Colonoscopy chronology

EMPTY NEST

BY CURT SWARM

My wife and I mark our time together by colonoscopies. Yup. You see, we had just started going together. It was our second date. I had to have someone with me or the hospital wouldn't perform the surgery. (I don't know why they call it surgery.) So, I asked Ginnie if she would accompany me during the procedure. She rolled her eyes but agreed. True love.

That was five years ago. They found one polyp, so I had to have the next colonoscopy in five years. I just had that one. Chronologically speaking, we've been together for two colonoscopies.  Ginnie can now tell her granddaughter that for our second date, she went with Grandpa for his colonoscopy. Special. 

Anywho, for that first colonoscopy (is this TMI?), I insisted on no anesthesia.  The surgeon asked why. I told her it was because I wanted to write about it.

“Ok, would you like to listen to music during the procedure?”

“Sure.” I said the first group that popped into my head — ACDC. During the procedure, “Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap” came on. I'm not kidding. The surgeon and nurses were dancing with each other. What a hoot!

So, second time around, I went without anesthesia again. This time I was prepared for the music question and asked for Pink Floyd’s, “Dark Side of the Moon.” When the surgeon was making a turn in my colon (the most uncomfortable time, but not that bad), the lyrics, “I'll meet you on the dark side of the moon” came on. I retreated to my default armor of reciting the 23rd Psalm (“Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow...”), and got through it just fine. It was all sort of eerie, like traveling through space and time. 

They found two polyps, and I was able to watch their removal. A polyp looks like a small grape, and is the same color as the inside of the colon. I would have never seen them. But the professional eye of the surgeon and nurses did. Next colonoscopy: five years.

All joking aside, 100% of colon cancer starts as polyps. Their removal is very important. Sure, you can get that colon test where you use a bag, send it in, and it's analyzed for cancer cells. But that's looking for cancer cells.  Polyps need to be removed before they become cancerous. Call me Dr. Curt Oz.

Everyone needs to see the inside of their colon. This is the Temple of the Lord, folks, and it's worth taking a look at. Sure, the surgeon can send you home with color photos, but it's nothing like seeing your body live on the big screen. With Pink Floyd playing.

There are a couple of reasons why I prefer going without anesthesia: (1) I’m a writer, and like to write about it, ergo, I need to be alert and oriented times three, i.e., I know my name, where I'm at, and who the president of the United States is. (2) I don't want to spend the rest of the day in la-la land. I interviewed a fellow for a story the afternoon of the colonoscopy. He was incredulous. “You just had a colonoscopy?” 

“Yep.” Why waste a good afternoon when you can be doing something productive?

Ginnie just had her colonoscopy, also. (That's what old folks do, you know: go to funerals and have colonoscopies.) She, of course, wanted no part of watching the procedure. I took her out for breakfast afterwards. You’re always real hungry after fasting. She ordered pancakes, which she never eats (and couldn’t finish), and told the waitress all about her colonoscopy. 

The waitress cocked an eyebrow and said, “Oh, really.”

Ginnie remembers nothing of it.

We're not going back there again.

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