Friday, June 17, 2016

How to Get a Colonoscopy in 14 Anxiety-Ridden Steps

(post copyright 2016, Dawn Weber)

It happens to almost everyone eventually. You're going along living your life, dreaming your dreams and merrily walking around without ever having a tube inserted in your personal regions, when all of a sudden . . .


It's time for your first colonoscopy.

Yes, despite your best efforts to avoid such a situation, chances are you will one day find your brown eye staring down the business end of a colonoscope -- a long flexible tube with a small camera -- either due to your age or the fact that you're having GI problems. Here at the Center for Too Much Information (CTMI), we've put together a handy guide for women in the latter situation, as we, um, have a woman "friend" who had this experience. Read on:

  • Suffer painful symptoms for several weeks. Dread telling any doctors about it, because you think it will lead to medical staff poking around in your coal hole, although you will soon find out you're wrong about this. Be sure to begin worrying incessantly and imagining the worst.
  • Google your symptoms on WebMD, otherwise known as www.It' Obtain lots of information, all of which basically boils down to "Could be nothing. Could be cancer." Proceed to have nervous breakdown.
  • A month later at your annual OB/GYN appointment, discuss problems with physician. Although he used to briefly examine your rear prison purse in addition to your front lady garden, he tells you insurance companies no longer allow him to open the back door until after age 50. "It's probably nothing. You'll be fine," he says, recommending fiber and water (which you already consume) and sending you on your way.
  • Two months later, head to family doctor and tell her about ongoing problems. "It's probably nothing. You'll be fine," she says, also prescribing water and fiber (which again, you already consume). She doesn't examine area either. You're finding out that oddly, no one wants to look inside your butt, even when you're paying them.
  • Symptoms continue for several more months, so you make an appointment with a specialist, who is concerned enough to prescribe a colonoscopy. You are relieved that someone will finally be looking at your balloon knot. You are horrified that someone will finally be looking at your balloon knot. And snaking a hose all the way up your Hershey Highway.
  • As colonoscopy approaches, begin dreaming of snakes -- in doctor's offices, in toilets, in your underpants. For good measure, make repeated visits to WebMD/It' and continue to scare yourself silly. Chant It's probably nothing. You'll be fine until you fall asleep.
  • On day before procedure, limit diet to such satisfying items as water, tea and lemonade. Obtain can of chicken broth. This is your lunch. Later that afternoon, open giant prescription bottle of MoviPrep, a.k.a. Colon Blow. This is your dinner.
  • Gather fully charged iPad, ten-pack of toilet paper and a change of underwear. Sprint to bathroom and strap yourself to toilet, for it will be your new home. Over the next eight hours, you will excrete digested food from as far back as the Carter administration exiting your rear at speeds approaching the sound barrier. At times you think you will be done with your terrifying mission. But lo -- you will be wrong.
  • Around midnight, attempt to sleep. Note the word "attempt" here, because thanks to the fact that you can't eat, drink, or take any of your usual fun array of sleeping pills, you will be wide awake, starving and riddled with worry. Your partner's snoring keeps you up, so you head to the couch, where your growling stomach keeps you up. Seriously contemplate eating throw pillows.
  • Arrive at hospital the next morning and check in. Thanks to anxiety and eight hours of tossing and turning, you're half asleep, yet still conscious enough to be scared, well, shit-less. (See what we did there?)
  • Allow medical staff to prep you for procedure, and smile weakly at their attempts to cheer you up with poo-related humor. You're desperately trying to forget the fact that they'll soon be doing things to you that are almost illegal in several states, so you ask for anesthesia. The nurse obliges, but you feel nothing at first and tell her, "I don't think you gave me enough. I'm-really-nervous-so-you'll-probably-need-to-inject-more-'cause-I-don't-feel-a-thing-and . . . Zzzzz."
  • Wake up groggy and half-naked with faces all around you, as if you've slept through your first orgy. The doctor says everything looks fine, and you're suddenly very happy because of the great news, not to mention the awesome anesthesia. Despite your liaison with the pooper python, you feel no pain in your ass. In fact, you feel no pain at all.
  • Head into recovery area. A nurse checks your vitals and says that you have to pass a large amount of gas before she can let you go. You cheerfully oblige her request in front of God and everybody, because you know this is the quickest route to food. Also you are still high as a kite.
  • Giggle as spouse helps you dress and ties your shoes. As you haven't eaten since dinnertime two days ago, demand that he takes you to Taco Bell at once! and post-haste! He reminds you that you've recently drank 64 ounces of MoviPrep/Colon Blow. Hmm. Taco Bell . . . Colon Blow. Even in your purple haze, you realize this is not a wise combination, so he takes you to Bob Evans, where you consume everything on the breakfast menu. And the contents of the butter dish. With a spoon.

