Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Colonoscopy and Abba

My mother-in-law sent me the following:

This is from newshound Dave Barry's colonoscopy journal:

I called my friend Andy Sable, a gastroenterologist, to make an appointment for a colonoscopy. A few days later, in his office, Andy showed me a color diagram of the colon, a lengthy organ that appears to go all over the place, at one point passing briefly through Minneapolis.

Then Andy explained the colonoscopy procedure to me in a thorough, reassuring and patient manner. I nodded thoughtfully, but I didn't really hear anything he said, because my brain was shrieking, quote, 'HE'S GOING TO STICK A TUBE 17,000 FEET UP YOUR BEHIND!'

I left Andy's office with some written instructions, and a prescription for a product called 'MoviPrep,' which comes in a box large enough to hold a microwave oven. I will discuss MoviPrep in detail later; for now suffice it to say that we must never allow it to fall into the hands of America's enemies .

I spent the next several days productively sitting around being nervous. Then, on the day before my colonoscopy, I began my preparation. In accordance with my instructions, I didn't eat any solid food that day; all I had was chicken broth, which is basically water, only with less flavor. Then, in the evening, I took the moviPrep.

You mix two packets of powder together in a one-liter plastic jug, then you fill it with lukewarm water. (For those unfamiliar with the metric system, a liter is about 32 gallons.) Then you have to drink the whole jug. This takes about an hour, because MoviPrep tastes - and here I am being kind - like a mixture of goat spit and urinal cleanser, with just a hint of lemon.

The instructions for MoviPrep, clearly written by somebody with a great sense of humor, state that after you drink it, 'a loose, watery bowel movement may result.' This is kind of like saying that after you jump off your roof, you may experience contact with the ground.

MoviPrep is a nuclear laxative. I don't want to be too graphic, here, but: Have you ever seen a space-shuttle launch? This is pretty much the MoviPrep experience, with you as the shuttle. There are times when you wish the commode had a seat belt. You spend several hours pretty much confined to the bathroom, spurting violently. You eliminate everything. And then, when you figure you must be totally empty, you have to drink another liter of MoviPrep, at which point, as far as I can tell, your bowels travel into the future and start eliminating food that you have not even eaten yet.

After an action-packed evening, I finally got to sleep. The next morning my wife drove me to the clinic. I was very nervous. Not only was I worried about the procedure, but I had been experiencing occasional return bouts of MoviPrep spurtage. I was thinking, 'What if I spurt on Andy?' How do you apologize to a friend for something like that? Flowers would not be enough.

At the clinic I had to sign many forms acknowledging that I understood and totally agreed with whatever the heck the forms said. Then they led me to a room full of other colonoscopy people, where I went inside a little curtained space and took off my clothes and put on one of those hospital garments designed by sadist perverts, the kind that, when you put it on, makes you feel even more naked than when you are actually naked.

Then a nurse named Eddie put a little needle in a vein in my left hand. Ordinarily I would have fainted, but Eddie was very good, and I was already lying down. Eddie also told me that some people put vodka in their MoviPrep. At first I was ticked off that I hadn't thought of this, but then I pondered what would happen if you got yourself too tipsy to make it to the bathroom, so you were staggering around in full Fire Hose Mode. You would have no choice but to burn your house.

When everything was ready, Eddie wheeled me into the procedure room, where Andy was waiting with a nurse and an anesthesiologist. I did not see the 17,000-foot tube, but I knew Andy had it hidden around there somewhere. I was seriously nervous at this point. Andy had me roll over on my left side, and the anesthesiologist began hooking something up to the needle in my hand. There was music playing in the room, and I realized that the song was 'Dancing Queen' by ABBA. I remarked to Andy that, of all the songs that could be playing during this particular procedure, 'Dancing Queen' had to be the least appropriate.

'You want me to turn it up?' said Andy, from somewhere behind me. 'Ha ha,' I said. And then it was time, the moment I had been dreading for more than a decade. If you are squeamish, prepare yourself, because I am going to tell you, in explicit detail, exactly what it was like.

I have no idea. Really. I slept through it. One moment, ABBA was yelling 'Dancing Queen, feel the beat of the tambourine,' and the next moment, I was back in the other room, waking up in a very mellow mood. Andy was looking down at me and asking me how I felt. I felt excellent. I felt even more excellent when Andy told me that It was all over, and that my colon had passed with flying colors. I have never been prouder of an internal organ.

ABOUT THE WRITER: Dave Barry is a Pulitzer Prize-winning humor columnist for the Miami Herald. On the subject of Colonoscopies... Colonoscopies are no joke, but these comments during the exam were quite humorous..... A physician claimed that the following are actual comments made by his patients (predominately male) while he was performing their colonoscopies:

1. 'Take it easy, Doc. You're boldly going where no man has gone before .

