Oh Boy, I get to get a Colonoscopy

The following story is about the humiliations I suffered during my recent colonoscopy, but in the end (pun not intended) it was worth it.

There is a story behind (still another unintended pun)  the title “Oh Boy, I get to get a Colonoscopy.”

Billy Roberts tells his kids when they whine about having to go to school or church, that they are getting to go instead of having to go.  “If you get to then you don’t have too and getting to is a lot more fun.”

Larry Eidson’s parents must have told him the same thing, because I remember laughing at him late one night in the locker-room after a Jr. High football game when he said with his northern accent, “Oh Boy – I gaat to wok home.”  My friend Tim Gravitt also overheard it and from then on every time where the situation was apropo, we would say,  “Oh Boy, I gaat to wok home,” in our best Larry Eidson voice. So the title is in honor of my former teammate Larry Eidson and my old friend Tim Gravitt, who I lost 23 years ago to an auto accident, and who I still think about when the situation is appropriate for an “Oh Boy” statement.

The reason that I am having my second colonoscopy in seven years is that I have a history of colon cancer in my family.  My mom, Ruth Mize, died in 1982 with colon cancer.  That was before the endoscopic technology was in wide use.  If that technology had been used on her in the early stages of her feeling bad, she might still be with us today.  She would be in her nineties.  Her sister Annie Mae lived to be 102.

My first colonoscopy, seven years ago, showed that I had polyps that left untreated could turn into cancer, but removal during endoscopic procedure would cure the problem and it takes about five years for a new polyp to grow back, so here I am again.

A colonoscopy is actually a two day deal.

Day one

Humiliation number 1

The colon has to be cleaned for the procedure, so that is the goal of day one. Take the pills and drink the medicine.  No food after breakfast on day one.  About noon you are to take the prescribed laxative and at six o’clock you drink five eight ounce glasses of a clear liquid known a Ducolax.  This stuff does not really taste bad, but has the consistency of Castor oil and after the fifth glass, well, it was all I could do to keep from gagging.  If you have never drank Castor oil, you have missed a treat…not really.  Drinking this stuff would be humiliation number 2.

Anyway, I had an opportunity to play tennis at 6:00 p.m., so I decided to start my Ducolax at 3:30.  I knew there was going to be a risk to this, but what the heck, I wanted to play tennis.  I drank the five glasses in fifty minutes and spent the next hour and a half…well, you know where. You guessed it…humiliation number 3 or should it be number 2 part 2.

I met the guys at six, but I was walking a little gingerly. (Humiliation #4)  It was sprinkling a bit, so they thought they would go to Zaxby’s for dinner and wait to see if the clouds passed over.  Of course, I couldn’t eat, (#5) but they had the wings and things with fries and slaw.  I learned more about hot peppers in thirty minutes than I had learned in all my life combined.  Unknown to me, my tennis partners were pepper experts and had sampled peppers from all over the world.   I couldn’t eat, but I knew where I was going tomorrow after the procedure.

The clouds blew over and we went back to the tennis courts.  After a few minutes of warm up, nature called me and I had to take care of some business.  (Humiliation # 6) Afterwards, I thought I better tell the guys my dilemma in case I had to go back for another round.  (#7) Well, Of course they got a big laugh out of that and I endured more jokes during our match. (#8) They kept trying to get me to stretch out and jump and whatever else that might give them an advantage or a laugh at my expense.   All in all I did well and we split sets.

The day of the procedure.

Up at four a.m. to begin drinking five more eight ounces glasses of Ducolax.  Ducolax is a very good name for this medicine. (#9)

Devon picked me up at 7:45 so we could be at the hospital at 8:00.  I did the normal paperwork and was back in the prep room by 8:30.

Nurse Nancy gave me some instructions and finally gave me the gown of shame (I hate those things). (Humiliation #10) Something about wearing something called a gown that goes against everything I believe in.  And I don’t like the thought of these sweet and pretty nurses seeing me in such a humble condition. (#11)

Even worse, this really cute nurse tells me about what they are about to do to me.  They are going to blow my insides up with gas so that they can take a camera to look around.  (#12) She then tells me that one of the things they want me to do in recovery is to pass as much gas as possible. (#13)  I don’t know about you, but I have spent many an uncomfortable hour in my life trying not to pass gas around pretty girls.  It goes against my natural instinct, but I agreed to try. (#14)

The nurse then informs me that it is time to insert my IV.  She asks me if she needs to deaden the area first.  Of course, I say no, because I am so tough.  Another thing I do around pretty girls. (also an attempt to regain some dignity)

After it is inserted she tells me about the sedative she is about to give me.  Why do they give drugs names that I can’t pronounce? (#15)  Anyway, I decide to count backwards to see far I get.  I get to eighty two and think I might have gotten off track.  I start again at 82 and 78 is the last number I remember.

Next thing I knew I was waking up in recovery.  I think it was the sound of passing gas that woke me.  (Humiliation #16) The nurse was in almost immediately after I awoke and told me everything looked pretty good and that Dr. Wilkes had cut off one more polyp on my descending colon.

You are out of here sucker

You are out of here sucker

I do remember putting on my clothes and walking to the car.  It was 10:30 and I ask Devon to take me to Zaxby’s.  I still had Zaxby’s on the brain.  I am kind of drowsy, but I feel pretty good.  When we pull into the parking lot at Zaxby’s my stomach gets upset and I open the door to vomit. (#17)  I have no idea what was in my stomach except maybe a little residual Ducolax.  That is exactly what it looked like.  If you are reading this and you were one of the ones walking into Zaxby’s when this happened…my apologies. (#18) We decide on the drive thru.

We get home and I eat every bite and take a wonderful nap till 6:30.  I am now up and good to go.

That is when I began this post.  I hope you were humored a bit by my humiliation, but I also hope you will get this very important procedure done.  I might add that if I had to do it again, I would choose Dr. Wilkes to do it.  Enduring this humiliation just might prolong your life.

As a reader of my blog I would like to make you a special offer.  Go to the contact me tab and ask me to send you my ebook entitled “The Power of Humility.”  It is free during the pre launch stage and I would very much appreciate if you would write me a two sentence review that I can use for marketing purposes.


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