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Colonoscopy Anyone?

As you read this you may question the appropriateness of the following subject matter in a food blog.  While this blog is for food it is also a place for me to wile away some time composing public service announcements and given my week I feel the following is apropos.  When a person ingests good food at some point it must be dealt with and the colon and related innards are there to deal with it. After years of eating, some of the necessary parts in the digestive tract can get tired and get sick, taking the owner down with them. That can be avoided for many people by participating in an activity that while not dining table fodder for conversation, can be a life saver and since it is a matter related to food I offer it to your soon to be violated sensibilities.  Please read on if you dare...

In the past 15 years I have had the good fortune to have cautious and thorough doctors that have seen fit to ensure my nether region is explored well, thus allaying any fears of cancer, ulcers or developing vanity.  I have been the recipient of a flexible sigmoidoscopy, a barium enema and lastly a colonoscopy – all procedures that while potentially lifesaving do give rise to my irrational lookatmybuttaphobia.  When I reflect on the procedures I have come to the conclusion that while I am humbled by the process and procedures it is not I that is having to stare down at my posterior, an altogether unappealing activity one can be sure, no it is doctors, technicians and nurses, so with that in mind, I question who is really getting the shitty end of the stick so to speak.

I am not keen on displaying the parts of my being that are best kept under wraps, but in matters of undergoing potentially lifesaving procedures I have been coerced into donning a backless cotton hospital gown (not the normally strapless type gown I normally prefer) and assuming the position for strangers and a couple of nodding acquaintances as it turns out.

Now I can’t sugar-coat the unpleasantness of the “prep”, because to do so would be lying, plain and simple.  In all the aforementioned procedures the “prep” has been more or less the same with subtle variations. Fasting. Drink gut wrenching liquid. Then shit like a dysenteric bovine for hours.  HOURS!!! Basically, drink, sit, drink, sit, drink cry and sit.  Repeat.  Repeat. Repeat.  When I say “sit” I mean “sit” as both the upright casual activity and the hunker-down, sweat-beads-forming, jaw-clenching activity, because both of the descriptions come into play and of course both versions are completed atop Mr. Crappers finest invention.

The first two times I “prepped” I was given a couple of bottles each time by the pharmacist and told to drink them at 6 pm the day before the procedures.  The bottles were a quart a piece and contained thick liquid and tasted terrible, quite unlike anything I have ever had in my mouth previously and I have had some terrible stuff in there I can tell you.  However I was able to consume both bottles with little difficulty, albeit minor unpleasantness and not overbearing as I recall.  For the third and most recent ,“prep” the instructions told me to go to the pharmacist and pick up a bottle of “Golytely” that’s pronounced GO LIGHTLY!!! In addition to the Golytley it also instructed me to purchase a bottle of Fleet enema (a hitherto never before purchased item). 

I must describe the bottle of Golytely but before I do I must say that the product name is a misnomer, a ruse, an unkind and misleading lie of the highest order.  One does not “go lightly” after one consumes it. Nay!!! One ends up acting like an over-pressured fire hose trying to extinguish the flames of Hell below. Golytely my ass. There should be a warning on the label telling anyone interested or needing to purchase it, that: “Seat Belts Must Be Utilized on the Commode When Using This Product!”

So back to the purchase.  I walked up to the pharmacist counter at my local Sobeys grocery store and presented the nice young man with the sheet of paper that listed the items I was seeking.  He took the paper and looked down at it.  He looked back up to face me and had a grim look on his face.  He handed me my paper back, spun on his heels and walked to the rear of the private area containing the rows of shelving, bent over and retrieved a white jug.  Not a bottle. A Jug!  A big, clear plastic jug. A big fucking plastic jug. As he was walking back to me I looked at the jug and suggested to myself that he is bringing back the bulk version and will pour it into smaller bottles, because don’t pharmacists do that? Nope. Was I WRONG!!!

