked down the first bottle and waited. My TCU Horned Frogs were playing Texas Tech on ESPN so I took up residence in a chair equidistance from the TV and the bathroom.
“Has anyone seen the friggin’ remote?”
“You’re probably sitting on it” came the unhelpful reply from the other room. So I recalled the days of my youth and handled the problem manually…and waited.
For the first thirty minutes, nothing. Then began a series of tremors that sent all of the pets in the neighborhood fleeing for higher ground. A few minutes later I was auditioning for the role of a booster rocket on the next space shuttle.
The TCU game was going so poorly, my trips to the bathroom actually became a welcome diversion.
The next morning I woke my wife at 5:45 a.m.
“Time to get up. I have to be at the clinic at 6:15.”
My wife, sleepily: “Is there anyone in the neighborhood you could carpool with?”
But just a short while later she was dropping me at the front entrance.
“You might ask the doctor to look around for the remote while he’s down there,” she winked.
Shortly after arrival I was greeted by a sweet natured black woman who would be my nurse.
“Good morning. My name is Ms. Traylon. Looks like Dr. Morton is gonna take a peek at your colon this morning.”
A peek? I shouldn’t even have to remove my pants for that. But she instructed me to disrobe and lay back anyway. In no time at all I was under the dreamy influence of propofyl. The next thing I knew my nurse was tearing off the electrodes and taking out my IV.
“How’d I do?”
“You did great! Here are your pictures. That’s a pretty nice lookin’ colon you got there.”
I felt like such a piece of meat.
A juicy hamburger to be exact. I think my colon deserves it.
Photo credit: Flickr/Hey Paul Studios