There is something disquieting about the self-administered enema: you are never quite sure you’ve done it right until you are really, really sure you’ve done the damn thing right.
I had already been “warned” - in a manner of speaking - by my urologist of the size of the alien space probe he needed to ,somehow maneuver into my body and take a number of samples. Accordingly, I had spent an inordinate amount of time in the two weeks leading up to my biopsy thinking about it.
Well, that and the possibility of cancer, which probably scared me quite me a bit more. Tracy worried along with me. I have had the odd bits of skin cancer on my head over the years, but that is the price I have paid for being too damn stupid too wear a hat outside when smart women (Tracy included) over the years have said, “Wear your hat!”
You know who you are - you were right, and I was an idiot.
This was cancer of an altogether different sort, and I was worried.
Still, Biopsy Day came, and with it came the enema. When one has a colonoscopy, you get to drink this stuff which I will never, ever complain about ever again, cuz it beats the self-administered enema any day of the week.
In the first place, you’ve only got a couple of hours before surgery, so you’d better get it right; it’s not like you can screw up and hope that Collier’s drug store can deliver a replacement to you in time.
I won’t go into the various physical logistics (get your mind out of the gutter) but suffice it to say, Saccharine Reader, that it took some doing before I was semi-comfortable.
And even then, you are not quite sure you are doing anything right. What if you aren’t? Reschedule the surgery? Leave it up to a nurse who is overworked and in a hurry?
Not bloody likely . . .
And then, as your stomach starts to rumble, you realize that you have met your immediate goal, and you have added yet another job skill to your resume. Sitting in the bathroom, reading The Death of Superman to keep my mind off my present and future predicaments, I spent the next eventful stage of my life.
When we got to the doctor’s office I was pretty tired, as I hadn’t slept much the night before. Time for yet another urine sample. You reach a certain stage in life, you are almost giving as much urine to your doctor as you are to the city sewer system.
Not the Space Probe!
There is a great line from the “The Five Doctors,” an episode of Doctor Who, in which a character cries in terror, “Not the Mind Probe!” Well, that’s pretty much how I felt this morning. Luckily, the device from Alpha Centauri wasn’t anywhere in sight as I dropped my pants.
I’m 60 years old this month - I lost all modestly around nurses years ago. Still, it’s oddly comforting when they tell you that you can keep your socks on.
I got a shot, which I was assured would numb me. Well, thank god it did. I’d hate to think what I’d feel if it hadn’t. When he said, “You’ll hear a click,” I also felt the click, ladies and gentlemen.
But it was soon over, and they released me into the wild, no prescription for pain in hand, of course. Because what the hell, I take oxycocodone anyway for my back, and I wouldn’t need it.
I didn’t believe the doctor when he told me that I’d spend most of the day in bed, and would need the next day to recuperate as well, but he spoke the truth.
And then you wait.
As I have written about this before, those of us who have been spoiled by TV expect to things instantly - we expect the crime lab to have results as quickly as they do on CSI, and the doctors on TV to have you in for tests within hours, if not a few days.
The interminable waiting . . . well, that’s just part of this reality.
So you wait, on tenterhooks. You imagine the worst.
But one day a phone call comes, and a nurse tells you that everything is okay, and that you have to keep paying your bills, after all. You feel a hundred pounds lighter.
The smile on your wife’s face is worth a thousand sunrises.
That weekend, though, I noticed that there was still an ounce or two of the magical elixir left in the enema bottle. “You know,’ I suggested to Tracy, “we could have a party with this over the weekend.
She looked at me the way only wife can and simply said, “No.”
I have made a lot of jokes during this process, but I’m glad that I go to the doctor and get my prostate checked. If you are of a certain age, you need to as well.
There is a term for men who don’t, and that word is . . . idiot.
Quote of the Day
Government investigations have always contributed more to our amusement than they have to our knowledge. - Will Rogers