Averting his eyes and with a sullen and sombre look pasted on his face, he placed the jug on the counter in front of me then walked past me to the public aisles, then returned with a small box which upon inspection contained the Fleet product. Once back behind the counter, still not looking me in the eyes, he asked me if I have any experience with either of the products and I answered with a meek and squeaky “Nope”. After being told I was a Fleet and Golytely virgin he advised that the instructions are on pamphlets in the box of Fleet and on the label of the Golytley, pointing out both locations on the packages for me. 

Golytley from the big, large, humongous and fear instilling jug into smaller and more civilized bottles. Oh how wrong can one man be?  I looked closer at the jug and realized that it was empty, save for some white powder at the bottom of the jug and it was at that moment that I had the “Oh my God” moment; I realized that the whole jug IS for me, it is not some sort of excess packaging travesty and the only thought that passed through my then short circuiting brain was, “Holy fuck a duck, this won’t end well!”

Once I paid for the hygienically sealed packages of hell in bottles and tried to exchange pleasant and witty banter, which was neither witty nor pleasant when talking about what manner of unpleasantness was to befall me, I left the store and headed for home. I also picked up some jugs of beef and chicken broth and apple juice because that is part of the process too.

As I was driving home with my purchases I was a little dizzy, I think from a severe blood pressure drop due to all the blood in my brain rushing to my sphincter in a futile attempt to ward off all impending intruders that my spinning brain was conjuring up.  Little did the fearless red and white blood cells know that 24 hours hence the attack on that piece of my anatomy was to take place from the inside. I pulled into my driveway, plugged my truck in so it would stay warm in the Siberia-like cold we enjoy here and carried my bag of “my next 24 hours activities” into the house.

Placing the jug on the dining table along with the other items I opened the label on the Golytely and read the instructions.  I Gulped. I Cried and then I fainted.  When I came-to I was under the table in the fetal position holding onto the shopping bag.  Gathering some strength to stand, and then seating my ass again in the chair, I read the label again.  I cried again but I did not faint. My hands shook uncontrollably which then caused me to worry I was suffering from Parkinson’s as well as colon cancer, jiggers, or early onset Alzheimer’s.  My brain was in overload and I was sure to die that day and Golytely was at fault I had convinced myself. Such was the power of the big jug over my easily ignited imagination.

After I read the labels on both products I realized I was hungry because I was fasting and I decided to have lunch - a wonderful cup of broth.  Followed by a wonderful glass of apple juice.  I did the apple juice and broth all day to fend off the hunger pangs until 6:00 pm.  The hour of infamy was upon me.

Having added 4 litres of water to the jug earlier and placed it in the fridge because the label told me that chilling it would make it more “palatable”, I poured a cup of the chilled beverage and then began to drink.  Okay, drink is a misnomer; it was more of a reverse-gag-swallow.  The chilled beverage was not palatable, oh no, it was far from palatable, it was a gag inducing, swallower reversing, baking soda flavoured, chilled cup of yuck.

I started to cry as I “drank” which only made things worse for me.  Now as I sobbed and tried to swallow, I gagged repeatedly and cried repeatedly as well. Finally after the first cup was down I had only 15 more to go. One every ten minutes. I was ecstatic at the thought.  No, not ecstatic, hysteric, but both emotions have similar physical manifestations so I guess I could use them interchangeably.

Passing the 50 minute mark and not much else I began to wonder at whether or not the mixture was going to work.  Had there been an error in what the pharmacist sold me and I was going through this agonizing gag inducing process for nothing? At about the time I was beginning to question the efficacy of Golytely there was a “gurgle” from my midsection, a slight tremor even, then a rise in internal pressure that alerted me to the immediate need to walk quickly to the nearest facility of relief. I raced to the washroom and began the second step in the “prep” process.

