Today I got a colonoscopy. It's a preventive procedure recommended to people over 50. A gastroenterologist inserts a tube with a camera on the end into the rectum and searches the large intestines for polyps that might become cancerous and any other problem.
To prepare for the procedure you can't eat for a day. You have to take laxatives at certain times to clear out the intestines. The normal dose of Fleet posphosoda is one teaspoon; for colonoscopy prep, you drink two full bottles of the stuff. And yes, it does the job.
The procedure took a little over two hours, including registration, getting an IV inserted, hooking up to a heart monitor and getting an oxygen tube in my nose -- and then lying on a bed waiting. I was told I would get a mild sedative, but I never lost consciousness. During the procedure I watched the whole thing on television. Those were some damn fine looking intestines. Hell, if intestinal fortitude (so to speak) is any measure, I should last another 50 years.
Afterward, the doctor told me to do it again in 10 years. I guess I can wait that long.
The clinic insists you bring a driver, because the so-called sedative is supposed to render one unable to drive. What a crock. I could have driven. But their overcautious rules made me get my Mother to drive and waste her time there. Shouldn't the health care industry worry about health care and leave how adults get to the clinic to their own judgment? Must they act like nannies? Is this the result of our infantilized society or is it some twisted effect of malpractice suits?
We stopped at Coco's for lunch on the drive back, where I attacked a Tuscan ribeye steak with vigor. It got ugly there for a few minutes.
Do I recommend the procedure? Well, I'm no fan of the contemporary trend of celebrities nagging people to do this, that and the other thing. I assume the reader can run his own life. Speaking for myself, I'm glad I did it. The hassle is minimal and it's nice to know nothing is wrong down there.