Another guest blog from my friend Diane Pascoe about a recent medical experience.
Procrastination has always been one of my secret pleasures. Of course things will eventually get to me but
until then, I enjoy putting things off, except eating which I never put off.
So in my usual spirit of avoidance, I happily put off having
that most delicate of all procedures, the colonoscopy, for 10 years until the
guilt finally caught up with me. It was time for that micro-camera to take a peek in my pipeline to be sure
everything was pink and pretty. Frankly, I would rather have eaten dog kibble
than have a colonoscopy, but I decided it was time to grow up and show up.
I made the appointment for April Fool’s Day, which was duly
noted by my love god as perhaps a poor choice of dates. Would the doctor joke with me and tell me he thinks
he just located my missing umbrella? I
tried not to be deterred by such unsettling thoughts and forged ahead..
I bought the prep materials and read the literature. No raw fruits or vegetables for 5 days it said
in bold letters. They didn’t understand-
that’s mostly what I was suppose to eat given I was on a weight loss program. Without fruits and veggies, I’d be forced to
eat chocolate, ice cream and cookies. I
practiced my excuses for my weekly weigh-in at fat school . . . . It’s not my fault . . . they made me eat that
The rules of colonic photo sessions were clear: the day
before the procedure, I was not suppose to eat at all except for clear fluids
that weren’t red or purple, which just happened to be my two favorite food
colors. I started the day with no breakfast and ended
it with, guess what . . . no dinner. I was starving, my stomach was burbling and I
was miserable. I really didn’t
understand why I couldn’t eat whatever I want given that I was going to be
drinking some kind of liquid drano that night that would reportedly create an
internal tsunami that would wipe out all traces of brownies, burgers and
broccoli. But instead I followed the
rules because I couldn’t take a chance that the doctor would declare to everyone
within earshot that he couldn’t get his mini-cam past the chocolate chunks and
That evening, I opened the prep box to find two amber
bottles containing a salty lemonade- tasting mixture, which I dutifully drank, then
followed up with two 16 ounce water chasers. I visited the throne seven times before bed
and once during the night. I repeated this
satanic ritual in the morning, then Honey and I headed off to the clinic.
They were ready for me, like I was royalty. With military precision, I had visits from
various medical personnel including the anesthesiologist, the bummologist
and two female doctorologists who praised
my lipstick (Revlon 712 Hot Coral) my matching nails (natch) and my eyeglasses,
commenting on how very nicely I was put together on this fine day. I was flattered but worried that their
interest in fashion rather than medicine would distract them from my pipeline
probe for which I had just swallowed 32 ounces of water and was about to
burst. Focus, ladies, focus.
Honey exclaimed that for the life of him he could not figure
out why I had on full face paint when I would be unconscious and likely
drooling anyway. There he goes being logical. But here’s the thing - I follow the same
regimen every morning, without concern for what I’ll be doing that day. I might be going to work, or spreading pine
straw, or cleaning toilets or having the Queen visit for tea - but I do my hair
and makeup the same regardless. Nobody
should be forced to look at me au natural, not even the bummologist, though I
doubted he’d be seeing much of my face from where he was sitting.
I was wheeled into the peek-and-poke room which was cold and
dark, but with Phil Collins warbling in the background, I was mildly comforted.
The nurse told me I would soon feel sleepy and . . . . I was gone. I woke up in what seemed like three minutes
talking to someone behind my head whom I didn’t know, but who assured me that he
was Honey. I really wished he were a
cheeseburger at that moment.
|Always good to check out the pipes|
One of the doctorologists came back and chatted with Honey,
who told them that the last time we were in a hospital room together, we went
home with a nearly 10 pound bundle of baby. The happy juice still flowing in my veins had left
me confused and thinking that maybe the doctorologists were planning to present
me with a post-colonoscopy gift of a new baby. Or did they say a new puppy? It’s hard to hear well when you’ve just
discovered you‘re wearing a diaper.
My love god whispered that he saw my colonoscopy pictures
while I was in la-la land and given that they quite lovely and were taken from
what could arguably be my best angle, he ordered double prints. In my groggy state, I was strangely pleased
by this almost-compliment.
The bummologist popped in to tell me the news was good and
they didn’t need to see me for 10 years - no frequent fannie points for this
girl! Looking back, I really don’t know
why I fussed so much about getting this procedure, always declaring that I
really must schedule an appointment, but conveniently forgetting to do
Here’s what I learned from this whole experience: having a colonoscopy is not a bummer at all . . . . but procrastination sure is. So
grow up, show up and say cheese.
Diane Pascoe can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
Labels: colonoscopy, Diane Pascoe, Guest Moments