Friday, April 27, 2007

Inside Man

Among the “benefits” of being fifty-one years old and the owner of a hemorrhoid and family history of colon cancer is the necessity for occasional colonoscopies. (For those of you not well versed in the intricacies of invasive medical procedures, a colonoscopy involves sending a fiber optic tube approximately 75 feet up your ass to take pictures of your innards. Think I exaggerate? It wasn’t your asshole.)

The first impression I got of yesterday’s procedure was the warning that the laxative I had to drink should be ingested through a straw, “to get it past the taste buds.” Doesn’t that sound promising? I hadn’t tasted anything this nasty since Lady Voldemort and I went our separate ways.

There’s more to do than just drinking Liquid Plumber for Humans. My pre-procedure fast lasted forty-two hours. That’s a long time for a 240-pound man. Calling it a “fast” is a misnomer; time had not moved this slowly since I left Lady Voldemort. (I know, that’s two paragraphs in a row. Having things shoved up my ass must bring her to mind.)

Forty-two hours doesn’t seem like much compared to Gandhi’s hunger strikes, but look at the context. Gandhi didn’t weigh a buck-twenty-five, even if his diaper was wet. I need twice as much food just to maintain weight. Plus, food obviously takes a more elevated place in my pantheon of pleasures than his. (That’s why I weigh 240, right?)

Aside from that, what did Gandhi eat, and how much of a sacrifice was it to skip three, four, or fifty meals? To me, anything eaten that doesn’t have at least some meat in it is a snack, not a meal. My relatively brief fast allowed cattle to sleep easier than anything since the advent of Chick Fil-A.

So it’s the morning of the procedure. I’m starving, and my butt’s been wiped more times than Tom Cruise has been asked to come out of the closet. I talk to the doctor for a few minutes, and he steps out of sight and gets quiet. For all I know he left the room. Just about the time I start to wonder when the hell they’re going to get this show on the road, the nurse offers me something to drink.

It’s over. I missed it. The anesthesia was so quick and so good, I didn’t even have to count backward from one hundred. If I did, I don’t remember it. Nothing to complain about here, right? An invasive procedure rendered so painless I missed it. Couldn’t be better.

Maybe. Problem is, did I get scoped at all? Sure, they gave me color pictures. What difference does that make? Could you pick your colon out of a photo array? For all I know, they could have played tic-tac-toe on my bare ass with felt-tipped pens. It’s not like I can see back there.

It’s all about trust. (Let’s face it, if pulling down your pants and allowing strangers to knock you out without any supervision isn’t all about trust, I don’t know what is.) The good news is that recent advances in technology have allowed them to make the fiber optic tubes both longer, and more flexible. So now I not only know my colon is clean, I don’t have any cavities, either.

1 comment:

Matt said...

Hah! Feel as lucky as you are. They didn't put me to sleep, just a mild sedative. Don't think I wasn't reaching for that plunger of the syringe they left in the IV, within reach, after about 2 seconds.