Tuesday, November 21, 2017     Volume: 18, Issue: 37
Signup

Santa Maria Sun / Humor

The following article was posted on September 12th, 2017, in the Santa Maria Sun - Volume 18, Issue 28 [ Submit a Story ]
The following articles were printed from Santa Maria Sun [santamariasun.com] - Volume 18, Issue 28

Hello down there

Ariel sought some care for her derriere

By ARIEL WATERMAN

Normally I think of colons only when I write. For example: There, I used a colon, unlike a semi-colon; the comma-colon hybrid gives one pause. Outside of grammar, no one wants a semi-colon—the possible result of colon cancer! That brings me to my topic this week—colonoscopies.

Now, I know what you’re all thinking: Eeewww! But listen up people—colorectal cancer is no joke. According to the American Cancer Society, colorectal cancer is the third leading cause of cancer-related deaths in women and the second in men in the United States. I have lost two family members to this disease.

Recently, I have been very fatigued and my tests showed severe anemia. My stomach also hurt. My primary care physician, the wonderful and amazing Dr. Robert Firestone, told me my number was up and ordered me to get a colonoscopy along with an endoscopy to check my upper gastrointestinal tract. His message was louder than his delightfully bold ties, so I made an appointment.

The colon is not to be confused with the intestines, that 20-foot-long squiggly mass located just above the last 5 or 6 feet of large intestine, also called the colon. Put the word colon together with the suffix “oscopy” (Latin for “look-see”) and you have a YouTube video of your lower innards via a garden hose connected to a mini camcorder.

OK, it’s not as bad as it sounds. In fact, the actual procedure was quite forgettable because I was sedated. I don’t remember a thing! The worst part of having a colonoscopy is the mandatory pre-procedure preparation. For those of you who have been there, you know what I mean. For those who have not, let me walk you through it.

The doctor who will perform your colonoscopy will give you some swag to take home—a Suprep Bowel Prep Kit. It comes with instructions, which I recommend you read carefully and follow thoroughly. You are required to drink 32 ounces of Suprep fluid followed by 64 ounces of water over a period of two hours. You then wait four hours and repeat the process.

Do not make plans of any kind other than staying near or in your bathroom and make sure you stock plenty of toilet paper and have sole proprietorship of that space. Seriously! This is important, as the Suprep concoction will kick in and kick out everything in your intestinal tract faster than a Daytona race. It even sounds like one.

I share two bathrooms with my husband, The Brit, and our son The Briteen. I was not about to play game of thrones with these two, so they were banished to the hall bathroom.

This was not my first rodeo, and I had failed to read those instructions carefully for my first colonoscopy several years ago. I wanted to get it over with and drank the entire 64 ounces of Suprep at once, followed by all the water required. I don’t need to tell you what happened. Vandenberg Air Force Base was getting calls about an unscheduled missile launch while Cal Tech was getting reports of earthquakes in the area.

This time I followed directions to the letter and it still was horrible. You would think they could make the swill, I mean Suprep, the least bit palatable. I won’t lie. It’s awful. And when that stuff starts to work it makes warning noises that sound something like, “Gooo tooo the commooode nooow!”

I repeat—this was not my first rodeo, and the next 24 to 32 hours I spent in the saddle made bull-riding look like one of those little kiddie rides in front of a supermarket. It was the closest I’ve come to giving birth. I even finally passed that Dodger Dog I just had to have eight years ago.

I tried singing to take my mind off things like show tunes (“I’m poopin’ down the drain/What a wonderful feeling, I’m empty again!”) and TV show theme songs (“Rollin’, rollin’, rollin’/Keep that colon flowin’/My tushie is a-glowin’ raw hide!”).

The next day, starving and empty (oh yeah, you have to fast), I arrived for my journey to the center of my girth. My gastroenterologist, Dr. Jeffrey Mundorf, wisely believes that polyps should be nipped in the butt!

As he prepared to go where no man has gone before, he announced to the attending medical staff, “I’m going to do the upper section first, then the lower.”

I replied, “I don’t care, but if you do the lower section first, be sure to change out that camera!”

Laughter ensued as anesthesiologist, Dr. Chu, got me ready for dreamland. I was given an IV, turned onto my left side, and a nurse approached with a circular object. “This is a bite block so you won’t bite down on the endoscopy tube,” she explained. “Open wide, please!”

“OK,” I said drowsily, “but nobody better have a ball gag!”

More laughter, then I remember nothing until I awoke in recovery feeling rested and relaxed. God, I love Versed! Make sure you have a driver because you aren’t in charge of anything for at least 24 hours afterwards.

I had to wait a while to go home because they inflate the colon with air so the camera can move through it. I’ve had smoke blown up my ass, but never air. Nonetheless, you can’t leave until you give their air back. I lay there sounding like an Evinrude. Most embarrassing was I continued putt-putting all the way home. God bless my friend Amira, who drove me to and from and didn’t mind the motorboat noises.

My final thoughts are this: Colonoscopies are a rite of passage like christenings, bar mitzvahs, and weddings—but at those the beverages taste better and you can eat!

Other inevitable rites of passage are funerals. A colonoscopy won’t prevent the inevitable, but it could possibly forestall it for quite a while. Hey, I’ll raise another 32-ounce glass of Suprep in 10 more years and drink a toast to that! 

Ariel Waterman’s results were excellence, no ifs, ands, or butts about it. Send her your rodeo tales via Managing Editor Joe Payne at jpayne@santamariasun.com.




Weekly Poll
What do you like most about the holiday season?

Spending time with family and friends.
The food, and eating too much of it.
Gift giving and receiving.
The days off from work.

| Poll Results