THE TIME I ALMOST GOT A COLONOSCOPY – Tales from Bo / by Bo Gerard

A better title might be – “The time I apparently got a colonoscopy, but have no concrete proof that I actually did”. 

One of the most delightful parts of getting older, aside from the joint pain and the variety of other ailments that seem reserved just for us special humans over 50, is getting your very first colonoscopy.  I’m not talking about that wimpy, half-assed (pun intended) Sigmoid Colonoscopy (also known as the semi-colon), I’m talking about the full-blown, no-holds-barred, camera-all-the-way-up-the-colon, Mister DeMille-I’m-ready-for-my-close-up colonoscopy.  The fun starts the day before when you are required to “prepare” your colon for the adventure it’s going to have the next day.  I will not describe the procedure, expect to say it is not only spiritually humbling but hilariously disgusting.  Once “Elvis has left the building” you are required to fast until your procedure.  So, you spend the rest of that day, and half the next morning, thinking about nothing but FOOD!

At the doctor’s office it all looks very legit – people in scrubs taking your vitals and making sure you understand the risks of the procedure.  They actually list a number of things that could go wrong and ask you to sign a release stating you understand what they just said.  Essentially they read my colon its Miranda Rights.  Then they administer a drug cocktail that so strong that you suddenly feel just fine about the current presidential campaign.  Now technically you are not totally under.  It seems you can still respond to questions and follow simple instructions.  But, and this is a BIG but (pun not intended this time) you have no idea that while you are sedated you are talking and cooperating and doing whatever they desire.  You don’t even know that when the procedure was over, if it ever occurred in the first place (I’ll get back to that in a moment), you got up, got dressed, walked out to greet your wife, and walked out to the car, while talking about where you were going to have lunch.  Later on in the day you realize that from the moment they pushed in the drugs until the moment you were mid-bagel at Einstein Brothers, you have no memory at all of what you did or said.  That time is gone forever!

Partying in the operating room!

Partying in the operating room!

So if this drug makes you a cooperative walking, talking zombie and there are no impartial witnesses to the actual procedure, how do you know they actually did the colonoscopy?  You would think that there might be some residual discomfort in the area that was supposedly tampered with, but in my case there was not.  So, it’s my word against the doctors.  I don’t think I’m being paranoid by imagining an illegal ring of faux-colonoscopy doctors, taking your money, your memory, and never even going near your colon.  Yes, they gave me some pictures of my surprisingly clean and healthy colon, supposedly taken during the procedure, but really?... I’m going to be able to distinguish my colon from someone else’s?!  Is it just me, or do they all sort of look the same?