Propriety demands that I do not go into graphic detail about what happened next and since I do not want to disgust the reader I will refrain from recounting the ordeal in graphic detail, I will however try to describe the ordeal euphemistically, metaphorically or as gently as I can. I sat atop the chair of porcelain and unleashed a torrent, the force of which scared me senseless and sweat immediately formed on my forehead and torso in beads that soon became rivulets running south and making me feel even more uncomfortable.

Prior to that fateful washroom visit I had never known my body to expel any matter with such force. Not in Mexico when Montezuma came to visit.  Not in Japan when urchins and sea cucumbers were my nemesis. Not in southern Europe after surviving a week long binge of red wine, Johnny Walker and pasta vongole.  Nope, never.  Never before had I been subjected to such a physical display of my body’s powerful ejection system.  I was so startled at the onset of the event I gasped in shock.  Then I gasped in fear.  Then I gasped knowing I was about to expel some important, essential and vital internal organs resulting in a humiliating death. I knew for certain that the emergency responders would find me crumpled on the floor, dead with a hideous section of what were previously internally held organs flowing from my backside.  Yes, I knew the gig was up. Gasping for air I went forward towards the light as I sat there.  Cried too, or rather still.

I gripped the counter beside me tightly as my toes dug into the ceramic tile that covers the floor on the ensuite bathroom and I began to pray.  Out loud and with conviction I prayed.  I prayed that the force would not flood the room and drown me in the process.  The force continued unabated for another minute or so and as I sat there holding on to the floor and counter top trying to prevent me from being launched like a Russian missile and ending up sprawled out on the front  snow covered lawn still holding the counter top and gripping now dislodged floor tiles in my toes. As the force lessened and my thought process regained what little cognitive ability it has left, I realized that due to the “force” I was going to have to go to the garage for a bucket, mop and a garden hose, oh and Mr. Clean was invited to attend as well.

Round one having been completed including the required cleanup bee I then heard the timer on the stove chime notice that it was time to drink another cup of yuck.  As I walked back to the kitchen I was doing so in a cheek clenching, old man shuffle sort of way hoping, no, praying, the “force” would not overtake the small but valiant muscle below that was trying to contain it.  So far so good.

I poured a cup of yuck and shuffled back to the couch and waited, then the stove chimed the alarm and it was off to the kitchen for another cup of yuck – 8 down and 12 to go. As the liquid misery travelled through my body I watched TV or rather tried to watch TV, but I found it very hard to concentrate on anything other than not soiling the furniture so the TV was merely a background sound offering movement and flickers of light for mood. Not being able to watch TV I then thought I need to put some tunes on the iBox to soothe me as I waited for another rush of the “force” to overwhelm me but I was unable to climb the stairs to get to my tunes, finally the “force’ demanded I get thyne ass to a facility - post haste.

Again sitting there for what was to become the only activity I would be engaged in for the balance of the evening, I had recurring moments of lucidity and it was during those moments I questioned my sanity and the motivation of the doctors and pharmacists of the world that would demand anyone take part in such an activity and was mentally damning them to Hell for their membership in what can only be a rabid Devil inspired colon emptying fraternal organization - like the Barry Manilow Fan Club. Crying and forcibly ejecting liquids were the only activities I was able to undertake for those 4 hours and I did so with vigour.

Finally I reached the bottom of that jug of damnation and the last glass of the “force” was consumed, and for another two hours I went through all manner of emotional upheaval from despair, agony, joy, exuberance and hysteria. The “force” had disappeared, returning no doubt to the evil place from which it came and I was spent, both physically and emotionally, not to mention feeling as empty as my bank balance. The internal cleanup was finished, the bathroom returned to a Pine Sol clean and as I headed for bed the only recurring thought I had was, “Don’t fart in your sleep Bart, don’t even think about it!” Finally sleep overcame fear and I lay, still as a dead man, until the alarm woke me to embark on the next part of the process.