Well, there you have it, folks, a handy guide for your first trip down the old dirt road. You can see that a colonoscopy is a pain-free way to lose a  little weight and freak way the hell out about nothing, as well as a chance to get naked, sleep and fart.

In front of total strangers.

We at the Center for Too Much Information do not advise doing what our, um, "friend" did. Between the start of the problem and and the symptoms being waved off by two doctors, it was eight months before "she" found a specialist who took her concerns seriously. Remember, some insurance companies don't even require referrals for specialists -- hers did not. And as another dear friend once said, if something isn't right, get checked. It's probably nothing. You'll be fine.

Butt (see what we did there?) . . .

. . . it's better to know for sure.


  1. I know you are still a sweet young thing, but these are the joys of aging. Dr Google is always telling you that you have only a short time on this side of the dirt, so you had better enjoy yourself instead of worrying about the final outcome. It's the same ending for all of us, ya know. It is interesting doing this procedure in our small town as most of the town knows your results before you regain consciousness. And thanks for the new euphemisms!

    1. Dr. Google I am totally stealing that ! And you bring up great points Jono.

  2. Sigh. Growing older is definitely not for sissies. Or the mealy-mouthed.

  3. Fun fact: Colon cancer is ridiculously easy to treat, if caught early, but has the highest fatality rate due to the fact that it rarely shows symptoms in the early stages.

    So, long story short.. get yer butt checked, with regularity. I did. (Stage one Cancer survivor here.. Mine was caught during a routine scope, due to colitis)

    1. So glad they caught yours early Andrea! And thanks for the great information - my "friend" will continue to get her butt checked regularly.

  4. Funny!! Have you sen this?

    1. No but I will hop on over and check it out right away! Thanks fishducky!

  5. I laughed all through this very accurate description of the joy of colonoscopies! I've had several and I too enjoy the really, really good drugs they give you.

  6. OMG! Thanks for the laugh Dawn! I almost shat myself at some of the euphemisms. Balloon knot is a new one. Thanks for that. I haven't posted in a while, but maybe I shall now. Missed the humor bunches. Taco Bell and MoviPrep? Hell what's the difference???

    1. Exactly ! They should just prescribe Taco Bell instead of movi prep. Save everyone some cash .

  7. That was really funny!!!! Although now that I've read it, I'm going to try and put it off for another year. I have, so far, refused one despite being nearly 52. And despite the fact that colon cancer runs in my family. I'm just too terrified.

    1. JoJo - I was really hoping that I could relay that even though it's scary, colonoscopies are no big deal and completely painless. I hope you change your mind !

  8. You left out the headache. I took along a towel in the car in case I threw up. I put it over my head because my head hurt so much. I don't think it helped. The colonoscopy was no big deal, and I was glad mine showed everything in my butt is dandy. I just didn't like drinking the crap that made me crap the day before.


  9. I would be seething at those doctors that dismissed your knowledge of your own body and what was normal/not normal for you, even though it was okay in the end (ha) ... but I'm cranky that way.

    I had no problems with my colonoscopy either but I'm not looking forward to the next one despite that! Glad your results turned out well.

  10. due to family history, I have had 4 of these and I am barely 40. The day before a colonoscopy can only be described as hell, but the procedure itself is nothing (though I do prefer them to at least buy me dinner and drinks before probing me).