Tuesday, March 03, 2009

I believe I posted about a colonoscopy that Dave Berry had written.

But this one is a little different. It's called a colonoscopy journal:
BY THE WAY, THIS WASN'T ME HAVING THIS DONE. I WAS E-MAILED THIS FROM A FRIEND. IT HAPPENED TO SOME MAN, APPARENTLY, SINCE HE SAID HIS WIFE DROVE HIM. I've had it done, about four or five times now. The only bad part is getting prepared for the procedure, drinking all of that crap they want you to drink to make sure you're as clean as a whistle. OK, just how clean is a whistle??

I called my friend Andy Sable, a gastroenterologist, to make an appointment for a colonoscopy.

A few days later, in his office, Andy showed me a color diagram of the colon, a lengthy organ that appears to go all over the place, at one point passing briefly through Minneapolis .

Then Andy explained the colonoscopy procedure to me in a thorough, reassuring and patient manner.

I nodded thoughtfully, but I didn't really hear anything he said, because my brain was shrieking, quote, 'HE'S GOING TO STICK A TUBE 17,000 FEET UP YOUR BEHIND!'

I left Andy' s office with some written instructions, and a prescription for a product called 'MoviPrep,' which comes in a box large enough to hold a microwave oven.

I will discuss MoviPrep in detail later; for now suffice it to say that we must never allow it to fall into the hands of America 's enemies.

I spent the next several days productively sitting around being nervous.

Then, on the day before my colonoscopy, I began my preparation in accordance with my instructions, I didn't eat any solid food that day; all I had was chicken broth, which is basically water, only with less flavor.

Then, in the evening, I took the MoviPrep. You mix two packets of powder together in a one-liter plastic jug, then you fill it with lukewarm water. (For those unfamiliar with the metric system, a liter is about 32 gallons). Then you have to drink the whole jug. This takes about an hour, because MoviPrep tastes - and here I am being kind - like a mixture of goat spit and urinal cleanser, with just a hint of lemon.

The instructions for MoviPrep, clearly written by somebody with a great sense of humor, state that after you drink it, 'a loose, watery bowel movement may result.'

This is kind of like saying that after you jump off your roof, you may experience contact with the ground.

MoviPrep is a nuclear laxative. I don't want to be too graphic, here, but: have you ever seen a space-shuttle launch? This is pretty much the MoviPrep experience, with you as the shuttle. There are times when you wish the commode had a seat belt. You spend several hours pretty much confined to the bathroom, spurting violently. You eliminate everything. And then, when you figure you must be totally empty, you have to drink another liter of MoviPrep, at which point, as far as I can tell, your bowels travel into the future and start eliminating food that you have not even eaten yet.

After an action-packed evening, I finally got to sleep.

The next morning my wife drove me to the clinic. I was very nervous. Not only was I worried about the procedure, but I had been experiencing occasional return bouts of MoviPrep spurtage. I was thinking, 'What if I spurt on Andy?' How do you apologize to a friend for something like that? Flowers would not be enough.

At the clinic I had to sign many forms acknowledging that I understood and totally agreed with whatever the heck the forms said. Then they led me to a room full of other colonoscopy people, where I went inside a little curtained space and took off my clothes and put on one of those hospital garments designed by sadist perverts, the kind that, when you put it on, makes you feel even more naked than when you are actually naked.

Then a nurse named Eddie put a little needle in a vein in my left hand. Ordinarily I would have fainted, but Eddie was very good, and I was already lying down. Eddie also told me that some people put vodka in their MoviPrep.

At first I was ticked off that I hadn't thought of this is, but then I pondered what would happen if you got yourself too tipsy to make it to the bathroom, so you were staggering around in full Fire Hose Mode. You would have no choice but to burn your house.

When everything was ready, Eddie wheeled me into the procedure room, where Andy was waiting with a nurse and an anesthesiologist. I did not see the 17,000-foot tube, but I knew Andy had it hidden around there somewhere. I was seriously nervous at this point.

Andy had me roll over on my left side, and the anesthesiologist began hooking something up to the needle in my hand.

There was music playing in the room, and I realized that the song was 'Dancing Queen' by ABBA. I remarked to Andy that, of all the songs that could be playing during this particular procedure, 'Dancing Queen' had to be the least appropriate.

'You want me to turn it up?' said Andy, from somewhere behind me.

'Ha ha,' I said. And then it was time, the moment I had been dreading for more than a decade. If you are squeamish, prepare yourself, because I am going to tell you, in explicit detail, exactly what it was like.

I have no idea. Really. I slept through it. One moment, ABBA was yelling 'Dancing Queen, feel the beat of the tambourine,' and the next moment, I was back in the other room, waking up in a very mellow mood.

Andy was looking down at me and asking me how I felt. I felt excellent. I felt even more excellent when Andy told me that It was all over, and that my colon had passed with flying colors. I have never been prouder of an internal organ.


Anonymous said...

I did this thanks to your prodding and it didn't hurt at all. I was amazed.

Granny on the Web said...

Oh you brave, brave soul.
But so glad the news was so good. Another procedure done, how many more?

In admiration...
Love Granny

Denise said...

Patty, those of us who have had these things can certainly relate and that is the funniest spin on this procedure that I have ever read. I am still chuckling. Thank you for starting my day off with a good laugh.

Gramma Ann said...

Tony has had two of these, but I have never had one. I do the dip-stick test!

Pat - An Arkansas Stamper said...

Yep! That's just about the way it is!:)

jinksy said...

Been there, done that, but my yuk-drink was reasonably pleasant, and in manageable quantities! x

nituscorner said...

Happy to hear the good news. wishing both of you good health always.

Annake said...

Hahahaha, after two bouts of colon cancer, my father has had his share of colonoscopies and the preparation that goes with them. This one was right on the nose! They want to make sure you're clean as a whistle inside. ;-)

Tomate Farcie said...

That is absolutely hilarious!!!

Winifred said...

Oh my not sure whether congratulations or commiserations are in order. Both I think.

Hope I never need one, it sounds horrific. Even worse than the enema when you're pregnant. Yuk!!!!

Femin Susan said...

you are very kind to lend these information............
yep!!!that's the way is....

Margaret Cloud said...

This is an excellent post, I was captivated by his description, it was very funny made me smile.

Renie Burghardt said...

I agree with Winifred, it sounds too horrible to contemplate. But reading about it did bring some chuckles. I'll have to ask Ann what the dip stick test is. Sounds a bit more tolerable. LOL.

Patty, I do not live in Arkansas, although I'm just a half-a-mile from the border of it. Im in southern MO. We do have black bear, and I have seen one, way up in the woods. He ran when he saw me and the dogs. But ever since then, I don't wander as far into the woods as I used to. I have never seen one close to the house or yard. They are here, but they are not abundant, and they generally stay away from people.

Have a good night.


Reader Wil said...

You wrote this post with so much humour! I had to laugh when the Dancing Queen" came in the picture. Well the whole process of colonoscopy is a nasty experience. My husband had to have it and at last he didn't leave the toilet.It took all day.Congrats with your passing the test.

Nancy said...

That was well written and to the point! Loved it!!! I'll be thinking about this one all day now! LOL

((( HUGS )))

Nancy said...

I just read what Winifred wrote...and I disagree...I say that enema when you are in labor is worse!!! ha-ha Oh, aren't you glad we don't have to worry about those enemas and labor anymore? ha-ha