If you want to know more about this, drop on over at the National Digestive Disease Clearinghouse. I stole the picture from them.
A week or so ago I told you about my stellar physical. I’m in good shape, or so I thought. At the time, Doc mentioned that he’d be referring me for a colonoscopy. I didn’t think twice about it, until Murf asked in a rather sardonic tone if I wasn’t going to have my colon checked. The Doc made it sound routine for a man of my age (now doesn’t that sound reassuring). He sat me up with an appointment in late May and I proceeded to forget all about it. Then yesterday, a thick envelop came in the mail. It was addressed to my first name, always a bad sign. Normally I only get bills and bank statements to that name. The return address identified the sender as “Gastroenterology Specialists, P.C.” With shaking hands, I tore open the envelope and began reading about all that I had to do to prepare for this exam. I’m not sure, but this sounds like something that might come under the Geneva Convention definition for torture. This is serious stuff. Several times, I was told in big bold letters not to come by myself to the appointment. Someone else needed to be there with me, to drive me home and to stay with me the rest of the day. WHAT? Doc didn’t say that I had to clear my calendar. He made it sound like I just had to take a little medicine and to fast for a day and the specialist would look around a bit and we’d all be happy. It turns out that the “little medicine” is about a gallon’s worth, that I have to fast for over 36 hours with only clear liquid (I suppose that means that instead of scotch, I’m going to have to get some gin or vodka, cause I may be needing it). Then, the last 12 hours I got to go without drinking anything except for the medicine (I’m having serious thoughts about becoming an IV drug user). Then I essentially get knocked out while they go on a fishing expedition up my colon (it’s been a long time since I had biology and I forgotten the thing was so long). I know some of you have endured worse things, but I've always been healthy. This is my first serious proceedure in a hospital since my birth.
I was with my primary Doc last night at a meeting and told him that I didn’t sign up for all this. With a chuckle, he admitted he downplayed what was required. That’s an understatement! I think I’ll sue for malpractice; either that, or just go back to being 49 again. The good news is that my Doc will be turning 50 in a couple years and will have this to look forward too.