I’ve been due for a colonoscopy, since the last one I had was 12 years ago, and being health conscious decided, let’s get it, or me rather, off the table.
I’m at the age where, everywhere you look the message is, it’s only going to get worse. If I see one more fossil babbling from a wheelchair while their attendant is on her phone to Haiti, I just might be a headline in the New York Post.
We’re living too long, I’m told, but like my pal Ed says, the alternative isn’t too appealing either.
So, for you youngins’ having no idea how humiliating this procedure is, let me enlighten you.
The night before, you have to drink enough Gatorade to fuel the Green Bay Packers, mixed with a formidable laxative that could launch you to the moon. You can’t eat, only allowed liquids, and if you’re stupid enough as I was, to make an afternoon appointment, expect to be practically dead from hunger.
I crawl the 6 blocks since, it’s hot as hell, too cheap to hail a cab that would rival the dinner I’m planning on having, so when I enter the Colonoscopy Center of New York, I’m not exactly whistling Dixie.
Carmen, I’ll call her, the little receptionist, takes my ID and insurance card like I was ISIS, before ordering me to sit down. Did I mention I have a headache that, when asked on a scale from 1-10, I say, 50? You see, I had no coffee either because you can’t have milk.
I shimmy back up to the desk to ask, “Hey, when it’s over, they feed you, right?” So wishing I had packed something light like, Fettechine Alfredo with a little garlic bread, or a pizza, and this other girl says, “Like, they don’t give you dinna’ or nothin, just snacks.”
Hey, I didn’t expect a Blue Plate Special there J-Lo.
I go back and sit down.
My name is called to come to a little booth that would be perfect for fortune telling, to get me to sign all those charming, we’re not responsible, papers. You know, in case you die on the table. It really boosts your confidence especially when you then have to give them your, in case of emergency number...twice.
Suddenly another short, Latino girl, all of 13, comes out to get me, handing me a shopping bag once belonging to Gulliver, to store my clothes and bag in that will be kept under my trusty gurney, I’ve named Phil, since we’ll be together for the whole time.
Why Phil? How the hell should I know, I’m starving, remember?
So now I’m in a checked hospital gown that’s seen much too much bleach, I mention to J-Lo now in charge, who smiles, as she takes my vitals and places little stickie things on my chest, to monitor my heart that let’s hope, doesn’t stop in protest.
My anesthesiologist pops in, an Asian fella fresh out of school, who says, “It’s a cinch, don’t worry,” as he shoves pink prongs up my nose like a doomed pig.
“Hey, like, I’m skinny, I don’t need a lotta drugs, okay?”
I know they’re all saying, she’s a nut, but tough. They look like the Symbionese Liberation Army in scrubs, so a girl’s gotta do what she’s gotta do, right?
Enter Dr. C., also younger than anyone I know, who tells me all will be well, before shoving one more, in case you die, form in front of me now convinced they’re taking advantage of my weakened state.
The minute they start the IV, I’m in Oz. It’s so instantaneous, you’re suddenly happy you came.
Like coming out of a dream, 30 minutes later, I’m given snazzy photos of my colon that let’s just say, I won’t be framing. I’m told, it all looks pretty good…BUT…YOUR PREP WASN’T QUITE WHAT IT SHOULD HAVE BEEN SO WE COULDN’T SEE ANY POLYPS.
“Well, maybe that’s because I don’t have any,” I say, defending my colon and its right to a fair trial.
Then J-Lo, his accomplice, on cue to divert my attention, comes in with apple juice for an elf, and a teensy bag of pretzels I devour not quite digesting “We’d like to see you back in a year.”
“Excuse me? Really? I was thinking more 16. Any chips back there?”
“It’s all written beneath your photos Cynthia.”
“That’s Susannah, thank you very much.” Like he just was intimate with my lower regions, and the sonovatbich doesn’t remember my name.”
Blind dates. Hah!.
J-Lo now gets with the program bringing me three bags of Cheese Doodles with enough sodium to cause that heart attack they were worried about, and just when I’m about to complain about the limited snack buffet, my friend Jane walks in because you can’t leave without an escort, in case you collapse on your way home.
Jane is an angel, with hidden wings, so I now decide to be good, like her, and not slap anybody.
I did everything they told you to do, plus it cost me a day’s work, so despite the Ring Ding that was just handed to me, I’m not a happy girl.
Oh well, lots could happen in a year. Let’s hope for better things.
I could get hit by a bus and never need a colonoscopy again.
That’s the Italian in me, always looking for that rainbow.