Golytely!  Like fuck it was. What a cruel and callously deceptive name that is!!!  If ever there was a case to be made for investigating deceptive trade practices by a government agency it is the naming of Golytely. But then naming it “Porcelain Breaking Dysentery Inducing Liquid” may be too long for the label.  Why stop there with that medicine? Why not manufacture erectile dysfunction medicine that makes items whither and shrink.  Evil bastards...

The above “prep” and purging activity was undertaken three times in years past and while the evil flushing liquids were slightly different in size and consistency each time, the net effect was the same in all instances, where the substantive differences occurred were in the “business end” of the individual procedures. With that in mind please follow along as I wantonly travel through the fun filled journeys of my colon and related parts.

As I mentioned in the beginning I have underwent 3 similar but still different procedures, a trifecta of colon ordeals as it were. The first time was the flexible sigmoidoscopy which was a result of me mentioning some changes in my physical being to my doctor during some annual physical.  He listened to me relating the changes in my being, and then told me he would like to have me undergo an “examination” to rule out any potentially serious items.  I responded that I agree it would be a good idea to make sure I wasn’t suffering any potentially light dimming disease. and so his office made the appointment for me.

I received a call from the doctors office informing me of a: the appointment at the hospital imaging lab and b: the need to purchase some stuff, the name I can’t remember, to “prep” with. Armed with the instructions I went to the drug store to purchase the stuff and went home for the “prep” (for results of that see above “prep” timeline).  The next day fully “prepped” I drove to the hospital and presented myself for the examination. Knowing that given the “prep” required it may not be an altogether pleasant experience I was facing, and I was not disappointed.

Once the receptionist took my name she introduced me to lovely Nurse Ratched and from there it was all downhill. Nurse Ratched looked at my chart then looking at me she asked how my day was going, I responded, “it’s going pretty good all things considered” at which point her reply that, “the best part of your day has already happened, it gets worse from here” nearly put me into a fear induced apoplectic stroke. I laughed off her pithy retort knowing nothing could be THAT bad. Wrong again asshole...

She ushered me to a cubicle and handed me a gown to wear telling me to take everything off and put this on.  Once formally attired in the de rigueur sigmoidoscopy tuxedo I ventured out of the cubicle and she directed me to a room whereby I was met by another version of Nurse Ratched and two henchmen, doctors actually, Drs. Mengele and Strangelove. They asked me to lie on the paper wrapped table and then began the obligatory pre-invasive procedure in-flight announcement, detailing what was about to be done to my person and then asking if I had any questions. I was unable to ask any questions due to my uncontrollable sobbing.

This procedure is carried out using a flexible tube that is both a camera and an alien anal probe, it has triggers and finger grips that allow the operator to manoeuvre the device to places no one has gone before. To aid in the discovery process the flexible hose had the ability to inject air into the recipient to allow better photography and to aid the probe in its journey.  It was also at this time that they asked me to roll on my side and assume the position (coincidentally it was the fetal position and so I had experience in assuming it given my propensity for drinking excessive amount of rum from time to time).  They also administered an injection into my hip that all of a sudden made the monsters and boogeymen go away and replaced with bunnies and puppy dogs. I was stoned in seconds.  Great stuff.  Highly recommended.

As I lay on my side I noticed above me and in my line of sight was a TV screen and the good doctor told me that I would be able to watch the procedure live in living colour.  Goody I thought, I can get a copy for my video collection and show all my deserving friends, you know, the ones that force you to watch the hours of video they have taken of their love child sleeping and drooling as they make unintelligible baby-like cooing sounds in the background.  Those ones.  This might not be too bad after all was my thought process.

The procedure began with me watching a very high definition camera approach me and televise the approach and invasion in real time as I lay there in the fetal position awestruck and compelled to watch the TV. I don’t have to tell you that the initial view was to say the least, disturbing and rather off-putting, then once the camera breezed past the guardian of the inner sanctum it displayed some unique images to all in attendance. I was enthralled at this point.  Giddy and drooling but enthralled.

