Wednesday, November 9, 2011

THAT ORANGE RUBBER BAG.....The Real American Horror Story

Ever since "Twilight" hit the book stores, we've been assaulted by a tsunami of books, movies and television shows that feature vampires, werewolves, zombies and assorted supernatural elements.  Some are better than others and I'm too ashamed to tell you how many times I've read the entire "Twilight" series.  I once watched the movie every day for thirty days in a row...but that's my problem (one of them, at least).  Some thngs are scarier than others, depending on your childhood experiences:  visits to the dentist, prostate exams for men, and the fear of what kind of comments health professionals make to relieve the tedium when we're out cold on the surgical table.

If you're wondering where I'm going with this.....well, I just got finished filling out a shaft of paperwork for a, um, oh christ, I'll just say it...a colonoscopy.  There, are you happy?  Can you sit there reading this and lie to me electronically that you don't have a little snarking smile on your face?  I don't want to go.  I hate it.  But I have a family history that is scarier than the prospect of undergoing the procedure.  And the 24-48 hours before the procedure are more frightening than the colonoscopy itself.  You can either drink a gallon of a foul-tasting powdered mix or endure a 32 to 40 pill regimen.  The recommendation is to prepare yourself to spend 1-2 days on a toilet.  Some wise-ass recommended stocking the bathroom with your favorite magazines or a book you've been meaning to read.  Avoid tear-jerkers as you'll be losing enough fluid already to cancel out all the anti-pollution efforts of the last two years for the Chesapeake Bay.  At least during the colonoscopy, you'll be sedated while the surgeon plays "Where's Waldo" in your plumbing.

Quite by coincidence, an email popped up in my inbox today from a popular company that specializes in customer reviews of local service providers such as contractors, repair men, etc.  Today's topic was, "Does colon hydrotherapy provide a healthy flush?"  Now I don't know about you, but I'm not all that keen on getting this advice alongside roofing repairs and lawn maintenance.  Apparently this practice is called a 'colonic' and people actually pay to have it done to rid their body of 'toxins'.


This is where my basic childhood fears come into play.  My mother wouldn't have known a 'colonic' from a hole (sorry) in the ground, but she was a big fan of monitoring her kids' bowel habits.  If you didn't poop for two days, she'd loom large in the hall with the.....drum roll, please....enema bag.  I hated that orange bag with the hose and hook and would go to any length to stay beyond the reach of that nozzle.  She didn't give a fig about toxins.  We knew what she was really after....and I'm not shi**ing you.

So, be kind to me for the next few weeks as I face down the gastroenterologic boogieman, the professional spelunker.  At least mom never had a camera and it was over quickly once she could grab hold of you and plant a knee in the middle of your back.  Just don't call me on the phone until its over because I'll be holding on desperately to my Kindle...and my voice might sound a little strained.  


Connie J Jasperson said...

Oh Gods, you have me dying here Kathleen! Trust me, you will never even remember it - I have been there twice due to mother having been a colon cancer survivor. We never were subjected to the orange bag, we had daily doses of cod-liver oil to prevent such a thing. And if there was an unforseen interruption in the proper progression of things there was always Castor Oil lurking in the cupboard above the sink, waiting to remedy that situation.


jenny milchman said...

Oh man, Kathleen, I'm sorry, and I admire your bravery, and good luck--it will all be done with soon!!

Stephen M. Swartz said...

I hope they don't find what they're looking for. (I think that's the correct angle.)

Sue said...

Oh gosh you are soooo dramatic. I ate breakfast the day before, drank the "koolaid" and it was pretty awful but not even 24 hours. I did get deep sedation so I was not even aware of the procedure and the good news is once its over you just get up and walk out (Ok someone has to drive you home). It's coming up again next year.