Friday, December 3, 2010

Harry Smith Got Nuthin' On Me

The Beatles--"I'm Only Sleeping" (mp3)

Ok, not quite yet the most wonderful time of the year. Maybe by tonight I'll be humming that again. But first, the "procedure."

For those of you who enjoy reading this blog in the morning with a cup of coffee, during a break in the action, when you read this particular edition, I will probably be unconscious. That's right. Lights out. Drooling or maybe even babbling my Internet passwords to the doctors or nurses in the room.

There are many rights of passage in a man or woman's life--first bicycle, first kiss, first concert, first deer, graduation from this or that, first vote in an election, first car, marriage, first colonoscopy. Whoa! Wait a second. Scroll back. First what?

That's right. Today is the day of my first colonoscopy. I fought it. By the official "rules," I should have had it three years ago when I turned 50, but I delayed and avoided. But now, thanks to our Health Savings Account and my loving wife, the time has come. As it should. I guess. You see, when you have to meet a big freakin' deductible every year, once that deductible is finally met, the candy shop opens. That is if you consider various "procedure" to be the health equivalent of sweet confections. You see, today's little journey into the "heart of darkness" is a freebie. I could go on and have another one tomorrow and it wouldn't cost a single extra cent. Wheeeeee!

You want to get some free advice? Mention to someone that you are having a colonoscopy. Oh, that will open the floodgates, let me tell you. Everyone wants to tell you their story--the 4AM search for an open drug store to buy an enema, the "all-nighter," the scolding from the doctor for not being "clean enough." Everyone wants to take you through the stages, usually right after they tell you that they don't want to get graphic. Everyone wants to double-check that you're doing it right? "You only had to drink half a gallon of colon blow? Man, my doctor made me drink a whole gallon and a bottle of magnesium citrate on top of that!" Bragging rights, I guess.

And then, of course, there are the "chronics," those inveterate rectal veterans who have had their butts scoped so many times that their bowels must feel like a train station. They poo-poo any mention of discomfort or agony, they flush any mention of fear or uncertainty. They go so far as to mention that, had they served in 'Nam, they would have had no trouble going down in the tunnels and clearing 'em out. Bragging rights.

Well, I did it. I took the pill yesterday at noon, after gulping down just the broth of a large wonton soup take-out from Na Go Ya (since the day before you're on a clear, liquid diet and you're tired of drinking sugar all morning) and then it all started. Once the pill jumpstarts your system, so to speak, then you start drinking the godawful human version of Draino, in one cup bursts, every fifteen minutes, until it's gone. And, yes, you do reach a point where it's coming out one end as quickly as you pour it in another. And it keeps doing its magic.

And then you just kind of wait. Perversely, I read cooking magazines during each of my trips to the bathroom. I made my wife supper, which I obviously did not eat. Twice, I slipped food in my mouth without thinking, and had to promptly spit it out. I sipped water and Ginger Ale, water and Ginger Ale incessantly throughout the evening, because, man, that stuff will deyhdrate you faster than you can evacuate the dance floor and you start wondering why you suddenly have a headache and then you realize, oh, all of the fluid in me just rushed out where angels fear to tread.

There is such a temptation to turn this into an infomercial or a public service announcement about why we all need to engage in this bit of unpleasantry for the good of our families, etc.

Because for these brief, shining moments, I am probably one of the absolutely most colon-conscious (or unconscious) people among all 7 billion on this planet. But I don't plan to be for long. With a good report, hopefully, not for another ten years.

So I think I'll leave the proselytizing to Harry Smith and CBS. After all, he showed his nether region, his Plato's cave, live on national television with Katie Couric cheerleading in scrubs and a surgical mask. And earned part of his ample salary for doing it.

Me, I've been through the same trial by fire as him, but my thoughts tend in different directions--a saltine cracker, maybe a glass of orange juice or some eggs and toast, the actual wontons with the Na Go Ya soup, a cheeseburger on my new grill, a beer, some energy, the ability to drive a car, the unclouded head to make decisions or to play the Resident Evil 4 that came in the mail today, and all the rest of life that comes rushing back.

Oh, by the way, my colon is way, way, way cleaner than your colon. Bragging rights.


Billy said...

Harry Smith just lost his job on the CBS morning show. Perhaps there are powerful negative consequences for showing your ass -- even just the inside of it -- on TV.

If you try and show a DVD of your experience to anyone here, you're out of the fantasy football league.

troutking said...

Kudos for doing your duty. Ha, duty.

John said...

Congrats on a successful scope!