A different take on colonoscopies

Safe for all pipes

Safe for all pipes (Photo credit: Simon Greig (xrrr))

The beloved husband had a routine colonoscopy last week. It was his second. His last one was ten years ago. I have had three or four over the last 25 years. The last one was last summer. That makes me an expert. I would be the first one to tell you that the procedure is not a big deal. What is a big deal is the huge clean out prior to the procedure. As I mothered  guided him through the process, there were a few things that I learned about the differences between the sexes.

It was easier for him than it was for me. I have always felt that I get overmedicated for everything not just a colonoscopy. I am small and weigh 112 pounds. He is tall and weighs 190 pounds. We got the same identical roto-rooter stuff. How can that be? I was chained to the toilet and had no control over my quivering body. I swear I flushed my lungs down the toilet. He, on the other hand, sashayed into the bathroom and then went back to reading his book.

Seriously, reading a book? I was throwing soiled clothing into the washing machine and he was leisurely drinking Liquid Plummer with iced tea. I used a gallon of bleach to clean the bathroom. Even the cats wouldn’t come near me and we all know they love stinky stuff.

He was content eating bowls of jello which I lovingly made for him. (I am a delightful and caring wife even if I am occasionally bossy.) He had no cravings!!!! I can get cravings two hours after I am not supposed to eat something — sometimes it’s only two minutes! This was just so wrong.

His mantra was, “it’s only a day.” My mantra was, “please God, I’ll be good, just one mocha latte please!!” which was followed by wailing self-pity heard throughout the neighborhood.

I fantasized (for 24 hours) about the glorious dinner I would have after the procedure. I spent hours deciding if I would immediately have ice cream or wait for a steak dinner or maybe a soft pretzel or maybe lobster. I asked him what he would like to eat afterwards and he didn’t care. Whatever I felt like making. I did the fantasizing for him and came up with fried chicken. The kind with the fatty skin still on it! Yum! I had to eat it with him so he wouldn’t feel alone. I am that kind of martyr.

The gown fit him better too. It was in a delightful shade of green that complimented his skin color. As I remember, I wrapped my gown around me three times. They had a hard time finding my….ummm…bottom. Mine was also in basic white which definitely washes me out.

The procedure went well. They did some snipping so he was…well….sore. He couldn’t define it but it wasn’t bad. After all he had the best designer drugs for the procedure.  He was also full of gas (he he).  I remember being bloated. Of course I would be bloated. They put a camera the size of movie gig complete with a person operating it up my wazoo guiding it around hairpins turns still coated with Drano. They don’t have smaller size equipment for smaller sized….ummm….people.

There is one bright side to this procedure. You lose weight. I was amazed at how little I weighed afterward which fed into my food fantasies. On the other hand, the beloved husband didn’t even bother to weigh himself. That’s just wrong!

Postscript: Dave Barry wrote the best article on colonoscopies. It is a must read for anyone over 50. Trust me it is spit-out-food and roll-on-the-floor funny. If you haven’t already read it, you can read it here.

Now if you are 50 or over and haven’t already had one, reread Dave Barry’s article — the part where his brother had colon cancer caught by a colonoscopy! If you still won’t get one, send us the name of the funeral home to send the flowers.

29 thoughts on “A different take on colonoscopies

  1. As a long time suffereer of stomach ulcers, irritable bowel syndrome, and spastic colon (sometimes all at once) I’ve had more than my fair share of colonoscopies and, yes, the prep is a lot wose than the procedure. It’s wore than IBS but not as bad as a spastic colon attack, which is ten times worse than food poisoning and, fortunately for me, I dont have to have another one for about 8 years. (All bets are off, however, if I go back to practicing HR instead of writing about it.) 😉


  2. The equal medication seems very unfair to me but I did have a few giggles at your adventures. I am impressed that you are both looking after this though. A lot of people avoid it and my step father died where as it could have been detected had he had the tests. Thought it seems nasty, I will starting having this done in a few years.


  3. You and your husband are BOTH lucky.

    I did all the prep work . . . YUCK.
    The drano made me throw up . . . several times.

    In the morning, they put me under.
    Despite the anesthesia, I was still moaning in pain.
    They weren’t able to finish the procedure.
    The scope wouldn’t go past the sigmoid.

    As soon as the anesthesia wore off, I had a headache the size of Montana.
    I could barely breathe.
    But they didn’t send me home.
    Instead, they sent me for a barium enema.
    Which stopped up everything they had cleaned out.

    It wasn’t fun.
    I will NEVER do it again.
    I would rather die.


    • The first one I had they couldn’t get all the way up into Canada so they did the barium enema. Cruel punishment. I never did throw up though. That would have made it even worse.


      • You are braver than me . . . going through it a 2nd time. I’m hoping that the virtual colonoscopy (via CT Scan) is perfected soon.

        CT Scans, even with the nasty contrast dye, are SO MUCH BETTER.


  4. I have to share this with my sister! She was wearing a beach towel like a diaper by the end of the night and her husband was reading!!! You are indeed, not alone. I was laughing out loud at your entire experience….lol


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