Andy Warhol was right: Everyone does get fifteen minutes of fame. Unfortunately it doesn’t always arrive precisely as we hope….
So there I was, minding my own business, when my doctor informed me it was time for a colonoscopy. For those of you too young to bother, bless your hearts. Stop reading. Go jog or admire your wrinkle-free skin or something. For the rest of you, who, like me, cannot believe you have reached the age of frown lines, age spots and actual or potential colon polyps, carry on. I’m going to show you a silver lining. Really.
So there I was, in the office of the specialist who makes his living exploring colons, and let me tell you this was not a warm man. Cold, I’d say. Curt. Abrupt. Stalin in a pissy mood. I have a family history of colon cancer and an obsessive need for comfort, so I may be exaggerating, but only a little. Nice was not his forte.
“I don’t like him; he’s mean,” I wailed to my dear nurse-friend who recommended him.
“He’s not known for his bedside manner, but you’ll be under anesthesia and you need to do this, honey.”
For those of you who have been down this road, the prep (ie, the Roto Rooter phase) is the most unpleasant part of the program. I was beyond careful not to eat or drink anything I wasn’t supposed to, because no way did I want to do the procedure twice (which happened to a couple of friends of mine).
So, the day of: I’m getting the anesthesia and asking the nurse what to expect. Will I be completely out or only a little? I can’t decide which is better: Allow The Grinch to proceed on his own without my input or stay alert as my new goal in life has become to make this doctor crack the tiniest smile.
Grinch comes over and greets me:
“Not yet, doctor. Have you heard the one about–”
“Okay, once we get started, if I find anything I don’t like, I’m going to turn the table around and go down your throat with another scope. See you in there.”
WAIT! What? What did he say? What about my throat??!! See you in there. “That was kind of friendly,” I mentioned to the nurse. “Right?” She shrugged. “Am I going to fall completely asleep now?”
As it turns out I remained alert, but didn’t care. I didn’t care about anything. Very helpful drug. Should probably be given at the start of menopause. Why wait?
Anyway, I watched the procedure on a monitor, along with Dr. Killjoy. And here is what happened.
Dr.: “This is beautiful. This is the cleanest colon I’ve seen. You did an awesome prep. Outstanding. Look at that…that is just lovely.”
I could go on, but Mother always told me not to toot my own horn.
Yes, friends. I made him smile. He even called someone over (I forget who. Maybe the janitor.) to see my awesome colon on the big monitor.
I waited a long time for that kind of adulation. I relish it.
I have a take-home photo of my great colon. If I were Carolyn, I’d post it; but I don’t know how, and anyway it’s sort of a special, just-between-us keepsake from the nice doctor.
Fifteen minutes is time the procedure took. Thank you, Andy Warhol. Thank you, doctor.
Thank you menopause and aging. Everyone deserves a moment in the sun.