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Alien Probe

23 Sep

Do you know what I’ve discovered?  When children become young adults, they become cognoscente of their parents’ mortality and turn into little nags.  Baby-girl (my younger daughter) has been on my case for the last year or so to get a colonoscopy and “everything else you need to stay alive.”  Baby-girl says I need to get extensively poked and prodded “so that you’ll be around to be a proper grandmother!”  Lecture, lecture, lecture — nag, nag, nag!  Which was really sweet at first, but the nagging had begun to get on my nerves.  I mean, I AM A GROWN woman, after allWhat I do with my body is my business.  Sheesh!  Anyway, I made a mental note to come back and haunt her ass when she’s in her late 50’s about all the things she probably won’t be keeping up with because maintenance of everything in our lives, from flossing to car repair, is overwhelming.

I finally acquiesced to getting the damn test, just to shut Baby-girl up.  I had no idea what I was getting into.   Some sadist who interned under Satan himself is the inventor of the colonoscopy turbo-charged preparation, the snake-like apparatus with its searchlight, camera, and blowtorch to burn off polyps, and the jet-propelled gaseous aftermath.

I should have gotten this procedure done when I turned fifty, but I didn’t just want any ol’ doctor poking around in my ass.  I was looking for a Dr. Welby type – the kind of gentle, sweet doctor that only Hollywood can produce. For the most part, I don’t like doctors because the ones I’ve encountered through the years tend to be arrogant and dismissive of my opinions and concerns as a woman about what is really happening inside my body.  I’ve been rolling around in this sack of flesh for sixty-three years; I should have some type of informed clue as to what I might be experiencing.

So as in everything in my life, I tried to establish as much control over the colonoscopy process as I could.  I researched and interviewed as many doctors as I could find within my insurance network.  One was too cold, one was too hot, but none were just right.  Finally, I came across a woman online who seemed perfect.  She had outstanding reviews, great bedside manner, and specialized in women’s health issues.  If someone had to look up my ass besides my husband, I’d much rather it be a woman.  But when I got to the colonoscopy office the following week, they pulled a bait-and-switch on me.

“We tried to give you a call about Dr. Smith’s new schedule, but we were unable to reach you,” said the rather curt receptionist.  “But don’t worry; we’ll make sure that you get treated by our senior physician who has done hundreds of these procedures.  You’ll be in very capable hands.  In the meantime, why don’t you have a seat and read through our brochure:  ‘What to expect from your first colonoscopy’”!

I was pissed.  After all I’d done to keep this procedure as tightly controlled as possible, my first criterion had slipped away:  a female doctor of my choosing.  I felt like I was drowning and began to get a panic attack.  As I read all the instructions about how to prepare my ass-arena for the upcoming event, I started to flip out as I noticed the sheath of papers listing the potential side effects while absolving the colonoscopy center of all culpability.

  • Bleeding and puncture of the colon
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Allergic skin reaction
  • Dehydration
  • Damage to the colon or rectum — including a
    perforation, which is a tear in the lining of the rectum or colon
  • Allergic reaction to the medication
  • Serious infection
  • Heart or lung problems, possibly including
    irregular heart rhythms or lung or heart failure
  • Loss of life
  • Other rare or improbable events

What the fuck – “other rare or improbable events”?!  I couldn’t breathe; I was getting dizzy, and I needed some air.  As I got up and fled through the lobby door, praying that I wouldn’t faint, I crashed into none other than. . . George Clooney.  My papers signing my life away to the ass clinic went flying to the north and south, my purse and glasses went off to the west and east.  But I didn’t care.  I was having a Casablanca moment:  “Of all the colon joints in all the towns in all the world, George Clooney had walked into mine.”

“Good morning, Dr. Fitzgerald,” said the nurse with a lilting tone that hadn’t been there when she greeted me.  “This is Mrs. Tomczyk.  You’ll be doing her colonoscopy instead of Dr. Smith.”

As “Dr. Mc-damn-he’s-so-fine” apologized for running into me and helped me up from the floor, the first thing I thought was “well now, who needs a damn woman doctor, anyway.”  The next thing I thought was:  “Oh no, George Clooney’s going to come face to face with my fat ass!”

