|No, not what modern Doctors use. Really.|
So, how do I put this delicately, hhmm. I know, let's use a medical term! Today, gentle readers, Yours Truly had a colonoscopy. And it was no way as nasty as I had envisioned it. Sure, there were a couple of moments where I would rather have been in Philadelphia, but all in all. Not bad. Not bad at all.
Now for those of you who aren't familiar with this, it involves a camera, a long cable, a TV monitor and your butt. Guess where the camera and the long cable go? Yup, that's right. And while this is going on, the medical staff watches on the TV monitor. As they delve into your colon.
What's a colon you ask. Well, it's not this ":". Nor is it this ";". That there is only a semi-colon, i.e., not a "real" colon. Of course, the thing before that is not a "real" colon either. It's simply a punctuation mark. Besides which, how would they get a camera and a long cable inside that anyway.
No, the colon is inside of you. What medical types refer to as the yucky stuff inside the human body which is essential to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Well, yes. But no. The colon is essential to one's health as it is used to process stuff and then, well let's be blunt, pass it to the outside world. Yes, boys and girls, at the end of your colon is one of these:
Okay, not exactly that, but you get my drift.
(If you have to know, here's what a colon looks like, all cleaned up, sort of.)
(Just trying to educate you folks. Move along, nothing to see here...)
Here's what the inside of your colon looks like after 60 years on the planet:
Kinda dingy looking, isn't it? Now here's what a healthy colon looks like:
Nice and shiny, well-lit and the travel lanes are clearly marked. Very healthy looking isn't it?
(Okay, those aren't really pictures of the inside of your colon. Those are kinda gross looking, so I went with the Ted Williams Tunnel photos. Back in the day and now. Hey, I got to see the inside of my colon this morning, eeeewwww!)
So Sarge, what do you have to do before a colonoscopy?
I'm glad you asked.
Well, first of all, you need to clean things out in there. So there's this stuff you have to drink. Here it is being prepared and then the final product which you have to have 8 ounces of every 15 minutes until it's gone.
|Bowel Purging Drink Prep|
|Ready to Consume|
It actually doesn't taste that bad. But have you ever had to consume 64 ounces of anything over a 2-hour period? No, no, not beer. That's different. With beer you get inebriated and consuming mass quantities of beer (or other alcohol-based beverage) doesn't seem so ridiculous. After all, one's judgement gets more and more impaired. Just sayin'...
So after I sucked down 64 ounces of this stuff, (oh, forgot to mention, you take 4 laxative pills BEFORE you drink the laxative drink, yes, it's a laxative drink) I was left feeling a bit bloated...
Now I was starting to wonder when this stuff was going to take effect. After all, it felt like I was sloshing when I walked. Then things began to happen. If you're squeamish you might want to skip down a ways before continuing to read. There was this -
|And this was coming out of "you know where"...|
After a few hours (yes, I said hours, this event takes a LONG time to resolve itself) it starts to feel like this:
|Again, this is down below, I don't think it's really designed for this kind of intense, prolonged activity...|
Have I mentioned that it is nearly pointless to attempt to sleep while one is awaiting this event to take its course. Because for every 15 minute interval of drinking down an 8 ounce glass of "the beverage" there are at least three, yes three, intervals of, let's just say, "visiting the little boys' room".
But eventually it's over. Your bowels are settled and cleaned out (at least you hope they are, otherwise the Doctor gets a nasty surprise!) and it's time to head to the hospital.
There I was met by the medical staff -
Who then took me into the "prep" room -
And yes, I looked and felt a "bit green" this morning. But the nurses were all kind and attentive. It didn't hurt that they were all quite lovely as well. (Hard to flirt though when everyone knows what you're there for. Ah, I'm happily married anyway!)
Funny anecdote in which I made the younger, really pretty nurse blush. Seems that while she was prepping me for an IV, the older (still pretty) nurse (I'll call her OSPN) was regaling me with the story of how the married nurses were trying to set up the young, single nurse (we'll call her the YSN, though her name is Kristen) with damn near any reasonably good-looking medical-type guy who came to the hospital.
Well, YSN was a little flustered and kinda missed the vein on my right hand. At this point it felt like I had just been bayoneted in said hand and OSPN was asking me the standard medical pre-op questions, such as "Any allergies, any pain..." When she said "any pain", I, of course, said "Yes, it just came on all of a sudden but I have this sharp burning pain in my right hand at the moment,"
At that YSN blushed, OSPN kind of laughed. Then YSN said "I'm sorry if I hurt you."
So I said, "Ah Kristen, I can't tell you just how many beautiful women have said that to me."
With that OSPN really laughed and I did get a huge (very nice) smile from YSN.
I am such a flirt. (It's deemed cute in us old farts, you younger fellows advance with caution. And for my fellow old farts bear in mind, there's a fine line between cute and "creepy".)
So the decks are cleared for action, I'm all wired up and away we go to the procedure room. Where this chap is waiting with the camera -
And there's all this other equipment in evidence -
Everything is a "GO" for the procedure to begin. The nurse said something about giving me "the good stuff" now to make me loopy. I said "I'm always loopy, will this feel different?" And again, chuckles all around. I am wowing the crowd at the hospital. I should have taped it. Then my Doc walks in, wearing one of these -
So I say, "Heh. Nice hat Doc!" Whereby he promptly gives me this look, then whips said cap off his head and into the nearest trash bin. I think "Oh great, this guy is going to shove a camera up my bum and I've just angered him."
But the Doc just looks at me and smiles, the hat was from an earlier procedure and he'd just forgotten to take it off.
(Hint: when medical people are going to be roaming around your insides, take care to be very nice to them!)
Odd thing though, I never lost consciousness nor was I unaware of my surroundings, so I thought. When I made the remark, "That was pretty quick", the nurse gave me rather a funny look. Seems it was a bit longer than I thought. So I guess I did visit la-la land for a while. But I did get to watch (and feel) some of the proceedings. Wasn't bad, interesting as an intellectual exercise. Probably would have been more interesting if it was someone else's butt being probed. But I digress.
|My colon being examined by the professionals...|
(Hey, isn't that Raquel Welch? Nah, couldn't be...)
Best thing about a colonoscopy? After it's over, everyone is telling you that you can't go home until you "pass gas". You know, FART. Hahahahaha. To this mental 12-year old it was pretty funny. And one of the cute nurses told me, "No one minds. Everyone does it, you have to. It's healthy!" (Because apparently they pump your colon full of air during the procedure, and make balloon animals. No, they don't. The former is true, the latter is false. But the farting, that's true.)
And after you fart (and I mean really loud, and no one stares at you) you get rewarded with muffins and juice. What a concept! I asked one nurse if we could go crop dusting. You know she would push me around on the stretcher while I farted. While she found the concept amusing, she demurred. "Maybe next time" she said with a smile.
So in two years I get to do it again. (When they said two years, I asked "So is that the OFCF?" They said, "huh?" I explained "OFCF" - Old Fart Colonoscopy Frequency. Again, they all laughed. I tell ya, I was killing today. The humor was non-stop. One of the nurses said they'd sell tickets next time.
I can hardly wait.
In all seriousness, if you're 50 or older or your family has a history of colon cancer, get a colonoscopy. TODAY! If not sooner. And if you're in Rhode Island, there's no better place to do it than The Miriam Hospital. Wonderful staff, great facility. Not many guys can say they enjoyed their colonoscopy. I did. (But then again, I am a little weird!)
|Miriam Hospital, Providence, RI|