Thanks to my family tree I am now blessed with a quinquennial house cleaning of my colon affectionately referred to as an “evacuation”. This is followed by a medical procedure which in essence is a live “fly by wire” IMAX like video tour starting at my “butt” and ending somewhere just short of my tonsils. All this is set to the musical rendition of ABBA’s Money, Money, Money. The captain commanding this procedure and on the joy stick is my proctologist and video gamer hall of fame inductee Dr. Rogee Ramjet, assisted by two cute interns who are hanging on every flick of the joy stick lever. All the while the “gas passer” behind my head is tapping his feet to rhythm of “Money, Money, Money”. As my senses take in this piece of theater, I couldn’t help but wonder what decision process Dr. Ramjet went through in deciding on this branch of medicine.
The medical procedure, more well know by its doctor speak, “colonoscopy” is preceded by the self -administered procedure referred to as “The Evacuation”, a term I’m more familiar with that preceding a Hurricane in Myrtle Beach. My pre-procedure visit to Rogee’s office yielded a two page instruction sheet and a prescription for a product called ‘MoviPrep’ which comes in a box big enough to hold a bread maker.
This product must not fall into the hands of our enemies. By the end of this post you will understand! I spent the days leading up to the procedure with a daily increase in my level of anxiety. By the way, no matter how many times you undergo this procedure, the anxiety never lessens. The first time, the anxiety is fostered by the unknown, afterwards anxiety is driven by the knowing of what’s coming.
The evacuation regimen starts the day before the colonoscopy, as the instruction stipulated, no solid foods to eat. Just beef broth, which is basically water but with less flavor. Then, that evening I had to mix two packets of powder together in a one-liter plastic jug, then you fill it with lukewarm water. (For those unfamiliar with the metric system, a liter is about 34 ounces; but considering where it is destined to go it looked like 34 quarts.) ). Then you have to drink the whole jug. This takes about an hour, because MoviPrep tastes – being kind – like a mixture of a tobacco chew spit with just a hint of lime and a whiff of toilet bowl cleanser. The composer of the MoviPrep instructions must have a great sense of humor, as it states that after you drink it, “a loose, watery bowel movement may result.” Movement? Hell it’s a whole symphony! And may? I dare say it lasts well into June. MoviPrep must have been invented by Buckley’s for the CIA’s extreme interrogation unit as it not only awful but can be classed as a nuclear laxative.
I spent several hours confined to the bathroom, spurting with great vigor. I eliminated, evacuated, and left town, everything. Once you figure you must be totally empty, I had to drink another liter of MoviPrep, at which point, as far as I could tell, my bowels were literally wringing themselves of any and every drop of anything within their confines. The exodus process was now making rhythmic noises which seem to evoke – “ I’m fed up, and I’m not taking it anymore!” After that action packed and exhausting evening, I fell asleep feeling quite violated.
The next morning, my wife drove me to the hospital. I was more than somewhat nervous. Not only was I worried about the procedure, but I had been experiencing occasional residual barrage of MoviPrep cascading spurts. I was thinking, “What if I spurt on Dr. Rogee Ramjet?” Do I dare interfere with his delicate joystick manipulation? Hell NO!
At the hospital’s colonoscopy floor. I guess there is some element of safety in numbers. I had to sign many forms acknowledging that the risks had been fully explained and I totally agreed with whatever the heck the forms said. That’s the first time the word RISK cropped up in the whole process. After having survived the “evacuation” I couldn’t imaging anything worse. So I asked the nurse about this RISK part on the form. She said, “don’t worry about it, its just to protect the hospital from lawsuits, Just sign it.” Ohh! OK.
Then they led me to a change room and presented me with the famous hospital gown(s). You see I got two (2.) Told to strip and put one on front to back, and the other, back to front. They were like cotton “bomber jackets” that barely covered the must cover areas. A nurse named Nerdie, with absolutely no sense of humor, came in asked me to follow her to a big leather armchair with wings and told me to sit, in a gestapo like tone. In spite of my trepidation about sitting bareback on a leather chair in my condition, I obeyed. Nerdie proceeded to set an iv spigot into my arm. I closed my eyes and winced at the appropriate moment and kept my mouth shut.
“There, now follow me” commanded Nerdie. She ushered me into the procedure room and ordered me to lie on the table, on my side, butt facing Dr. Ramjet, the anesthesiologist and the two pretty interns. I obeyed and simultaneously in a reflex motion, slammed shut my butt cheeks. A quick scan of the procedure room revealed the TV monitor where I assumed the specialty channel would broadcast for all to see my inner world. I also heard a small radio playing and ABBA tune called “money, money, money”. Just as my butt cheeks were cramping up, the anesthesiologist put his hand on my hip and said, “just relax”, I’ll just give you a sedative to help you relax. The hand on the hip did nothing to help me relax. The sedative did it work, I soon went into la la land, to the tune of money, money, money.
When I woke I was already on a gurney in a private curtained cubicle, knees up, bare-assed, wondering how things went. Just then a cheery nurse came bouncing in and zipped open the curtain asking “So how are we feeling?” I quickly slammed down my knees in an attempt to hide my privates, “OK I guess” I replied. “Well, everything went well!” she assured me. “Put your knees up” she insisted. I reluctantly obeyed. I started to conclude that my dignity was entirely removed during the procedure I just underwent. Alone again, soon I started to get abdominal cramps and felt the desire to pass gas which I resisted by clutching my butt cheeks again. This carried on for some time and was now in serious rhythmic cramp pain. I could hear people talking just outside my curtained cubicle, so I was trying to fight the urge to pass gas. After what seemed an eternity, the nurse came in and asked how I was doing. I said “OK I guess, but when can I leave?” Her instant reply, as she was rushing out of the cubicle, was “Just a soon as you fart!” While still in earshot, I let go a doozy!! Without braking a stride I heard her say. You can get dressed now!
On my follow up visit with Dr. Rogee Ramjet, where he explained the procedure and the findings I saw in the waiting room coffee table, a compendium of comments from nervous patients they made during the colonoscopy procedure.
- “Take it easy Doc. You’re boldly going where no man has gone before.”
2. ‘Find Amelia Earhart yet?’
3. ‘Can you hear me NOW?’
4. ‘Are we there yet? Are we there yet? Are we there yet?’
5. ‘You know, in PEI, we’re now legally married.’
6. ‘Any sign of the trapped miners, Chief?’
7. ‘You put your left hand in, you take your left hand out…’
8. ‘Hey! Now I know how a Muppet feels!’
9. ‘If your hand doesn’t fit, you must quit!’
10. ‘Hey Doc, let me know if you find my dignity.’
11. ‘You used to be an executive at Enron, didn’t you?’
And the best one of all:
- 12. ‘Could you write a note for my wife saying that my head is not up there?’~