George Clooney sent me back home with instructions complicated enough to build a rocket ship.  I had to start preparing for the test seven days before the procedure.  Iron and herbal supplements had to be stopped and nothing with seeds could be consumed.  I had heard that in the past the solution one drank to clear one’s colon looked like sludge and tasted like vomit.  But “Dr. Mc-damn-he’s-so-fine” assured me that the medication and procedure had much improved.  All the meds it would take would be a mixture of laxatives, OsmoPrep pills, and small soda-pop bottles of some clear, fizzy liquid that tasted like sea water.  When the doctor gave me a list of the items I was required to drink right up to the night before, I was beginning to think that my friends, who had told me how hard it was going to be, had all been a bunch of wussies.  I partied down with gallons of apple and white grape juice, tea, lemon Jell-O, lime Kool-Aid and all the soda I could drink while I dreamt about how to drape my ass so that it looked more “Rubenesque” in front of George Clooney.

I knew not to go into my office the day before the procedure, but I figured that working from home would be a piece of cake.  Exactly two hours to the minute that I took the first pills and drank the sea-water solution, I was on the phone with my boss when I heard the beginning of the Jaws theme song gurgling up from my stomach:  “daaa-dunt!”

“What was that noise?” asked my way-too-inquisitive boss.

“What noise?  I didn’t hear anything,” I lied as the sound got louder and more intense: “DAAA-DUNT…DAAA-DUNT… DAA-DUNT, DAA-DUNT, DAA-DUNT, DAA-DUNT. . .!

“Crap, I’ve got to go, Boss!” I said as I fled to the bathroom with the full strains of the Jaws theme song drowning out my cries of “Oh, nooooooooooo!”

I really can’t explain what happened to me for the rest of that day and night.  Let’s just say, I didn’t know that my ass had the ability to become jet-propelled, whirling my body around the exhaust fan like an escaped balloon, while everything I’d eaten since kindergarten came turbo-charging out of my behind.  Let’s also say, certain parts of my house should have been condemned after this prep session.  Twenty minutes later, I was on the phone with my husband (WW) telling him that he might need to get a hotel room that night for his own protection.   He had just said to me:  “Don’t worry Honey, this too shall pass,” (laughing at his own joke), when he heard me start to scream.

“Oh shit!” I cried.

“What?  What happened?  Are you okay?” asked my husband.

“NO, I’M NOT OKAY,” I screamed.  I trusted a fart and the carpet will never be the same!”

Bright and early the next day WW and I left our traumatized house and set off for the colonoscopy center.  The place was like a scene on a sitcom set.  All the doctors and nurses do at this center is probe behinds and I’ve never seen a happier bunch.  Considering what they have to stare at all day, these people were down-right giddy.

I wish I could tell you about the procedure, but it was over before I knew it, and I didn’t feel a thing.  They gave me the anesthesia that killed Michael Jackson, and I went to sleep in an instant and woke up 45 minutes later feeling more rested than I had in years (Michael, my man, I get it now!).  Apparently, they also blew air into my colon to expand it so that the scope could move throughout the area unobstructed, which had caused my stomach to blow up like a balloon.  But I wasn’t aware of any of this happening.  One minute I was out like a light, and the next minute George Clooney was calling my name.

“Eleanor. . .Eleanor, you can wake up now,” said my dreamy ass-doctor.

“Well, hellloooo, George,” I said in my most sexy voice while stretching like a cat.

“Mrs. Tomcyk, everything went very well.  Although I did find three polyps which I burnt off, and I’ll be sending them to the lab to be biopsied.  You might experience a bit of spotting and a slight bit of cramping today, but you should be back to normal by tomorrow.  I’m almost sure the polyps are benign, but we can’t be too careful.”

At the mention of the word, “polyps,” I almost had a heart attack and realized for the first time that this procedure hadn’t been an option.  Baby-girl had been right!

