Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Des Affaires Médicales

No, not what modern Doctors use. Really.
So there comes a time in a young man's life when certain medical procedures are in order. In fact, the medical community highly recommends them. This is the story of one such procedure.

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


  1. Mrs. C tells me I walk that fine line too often and am teetering on creepy.

    When is a fun post not really a fun post? When is about a colonoscopy...This was about as much fun as possible on the subject...well done!

    1. Thanks Joe! I actually did kind of semi-enjoy the whole thing. The staff and I got along really well.

      I too need to be reminded when the "creepy" meter, ahem, creeps up.

    2. STOP IT! I', 69 and in TOTAL denial! Let me pretend I'm still1 19!

    3. Hey Virgil. Fighter pilots NEVER grow up.

  2. The only cure for that procedure is horrible humor and bad puns.

    Rectum? Naw, it was only a near miss.

    Bottom's up will forever have a whole new meaning for you. Probably never drink again.

    Roto Rooter just called. They'd like their equipment back now thanks.

    Endoscopy or Colonoscopy? For an AF Master Sergeant it's exactly the same thing. They all talk out their asses!!

    Overheard at OldAFSarge's "procedure".
    -Hey Doc, you find Amelia Earhart?
    -Take it easy, Doc. You're boldly going where no man has gone before!
    -Hey! Now I know how a Muppet feels!
    -Hey Doc, let me know if you find my dignity.
    -Could you write a note for my wife saying that my head is not up there.

    Butt seriously folks, the whole thing is a gas!

    Sorry Sarge. I couldn't resist.

    1. Good thing I had the Spray-Guard up over the monitor.

      Wet clean-up, aisle 3!

      All excellent puns Six. Sounds like you've "been there, done that".

  3. so... everything came out ok? (In both senses of the word)

    1. Doc removed a couple polyps for biopsy. No word yet.

      But I think all is well.

    2. I know you got obamacare working for you and lord knows it's good enough for our dc betters, but I hope you won't mind me adding you to the list. Just until you get confirmation.

    3. I appreciate that Juvat. Really, I do.

  4. You were awake? They knocked me out for mine, and we're STILL thanking The Deity At Hand for smal... erm... rather large favors. I haven't been back and it's been ten years or so. But then again, I had prostate biopsy done so that prolly counts. In MY book, anyhoo.

    1. I wasn't completely out but things were, shall we say, a bit surreal?

      Not something I'd wanna do every day, that's for sure.

  5. I have nothing to add, other than I have one of the t-shirts, too, and agree the prep is the worst part.

  6. You should win an award for bestest funniest nastiest post ever! good job! hope everything came out alright!

  7. Nicely done, 'I' however, did NOT get pretty nurses, I got the old grumpy ones, so your medical plan must be better than mine!!! :-)

    1. It might be an Air Force versus Navy thing too, ya know.

      The Air Force always got the good stuff back in my day.

  8. Great post- making a semi-unspeakable and very uncomfortable event less scary and very humorous. Now I'm not afraid of mine at all, but I've still got a handful of years to go so that I'll completely forget about this post! I used to joke about the uncomfortable part of a flight physical that also wasn't required on regular intervals. It was either the long form or short form flight physical, which I jokingly referred to as the long finger or short finger. Unfortunately I had a family history so from 30 on it was long finger every year. Being of Irish descent from San Diego, I'm quite used to having things cut off my outer skin, that I'm fully expecting my inner skin will get the same treatment. Hope it'll all be good news for you.

    1. Oh yes, the flight physical. I do believe Lex wrote about those as well.

      (Hint: get a female doc, they have smaller fingers. DAMHIK.)

  9. Now that I've had my hip fixed can you guess what my wife want's me to have done next? I'll give you a hint, it's not an ego reduction procedure.......wait a minute, maybe it is.

    1. You're a pilot and you jump out of perfectly good airplanes.

      And your wife thinks you have an ego problem? Where does she get such notions?

  10. TMI man. Way TMI. I went in for a look down my throat once in the same facility that serves the other end, so to speak. One of the rear enders was having a good time claiming that this time he didn't drink the foul stuff, he just sat down on an open fire hydrant. There were the obligatory forced laughs. From my point of view it was really funny.
    I hope all's well.

    1. Heh.

      I so get the fire hydrant reference.

  11. I'm thinkin' that it took longer to assemble and write the post than it did to do the procedure, lol...

    1. Heh. I think you're right. It may have taken longer just to find just the right photos to use. Let alone the assembly.

      You're a perceptive guy Virgil!

    2. Yeah, finding the right photos was all part of the "assembly" bit. Where do you even FIND that stuff!!??

    3. PS: "Perceptive?" It should be INTUITIVELY OBVIOUS. That's because I'm so SMART--that's why I'm an ex Chairman of the JCS, President of the United States and the world's richest man, right? :)

    4. @Finding the right photos, have a wild imagination and make extensive use of Google Images. It's all in the wrist. (Actually what you search for, but be careful. There are things which, once seen, cannot be unseen.)

    5. @Perceptive, copy all. Roger that. Hhmm, I can't tell if the sarcasm filter was on or off. /snark

    6. LET ME AMEND THAT: "MASSIVELY smart= same same Wile E. Coyote = SUPER Genius. :)

    7. Virgil, you forgot to mention how modest you are. I know, I know, not usually said about Phantom Phlyers, but there it is.

  12. So how come they don't make the colon blow stuff to be put into beer? Would make BudLight taste better. They are trying to have it be less obnoxious, 'butt' they really need to make it so you can drink 5 beers of the stuff. . . .

    1. Now that's not a bad idea.

      Of course, I can see that going horribly wrong. In at least one, very messy way.

  13. Welcome to the club OldAFSarge. Your telling is even better than the old Dave Barry classic.
    I had mine done at the VA (which locally is really good). When I came up from the depths of the intravenous cocktail, my first words were "Did you find the missing birth certificate?"


    1. Heh, thanks Rurik. That's high praise getting compared to Dave Barry.

  14. So I was reading this yesterday at work when one of the kids that work here walked by as the fire hose photo popped up.. After stuttering about the subject of your story, I said, "Here, let the pictures speak for themselves" what a laugh!


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