Sunday, May 31, 2015

Oh hi Doc: Wait: you want me to do ... what?

(From today's TIMES and NEWS-STAR)

A colonoscopy is what I like  to call the ultimate in spring cleaning.

Hardly anyone likes to talk about it. To this I say, good!

Butt, we should talk about it from time to time because it's of crucial
importance: once we stumble upon age 50, these things are crucial in early
detection of one of nature's cruelest surprises. I stepped to the plate a
couple of years ago and told you so, hopefully rallying other digestive
tracts to the cause.

Now, although it's a private subject "hardly anyone" wants to discuss,
"hardly anyone" means that there are people who don't mind sharing the
experience. They were born with caring colons. God love 'em. Such is one
of the finest reporters and human beings I have ever worked with. Donnie
Golfgame recently experienced this procedure first-hand, for lack of a
better term. Or maybe that is the perfect term. Regardless, he files this
report from the Rookie Colonoscopy League, which he joined on a recent
eventful Monday afternoon.

Editor's Note: I told Donnie he would want to bat leadoff in this game, as
I had been taught when I was a rookie. But he messed around and selected
an afternoon start time. Ummm. If you need to get a colonoscopy -- and if
you are 50 and haven't gotten one, you do -- try to be first in line for
several reasons, any of which you should be able to surmise.

Some of Donnie I will paraphrase, but you will get his drift, which is
that if our colons can do it, yours can too:

"It's simply amazing," Donnie GG said, "that after they ran a tube six
feet into my colon, I felt no after effects. No cramps, no soreness or
swelling. Well, no more than usual, considering where I work and how I'm
taken advantage of all the live-long day. Another story tho...

"It's kind of surreal looking back on it. (There is no other angle, from
what I can tell, to look at this sort of thing.) Again, the anxiety factor
was major heading toward the 6:30 evening-prior prep time. So much so that
I said 'what the heck' and began the process early. You know, a 'hit it
before it hits me' kind of thing. It wasn't good, but not nearly as bad as
I had anticipated, which I think made it tolerable.

"Can't say the thought of Round 2 was that appealing at 7 the next
morning, but again I hit it head-on starting at 6:45 a.m. Then after some
hand-wringing and wondering why I opted for a 3 p.m. appointment, next
thing you know I'm riding in the car with my wife to the clinic. They were
running behind -- no pun intended -- so instead of 3, they didn't get me
into 'the room' until 4 p.m.

"After some chatter, and a realization on my part that there were far more
people in the room than I had expected, the nurse told me I'd feel a warm
sensation and then 'You'll fall asleep and wake up when it's over.' I saw
her plug the syringe into the IV, and I 'relaxed' as much as you can on
your side in a gown on a table with lots of strangers around, especially
when you know exactly what they are about to do to you, and I remember
thinking, 'I don't feel a warm sensation...

"And then I woke up.

"My wife told me I was talking gibberish right before I woke, but she did
hear me say distinctly, 'There's too many people.' I don't have any
recollection of that, but I hope that while I was asleep I didn't ask any
of them to leave, or to get out and leave me and my colon alone, since
that was, after all, the whole point of our being there.

"So from my insides to yours, I can't thank you enough for what your
support has meant to me. Your own personal colon will be glad to know that
all my results were good, for which I am grateful. The doctor said I
should come back in 10 years, which seems like a long time; he told me
that amount of time between procedures was normal, which made me feel
better. I thought it might have been something I'd said..."