The Rectal Roto-Rooter

Okay, the title is tacky but at least it’s alliterative.  And it got your attention.

Today I “enjoyed” the adult rite of passage, the colonoscopy.

Everyone told me that the worst part is the preparation the day before–no food, liquid diet, then having to force down a gallon of the aptly named “go-lyte”.  For the most part, that was true.  The glop you have to drink is thick and yucky, but if you put enough lemon Crystal Light in it you can manage to get it down.  Half a gallon the night before, then I had to get up at 6:00 am to choke down the other half.

The process is the usual bureaucratic silliness.  Check in, pay the $100 co-pay, have 5 people ask your name and date of birth (while looking at your Kaiser card AND your wrist bracelet) to make sure nobody cons Kaiser out of a cheap colonoscopy.

In theory, the whole thing is painless because you are sedated.  Everyone told me that they couldn’t even remember it.  Not me.  Kaiser was saving money on drugs today, because I woke up in the middle.  Yes, it hurts, but less than the dentist.  The interesting part is being awake lets you watch what’s happening on the screen the doctor is watching.  I’ve seen more of the inside of my colon that I ever thought I would, or wanted to, but it was kind of fun.  There were a couple of benign polyps she cut out and it’s intriguing to see the little remote forceps at work.

Then it’s all over, you get dressed and go home.  You can enjoy, if that’s possible, being enormously gassy yet guilt free about it.  They give you the usual dire threats–no driving until tomorrow, no alcohol for 24 hours, take it easy.  Just lawyerly butt-covering, ignore it.  I was driving 3 hours later, no problems.  Probably could have driven myself home but they insisted that Gail accompany so I wouldn’t have to.

So it’s over.  Like most people, I had been avoiding it and dreading it.  If that’s the position you’re in, just bite the bullet and do it–the hard part is drinking the glop, the rest is easy.  You’ll be glad you did.

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