“I LOVE YOU, GEORGE CLOONEY,” I passionately cried as my heart over-flowed with gratitude; at which point a fart as loud as a freight train exploded from my ass.  Dr. Mc-damn-you’re-so-fine smiled as he gave me that knowing look of “this is just what we’ve all been waiting for.”  George Clooney then disappeared behind the curtain and into another patient’s life as if he’d been a dream.

My husband (WW) helped me get dressed and escorted me down the hall to the car as I gave off two farts for every three steps as my stomach began to shrink back to normal.   WW and I keeled over with gales of laughter as we drove home hilariously singing Mel Brook’s 30-year-old punch line to the tune of “Old McDonald Had a Farm”:  “Never, ever trust a fart, E, I, E, I, O!”

The biopsy came back today, and all is well in “the land of the indignities.”  As I began to fall asleep happy and content that I had passed my first colonoscopy test, I realized it wasn’t as bad as I had expected.  As WW and I chuckled about my George Clooney experience, I could have sworn that I heard the voices of Walton’s Mountain emanating from my nether regions as it nestled around my “clean, cancer-free colon”:  “Good night Tushey. Good night Colon. Good night Muffin. Good night Colon. Good night Gluten-free Intestines. Good night Colon. Good night Thunderous Thighs.  Good night Colon. Good night Jelly-Belly. Good night colon. Good night Fluffy-Butt. . .Good night Colon!

Two best colonoscopy jokes I’ve discovered to date:

If your hand doesn’t fit, you must quit.

Hey, now I know how a Muppet feels.

******

Author’s note:  This was a funny story (hopefully) about a necessary procedure which is not a laughing matter. Colorectal cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death in the US. I finally “got over myself” and took my chubby ass in for the C-test when two women I knew in their forties died suddenly and prematurely from colon cancer. That made Baby-girl hysterical, by the way.  Had the disease been caught in its early stage, they would probably be alive today.  If you are over 50 and haven’t had a colonoscopy, please don’t wait: http://www.screen4coloncancer.org/understandingColonoscopy.asp

All text and photos by Eleanor and John Tomczyk copyright © 2011 except where otherwise noted

Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Eleanor Tomczyk and “How the Hell Did I End Up Here?” with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.


 
32 Comments

Posted by on September 23, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

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32 responses to “Alien Probe

  1. Babygirl

    September 23, 2011 at 2:29 am

    Excellent, hilarious blog about how I saved your life through preventative maintenance. 🙂

     
    • etomczyk

      September 23, 2011 at 2:59 am

      Yeah, yeah, yeah. . . 🙂

       
  2. Maggie Ingram

    September 23, 2011 at 6:41 am

    Told you so!!! Nanny, nanny, boo boo!! I have been with Baby girl on this one as you know. Glad you raised the white flag and surrendered. I literally laughed till I cried on this story but am oh so glad you and George had your meeting! I had Doogie Houser for a doctor and was just trying to save any dignity I might have had going in. But the results were good and that made any thoughts on the whole deal fly right away. Great and very funny story my friend!
    Maggie

     
  3. Kirsten

    September 23, 2011 at 10:04 am

    HA HA HA. Oh no… this is priceless. Glad all is well. Thanks for keeping us laughing. XOXO

     
  4. imagesbytdashfield

    September 23, 2011 at 3:46 pm

    Listen to us baby girls! We know of what we speak 😉 Who knew a funny slant could be put on such an undignified (but necessary) procedure.

     
    • etomczyk

      September 23, 2011 at 4:18 pm

      I know, I know. She is never going to let me live this down. Baby-girl is convinced she saved my life! Speaking of baby girls and mothers: I read your post for Alzheimers Awareness about your mother and it was just magnificent. My continued argument with my Baby-girl is that I’d rather go out in a blaze of glory than to have her see me lose my mental faculties. I know it’s hard any which way one loses their mother, but no mother wants to see their children suffer if they can help it. It is so good to read that you are rebuilding your life, and using your talents to keep her memory alive. Blessings on you and yours!