Doctor Mengele told me that he is going to inject me with some air and thus it was so.  On screen I watched the confining walls of my innards expand and with the lighting in effect, it presented an interesting display of me to all of us. Slowly he pushed on and as he went he pumped me up a little more, and a little more and a little more, slowly advancing the camera as he went.  Finally he declared he was finished and began the back up procedure, retreating slowly until that thing was removed and I was told I can go back to the cubicle and lay down for 45 minutes to recover from the sedative.

Once the time had elapsed Dr. Strangelove came to my bedside and tells me all is good and they did not see any anomalies and that he will be sending a report to my family doctor.  A few minutes later Nurse Ratched came to my bedside, took my BP and told me I am free to go.  Her instructions were to go home, lie in bed face down with my knees pulled up under me; put my face in a pillow and my ass pointing to the sky. At this point I was beginning to expel air with some force.  I dressed and headed for the door.

In the lobby was a coffee counter and since I had not had food or coffee in 36 hours I purchased a coffee and as I stood there waiting for my mocha to be manufactured I felt an uncomfortable pressure building, an ominous and gut expanding pressure that was becoming increasingly difficult to control.  Finally with my mocha in hand I headed for the exit and as I passed through the door I glanced over my shoulder to see if there was anyone behind me and seeing no one I opened the relief valve.  Letting loose with a blast of air the likes of which I had never experienced before even if beans or cabbage had been involved.

The blast was a long mournful and bass level vibrato that went on for 20 paces.  I was at once both amazed and delighted at the thunderous roar emanating from my Levis. At this point as I marched and played fog horn I glanced again over my shoulder and what do I see but a frail and very shocked little old lady, 5 paces off my starboard side and she was desperately trying to overtake me.  Doing the double step she raced ahead of me, and at that point I nearly collapsed with laughter because as she passed she kept looking over her shoulder, repeatedly, clutching her purse in a death grip, fearing no doubt the farting, trotting miscreant she had followed out the door was going to press on the harmonic attack in front of her if she could not gain some speed and momentum. I stopped turned right and headed to my car instead. 

Once in my car and for the entire 20 minute drive home I played tunes with myself as orchestra and conductor and once home and in the recommended position, the harmony continued more or less unabated for the duration of the morning.  There was indeed a high spot to the event for me. Yes  Virginia, there was a John Phillip Souza song in my heart or rather Levis.

The second of the colon trifecta was a barium enema, again the result of the comment and a continuing follow-up from my very cautious and some may say, sadistic doctor. Read the “prep” saga above to begin this sad tale since it prefaced this version of colon exploration.

Back at the imaging lab and again meeting with my old friend Nurse Ratched she directed me to a change room and change I did.  She then took me to another room and handed me a pill and a small paper cup of tepid water ordering me to swallow zee pill and I vill like it! Fearing her, I did as she ordered and sat there alone and waiting.  After 15 minutes she gathered me and my now calm demeanour and led me to a metal chair in a hallway, ordering me to sit, I sat in my gown, bereft of dignity, humility or socks.  

The hallway was about 5 feet wide and I sat facing, staring really, at the opposite wall, waiting patiently for God knows what.  Just to my right on the opposite wall was a door, closed with a red light shining above the door, indicating I think that something is happening inside, hence the stop light.  I was absofuckinglutely right. The door opened up to the hallway I had just walked down and midway down that hallway was a couple of wash rooms. Nurse Ratched had pointed them out to me as we walked past them to get to my cold metal chair outside the door of impending doom. As we walked past the toilet she told me to mark their location as I will be requiring them soon. I gulped.

As I sat on the chair in the hallway I could hear muffled sounds coming from behind the closed and red lit door.  They were not intelligible but their sounds were very telling none the less. MMMmmmmmm. OOOOhhhhhhh....  NNoooo.  Arrrgggghhhhhhh... MMMMMMMMMMM and other guttural and primal sounds, all painting a picture of discomfort and dismay for me. After a few minutes of the moaning and other woeful sounds the door flew open and a middle age man, dressed in his flowing hospital gown, raced out the doorway and down the hall.  With a slam a door to one of the washrooms closed and the sounds then carried down the hall to me were not of this world. No human could produce that sound I was sure.

