Thursday, June 23, 2005

Bad News - Good News...

Well, the bad news is that I was karmically punished for my recent urethra post. (Note: Be warned. This post is pretty gross.) After my routine physical, the doctor decided that I should have a flexible sigmoidoscopy, even though I am young and healthy. For those who don't know what this is, it's a test wherein a camera on the end of a flexible tube is inserted into your rectum and sent as far in as you can stand on a fact finding mission...

In addition to the discomfort, there is the added benefit of lying in a humiliating, naked from the waist down position while you are tortured. They put a paper table cloth over you to "allow you some privacy". Then they fold it up so they have access. There is a lot of twisting and turning from the camera to get it to focus. At least there was a little TV there so I could watch and see what was going on in there. I can now tell you exactly what digested yellow Jellow looks like. I won't. But I can. I was offered some pain medication for the process that I had to decline. L. could not pick me up from the appointment.

The worst par was the advancing of the tube. My theory is that the seal is tight so, as the camera advances, air is displaced. The only place for the air to go is back up the pipes until it comes to a space that it can spread out in. Instant abdominal cramps. I was determined not to yell or swear or anything like that. And I made a pretty good show of it. I gritted my teeth. I grunted through the pain. On the occasions when that wasn't enough, I blurted out things like "Oh yeeeeeeah." Dr. Newman had a sense of humor about it as well. "That hits the spot, huh?" After what seemed like forever, he decided he had seen enough. He assured me that he COULD have gone further, but he chose not to as he didn't see a need to torture me further. "That's fine. I'm not a fan of torture, myself," I said as I exhaled. "I am," he said matter-of-factly. "Next time." I promised.

The good news is I have a healthy colon and he sees no reason to see me until I am 50. So, no cancer, which is what my doctor was concerned about. Whew. In spite of taking up less space, I'd call the good news bigger than the bad. Of course, the bad news had company.

I'm including the preparation and after-effects as separate bad news. Especially since they were so bad. The prep work required a 24 hour clear liquid diet, with nothing after midnight. That means I could have Sprite, bouillion, water, and non-red Jello. In addition, I had to drink a GALLON of Colyte. Colyte is an electrolyte and laxative cocktail. That's sixteen 8 ounce glasses of nasty. The directions specifically say that you can't flavor it. Eight ounces every fifteen minutes. The time separation is to allow you to get to the can! Colyte is difficult to describe without using words like gross, gag, or for the love of G-d, no! Basically, it's a powder that dissolves in the gallon jug. The directions say refrigeration improves the taste. If THAT was an improvement, I'd hate to taste it at room temperature. It's slightly more viscous than water or soda. Not enough to make it syrupy or sticky. Just enough to remind you that it ain't water. It's salty, too. But not table salt salty or sea salt salty. There is another taste in there too, as just drinking plain salt water never tasted this bad. However, I didn't want to think about it, so I didn't dwell on it enough to identify it. They also tell you to drink it quickly as opposed to sipping it. Like I was going to sit out on the patio with a colyte, a sprig of mint, and a good book? It's quick acting, too. By my third glass, I was racing to the throne. The end result is supposed to be that your stool is clear. I assumed they meant transparent and not colorless. I was wrong. I was sh*tting water. Or Colyte. Or whatever. That was some unpleasantness for a few hours. It left me with a headache and a burnin' ring of fire. At least the procedure was at 8am the next day. A good night's sleep and it would be all but over.

Or so I thought. Unfortunately, the effects have lingered. All that air that was forced in had to come out somewhere. I had several bursts of flatulence throughout the day, coupled with nausea and cramping. And this wasn't a little toot here and there. These were long, loud, trumpet blasts. If I had fine motor sphincter control, I could have played the Star Spangled Banner. My body has been trying to readjust to digesting food. In the mean time, I am crampy, gassy, and grumpy. And this is the next day! I am hoping my intenstinal distress dissipates soon as we are going camping tonight.

However, there was one more bright side to it all. As I was sitting in the men's room stall, an equally gassy individualt sat down next door to me. As he and I grunted, sometimes in unison and sometimes in harmony, an idea for a tasteless short film or skit occurred to me. It's tentatively called "dueling buttholes", though I am open to suggestions for a better name. I'm sure you can all guess how it would go. The song dueling banjos done to fart noises. The shots would include the stall doors with the feet visible underneath, shots of the 'musicians' on their thrones, and closeups of the 'musicians' faces as they grimace in an exaggerated day. I suppose it could be subtitled "Chili Day at the Cafeteria".

I have sunk to a new low.