       
      • Babygirl

        September 24, 2011 at 5:16 am

        Oh no, I’m with you on that one! I can barely get you to listen when you’re sharp as a tack 😉

         
  5. imagesbytdashfield

    September 23, 2011 at 5:39 pm

    Thanks, E. I want to go out in a blaze of glory myself and that is why I am determined to do, see, and have as much fun and experiences as I can while I can. Life is too short and precious. I want to be on the front porch telling stories to kids about my exploits and watching their jaws drop instead of in a facility. Shoot me first! You are blessed to have a loving child like that. Power to the baby girls!

     
  6. andilit

    September 23, 2011 at 11:48 pm

    Oh wow, did this resonate? Alas, I’m in Baby-Girl’s shoes on this one. . . my poor dad. But I laughed the whole way through and love your serious note at the end. . . Plus, those pictures from National Harbor – love that sculpture as does a man I had the privilege to know once. Great stuff all around. Thanks.

     
  7. SzaboInSlowMo

    September 26, 2011 at 2:59 am

    Great post! I just found your blog in my search for recipients of the Versatile Blogger Award, and can already tell I’m going to like it! You have to go here http://shecantbeserious.com/2011/09/25/the-versatile-blogger-award/ to accept the award. There are a few things you have to do, but it’s not bad. Helps us all share great blogs.

    Congrats!

     
    • etomczyk

      September 26, 2011 at 12:04 pm

      This is cute! Thanks so much for the recommendation for the Versatile Blogger Award. I’m touched. Unfortunately, I haven’t been blogging long enough to know 15 blogs to recommend that many. In fact, I spend so much time trying to figure out how to be versatile 🙂 that I never have time to read more than one or two blogs a week. I will keep it in mind and as I gather a collection of blogs I like, I’ll pass the award on. What’s the history of the award? What’s its origin? I did like your blog, by the way, and will subscribe. Cheers!

       
  8. Kimberly Tomczyk

    September 26, 2011 at 11:01 pm

    Awesome awesome awesome!!! You and WW are just too funny! Keep up the great posts!

     
  9. yumscrub

    September 27, 2011 at 12:33 am

    I love how pics from the National Harbor fit into the story. My daughter is getting married there in Nov.- can’t wait. Back to colonoscopies. With my first one, I woke up in the middle of it…. So, they stopped and because they couldn’t finish I had to have another one. I changed doctors. The second one reassured me I would not wake-up during the procedure. He was true to his word. It was such a breeze I could have had another………well except for the prepping.

     
    • etomczyk

      September 27, 2011 at 1:08 am

      Hi Yumscrub! My husband and I wondered how many people would recognize the National Harbor pics. We just went there this weekend and I loved that “man in the sand” set up. I am horrified that you woke up during the procedure. I would have had a fit. That would have been at least 4 blogs worth of material 🙂 Thanks for stopping by. By the way, how did you hear about my blog? I shall definitely stop by your site. All the best.

       
  10. DesiValentine

    September 27, 2011 at 1:12 am

    I laughed so hard at this!!! Thank you for the MUCH needed giggles, and for spreading the word on something so necessary. Excellent, excellent post!

     
    • etomczyk

      September 27, 2011 at 1:16 am

      DesiValentine: I spent a little bit of time at your blog site because I was so impressed with your writing. When you need an uproarious laugh to lighten your day, come on back. All the stories (and they are stories, not “posts”) are a humorous take on the absurdities of life (think: an AARP Bridget Jones marries Chris Rock and births Whoopi Goldberg — yeah, that’s it!). Take care.

       
  11. minnesotatransplant

    September 27, 2011 at 2:15 am

    Well done! You have a way with words, storyteller! The pictures were PERFECT accents — I would NOT have wanted to see ACTUAL photos of the event. And I especially loved “my ass had the ability to become jet-propelled, whirling my body around the exhaust fan like an escaped balloon.”

     
  12. deborahjhughes

    September 28, 2011 at 7:15 pm

    Who would have thought I’d enjoy a post on someone’s colonoscopy! Very amusing. I turn 50 next year and I’m shying away from the whole thing. My husband’s grandfather died of colon cancer and his mother is a colon cancer survivor. It’s important for him to keep up with it and he has…but I’m still dragging butt (pun intended) on going for this myself. As you stated…there’s not much dignity in it! Then again…there is no dignity in child birth and I’ve been down that road three times!
    Thanks for sharing your story!! Blessings!