I won’t offend your sensibilities by describing the sounds that poor soul expressed at that point other than to say they were very violent in nature, voluminous in sound and quantity and fear inducing for the uneducated listener, ME! The door he came out of closed suddenly and there I sat, still alone.  Cold. Almost naked except for my backless hospital gown and now scared to death. I sat envisioning all manner of tortures about to be unleashed on me until the door opened and an older nurse or technician (it is so hard to tell really) invited me into the chamber of horrors.  Once invited, I stood and shuffled in, holding my gown closed with my hands as I walked.  

Once in the room I was instantly aware of a very heavy odour that permeated the room, it was Lysol spray.  Lots of Lysol spray.  The kind lady directed me to the table that was to be my newest resting area and from another door my old friend Dr. Mengele entered with another woman in tow. Lying on the table in just a non-covering gown, exposed to these strangers, Dr. Mengele went on to explain in his pre-flight monologue what was about to happen to me.

The doctor explained that as he inserts the tube he will also inflate the area by injecting a solution containing barium and air, then they will take x-rays of the area that the barium is in and then I will be released from the procedure which will result in me needing to then head to the head and expel the disagreeable substance.  All clear? What he failed to mention during his pre-flight monologue was that at no time through the procedure would the fire hose that he was using to inject me with be removed from my hind end, nor dear reader did he mention that I would be asked to assume different positions during the procedure to enable him to get pictures at a different angle all the while sporting an unnatural and uncomfortably attached tail sprouting from my ass.  No he did not, and then it got uncomfortable.

As the doctor was talking about the x-rays and then having me move around to change position when asked, he also told me that at some points I may feel an almost uncontrollable urge to “eliminate” and he strongly suggested that I work against the urge and not “eliminate” as that would ruin the photo shoot and also the otherwise pleasant atmosphere. As he was reciting the plea asking me to avoid voiding, the nurse piped up at the “do not eliminate” section and said, “Yes, please don’t do that! I hope you "prepped" properly because the last guy didn't and he really made a mess and put us behind schedule!” So there was the source of the moans, groans and Lysol.  The running man I met prior to my entry to the room caused the team some consternation and they were asking that I do not do the same. Fuck me was all I could think at the time.  Then I cried louder.

Assuming the position AGAIN, Dr. Mengele forced the fire hose past my limited defense and began his odyssey into my nether region.  He seemed capable enough I was thinking at the time, and then I remembered that he had travelled this road before so to him it was a road well travelled.  On he went, talking as he did, finally he stopped and I was asked to roll onto my back, then after a moment or two he asked me to roll on my other side then back on my back, every so often he implored me to resist the urge to “eliminate”, begging almost it seemed.

As the procedure went on and the urge grew stronger and my crying became uncontrollable weeping I began to beg the assistance of any deity or source of strength I could think of, from Jesus to Allah to Zeus to St. Joseph to Alice Cooper and then finally I asked the spirit Bob Marley to assist me in my time of need and with his soothing voice singing Don’t Worry About a Thing, Every Little Thing Gonna Be Alright in my mind, I calmed down and tried to make the best of it. 

So I lay there, alone, listening to instructions come over an overhead speaker from the good doctor, tube hanging out of my ass and feeling quite vulnerable I am not afraid to admit and time wore on very slowly. All sense of modesty had left me and I was suffering from stage fright knowing that somewhere behind a protective enclosure people were watching me trying to gather my gown and cover my parts with every move that dislodged the robe and failing quite miserably. I was spent.  Tired. Worn out, due to the stress of my predicament and finally with little fanfare he told me I was done.  Yup, in more ways than one I found out.

