Journey To The Center of My Bowels

My, how time flies! This coming Monday, I’m having a medical procedure. Not going under the knife, mind you. Nothing is going to get lanced, excised, or biopsied (okay, maybe so, but I’ll be knocked out and won’t notice). No, I’m going to get my fourth colonoscopy. Why four, you ask? Aren’t you a (relatively) young man? First, thank you for that “young man” thing. Second, while these rectal invasions generally occur every ten years, I’m on the “Five Year Plan” (which was also used to describe Soviet agriculture. This, I hope, is unrelated). This is because the doctor found some small (benign, thank goodness) polyps during my first go-round. Even so, you say, since you’re only 62 (almost 9 in dog years), you should only be receiving your third, not fourth. Well, my very first procedure had to be rescheduled since I didn’t completely clean out the works (I’ll spare you the gross details). Anyway, in honor of this upcoming auspicious event, I thought I’d reprint the description of my “Colonic Deflowering.” If you’re “of an age” you’ve probably had one of these already. If you’re not, it’s coming for you, tough guy.

Anyway, enjoy. And don’t forget your fiber.

WARNING:  THE FOLLOWING CONTAINS GRAPHIC BITS OF INFORMATION VIS-À-VIS MY LOWER GASTROINTESTINAL SYSTEM.  YOU’VE BEEN WARNED.

  One of the benefits of turning 50 is that, besides grey hair sprouting from my nose, needing Pepsi to burp, and developing the nail fungus known as “Old Man Toe,” I got a chance to feel what it’s like to spend a little time in a Turkish prison.

  The word “colonoscopy” is Greek in origin.  Its entomology (no, wait a minute, that’s the study of ‘insects.’  I meant ‘etymology’-I can never get those straight) derives from “colonos” which means “butt” and “scopy” which means “look see.”  (NOTE: NOT its real meaning.  But it should be, amirite?). 

  As befits my advancing years, I was recently treated to the full Monty (coincidentally, the doctor’s actual name).  I felt sorry for the poor guys whose HMOs wouldn’t pay for a complete procedure.  They were only able to afford a “semicolonoscopy.”  (waka, waka, I’m here all week…don’t forget your waitress).

  The day before, I was directed to drink a couple bottles of what’s called Fleet Phospho Soda.  This, once again, is a Greek term meaning “Ass Rocket Fuel.”  Boy, howdy, does that stuff work!  I haven’t felt that emotionally attached to my lavatorial facilities since my surgery in 1988 (some of you know which surgery I mean.  Okay…hemorrhoids.  Happy?).

  Anyway, I felt like one of those water rockets we bought as kids.  Remember those?  You know, the kind you pump up with water until, when you can no longer pump them up, you just pop the cork and let ‘em fly?  Yeah, a lot like that.

  I could never predict when it was time for, uh, Old Faithful to erupt (so to speak).  Needless to say, I left my white pants in the closet with the rest of my Miami Vice wardrobe.

  Falling asleep the night before was an adventure.  Luckily for me (and my terrified wife), my own personal levees weren’t breached while I slept.  Although, by the time I woke up, I was so full that I felt like a Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade balloon (I don’t know which one, but I’m sure it can’t be one of the popular ones.  Perhaps the Sinclair dinosaur?).

  Throughout the day, I had to fast (which was pretty easy since I’m ‘half-fast’, anyway).  Although I couldn’t stray too far from the bathroom because, whenever I had to, uh, you know, I had to, uh, you know.  Thank goodness I had plenty to read.  Plus, that handheld Yahtzee was a godsend.

  I grew so famished throughout the day that I started licking the Sunday paper ads for Burger King.

  Finally, my wife drove me to the rather unfortunately named “Dr. Mengele Center for Endoscopic Surgery-Sponsored by BEANO!”

  After checking in, I was wheeled into the prep room where I had to disrobe and asked if I had gone to the bathroom.  Ya know, not for nothin’, wouldn’t it have been better to ask before I took my clothes off?  That way, if I hadn’t used the bathroom, I wouldn’t have to parade naked through the waiting room, causing who knows how many people to lose their lunch.

  Oh, and incidentally, I thought it was odd that it was the janitor who asked me to take off my clothes.

  The nurse (moonlighting from her regular job as a Verizon FIOS installer) explained what was going to happen to me.  My eyes grew wide when she showed me a picture of the “instrument.” 

  Jesus, they were going to shove a piece of PVC pipe so far up the exit that I was going to be a piñata for a sadist or, at the very least, a Popeye Lawn sprinkler.

  I was told I would be filled with air and that I was encouraged to fart when I was done (not wanting to waste it, I think I’ll wait until church and then make a joyful noise unto the Lord!).

   As they wheeled me into the operating room, I reminded them if they found any cave paintings, they were the property of the Smithsonian Institution.

  I was told I’d be so pumped full of drugs, I wouldn’t feel a thing.  I told the “Butt People” that, since that was the case, they could do whatever they want.  I wish I hadn’t told them that though.  Because I think I’m going to be on You Tube.  With a monkey.

  Luckily, everything turned out great.  They did find a polyp (and Jimmy Hoffa) which they cut out.  I plan on having it bronzed (the polyp, not Jimmy Hoffa).

  So, that’s my story.  As you can see, everything went well for the most part and I don’t have to lick the paper anymore.

  But, I’ll never look at my garden hose the same way again.

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