     
    • etomczyk

      September 28, 2011 at 7:36 pm

      Okay, Debroah, now comes the medicine between all the laughter: Get your butt to the doctor, girl! 🙂 Seriously, I can’t tell you how many young women have died that I knew who felt the same as you. It was a silent killer. They had no idea they had the cancer. This is one of those things that if caught early can be completely eliminated. I had three polyps that were removed. Had they been allowed to stay, well, who knows. If you read the other stories you will see that I have a fabulous man that I’d like to grow old with. I did it for him as well as myself. Go forth and get your butt poked 🙂 and may you be blessed with a George Clooney for a doctor!

       
  13. georgefloreswrite

    September 29, 2011 at 2:24 am

    You gotta listen to your babies! Very important. Glad you went and everything’s all right!

    When I first read your headline, I thought “Oh no, she got abducted by the grey aliens instead of my favorite aliens: the sexy Scandinavian ones who abduct women for a night of hoopla :)”

     
    • etomczyk

      September 29, 2011 at 9:59 am

      Hi George. Yeah, that title has gotten me into trouble (the spam increased exponentially). My children were horrified that I chose that title. I shall give title choosing better thought next time 🙂

       
      • georgefloreswrite

        September 29, 2011 at 4:25 pm

        Except for the spam you received because of it, it was a great title.

         
  14. pegoleg

    September 29, 2011 at 7:36 pm

    I’m having major flashbacks to my own experience with downing gallons of that horrid prep-juice last year. Thanks for the memories. I, too, picked a woman doctor and would have been horrified to discover a hunky-man-doc handling the probe.

    On a serious note, I took care of anal business because a good friend was diagnosed with stage 4 colon cancer last year. So far, she is doing pretty well.

    Great post!

     
    • etomczyk

      September 29, 2011 at 8:45 pm

      Hi there! Thanks for dropping by. I was hoping that the humor of it would cause enough people to get moving on this. Like you, I’ve had too many people get colon cancer, and they were women. I actually thought (stupid me) that only men got this disease.

      Your blog site is fab! I plan to stop by often. All the best, and I’m so glad your friend is doing well. Cheers!

       
  15. An Observant Mind

    October 1, 2011 at 7:16 am

    This was great, I just found your blog today and have enjoyed reading many posts. Its funny how one persons misery is so hilarious to everyone else. Like my husband says; “If bad shit didn’t happen to you, what would you write about?” Thanks for the laugh.

     
    • etomczyk

      October 1, 2011 at 11:15 am

      Isn’t it the truth. I started writing a couple of years ago in order to write a memoir because I had had a lifetime of experiences where none of them had turned out as I had expected (some were better, many were worse). I figured I either had to turn them into comedy gold or go on Prozac. So I wrote 🙂 Thanks for the gracious compliments. I post a new story every Thursday night. Come on back when you can. Blessings.

       
      • An Observant Mind

        October 1, 2011 at 11:32 am

        I’ve already subscribed! Look forward to the next enjoyable read, thanks!

         
  16. etomczyk

    October 2, 2011 at 10:39 pm

    Loren:

    I think I just found a new best friend 🙂 I think we need to bring you to Washington, DC and put you in the UN. Maybe we’d finally get world peace. God bless and thank you, again.

     
  17. onefunnymummy

    October 6, 2011 at 3:58 am

    So funny! Was literally LOLing and I never write LOLing…thanks for posting this. Your honesty is refereshing and hilarious!!

     
    • etomczyk

      October 6, 2011 at 10:22 am

      This procedure is so demoralizing, if you don’t lob it into the theater of the absurd, you’ll just curl up in a ball in a corner from mortification and never come out to see the light of day.
      Thanks for stopping by.

       
  18. BrainRants

    October 13, 2011 at 8:48 pm

    This was just hilarious. Really!

     
    • etomczyk

      October 13, 2011 at 10:11 pm

      Thank BrainRants. I love your writing, as well. I pop in from time to time to see what you’re up to.

      All the best!

       

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