I originally wrote this in 2010 but in honor of dear friends colonoscopy I will repost.
The other day I finally got around to getting my doctors gift for my fiftieth birthday. It’s really great. You go in for your annual check up and the doctor ( in my case a very nice nurse practioner) says “hey guess what, for your birthday I’m going to let one of my colleagues stick a camera up your rear end”. What fun. Now I know it’s a very necessary preventative screening but, that did not build my anticipation. So for your reading pleasure I’m going to give you the details I know you so badly don’t want.
A colonscopy is a good news- bad news deal. The good news. I didn’t feel a thing. I remember being asked to roll over on my side and then I remember seeing my wife and the nurse saying I could go home. The other part of the good news. Mild sedation is a “roofie” or something very similar. They say you are awake and can respond to commands. I guess if they say so it was true. I do not remember a thing. Strangely I awoke fully dressed. No idea how I got that way. I considered myself on a need-to-know basis.
The bad news. THE PREP. The prep is a polite euphemism for a colon cleansing. They need clear pictures so they want you to get anything out of the way. The prep involves drinking something that can only be described as lemon flavored DRANO. The next 12 hours is interesting. By the last hour you will feel as if you are deficating napalm or the equivalent. Real fun stuff.
The scary part about this test is that you could wake up and find that you have cancer. In my case the results were good. The second showing is luckily 10 years in the future for my sixtieth. Believe me it is not something I am looking forward to. I will tell you not to put off the test. The evidence is clear that early detection is key. Survival rates are in the 60% range and early dectection ups that number. Lots of men die from a combination of laziness, fear and stupidity. Don’t be one of them.
Last but not least, I am here to tell you that the commercial for colon cleansing that says you have twenty five pounds of “spackle” in your colon is a lie. I weighed in at the end of the PREP and was exactly one pound lighter, not twenty five.