A screening where everything came out fine

By their nature, colonoscopies can’t help but inspire and invite punny jokes.

I’ve been on the giving and receiving end of this, so to speak, but more recently the latter.

One well-meaning, ever encouraging friend of mine hugged me two days before I was to have the procedure. Realizing that as a 61-year-old I was a first-timer for this, my friend very innocently and with exceptional sincerity said in medical-moment times such as these, “I hope everything comes out all right.”

There was the proverbial pregnant pause, then an exchange of funny looks to suggest that’s not what I meant but I said it, and actually it is what I meant in a good, caring kind of way.

Then came a load of laughter.

Of course, everybody who experiences something ahead of you has advice to offer or horror stories to report.

I guess it comes with the territory.

My fear, I suppose, was that there would be nothing left of me once I finished all the prep part for the procedure, that I would implode or evaporate and be a mere memory.

Better Half was my mentor through all of this, having had a colonoscopy only months before me.

He was the voice of reason.

In a way, we were having a round of his-and-her screenings. Nothing says love quite like back-to-back colonoscopies.

You’re my designated post-colonoscopy driver and vice versa.

Honestly, I wasn’t all that worried about having the procedure or even drinking in bulk a lot of Miralax-infused Gatorade or sticking close to a porcelain throne more than I cared to.

I was more concerned about remembering not to eat.

When I had my last bit of solid food — a bologna and cheese sandwich with potato chips — and I knew that would be it for a while, the very thought of deprivation made me suddenly starved, hungry for everything.

People around me apologized for eating. (As well they should, I thought.)

Then I fretted over the time table for drinking the colon cocktail.

After all, I didn’t want to get “behind” schedule.

My overall colonoscopy experience was a good one that unfolded in a friendly and efficient environment. I oddly remember hearing Elton John’s “Goodbye Yellow Brick Road” playing in the background one moment before the anesthesia.

The next song I heard, after all was said and done, was Don Henley’s “Dirty Laundry.”

That’s kind of weird, I thought, but, uhh, OK.

For me it was interesting to have a typical day become atypical, to be immersed in other people’s workplace, to be an outsider looking in and temporarily part of a different environment.

And the discharge directives were very user friendly and easy for me to honor: Go out for breakfast; take it easy; don’t go to work; and don’t cook.

Screenings are a good thing, not to be feared or avoided.

Everything really did come out all right.

(Kiaski, a resident of Richmond, is a staff columnist and community editor for the Herald-Star and The Weirton Daily Times. She can be contacted atjkiaski@heraldstaronline.com.)


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