Don’t Cry for Me…Colonoscopy

Katie Couric, colonoscopy

 “Get Your Butt to the Doctor!”
Credit: Katie Couric.

Most would not write about singing and a colon exam in the same short post.

I, however, am a courageous blogger, and my mind happens to be on those two subjects.

Why? 

After my move from one coast to the other, I needed to find a new doctor. After hours, and days, and weeks of searching for good doc/ easy accessibility/ insurance acceptance, I found one.

I like the doc. Except she insists it’s time for me to get a colonoscopy.

I agree with her.

In principle.

Katie Couric famously explained the need and necessity for us all to be colonoscopied (not a verb yet in the dictionary, but it is in my household). Katie bravely got colonoscopied on T.V. just to remind us all how a simple procedure can save us from a devastating disease.

I tried one about 10 years ago. Despite Couric’s insistence, it’s not for sissies.

Which is why I applaud my guy’s dedication to have one every seven years or so.

I participate by driving him to the hospital (where his specialist performs them), waiting with a couple of good magazines and a hot cup of tea, and then driving him home (despite his insistence that he can drive the 40 minutes back, thank you very much).

But I drive him home anyway, and later in the day he has no memory of the ride.

He also has no memory of the last time we went through this marital procedure.

First, let me explain that my guy is tone deaf. He loves listening to music, but he never gets the words right, and he never, ever sings.

Until colonoscopy day.

He’s carted off for the 30-minute procedure. The nurse tells me she’ll let me know when he’s in the post-op room, and I can come see him then.

artichoke, colonoscopyHalfway through a magazine article about how to steam artichokes (slowly, patiently), I hear a male voice singing, at the top of his lungs (don’t you love that expression?).

I don’t recognize the voice, but I enjoy hearing the nurses and the doctor laugh.

When you think of it, you don’t often hear those in the medical profession laugh.

As the (seemingly) inebriated patient is wheeled by the waiting room, the words to a decades-old song are sung loudly and clearly:RoyaltyFreeBannermusic

Don’t Cry for Me Argentina…

And, I see the muscled,  freckled arm of my guy waving to me as his stretcher is pushed to the post-op room, and he lets loose another verse.

Don’t cry for me Argentina

The truth is I never left you

All through my wild days

My mad existence

I kept my promise

Don’t keep your distance…

Don’t Cry for me Argentina!!!

Unfortunately, I don’t have a video of this small miracle (a. he knew the words, b. he sung them well, c. he never saw the play or movie and swears up and down I’m making this up).

Readers, I’m not making this up. And it’s almost time for his next colonoscopy. I’ve sworn on my little pinkie that I won’t bring my cell phone with me to the hospital.

Because one of these days, soon, it will be my turn. Madonna, Evita, Don't Cry for Me Argentina

I better practice up on my Madonna.

75 thoughts on “Don’t Cry for Me…Colonoscopy

  1. I’ve had a colonoscopy every year for the past 20+ years. They’re not as bad as people imagine…the preparation is unpleasant, but once you get through that, it’s not a big deal.

  2. When I brought Bruce home from his last colonoscopy ( they told him he had the colon of a teenager!) first he wanted to drive – I showed him the discharge papers that said no driving, not to make any major decisions, etc – then I needed to stop for gas and he jumped right out of the car and did the gas, just “singing at the top of his lungs!” He, too, has a less than wonderful singing voice – he calls it “froggy” – and usually just sings in songs like Happy Birthday, but there he was pumping gas and singing away….we get home, he gives a big yawn and takes a 4 hr nap awaking with no memory of the morning…
    When I had mine, as I was coming around I heard the dr talking in the hall about “the lady who had major polyps”, so when he next came into my room I knew what to expect to hear! So, I said, ” Were you able to remove the polyps or do I need to come back?” He looked at me blankly and said I Didn’t have any polyps, but the lady in the next room did! I was fighting the nausea side effects of anesthesia and was in no mood to sing on the way home!
    The prep is nasty, but the colonoscopy itself is no biggie!

    • Your experience with Bruce is so funny, Carla! Could you imagine my guy and your guy together at the same hospital? They’d probably break out into a duet. Yes, the last time my guy had one, he charged out of the car once home to ‘work on the rock wall.’ 15 minutes later he was asleep on the couch – for hours.

