07 January 2017

Journey to the Center of the Earth

With apologies to famed author Jules Verne (but none to Brendan Fraser who starred in the remake of the film by the same name of Verne's book. Because Brendan Fraser), I'm going to recount my own "Journey to the Center of the Earth" from earlier this week. How did I get there, you ask? Well, if I'm honest, I didn't. Instead, I had my first colonoscopy and this seemed like an apt euphemism.

If you don't follow me on the Facebook or the Twitter, you would have missed the fact that I was embarking on this adventure (thanks for that little belated gift, 50th birthday). Because I have a particularly low shame threshold, I either posted or live tweeted as much of the shenanigans as I could. There was a reason for that, I promise, and I'll get to that.

That said, I'm going to cut to the chase. The procedure itself, having "a camera inserted into your rectum" as my 12 year old doctor (seriously...he was the Indian version of 'Doogie Howser' - I have suits in my closet that are older than him) reminded me as I was splayed out in the prep room, was an absolute breeze. Primarily because of the delightful dose of Michael Jackson's favorite sleepy time med, Propofol. Once I was wheeled into the procedure room and I was splayed out differently (on my left side - apparently that's the appropriate angle of attack), the nurse anesthetist said to me, "Ready for a nap?" and like that, I was out. I was so out that I didn't mind in the least that I was being bored like an oil drill fracking the Oklahoma countryside. Before I knew it, I was in Recovery asking the stunningly patient and mighty fine SML how long she'd been there. I asked her this repeatedly. It was then that the attending nurse said I'd been very funny as I came out of the Jackson Juice haze. This concerns me for a host of reasons. After a post-procedure snack of water and a blueberry protein bar (nothing but the best at this facility), I walked out and since I'd not eaten in nearly 40 hours, we went to lunch. That was it. Seriously.

The procedure really was a breeze. What was awful was the prep and by prep, I mean Suprep. Created in the darkest bowel (pun absolutely intended) of Satan's Pharmacy on the Seventh Ring of Hell, this two bottle solution of the foulest tasting concoction is meant to clean out your tender colon faster than a drug-fueled all you can eat binge on Jack In The Box tacos. Marketed as "berry flavored," the clear translucent liquid cleverly hides its foulness. Let me be clear that it is not berry flavored. It is berry scented and this difference, as our mentally unstable, pathologically allergic to honesty President Elect would say, is "yuge!"The Berry Council, if there is such a thing, should sue for defamation of character because this stuff is as noxious as it gets. To call it gross is an offense to things that are really gross (the cast of "The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills" come to mind). I managed to choke down the first dose without much of a fight and then I waited for the output. Within an hour, the output burst forth like a firehose gushing wildly with no ability to turn it off. As a result, this was my view for more time than I'd like to admit:

After more of this than I care to recall, it was time for round two of Satan's cocktail. This one was rough. It took me more than ten minutes to choke it down. I chased each gritty, heinous sip with a generous gulp of water and two different flavors of Gatorade. I may or may not have shed a tear during this process as well. I need to point out that my son, who had to go through this experience in a 'clinic' in southern Mexico, was laughing riotously the whole time. Honestly, I can't imagine what he went through so I'm glad he could laugh at mine. Anyway, with round two barely down, its desired effects went into overdrive. It was past 10PM and I was terrified to go to sleep because given the speed with which this crap (again, pun intended) works, the likelihood of an in-bed tragedy was too high, so I stayed awake as long as I could. The stunningly patient and mighty fine SML was literally lying next to a ticking time bomb and I, as the bomb, knew that, so sleep didn't come easily to either of us, once I decided the coast was clear for the upcoming journey to the center of the earth.

That journey, for me, yielded an excellent result. A clean bill of health for my colon was declared by the doctor (BONUS - this means none of that Suprep garbage for another five years!). It was good to know. As I read up in advance of the procedure, I learned that colon cancer ranks in the top three of cancer killers but it is one of the most preventable. It was then that I decided I would share as much of the process as I could; hence, the posts and Tweets. You'll be glad to now that my wife snatched my phone out of my hands as I was led away by some nurses to get prepped because she has a great deal more good sense than I. Yes, the prep is really a suckfest but the procedure is a snap. For those of you that have been afraid to get this done, DO IT! Get screened. In the rear end, you'll be glad you did.

To learn more about colon cancer and prevention, check out either of these two organizations:
Colon Cancer Alliance
Stop Colon Cancer Now

No comments: