This afternoon, as I prepare for yet another colonoscopy in my life, I was reminded of probably my most “popular” article from my decade long newspaper column. It BY FAR, received the most reader response of any article I ever wrote which makes me wonder about humanity. Just sayin’.
It’s a familiar theme song. Even though I didn’t watch the TV show, I can recognize it whenever I hear it. “You wanna go where everybody knows your name.” I know there was also a guy in that show named Norm and that whenever he entered the bar, he was greeted by name by one and all. I, too, have a place where everybody knows my name and it’s called The Colonoscopy Center in northern Indiana. When I enter, I feel like Carol Channing (and now more recently, Bette Midler) descending the grand stairway in the Broadway musical, “Hello, Dolly.”
You may wonder, “What’s a nice young (this article was originally published in 2009) girl like you doing in a place like that?” Believe me, I ask myself the same question annually. I have actually spent time wondering why everyone from The Colonoscopy Center knows me. I would like to tell you it is because I am a very humorous, considerate, and polite patient, but I think it’s because I’ve been a regular customer since I was 22.
In case you are unfamiliar with a colonoscopy, let’s just cut straight to the chase. The doctor puts a snake light up your rear end to check your colon. Most folks are not encouraged to have a colonoscopy until they are 50, but because I’m “special,” I have been having them since my early 20’s. This is why most of my friends are older than I am. We are all having the same medical procedures.
Don’t seat me at a table with these 30 year-old ninnies who haven’t lived. Mammograms? Please! Been there and done that for over 13 years. Colonoscopies? You haven’t lived until you experience that prep! Now I’m very serious about this next part. If you are having a colonoscopy YOU MUST request the Gatorade prep. Over the last seventeen years, I’ve tried all three kinds of preps and I repeat, YOU MUST request the Gatorade prep.
Stand up for your rights as a patient! There is nothing to fear when it comes to the actual colonoscopy, but I’d be a liar if I didn’t tell you you should fear the prep. The prep is demeaning, heartless, and cruel. Our enemies don’t need to use anything against us other than a colonoscopy prep! You must drink a gallon of rot in a short amount of time. I like water. I like milk. I like orange juice. I could not drink a gallon of any of those liquids in an evening, let alone a gallon of rot.
Now that the children are older then encourage me, “Go! Go! Go, mom go!” It’s all I can do to keep from backhanding the little cheerleaders. I’m to the point where the smell of the prep can make me vomit before I even drink any of it. To me, the drinking portion is the worst, but believe me the festivities have only just begun!
Do not plan to leave your home.
Do not plan to talk on the phone.
Do not plan to watch TV.
Do not plan to read, you see.
Do not plan to move ten inches from your toilet.
If you move, I guarantee you’ll soil it!
I won’t go into a lot of detail about this phase of the prep, but I will tell you that there is nothing more degrading than being a science project for your small children. The year my kids were five and three, I could see them peeking around the bathroom corner. My son in his little three-year-old voice said, “Yissa! Yissa! Yook! Mommy’s pukin’ and poopin’ all at the same time!”
They were awed by the fact they had such an amazing mother.
I lose anywhere from five to seven pounds during the prep. The next morning, my stomach is flat. I enjoy that because I know it will only last a few more hours. Once you get settled in at The Colonoscopy Center they will prep you for the procedure. The last time the nurse said, “You’re so calm.” I looked at her with a straight face and said, “I know. I’m a professional. The next time you come back would you please bring me an extra blanket?” Always ask for an extra blanket because they are soon taking you to a room so cold that it feels like a meat market and guess what, you’re the meat!
After the snake light is gone and done, they wheel you to an area called, “The Fart Zone.” They actually have posters hanging above you that say that! What’s a nice girl to do? You’ve spent your whole life trying not to be rude and then they tell you if you don’t pass gas, they won’t let you go home.
They’ll keep you in the “room” with the sheer curtains and make you listen to the nearby grotesque orchestra until you join the band. You aren’t the only one having your colonoscopy that day, sunshine! My advice is to toot with the best of them just as soon as possible.
And in irony of ironies, Dear Reader, I actually forgot to request the Gatorade Prep for my colonoscopy tomorrow! I assumed my request was just burned into my chart, but nope, I forgot, and now I’m literally staring at a gallon of colite crap. Rats! I wish I’d remembered my own advice. And maybe sometimes in life, you feel the same way too, Dear Reader.
Until the next Wednesday the Lord allows.
Amy J. divided her recent prep into two parts and used a bit of graffiti to express her TRUE feelings.