  3. Haven’t had one yet, but I should have. After living through a terrible stomach bug the last couple of days I feel like I’ve already had the prep (the part I have been not wanting to do…) You have just given me yet another “reminder” to stop putting this off…I’ll have to practice my singing voice…:-)

    • As unpleasant as the prep and the day-of is, I applaud Katie Couric for making us aware of how many lives are saved by colonoscopies. Go for it (but feel better, first…)

    • I am a happy, happy woman and writer if I made you think, sing, and laugh as you read this. Perhaps all of us will do the same when we go in for our ‘procedures.’ We can start a trend – the singing colonoscopy patients…!

  4. I think it goes without saying that I am disappointed in you for not getting the audio. (Well, at least I’ll know what Madonna would sound like if she got a colonoscopy.)

    I have gotten a colonoscopy. It wasn’t fun, needless to say, but I’d rather go through the procedure all over again than read an article about steamed artichokes.

  5. One funny story! I am due for what is scheduled as my last colonoscopy – I’ve aged out – and I don’t mind the procedure. It’s what I have to do the day before! I think I’ll sing this time – maybe something from Rent?

  6. Hilarious! My husband always gets chatty when he is sedated and before he goes under; except for the time when he was beginning to get chatty, and I told the nurse (in earshot of him) that he ALWAYS gets chatty. So he mimed locking his lips, swallowing the key. Then he frowned and said not one single more word until he woke up.

  7. I wonder if there will be a concert next time.

    I had a colonoscopy, too. It was two or three years ago. It’s not that bad. Drinking the prep was worse. I know someone my age who had colon cancer surgery/chemo a couple of years ago. My grandmother had colon cancer and they caught it in time and no chemo was needed. I’d prefer to go through the colonoscopy than colon cancer surgery and chemo. The prep and procedure are a piece of cake if you look at it that way.

    • Totally agree with you. My mother-in-law died of colon cancer. Thus, my guy and his siblings take care to have this procedure regularly, and he nags me to do it too.

    • Thanks for asking – YES, that’s me on top of a rocky cliff in Kauai. My daughter took the photo when I was basking in the wonder of the place and didn’t even know she had her camera out.

  8. Pam, get yourself in for one NOW! Truly, it’s a non-event. The prep is nasty, but if you get it really, really cold and gulp it quickly through a straw you can bypass the taste (pretty much).

    • I know, I know Melaney. Last time was ten years ago, but I ended up in the hospital for 2 days – my body didn’t like the prep or the anesthesia. I think I’ll try it (soon, soon) with no sedation. Maybe they’ll put a leather strap between my teeth…? :-0

  9. Wonderful post that should inspire your readers to get the procedure. I had one about 8 -10 years ago. Had another scheduled 2 years ago but was getting sick then with extreme weakness. Honestly don’t know if I could walk now after drinking the prep. My MD changed the prep after my first one and the woman at the desk insisted that was the way it had to be. I think I’ll return again and talk with MD to ask if he’ll use an easier prep that I could better tolerate. (prep was a gallon and I’m a small person)

    MD used Versed which is a benzodiazepine. It knocks the patient out like a light. I could not get warm after I got home and could not stand up. I had heating pads, hot water bottles and 4 blankets covering my little freezing body. The good news was that my colon was just fine.

    The story of your husband is so cute. The anesthesia unleashed his “inner child.”

  10. I had several myself. On one occasion the nurse called me and ask if I started to drink the “special liquid? I had not, the machine had broken down , so I had to reschedule . I asked the nurse what had happened to the people that were ready to go . She said that they drove them to a different facility.
    Just like everyone else said, the prep is unpleasant . I just park myself on the toilette with a book and all my devices. Good luck !

    • Oh boy, could you imagine if you HAD gone through the prep and then they had to re-schedule? I think there’d be a master revolt. Good thing they could send the prepped ones to another place.
      I have a friend who owns her own business and is always working. She looks forward to her ‘every-five-years’ procedure as a day and a half when she absolutely has to stop. She calls it her ‘spa colon day.’ Funny.

  11. Brilliant. Madonna would be so proud. I wonder what she sings while doped up for a colonoscopy. I’m guessing, “Bad, Bad, LeRoy Brown.” (I have no idea where that came from!)

  12. Ha! Music to my ears in more than one way. First, because it’s hilarious, and second, because it’s so important people get this test done. I am definitely not looking forward to the black snake when my time comes, but come it will, and I’ll be there. But dear God, I hope I don’t sing…

    • Well, as a doctor, you probably won’t want other doctors you know to hear whatever rendition of, say, the Rolling Stones, you end up singing. “The Black Snack” – a good term for the dastardly (but oh so important) procedure.