2. 'Find Amelia Earhart yet?'

3. 'Can you hear me NOW?'

4. 'Are we there yet? Are we there yet? Are we there yet?'

5. 'You know, in Arkansas , we're now legally married.'

6. 'Any sign of the trapped miners, Chief?'

7. 'You put your left hand in, you take your left hand out...'

8. 'Hey! Now I know how a Muppet feels!'

9. 'If your hand doesn't fit, you must quit!

10. 'Hey Doc, let me know if you find my dignity.'

11. 'You used to be an executive at Enron, didn't you?'

12. 'God, now I know why I am not gay.' And the best one of all.

13. 'Could you write a note for my wife saying that my head is not up there?'

Another blogger, Flea, recently went through a colonoscopy... and incidentally, is taking a little blog break. Connected? Maybe. I commented that I knew what she'd been through and she e-mailed me back.

Without going into great detail... The guy above called the prep a 'nuclear laxative.' Uh... yeah. I couldn't even keep that stuff down and after rolling around on my bed... moaning and near crying just to keep it down... I jumped up just as Frappy was walking into my room and violently projectile vomited throughout my room. She still hasn't forgiven me for witnessing it. Rather than help me... she ran away.

Mr. Macchiato was working late so he could take me to the appointment in the morning. I cleaned the carpet with our bissel while shaking, sweating and trying not to crap my pants. How that stuff worked even though I hadn't even kept it down... I don't know.

The prep was, by far, the worst part. However, my doctor happened to be very good looking and close to my age. So not right! As if it all wasn't bad enough! And... this guy liked to talk to me. When he learned that we had lived in Mississippi he had all sorts of questions for me. He was somewhat of a Civil War buff... as is my husband and therefore, by osmosis, me. You know, when someone is taking a peek up your poo hole with a camera... you really don't want them to be good looking or to talk to you... about anything.

My mother-in-law not only sent this to me because it is a poo story... and I like a good poo story... but, because in the story they played, 'Dancing Queen,' by Abba. While my husband grew up listening to The Rolling Stones and Led Zepplin, I was growing up listening to Abba and Barry Manilow. I am a true Abba fan and have always listened to them. They are on of my preferred music of choice list while cleaning... after Neil Diamond, of course. My parents had it all. Our little Super Trooper cassette would play on a loop in the car and there would be a long break between the end and the beginning. We all jumped when they came back on singing, Soooooooper Troooooper. Every. Time. Years and years ago, Mr. Macchiato bought me the Abba Gold CD. He has always made fun of me for the music my parents listened to. Our kids... know the words to all the songs and have since they were little.

Well, as y'all must be aware, this summer the movie, 'Mama Mia,' came out. It was originally a play that was put together using all Abba songs. When my mother-in-law was visiting she took the girls and I to see it. They all loved it. In fact, my mother-in-law sang along... in a jam packed theater... while I stared straight ahead.

I did not like it. Not at all. I am still suffering from the horror of watching Pierce Brosnan's face as he sang... *shudder* And... well, the story of a girl finding her mother's diary and learning that her father could have been one of three men and then inviting them all to her wedding... well, I didn't like that. Not at all. There was just too much... nastiness in it for my taste.

At the end of the movie, as the credits rolled, my mother-in-law shimmied and shook in her seat as she sang her little heart out. My girls ran away laughing. Leaving me there. She was lost in enjoying the moment. I, again, sat staring straight ahead. There were some furtive glances at the passersby here and there. My mother-in-law was causing some laughter and smiles as everyone else exited the theater. I sat there with her until. the. very. end. At which time she sighed deeply and exclaimed how much she loved it.

Even though I didn't care for the movie and am very reserved in public (at home is a whole nother thing) it is another memory of my mother-in-law that has made it into my list of memories that makes me laugh... The girls were quite tickled with themselves and their ditching of me but, you know what? They missed out. You keep singing Sara. Maybe, someday, I will learn to loosen up a little in public. Maybe. Uhhhh... Probably not though.


Trisha said...

Love Dave! He is hysterical. Gee - that post makes me just so anxious to have my first colonoscopy! NOT!

MaBunny said...

Yeah, I'm NOT looking forward to it at all. One of my very good friends had to have one done and so did my hubby. My freinds hubby got her a bunch of trash/gossip mags to put near the toilet to have something to do and bought her very comfy TP for her soon to be sore hiney.
My hubby didn't have that much problems... he had to drink 2-3 botttles of some stuff and that was it...
Thanks for making me laugh this morning - it felt great!

SheroSkyKnight said...

No fun, but it is odd being able to see inside your self.