Once the doctor and his maniacal assistants re-entered the room and removed all tubes and wires from my person I was assisted back to my feet and pointed in the direction of the door and to the now vacant and ready washroom down the hall. I took aim at my target and raced like a man possessed and assumed an all too familiar position atop the white throne at my arrival in that room. 

Now I will not go into graphic detail about what horrible things took place in the little room down the hall but I will say that few explosions on earth equalled what happened in that room.  Possibly Krakatoa, possibly Hiroshima, possibly Ripple Rock were larger explosions but I doubt by much.

The building shook, windows rattled and doors blew open from the sound waves escaping the confines of that little room down the hall.  Once the echoes stilled, I heard the cries of young children, sirens wailing and people screaming asking if others were okay.  The coughing and retching of those at ground zero were mournfully sad and after a few moments the din subsided and the chaos ended.  I cleaned up and left that smoking pile of rubble and went home.  To mend and heal.  And drink.  Oh God did I drink, and stayed comfortably numb for days trying to forget my meeting with the doctor. Please humility do not forsake me.

Finally once the report was sent back to my own doctor his curiosity about the condition of my colon was diminished and no further examinations were ordered. By him... 

Now I am living in a different community and have a different doctor.  He is a very nice man and quite competent and thorough it turns out and unfortunately for me he too is interested in the condition of my colon. His interest was not due to something I had told him about my physical being or condition, no; it was due to the fact I am 51 years old and according to “experts” a person should have this done at 50 and every 10 years after that. So it seems I was nearly 2 years past due and all previous exams did not count.

He explained the reasoning and what current medical convention was regarding needing to examine my colon and it all sounded reasonably well researched but he was talking about me doing this again, and I felt fine, really I did!!!  And like the ghost of colonoscopy past he told me that his office would make the arrangements and someone would be in touch.

A few days later his able body assistant and referral administrator called me to direct me to a new doctor giving me the date and time.  So at the appointed time and place I met the new doctor, or rather I met HER, yes her was a student doctor who was also a woman.  Now I am no misogynist and in fact I like that women are doctors but the type of procedure I was undergoing was something, for some strange reason, I felt would be best performed on me by a male doctor. Call me old fashioned I guess...

After the obligatory greeting and handshake the student doctor began asking questions and once satisfied I had answered truthfully she told me to get up on the table, lower my pants and underpants and assume the position.  Fuck me, the position again!  I can’t win.  The student doctor donned the normal accouterments and did the exam and I felt so violated. Here she was a stranger to me doing something like that to me and we had just met minutes before.  No drinks. No small talk. Just right to business and not even a reach around. She excused herself and left the room for a moment allowing me to re-group, re-dress and re-dignify. 

When the door reopened the student doctor was accompanied by another woman who was introduced to me as the doctor who will be doing the procedure.  The doctor asked the student if she had done the exam and she responded yes she had.  They exchanged a few more snippets of conversation and then the doctor told me to get up on the table and yes, you guessed it, drop the rigging and assume the position.  It seemed that she too was interested in that region and needed to check for herself.  Fuck me gently. I was mortified! In the span of 10 minutes I had 2 strangers, women, do the digital dance in my rectum and we hadn’t even had a cocktail. What a lousy fucking day it turned out to be. 

I escaped that office fearing perhaps another exam may be conducted by the janitor if I didn't exit quickly and fled back to the sanctity of my office at work.  I entered the office, closed the door and cried for the rest of the day.  Once in a while one of my staff would come by and knock on the door asking if I was alright. Bellowing that they leave me alone or I will fire them sent them on their way and allowed me to cry for some time longer.

