The Colonoscopy Chronicles

Self-care can be a real pain in the ass, no pun intended.

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.



About Susannah Bianchi

I'm just a girl who likes to write slightly on slant. I've had a career in fashion, dabbled in film and to be honest, I don't like talking about myself. Now my posts are another matter so I will let them speak for themselves. My eBooks, A New York Diary, Model Behavior: Friends For Life and Notes From A Working Cat can be found on Thanks.
This entry was posted in food, Health, humanity, humor, New York City, words and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

27 Responses to The Colonoscopy Chronicles

  1. Getting old is such a joy. I could have NEVER done the afternoon appointment. The second I’m told “you can’t eat” I want EVERYTHING in sight and then some. I know those Cheese Doodles suddenly tasted like they were prepared by Wolfgang Puck.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I shouldn’t have laughed so quickly, but in the end, I had to. Oops! I should have used a semicolon in that sentence. You got a bum rap! I’m glad you survived and hope it will be much better next time.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. skinnyuz2b says:

    Susannah, I’ve had three of those invasions so far. My last one was this past December and the next in three years. I keep hoping the prep will get better, but it’s still the worse part of the whole procedure. I hate Gatorade and hate the Miralax even more. I don’t know about you, but it takes me a good week to get regular again.
    And those photos … “All right, Mr. DeMille, I’m ready for my close-up.”

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Loretta says:

    Ha ha love it… your humor I mean, not the colonoscopy part! The best part? When they put you out, I could actually feel a permanent smile on my face. 🙂 Glad you survived.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. gmg says:

    Did you have the Supra Prep or did you take the Miralax with the Gatorade?? Just asking because I could not get the Supra Prep down at my last one. Had a not good clean out as a result. Such a funny story. We can commiserate with you. xoxo

    Liked by 1 person

    • I had the former, and it clearly didn’t do the trick though you’d never know it, being closeted in the bathroom held hostage by it. Honestly. Maybe it’s a scam. To get you back for another off the charts pricy procedure that despite what the insurance pays, you have a balance that could clear your system a whole lot better than Supra Prep.

      Your favorite cynic.


  6. Rubenstein, Hal says:

    Always a fun 2 days


    Liked by 1 person

  7. My last one 8 years ago did not go well. The clean out was awful. I’m small. I think they overdosed me on the rotor router fluid. I had to clean my bathroom with bleach. The day of wasn’t any better. They didn’t find anything but something was bruised. I ached for a week to the point where I called twice convince that I was gonna die! BTW the wonderful juice that put you in Lalaland is the same stuff the killed Michael Jackson. Just sayin’ Glad you’re done. Maybe a year stretches to two…. I keep getting notices. They want me to do it every 5 years. I say never again! At least until they come up with a better way.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. joanneolson says:

    Dear Susannah, thanks for writing about this totally uncomfortable and inconvenient process. I too had to have a repeat performance. I support additional funding for the NIH to find an alternative test. Please, please find a different screening process!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Only you could make an account of getting a colonoscopy into an enjoyable, entertaining read. 🙂 That’s the mark of a good writer.


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