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The Midlife Sage Says: Colonoscopies Redefine The Term “Old Farts”


The good news: I lost several pounds in 24 hours.

The bad news: a stranger inserted a camera at least a mile up my fanny and then she charged me $1,500 for the privilege. But the procedure known as a colonoscopy could save my life.

Because I am over 50 years old and want to live long enough to irritate my great-grandchildren, I advocate regular exercise and preventive medicine.

And for middle-aged women that includes having regular mammograms that smash your boobs between the jaws of death, pap smears from a cheerful young nurse who wants to chat while all you can see is her perky head, and now colonoscopies, a probing expedition in search of rear-end damage.

Here are the sobering facts: 1 in 19 people will be diagnosed with colon cancer in their life, and 1 in 45 will die from it.

If you have 626 friends on Facebook, that means 13 will die from colon cancer.

It’s curable if found early, so nag your friends to schedule an appointment and then meet for lunch to celebrate (several days later.)

The day before the procedure, you need to consume only clear liquids. Unfortunately, red wine is not included on this list.

In the evening, swallow a gallon of thick liquid that tastes and looks like buffalo snot mixed with mouse droppings. Then you gather books, cell phone, and computer and retire to the bathroom where you’ll spend the night recreating the bathroom scene from the movie Dumb and Dumber.

This experience will test and/or strengthen your love life.

Throughout the Evening of Gurgling Misery, Studley brought me popsicles and hid the wine openers.

He offered amazing tidbits of information, such as did I know the average colon is between five and six feet long? Did I know the colon can store up to ten pounds of processed food per foot? After an hour of fascinating facts, I told him where to put his research.

On the day of the invasion, I needed a designated driver so Studley discreetly placed a waterproof pad in the passenger seat before he took me to the clinic.

But we both knew I would jump out in the middle of congested traffic on State Street before I’d mess up his new pickup truck. And I promise to return the favor when it’s time for his procedure. Love works like that.

At the clinic, I was given a wonderful sedative and wheeled into “the room.”

I was joking with the doctor about getting a bull’s eye painted so it would be easier for her, and then suddenly I woke up in recovery.

I was in a room full of cubicles with other post-op patients and everyone was passing gas. That’s because air is pumped inside the colon so the camera can be maneuvered on its incredible voyage of discovery and then the air needs to get back out. I couldn’t stop laughing at the old fart version of Blazing Saddles.

I encourage all my friends over 50 to schedule colonoscopies. You won’t be photographed at your best angle, but I don’t want to stand up at your funeral and yell, “I told you so!”

I need all the friends I can get, so please endure two days of humiliation in order to survive and grow old with me so we can laugh together and share photographs of grandchildren, vacations, and various medical procedures.

Read more posts by Elaine Ambrose, award winning author. Elaine is a blogger for JenningsWire.


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