Rick said...

Very funny post girl. Gave me a few LOL's this morning.

Anonymous said...

Thanks - I laughed until I cried, my referal for my 1st colonoscopy is in my purse waiting for me to make an appointment!

Laura ~Peach~ said...

oh my God Hysterical... the prep is the worst part of it all... I am the goober who begged to see the photos they took while inside of me in fact i have copies somewhere... I have also had the fun priviledge of being present during another persons scope it is COOL!
I love mama mia we have the home video (the kids got it for me for christmas) I grew up listneing to abba as well as led zepplin and well the entire musical gamment... Now i must go shower!
thank you for the morning belly laugh!

Melody said...

I thought Mama Mia was hilarious! Not sure if it is *supposed* to be that funny, but it was just soooo over the top!

I also love Dave Barry!

I really, really, really do *not* want to ever, ever, ever have a colonoscopy, but colon cancer is a family thing.... yuck!

Flea said...

I didn't like Mama Mia either. The whole premise made me horribly uncomfortable. The music was fun, and the acting good, even really cute as movies go. But the premise bothered me. And listening to Brosnan sing just made me cringe.

Thanks for the colonoscopy tale. :) He's right. It's a nuclear laxative. Ugh. I don't ever want to be THAT loose in public.

hanagrace said...

This was SO funny. I wonder, though, how is it your hubby is so quiet and reserved when his mom is so NOT? :-)

Karen said...

I haven't laughed that hard for days. Thank you, I really needed that.

Coffee Bean said...

LOL Hannah! Mr. Macchiato has gotten that his whole life. His parent's friends never understood it either. I like to tell the joke that Mr. Macchiato's act of rebellion was to become a conservative Christian accountant.

Laura ~Peach~ said...

Whoa buddie! If nothing else this post makes me ever so thankful to not have ever had a colonoscopy- i fear for my future...i suppose ill just keep wishing to stay poor this way i wont be able to afford one ;) Dave is quite the comedian-It's hard to make uncomfy things...comfy.BTW i love the nickname Emmie Jeans-it definitly fits :)
<3 Ms. Martha Jean

Karen Deborah said...

this is HILARIOUS!!! I had one not to long ago and could relate especially to the part about crapping food you hadn't even eaten yet. sooooo fuuunnnnnnnyyy. He's right about the good drugs they give you to knock you out, almost worth the prep, but not quite.

noexcuses said...

So, so funny! The writer had me rolling on the floor! And, coincidentally, I just had one last Friday. My prep was Miralax and lemonade Gatorade. (Picture finger in mouth right now). I started a little late with my prep, so I never really got to bed until 5:30 the morning of the event. I remember music, but don't know whose it was. The docs and staff were really nice. No butt jokes.

In all, I got out of a whole day of work, no housework, no meal preparation, and all the sleep I could ever want in a 12 hour time span! Sort of almost a perfect day!

claudia said...

That was funny!
Do you know that my insurance provider will not let me have a colonoscopy? Thay say it's not necessary! My great grandmother died of colon cancer, my dad and sister have had polyps removed! Not necessary. Not hat I want one, but I do not want to die of colon cancer. My BIL died of it two years ago...NOT.PRETTY!
BTW thanks for the laugh!

Frappy said...

ah ha ha ha! I forgot about the whole projectile vomit thing... Not something that I wanted to remember, that was GROSS! I didn't know that you were getting a colonoscopy(sp) tho... I probly didn't know what it was at the time. You probably didn't want me bugging you either... heh. oh well. Makes for a funny story...

And the whole Mamma Mia thing was HiLaRiOuS!!! hehehe Chai Tea and I were laughing for like half an hour and we still laugh when we talk about it now... ha ha ha

Just Me said...

Thankfully, I haven't yet had to succumb to the colonoscopy experience. I have a few more years before its required. Better still is that The Oracle gets to go first.

Precious Daughter is seven, and she became a huge Abba fan when I played that very same Abba Gold CD in the car. With the exception of a few tunes, the CD has been loaded into her MP3 player along with Hannah Montana, High School Musical, and the like.

We were at a birthday party a couple weeks ago (100 person party for a one year old!!! Ridiculous!) and the DJ (yes, a DJ for a one year old!) started Dancing Queen. Precious Daughter just about died and went to heaven.

Just Me said...

Oh, and Dave Barry is just a funny, funny columnist. For those of you that haven't, treat yourself to one his books. My favorites are the ones that are simply collections of his columns.

Oh, and get yourself a copy of Ted L. Nancy's "Letters from a Nut," another very funny read.

Even when you've read them, they're nice to keep in the car for those times when you're unexpectedly trapped somewhere without something to do.