"A sh*t couple of days": A humorous look at my first colonoscopy

Detail of a statue in the Louvre museum. (Photo by: Godong/UIG via Getty Images)

To be frank, I’ve had a sh*t couple of days.

I’m a typical Aussie male with an inbuilt scepticism of doctors and any of the so-called poking and prodding they deem necessary in the interest of preventive health (or their own curiosity).

However, two weeks ago I hit a turning point.  A close mate of mine died of bowel cancer at 55 and another diced with death, having suffered a heart attack and stroke at 64.  So in my recently retired state – one in which I was enjoying the finer things in life and not wanting to offer up a premature “ciao” – I decided it was time to grab myself by the scruff of my neck and haul my arse down to the doctor for a check up.  I couldn’t remember his name, as I hadn’t been there for at least 10 years.  In typical male fashion, I had always braved it (more likely whinged it) through any bout of man-flu or any other niggling ailment for that matter.  I’d even had a button mushroom-like growth emanating from my thumb for about three months before I got even slightly suspicious.

So I walk in and my GP takes one look at me, another at my waistline and raises his left eyebrow.  I take a seat and he takes my blood pressure, pulse, temperature and a good portion of my nest egg.    He sends me off for blood tests, urine tests, digital and analogue prostate exams and to the bank for more money.  In return I got reams and reams of information that basically said the missus will have to put up with me for far longer than she might have hoped.  There’s a silver lining after all.

We had another session a few days later when the blood tests results came in.  He was no Indiana Jones I tell ya.  All he could find was a five cent piece that I’d swallowed whilst doing a magic trick for the grandkids and noted that I should eat a bit less red meat… Talk about striking a man whilst he’s down.

Ad. Article continues below.

So having exhausted the low hanging fruit of medical exams and not coming up with so much as a lychee, let alone something to slice open, cut out or neuter, he then said, “When did you have your last colonoscopy?”

After he stopped me from choking on my own tongue and assisted me into a comfortable chair to recover, I rather quietly whispered that I’d rather not do that.  Surely if everything else is OK, my sphincter should be fine…after all I’ve been passing bullsh*t with ease for years!

He said, “you really owe it to your family to do it”… Great pull out the family guilt trip pal… Remind me to pull out the expired credit card when we finish here.

I left with the standard instructions for fasting, drinking and eating only restricted foods.  For the first three days I ate meals with less substance than an election promise.  I’ve known guinea pigs that have had better meals.  Then I switched to drinking sachets of fluids with a warning label ‘Subject to Explosive Results’ emblazoned on the side in big bold red lettering.  Their objective was similar to that of an enema – evacuating the colon.  Evacuation procedures needed to be practiced, recognised and executed with great precision and respect…with less than 10 seconds between warning signs and the call to jump (or dump), I had very little margin for error.

No dinner last night, no breakfast this morning and several sessions in the departure lounge later and still, the ‘occupied’ sign was lit.  Another dose was required to fully evacuate the already departed.

Ad. Article continues below.

Then, after starving myself for a few more hours until lunchtime, I checked in at the day hospital and had the team knock me out for a nice afternoon nap as soon as possible…twasn’t one I wanted to experience or remember.  By 3pm I was done, finished and slightly more bow legged than I was when I arrived.  I was fed a nice salad a glass of water and sent packing…least I wasn’t packing if you know what I mean!

The doctor came to see me, showed me some entertaining photos of my colon – something I haven’t seen before in my 62 years.  Reminds me of the time the doctor showed me an image of him cutting my tubing during my vasectomy…both images will now haunt me forever.  The pictorial prognosis was that I have the colon of a 40 year old young man, but I would have been happier to go with the verbal version of “all clear”.

So with a fresh license to carry on with as much bullsh*t as I had pre-invasion, I left relishing in the knowledge that my debts in arrears were fully cleared.

See you in five years Doc.

Hope you enjoy the pictures of my ‘cleaner than a babies bum’.