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Old 01-22-2015, 02:47 PM   #1
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Unhappy Colonoscopy Journal

Dave Barry is a Pulitzer Prize-winning humor columnist for the Miami Herald.

Colonoscopy Journal:

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.
Then Andy explained the colonoscopy procedure to me in a thorough, reassuring and patient manner.

I nodded thoughtfully, but I didn't really hear anything he said, because my brain was shrieking, 'HE'S GOING TO STICK A TUBE 17,000 FEET UP YOUR BEHIND!'

I left Andy's office with some written instructions, and a prescription 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 basically water, only with less flavor.

Then, in the evening, I took the MoviPrep. You mix two packets of powder together in a one-literplastic 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 great 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 launch? This is pretty much the MoviPrep experience, with you as the shuttle. There are times when you wish the commode had a seat belt. You spend several hours pretty much confined to the bathroom, spurting violently. 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 eaten yet.

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 experiencing occasional 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 understood and totally agreed with whatever the heck the forms said. Then 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 garments designed by sadist perverts, the kind that, when you put it on, makes you feel even more naked than when you are actually naked..

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 hadn't 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 your house.

When everything was ready, Eddie wheeled me into the procedure 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 my left side, and the anesthesiologist began hooking something up to the needle in my hand.

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' had 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 a 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 yelling 'Dancing Queen, feel the beat of the tambourine,' and the next moment, I was back in the other room, waking up in a very mellow mood.

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.

On the subject of Colonoscopies...
Colonoscopies are no joke, but these comments during the exam were quite humorous.... A physician claimed that the following are actual comments made by his patients (predominately male) while he was performing their colonoscopies:

1.. 'Take it easy, Doc. You're boldly going where no man has gone before!'

2.. 'Find Amelia Earhart yet?'

3.. 'Can you hear me NOW?'

4.. 'Are we there yet? Are we there yet? Are we there yet?'

5.. 'You know, in Arkansas , we're now legally married.'

6.. 'Any sign of the trapped miners, Chief?'

7.. 'You put your left hand in, you take your left hand out...'

8.. 'Hey! Now I know how a Muppet feels!'

9.. 'If your hand doesn't fit, you must quit!'

10. 'Hey Doc, let me know if you find my dignity.'

11. 'You used to be an executive at Enron, didn't you?'

12. 'God, now I know why I am not gay.'

And the best one of all:
13. 'Could you write a note for my wife saying that my head is not up there?'

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Old 01-22-2015, 02:56 PM   #2
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I had one a few years ago. BY FAR the worst part was the movie prep.

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Old 01-22-2015, 02:56 PM   #3
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Okay, that was pretty good. I have been putting off the procedure for just the reasons stated, but his last remarks about the actual procedure did not sound as bad as I had imagined. Maybe...............................
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Old 01-22-2015, 03:01 PM   #4
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Dave Barry is great!
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Old 01-22-2015, 03:06 PM   #5
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After age 50, doctors are looking for a colonoscopy to be done every 5 years. The IV is the worst part.

Such tests are very, very important part of being proactive in your healthcare. Also just as important are having a full physical examination with chest x-rays completed.

I cannot tell you how many friends and relatives that have passed early from illnesses that might have been spotted from the above testing. Tests are just not that big of a deal.
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Old 01-22-2015, 03:11 PM   #6
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To Cooperhawk, I've had it done 2 or 3 times over the last 20 years and really, you don't even know when they do it. As this guy states, the worst part is your own imagination . And or course the 'prep'.

This is something that everybody should do after 50. Also get your shingles shot, NOW. My best friend got shingles (on his head and face) in March 2013 and is still suffering the effects of it.
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Old 01-22-2015, 04:37 PM   #7
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Thanks for the read, Gerry!

To Cooperhawk, I had an upper (thru the mouth) and a lower (thru the other hole) at the Mayo Clinic by the same doc. When he asked me if I had any questions, I told him if he was going to use the same scope for both procedures, to please perform the upper first! He did not see the humor in my statement.

These were very simple procedures, no reason to feel apprehensive about them.

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Old 01-22-2015, 06:36 PM   #8
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They couldn't get an IV on me till the camera was half way on it's journey and the meds kicked in shortly after the procedure was over. I was less than pleased but I will do it again.
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Old 01-22-2015, 06:48 PM   #9
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That is one wonderful sleep. You go to sleep before you know what's happening and when you wake up it's a done deal.
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Old 01-23-2015, 08:27 AM   #10
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The last words I said to the nurse as she was giving me the shot was

"Please, be gentle"

Went to sleep, woke up, felt great especially after the doctor gave me a good report.
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Old 01-23-2015, 09:00 AM   #11
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Due to a family history of stomach cancer, I had an upper, lower and capsule endoscopy done at 42. The capsule endoscopy was a unique thing. Had done the prep (none of them are fun and 4 bottles of magnesium citrate will clean out a camel!) so went in and had the upper done. Woke u and then the doc said the capsule endoscopy was next. He breaks out a large capsule with a strobe light on it. Looked like a small navigational buoy, but I got it swallowed as they put on the vest that held the camera. They told me it would pass through the other end harmlessly. I looked at them suspiciously, but did manage to ask if my poop would still be strobing when it came out (you get to eat 2 hours after you swallow the navy side sonar!). Now mind you, this was right after 9/11 and the vest looked remarkably like a suicide bomber type contraption. Doc says go roll around the mall for 4 hours in my wheelchair. Yeah right...I can see me trying to explain the vest to the local swat team after I freaked someone out! I opted for riding around in the explorer for a nice trip in the country. Thank goodness I don't have to have another one of those. Just had my second lower GI last fall, so I'm good to age 62. I actually watched this one as I don't require sedation due to paralysis. Interesting but a one time show I hink. No polyps, only a couple avms, and a clean digestive tract. Have fun all when it is your turn! LOL
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Old 01-23-2015, 09:16 AM   #12
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And ladies, PLEASE get your mammograms!!
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Old 01-23-2015, 09:41 AM   #13
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Have had it done too many (7) times. The MoviPrep is the latest incarnate of the laxative from hell. It used to be called "Go Lightly". Yeah, Right!

Seriously though, the prep the night before is the worst part. For the test, they give you an IV and you go to sleep. You wake up in the recovery room. Heck, it was the third time before I knew what my Dr. looked like as he was alwas behind me

Get it done ladies and gentlemen. It can save a life. I lost my mother to colon cancer in 93.
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Old 01-23-2015, 09:52 AM   #14
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I talked to one of the Docs that performed the task on my Brother. He said when someone asks him what he does for a living, he replies, "I'm just a pusher."

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