  13. Oh how funny Pam! Thanks so much for sharing this cute story. My hubby is having one done the end of the month and I will be taking him so will see if he too starts singing….lol! I haven’t had one done, but know the time will come. Also thanks for sharing the video of Katie Couric. I have always always always been so afraid of the unknown and the idea of this has always scared me as well. Seeing the video makes it not so hard to consider. I just love, love, love all of your awesome blogs. I have to tell you that I don’t get on my computer all the time and haven’t been on FB in over a month, so I actually have saved all of your past blogs that you sent me that I haven’t yet read and will read them soon. Take care girlfriend and I look forward to your next awesome blog!!! God bless you dearest beautiful Pam!!!

    • Thank you Bev for commenting and for being a loyal fan of Roughwighting. 🙂 This post is timely since you’ll be taking your guy to the ‘colonoscopy place’ soon. Perhaps you could start practicing a few songs with him…? GOOD LUCK! xo

  14. That was too funny. Nice to be able to look and experience the big black rubber tube from a different mind set. I have had the pleasure of regular colonoscopys for the last 20 years. Nothing went wrong except for the one time I woke up in the middle of the procedure. I was facing a large screen where I saw the insides of what I had to assume was my colon. I didn’t feel anything except some pressure, I was so fascinated by what I saw on the screen I didn’t tell anyone I was awake. Then the doctor decided to move the big black tube to anothemr location. The screen showed the advance of the camera moving up the colon through a very small, compact, fleshy and dark space. Kind of like scuba diving at night through a dense kelp bed.ji Then the good doctor stopped and pumped air through the big black tube. That’s when i told everyone in the procedure room that I was indeed awake and would they mind very much if they could please make me be not awake. Not the worse pain I’ve felt, but not worth the price of admission to the feature show I was watching.
    On my follow up appointment with this doctor, he argued with me telling me I had not woken up during the procedure. I know the drugs that are used makes one forget much of what happens during and after the procedure, but I still have vivid dreams of those moments. I now have a new doctor who cares for my wakefulness and all is well with the big black hose and me.
    Your post did indeed lighten my day with laughter. Thank you muchly for that Pam.

    • “Like scuba diving at night through a dense kelp bed” – what a great description of our…COLONS! I love your sense of humor – can just see you laying there going, ‘um, guys? could I have a little happy juice here please?’ 🙂

  15. I did like your funny approach about such an important matter, in French we say:”it’s not a pleasure party, but just do it!” 🙂
    * * *
    my very best, stay healthy and optimistic! have a serene weekend and friendly thoughts, Mélanie

    • “Not a pleasure party” – a great expression! I’m going to use it next time I stand in line at the post office …forever and ever. Not a pleasure party, but we just have to do it.

  16. Ten years ago, I only remember the warm blanket after the procedure and then it was all worth that prep! I have to do it again and so glad there is something good to look forward to, that warm blanket!

  17. Ugh – I have to have them every 5 years or so due to family history of bowel cancer and they ain’t pretty – I can’t say I ever sang, but who knows, maybe I just don’t remember it 🙂

  18. Oh. My. Goodness. Only you would write a blog like this. Shhh…it’s time for my next colonoscopy. And, sigh, I really should have another one because both my mom and grandma…ok, TMI. I loved your story. Loved it. Reading it makes me want to return to blogging. Almost. Almost as much as a colonoscopy….ha ha ha ha.

    • No, no, no. Return to us, sometime, soon, PuLeeze! Blogging is like singing Madonna at the top of your voice, not the ‘other thing,’
      But, if this colonoscopy singogram reminded you to get the ‘other thing’ done, then I am happy. Stay healthy! And stay in touch, my switcheroo friend. xo

    • Um, I think I won’t tell him that. Ha Ha. But I will admit, any time I hear the song, my mind goes right to that scene of him waving his arm around, laying on the stretcher, singing like he was in an opera. Yikes!

  19. Love the humor you injected into the experience. I am not yet at the point of needing one but I don’t know that I will be able to sing anything given my fear of physical pain. Don’t Cry for Me Argentina, however, is a great choice 🙂 May I suggest Madonna’s Material Girl ;0

  20. Loved this. I had a colonoscopy; last year or so; my first and last since I was 75 or 76 at the time. No polyps, therefore, I will never have to have another….at 85, I now remember, he said, I would be too old or dead.
    If I were ever going to have one, I would want to sing, Send on the Clowns 😊

  21. Send in the Clowns – how perfect would that be to sing that after a colonoscopy? We need to keep remembering these positive things about aging. After a certain point, we can kiss all those tests goodbye. Woo Hoo!!!

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