Barry's Colonoscopy Journal
From: tom on 10/31/2008
and From: virv on 8/18/2011 (S616b, S762)
OK. You turned
50. You know you're supposed to get a colonoscopy.
But you haven't.
Here are your reasons:
don't have a history of cancer in your family.
haven't noticed any problems.
don't want a doctor to stick
a tube 17,000 feet up your butt.
Let's examine these
reasons one at a time. No, wait, let's not.
Because you and I
both know that the only real reason is No. 4.
This is natural.
The idea of having another human, even a medical human, becoming deeply
involved in what is technically known as
zone'' gives you the creeping willies.
Five years pass...
I did nothing.
Five more years passed.
I turned 60, and I still hadn't gotten a colonoscopy. Then, a couple
of weeks ago, I got an e-mail from my brother Sam, who is 10 years younger
than I am, but more mature.
The email was addressed
to me and my middle brother, Phil. It said:
``I went in for
a routine colonoscopy and got the dreaded
We're told it's early and that there is
a good prognosis
that they can get it all out, so, fingers
on wood, and all that. And of course they
told me to tell
my siblings to get screened. I imagine you
First I called Sam.
He was hopeful, but scared. We talked for
a while, and when
we hung up, I called my friend Andy Sable, a gastroenterologist, to make
an appointment for a colonoscopy. A
few days later, in
his office, Andy showed me a color diagram of
the colon, a lengthy
organ that appears to go all over the place,
at one point passing
briefly through Minneapolis ..
Andy explained the colonoscopy procedure to me
in a thorough, reassuring
and patient manner. I nodded thoughtfully, but I didn't really hear anything
said, because my
brain was shrieking, quote, 'HE'S
GOING TO STICK A
TUBE 17,000 FEET UP YOUR BEHIND!'
Drawing from CrohnsDiseaseFocus.com
I left Andy's office
with some written instructions, and a pres-
cription for a product
called 'MoviPrep,' which comes in a box
large enough to hold
a microwave oven. I will discuss MoviPrep
in detail later;
for now suffice it to say that we must never allow
it to fall into the
hands of America 's enemies.
I spent the next several
days productively sitting around being nervous. Then, on the day
before my colonoscopy, I began my preparation. In accordance with
my instructions, I didn't eat
any solid food that
day; all I had was chicken broth, which is
only with less flavor.
Then, in the evening,
I took the MoviPrep. You 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 32
gallons.) Then you have to drink the whole jug.
This takes about
an hour, because MoviPrep tastes - and here I am
being kind - like
a mixture of goat spit and urinal cleanser, with just a hint of lemon.
The instructions for
MoviPrep, clearly written by somebody with a
sense of humor, state that after you drink it,'a loose watery bowel movement
may result.' This is kind
of like saying that
after you jump off your roof, you
may experience contact
with the ground. MoviPrep is a nuclear laxative. I don't want
to be too graphic, here, but: Have you ever seen a space-shuttle
is pretty much the
MoviPrep experience, with you as the shuttle......................................Photo
There are times when
you wish the commode had a seat belt. You
spend several hours
pretty much confined to the bathroom, spurting
You eliminate everything. And then, when you figure
you must be totally
empty, you have to drink another liter of
MoviPrep, at which
point, as far as I can tell, your bowels travel
into the future and
start eliminating food that you have not even
After an action-packed
evening, I finally got to sleep.
The next morning my
wife drove me to the clinic. I was very nervous. Not only was I worried
about the procedure, but I had been exper-
return bouts of MoviPrep spurtage. I was
thinking, 'What if
I spurt on Andy?' How do you apologize to a
friend for something
like that? Flowers would not be enough.
At the clinic I had
to sign many forms acknowledging that I under-
you put it on, makes
you feel even more naked than when you are actually naked.
and totally agreed with whatever the heck the forms
they led me to a room full of other colonoscopy people, where I went inside
a little curtained space and
took off my clothes
and put on one of those hospital
by sadist perverts, the kind that, when
Drawing from AlongPlumCreek.BlogSpot.com
Then a nurse named
Eddie put a little needle in a vein in my left hand. Ordinarily I
would have fainted, but Eddie was very good,
and I was already
lying down. Eddie also told me that some people
put vodka in their
MoviPrep. At first I was ticked off that I had
not thought of this,
but then I pondered what would happen if you
got yourself too
tipsy to make it to the bathroom, so you were staggering around in full
Fire Hose Mode. You would have no
choice but to burn
my left side, and the
anesthesiologist began hooking something up
everything was ready, Eddie wheeled me into the pro-
cedure room, where
Andy was waiting with a nurse and an anesthesiologist. I did not
see the 17,000-foot tube, but
I knew Andy had it
hidden around there somewhere. I was seriously nervous at this point.
Andy had me roll over on
Photo from MercyNorthIowa.com
to the needle in
There was music playing
in the room, and I realized that the song
was 'Dancing Queen'
by Abba. I remarked to Andy that, of all the
songs that could
be playing during this particular procedure,
'Dancing Queen' has
to be the least appropriate. 'You want me to
turn it up?' said
Andy, from somewhere behind me. 'Ha ha,' I said. And then it
was time, the moment I had been dreading for more than decade.
If you are squeamish,
prepare yourself, because I am going to tell
you, in explicit
detail, exactly what it was like. I have no idea. Really. I
slept through it. One moment, Abba was shrieking
Feel the beat from the tambourine and the next
moment, I was back
in the other room, waking up in a very mellow
Andy was looking down
at me and asking me how I felt. I felt excellent. I felt even
more excellent when Andy told me that it
was all over, and
that my colon had passed with flying colors.
I have never been
prouder of an internal organ.