Bend Over and Say Zzzzzz
March is National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month
As my doctor read through my records during my yearly physical, he exhaled a worrisome Hmmmmmmm. That’s never good when you’re visiting a doctor.
“Let’s see,” he said. “According to your chart you turned the big Five-Oh this year.”
To me, it sounded more like the big Five-Uh-oh.
Rubbing his hands together, he peered like a crazed scientist from a bad 1950s sci-fi movie. “When would you like to schedule your appointment?” he asked.
I knew he was referring to the procedure, aka, colonoscopy, that you’re supposed to get when you reach 50. I wanted to put it out of my mind, but I resigned myself to the fact that when you hit a certain age, you have to start doing certain things you don’t like in order to remain above ground.
“I highly recommend Dr. Laura Strap,” he said. “She’s very good.”
She, I thought. I’m going to have my procedure done by a woman named Doc Strap?
“I’ll write you a prescription for the medication you’ll need prior to your procedure,” my doctor promised.
The prescribed medication was a solution called GoLytely (I’m not kidding), and its name is deceiving. I discovered that it was tolerable when mixed with powdered lemonade and lots of ice. I’m sure bourbon would have helped, but my instructions called for no alcohol and no solid food 24 hours prior to my appointment.
At Dr. Strap’ s office, I was fitted with a size four gown. I require at least a size four-XX. I was sitting on the table wearing a too-small gown, socks and nothing else, when the nurse entered.
I’d be unconscious, she assured me.
I wouldn’t remember a thing, and for 15 seconds, just before lights out, I imagined I’d be dancing among the clouds and sliding down rainbows.
I’m going to enjoy this ride, I told myself, as the needle slipped in. Then, BAM! Nothing. No jumping from cloud to cloud, no flying over fields of vivid colors. Just my wonderful, sweet wife yelling, “Allen! Quit being ornery and wake up. They need this room. Now, get up!”
“Ish ober awready?” I slurred.
“Yes,” she said. “Now get dressed.”
I stumbled off the table to put my pants on.
“Your legs go in there,” my wife hollered, “not your arms!”
At home, my spouse helped me to bed, where I slept peacefully for the next two hours.
The following week I got my results along with color pictures, suitable for framing, of my colon. They showed where the four polyps were just before removal. I am to return in five years for another procedure, and that’s fine with me. I never felt a thing, and there was no pain afterward. The worst part of the entire escapade was drinking the GoLytely.
If you’re in my age bracket, I encourage you to drop your drawers and get a colonoscopy. It is absolutely painless and could very well save your life.
But when you go, insist that you get your 15 seconds of euphoria.