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Monday, September 27, 2021

All Mixed Up

Tomorrow I have the “opportunity” to have my third colonoscopy. I have never met the doctor who will perform this delicate and important procedure. Although we will have somewhat of an intimate relationship in the short term, I can only trust he’s truly qualified.

In between my previous colonoscopy and this one, I was permitted to use the Cologuard test. This is for “at-home colon cancer screening.” It turned out negative. Providing that company what they needed for testing was not really a positive either. But I managed.

Prior to my doctor visit on Tuesday, a Covid-19 test was required. This was my first. And in this age in which we live, it may not be my last. Fortunately, it’s become a much easier sampling to retrieve. But again, some technician was now invading my nostrils with a swab. It took a mere 30 seconds. And then the waiting game.

Today I start the process that is generally considered the most annoying. To put it lightly. It’s “prep” time. This, too, seems to have gotten a bit simpler than for my earlier tests. We start today with only liquids. All day. I guess I can pretend I’m fasting. For this procedure, I know I will be praying.

Tonight, it will my first round of cocktails—a mix of Miralax and some form of a Gatorade product. If I didn’t know better, I’d think gastroenterologists have a side deal going with both companies. Four glasses of eight ounces in a couple of hours pretty well gets things moving. Stay close to the bathroom. Consider diapers.

Then I’m told I can sleep. Yeah, we’ll see how that goes.

Tuesday morning, it’s time to have the second cocktail party. Oh boy. I’m sure my colon will be celebrating.

We head to the doctor in the afternoon for my 3:30 p.m. appointment. Now the reality of Covid living begins to set in. Once at the office, I have to make a mobile call from my car to see when I can actually enter. Only me, though. No spouse or caregiver. I don’t like that. Rhonda is my support person and when the test is over, she’s there to make sure I get the instructions right about what’s next. I really feel for those who have serious complications and are being hospitalized.

The way most of us relieve tension or the discomfort of these kinds of doctor visits is to incorporate humor. For colonoscopy patients, it’s usually “bathroom humor.” Appropriate in this case.

The master of turning this procedure into something funny is humorist Dave Barry. In describing his initial appointment Barry wrote, “A few days later, [in my gastroenterologist’s office] Andy showed me a color diagram of the colon, a lengthy organ that appears to go all over the place, at one point passing briefly through Minneapolis.”

And about his prep? “You mix two packets of powder together in a one-litre plastic jug, then you fill it with lukewarm water. (For those unfamiliar with the metric system, a litre is about 32 gallons). Then you have to drink the whole jug. This takes about an hour, because MoviPrep tastes—and here I am being kind —like a mixture of goat spit and urinal cleanser, with just a hint of lemon.”

We now have the picture. Thanks, Dave.

On the much more serious side, colorectal cancer is one of the deadliest. If it can be caught early and treated, you have a chance. Thats’s why we go through all this.

I doubt King David ever had a colonoscopy. He was, however, insightful enough to write, “You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body and knit me together in my mother’s womb. Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex. Your workmanship is marvelous—how well I know it.” Psalm 139:13-14 (NLT)

Indeed it is. For which we should all be thankful. Even while drinking that famed Miralax mix!

That’s Forward Thinking. Click on the link to the right to connect via Facebook.

You can find a number of YouTube episodes and podcasts of Mark’s program, Moving People Forward at

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