A few days later I received a few pages of instruction and an appointment for my colonoscopic journey at the local hospital. On the sheets were the instructions I needed to heed and items I needed to purchase.  The items were the Golytely and the Fleet home enema kit.  I was delighted.  The day before the hospital visit I engaged in the Golytely debacle I mentioned previously  and then the next morning as instructed 1 hour prior to presenting myself to the house of horrors I acquainted myself with Fleet.  Never having met or been abused by Fleet before ensured it was a new experience for me, and I can tell you without fear of contradiction that it was not a meeting I wish to have again. I will not go on and on about that bottle of awfulness suffice it to say that powerful things can indeed come in small packages and it is best to be undertaken in a tub. Nuff said... I stifled a sob and a wheeze...

My darling wife drove me to the hospital and from there I walked like a doomed man marching at Bataan as I entered the hospital and finding the outpatient desk I offered up my name, received a binder and was pointed to room number 3.

When I entered room 3 I was met by a number of wonderful nurses who were kind and gentle and explained the process to me as they took my pressure, temperature and pulse.  Once satisfied that I was healthy enough to possibly survive the procedure they led me to my curtain walled bedroom, told me to take it all off and put on the gown.  Fuck me, here I go again I thought...Why God?  Why me???

Lying there in my gown and modestly covered by a sheet as well, the operating room nurse came by, checked my dogtag and wheeled me away, heading into the little shop of horrors no doubt I thought. 

When we arrived at the work room I was introduced to the anaesthetist, the doctor whom I met a few weeks previously and another nurse busily working assembling various tubes, probes (big probes, really big) and bundles of wires.  The anaesthetist told me as he was holding a syringe that I will feel a little light headed and that was all I remember until what seemed like a few seconds later I came back to consciousness in mid sentence extolling the virtues of slow roasting beef at low temperatures with the recovery room nurse who was standing at the foot of my bed.

I must have had somewhat of a lengthy conversation with her given the place I was at in the roasting process and after she walked away I was concerned that I may have been talking to anyone in the room and if so what did I say? Did I confess to the Lindbergh baby kidnapping? An elicit affair with Boy George? Cheating on my taxes? Surrendering the recipe for my super secret killer Creole Spice recipe? What did I tell and were there any recording devices around? Then I dozed off again.

I awoke to find myself lying on my back, my gown scrunched up past my navel and the sheet that formerly covered me lying to my side. As I came back to some state resembling coherency I noticed that I was flashing myself at the passing public and be damned if it was not my good side. I was not ready for my close-up Mr. DeMille! I reorganized gown and sheet and then faded back to la-la land... Finally after a 3 minute powernap I came too once again and regain my composure, complexion and my coherency, not to mention my modesty and dignity.  I was ready to be discharged.

The nurse brought me a copy of the doctors report that stated that 1 polyp was found and removed and that her recommendation now that polyps were found was to have another exam in 5 years.  Not the 10 that I was led to believe I was going to have to endure.  So holding in a sob I bravely faced the nurse and thanked her, finished my dissertation on roasting beef and got dressed. Soon Susan came to the room and my captors released me into her custody.  She took me home and there I slept for the balance of the day onto the next. 5 years? That’s not too bad I tell myself.  Not to avoid nasty disease and the resultant therapy, remediation or demise I tell myself.  Not that bad.  Really...

Polyps are common and many people have them.  Unfortunately for many people they do not get screened and in fact may ignore the telltale signs of trouble that present themselves. Polyps can turn cancerous as they age and in 10 -14 years can go from simple bumps to life threatening disease and like all cancers the treatment can be difficult and the end result tragic if not caught early and in fact could be avoided for many people if they only got screened as suggested by the medical community. 

Please do yourself and your family a big favour. Get screened at 50 and follow your doctor’s advice. It could save your life and while my stories may seem like it is a terrible thing to endure, it makes for an adventure and can be exceedingly funny in the retelling which makes it all worthwhile. Please get screened. It really isn’t as bad as I make it out to be. Honest!  I use a little dramatic licence to make it funny.  Really!  Would I lie to you?

One of the things your colon really likes is fibre in your diet and a great of fibre delivery method that I really like is blueberry bran muffins.  The recipe is below so make some today and tickle your innards, they will sing songs of joy for you...

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