Fantastic Voyage ~ A Twisted Piece Of Creative NonFiction
I had a colonoscopy last week. It’s a basic rite of passage into middle age and while this wasn’t my first rodeo, that didn’t make it any easier. The prep is worse than the procedure. The entire week preceding the procedure I had to abstain from seeds, nuts, popcorn, and corn; which made the local squirrel population rejoice, because it just meant more for them. Also on the no fly list were ANY and ALL raw fruits and vegetables. Oh by the way, no anti inflammatory medications either. So if you have any aches and pains that you’d normally knock out with ibuprofen, forget it Buster. It’s like: “Here, chew on this old piece of saddle leather and tough it out. “
At noon on the day before the procedure, I began my vision quest in earnest by guzzling a 16 ounce witch’s brew of vile tasting laxative salts, then pounding down 32 ounces of water. Just so you know, this is not your Father’s Nectar of the Gods. It’s actually more repugnant than the worm at the bottom of a bottle of cheap mescal on spring break in Tijuana. Only you don’t wake up with a new tattoo. And don’t venture too far from the bathroom after chug-a-lugging this stuff either, because it’s fire in the hole baby! Almost immediately, my lower GI tract started rumbling like Mt. Vesuvius. I sprinted to the bathroom so fast I would have crushed the 40 yard dash at the NFL Combine. Anyway, the end result was not so much a bowel movement as it was the storm surge from Hurricane Sandy and the gushing torrent from a hundred fire hoses at a 4 alarm house fire. This inelegant display occurred multiple times throughout the afternoon. Just as things seemed to be settling down I repeated the entire sequence at 6 PM. The only nourishment allowed is clear liquids, although the final insult is being denied alcohol. What possible harm could come from downing a vodka tonic? That’s’ a clear liquid. I just hope this all serves as penance for my sins.
The next morning the temperature was a sphincter-clenching 9 degrees below zero. Not exactly conducive to mentally preparing for someone going all up in there with camera attached to a tube. I reported to the hospital at 7:45 AM and ran the gauntlet through admissions, which was more like a series of interviews in which they repeated the same questions.
“Have you recently undergone any medical procedures in North Korea?”
“Have you or any members of your family ever knowingly worn spandex bicycle shorts, tube socks and a mullet in public?
“Do you have any foreign objects lodged in your rectum, including, but not limited to, fruits, vegetables, small mammals or action figures?”
Of course one of the high points of the entire experience is rocking the skimpy, floral print gown that’s open in the back. I could have just worn assless chaps to the party.
After all that, the actual procedure only takes about 15 minutes. There was one final round of interview questions by my physician as I was being sedated. I remember saying that I might need more drugs because I wasn’t really feeling anything, then BAM! I was out like a drunken sailor on shore leave. The next thing I remember was waking up feeling like I’d been roofied in The Hangover. Only I wasn’t lying face down in my own drool and there was no tiger. I hardly recall anything that was said about the procedure other than they discovered the lost continent of Atlantis in my colon. I’m working on a six figure deal with National Geographic right now.