I sent my husband for his yearly check-up at the doctor’s and now he won’t speak to me. No one over 50 will talk about it, but there’s a procedure that’s part of most routine physicals called a colonoscopy. To make liberal use of a reference from a Whoopie Goldberg movie—they check your “chocolate whizz-way” for abnormalities. At first glance, that doesn’t sound too bad. I pictured a plastic-gloved doctor poking his finger in the dark corner of hubby’s anatomy. Nope, they have specialized equipment and a doctor called a gastoenterologist for this little procedure.
I’m confused. When we’re little, we’re prompted by our parents to consider different career paths. Some of us dreamed about becoming firemen, others lawyers, some writers, still other doctors. Those of us lucky enough to make it into college explored our options even further. But who the heck said, “When I grow up I want to stick tubes up someone’s butt for a living?” From what I gather, that’s pretty much what happens.
My first suspicion that this wasn’t just a routine poke and feel was when they sent papers home advising that hubby would need a chauffer.
“It says here that you’ll need a driver. I guess they need to sedate you.”
“Oh yeah. They always put drops in my eyes.”
“Not the eye doctor. We’re talking about the other end.”
A look of panic crossed his face. “I thought it was just an x-ray or something.”
“Well, I guess it is, but since they have to send something up that dark passage, I guess they’re trying to make it pain-free.”
“Hmm, sedation…can’t drive…maybe we should delay this until after vacation.”
“I don’t think so. It took a while to get the appointment. Colon cancer is serious.”
“Look, I’ve been poked and prodded enough. First it was the nurse at the lab that looked like she hadn’t passed her driving test. I’m still black and blue.”
“Then, I had to do the smear thing when I went to the bathroom in the mornings. I still think they need to send rubber gloves with that kit.” He shuddered. “That reminded me of changing diapers years ago. I can’t believe we had to mail that package to the lab. Yuck.”
“Now, I have to submit to someone putting a piece of Plexiglas up my butt. Who thinks up this stuff anyway?”
“It’s known as advanced medical procedure.”
“More like advanced torture.“ What else?”
“Well, it says here you can’t eat certain things 48 hours before the test including nuts, seeds, and red gelatin. Hey, get those nuts out of your mouth.” I swiped at him and missed.
He swallowed. “Too late.”
“Then the day before the test, clear liquids only. I’ve got your beef broth all ready for tomorrow.”
“That’s it? That’s all I get?”
“No, I threw in some orange gelatin too.”
“Big of you.”
“Then, you have to drink a gallon of some liquid and sequester yourself into the bathroom for the evening. I’ll get the fan going and put some lit candles in the bathtub.”
“Candles? Is the priest coming to give me last rites or something?”
“Uhmm, no, it’s for the smell. I don’t think the bathroom fan will handle it all.” I smirked. I still remembered his platitudes when I gave birth. “In case you’re interested, I got you lemon-lime.”
“The flavor of the liquid you need to drink for your cleansing. Yes sir, your insides will be cleaner than a politician’s bank account at election time.”
“You better be kidding.” His face flushed with anger. “The doctor didn’t mention this.”
“The paper says it takes about two hours for the procedure.”
“Two hours? No way. Well, he’d better not get too close. That chili I had over the weekend is doing strange things to my stomach.”
“Afterwards, they do a consultation to advise what they’ve found.”
“What the heck could they find? My entire body will be pretty much liquid free.”
“Yeah, pruny.” I giggled. I couldn’t help it.
“That’s okay. You can make light of the situation, but remember your physical is scheduled for next month.
“Oh, that’s right.” My stomach cramped.
An evil grin crossed his face. “Yes, and I’ll be glad to be your chauffeur. In fact, I’m really looking forward to it.” He whistled as he left the room.
Canadian Health Magazine