I don’t go to the doctor very often, because I’m afraid of them. Every time my wife badgers me into making an appointment I’m convinced they’ll discover I’m 50% tumor, or some other horrific shit. Why crack the seal on a frosty bottle of bad news? But I do get bullied into visiting the family doc every couple of years, and the last time he was quite insistent I get a colonoscopy. “You’re well past-due,” he reminded me.
But I didn’t like the idea of it, not one tiny bit. I had visions of me driving to a seedy clinic in a strip mall somewhere around here, and having a swarthy gentleman twist a four D-cell flashlight into my ass. And my instincts said: AVOID! Admittedly I might not have my facts straight, but it’s how I envision it, and everybody should be allowed to live their truth. Right? “Yeah, let’s revisit that in a year,” was my insta-reply.
“Oh, you’re one of those,” he chuckled. I didn’t care for that. In fact, he says a lot of things that bug me. For instance, his general greeting is “Hey man! How you been?” Hey man? I don’t like that. It’s like we’re on the same level, just two friends having a beer at the Regal Beagle or whatever. And if the doctor and I are on the same level… everybody’s in trouble. Doctors should be WAY above me, for the benefit of humanity.
“Are you familiar with Cologuard?” he asked.
I contorted my face, trying to remember. “Oh, is that the shit-in-a-box deal?” I finally answered.
He laughed and said, “Well, I might describe it a different way. But yeah.”
Then he proceeded to talk me into it. But even though it seemed better than the Maglite, it was still opening Pandora’s anus. I mean, what terrible things might my “offerings” reveal? By the time I left that place my entire enormous body was covered in flop-sweat.
A few days later the box arrived, and that made it even worse. It was taunting me, sitting there in the family room floor. Every time I walked past it my stomach dropped due to the dread. I made endless jokes about it, which was my way of coping, I guess. I told our boys I was going to pretend to misunderstand the directions, and just fill the entire box with poop. It might take a couple of weeks, but I’d load it up until you could barely get the flaps down, and hand it over to the guy at the UPS Store.
When I reached the point where I couldn’t delay it any longer – I had a follow-up appointment scheduled – I finally opened it and had a look at the ludicrous equipment inside. There was something that looked like a spaghetti strainer which you were supposed to clip to your toilet. It was a crap-catcher, and somewhat small. I’d have to make sure everything was properly lined-up, or I might have one hanging over the lip. There was also a tiny spoon, a test tube-like thing, and a plastic container that reminded me of the world’s worst cookie jar. I didn’t care for any of it.
But when I was home alone one day, I climbed atop the colander and followed the humiliating directions. The spoon part was especially mortifying. Then I sealed it up and drove it over to UPS, where it ships for free. The carton has the Cologuard logo on the side, so everybody knows you’re muling a shit-box. But by this point I was a broken man and just walked in and attempted to hand it off, feeling nothing. “Just leave it on the counter,” the guy said with a sigh. He appeared to be equally broken.
Then all there was to do was wait. Of course, I was braced for bad news, and every day was filled with anxiety. I did manage to make a few jokes about life at the testing lab. Here’s part of a walkie-talkie conversation I imagined and pantomimed in our dining room several times:
‘You’ve got another 12 pallets of shit-boxes backing up to Door 23.”
But I was stressing. When the day finally arrived, I drove over to the doctor’s office, trying to negotiate with myself along the way: “If it was something horrible, they would’ve already called, right?” Again, I was covered in sweat and slick as a seal. They did all the normal things: weighed me and checked my blood pressure. Then I sat there and waited for the doc.
Finally: “Dude!” Here we go.
We went through the normal routine, and I answered some questions. Quickly he started to wind it down and said something along the lines of “Alright, everything looks good. Unless you have something for me, I’ll just see you in a year.” He never even mentioned the sample I’d so thoughtfully provided. I considered leaving, avoiding the conversation altogether. But I knew I needed to get it over and done with. “Um,” I stammered, “Did you happen to get the Cologuard results back?” My voice was breaking like Peter Brady’s.
“Oh!” he shouted. “I forgot. You did do that, didn’t you? Let me check…” He started tapping his iPad and squinting at the screen. What the hell, man? This had been dominating all my waking, and many of my sleeping, hours. And he didn’t even remember it had happened. It was the most important thing in my life, and literally nothing to him.
“Nope, you’re good,” he said. “It came back negative. You’re off the hook for five years!”
Whoa! What a moment. I thanked him and exited the room, trying to maintain my composure. But after a brief meeting with a severe woman at the receptionist desk I left the building and practically skipped to my car. For a couple of days, I couldn’t get “Walking on Sunshine” out of my head, even though I hadn’t heard it in years.
I’m clearly not ready for what’s ahead of me, am I?
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A guy gets home from a full checkup and his wife asks how it went. "Great," the guy answers " The doctor says I can masturbate whenever I want !" "What kind of an office are they running down there ?!? I'm going to call you doctor !" She calls and her husband asks " Well ? " His wife says " That's not what the doctor meant when he said you could have a stroke at anytime !"
A colonoscopy is not that bad really. The worst part is drinking a gallon of Miralax and the subsequent all day shit. The drugs they use to knock you out are great. I tell them once they get ready, "Gimme that stuff that killed Michael Jackson." They always get a kick out of that. You never even feel the road cone.