Note: Please read Part 1 before reading this…
The very next day I got a call from the Tush Man’s office advising me that my exorcism (colonoscopy) was scheduled for Thursday, July 16th. They also gave me instructions on the medications that I needed to purchase and that I would have to fast – and have nothing to eat for a day before the procedure. And as I hung the phone up, I could swear that I felt the aliens burrowing further into my colon and that’s when The Fear began…
Monday, July 13th
I tried pinching myself to see if I’d been dreaming – and that’s when the doorbell rang. Holly started to bark – as she always does when people come to the door. I quickly put her into the den and then I rushed to open the front door.
“Hello, I am from the Township of Langley Licence Department” the lady said as she smiled at me. I noticed that she was holding a receipt book in one hand and a handful of what looked like dog tags in her other hand.
Although I’ve had dogs for most of my adult life, I have never believed in getting a dog licence for any of them. And it’s not because I’m too cheap, or that I’m some kind of radical anti-government anarchist or something. It’s just that all good dog owners believe that their dogs are members of their family – and consider their dogs as children. And because no kind, decent, law-abiding person would ever licence a child – why would I ever want to licence my Holly Golightly? She’s not a car or a truck for heaven’s sake!
“Hello” I replied.
“May I call you Dan or would you prefer Daniel?” she asked politely as she began to write in her receipt book.
“Whatever is fine” I answered. (Actually, I prefer Danny but most people call me Dan or Daniel – but that’s for another story.)
“And you have just the one dog?” she asked.
“Dog? What do you mean?” I was lying through my teeth and was just about to deny having one when Holly started to bark.
“Is Holly Golightly your only dog?” she asked. She appeared to be losing patience with me. But how did she know my dog’s name was Holly Golightly? Maybe one of my neighbours ‘ratted me out’. Or maybe someone in the Township of Langley reads my blog and has read about Holly… or…
“Oh, you mean my little gal Holly!” I laughed, “it’s just that I’ve never considered her as a dog. And she knows me as her Daddy.” I was stuttering and my face was turning a very deep, dark shade of red. I felt like the little kid who got caught with his hand in the candy jar.
The drone from the Township proceeded to lecture me on the need to be a ‘good citizen’ and a ‘good dog owner’ just like everyone else does. She made me feel very guilty and foolish. I guess that’s why you should never lie – because chances are the person that you’re lying to is actually smarter than you – which makes you ‘dumb and dumber’. And all of the while that she’s lecturing me, Holly is barking loudly and non-stop in the den!
I paid the license fee and sheepishly closed the front door.
Anyways, back to my tush.
I started taking the medication 3 days before the colonoscopy – which meant never being more than 20 steps away from the washroom. On the day before the procedure I wasn’t supposed to have anything to eat but I was supposed to drink plenty of clear fluids right up to 2 hours prior to the examination. The pharmacist also explained that I could expect to pass a lot of gas for a few hours after the colonoscopy.
Thursday, July 16th
10:00AM – Arrived in the Langley hospital lobby but wasn’t sure where I was supposed to go for the procedure. I studied the various signs but none of them gave directions to where ‘tushes’ are examined. I decided to ask someone but hospital staff are difficult to identify because they don’t wear the traditional white uniforms anymore. I noticed a smiling face in a uniform staring at me, so I approached her.
Me: Can you help me? I am here for a colonoscopy but I don’t know where I am supposed to go.
Smiling Lady: Sorry sir, but this is the Starbucks kiosk. But could I tempt you into trying one of our triple chocolate, triple cream, high fibre, non-gluten, watermelon-chai latte?
Me: No thank you – but can you tell me where the washroom is located?
Several minutes later I finally found my way to the Ambulatory Daycare section. A nurse greeted me and gave me a clipboard with a number of forms to complete. She asked me to return the copies to her once they were all completed, signed and dated. The only part of the form that I wasn’t able to complete was the part that asked my height (in cm’s) and weight (in kg’s) – ’cause I’m still trying to learn the metric system, which I hate with a passion.
The nurse gave me a gown and told me to change – and then to add insult to injury – the nurse told me to make sure that I put the gown on correctly – with the opening on the back. I quickly got changed and then opened the curtain to the cubicle that I was in and noticed that the nurse was still standing there.
Nurse: How tall are you and how much do you weigh?
Me: Sorry, but I only know my height in feet and inches (5′ 11″) and my weight in pounds (190 lbs).
I laid on the bed in that cubicle for almost an hour – waiting for my turn. It was obvious that all of the other people were there for the same procedure – because I could overhear all of the conversations between the patients and the nursing staff. And part of what the nurses were saying made me smile – the part where they said that you will have a lot of gas after the procedure but that it is normal and okay. In fact, the nurses all mentioned that they encouraged everyone to ‘fart’ whenever you get the urge. And that made me smile – ’cause everyone knows that all boys like to ‘fart’. It was at that same moment that I suddenly heard an outburst of ‘farts’ from a number of the cubicles in the room. One in particular seemed to be in three different notes/decibels and it lasted for at least 8 seconds!
And as I laid there in the bed – waiting for my turn to go into the Operating Room – I thought back to when I was a boy scout at camp. We would all be in our sleeping bags trying desperately to fart – in order to make our friends laugh – and one of my friends asked if anyone had ever seen a ‘flaming fart’? We all shrugged our heads and collectively answered ‘no’. It was at that point that my friend grabbed a wooden match and after grunting and groaning for a few seconds he was able to muster up a ‘fart’. And just as he began to fart he lit the match, held it close to his tush and suddenly there was a fairly loud ‘Pooooooooooof’ noise – accompanied by a large blue flame! Everyone in the tent laughed and shouted our approval and then each of us grabbed a handful of matches.
The nurse suddenly appeared at my cubicle and announced that it was my turn. And as they wheeled me out of the room and down the hall, I gave the other patients a ‘thumbs up’ as a form of encouragement to continue with the ‘passing gas melodies’ during my absence.
For those readers not aware of the colonoscopy procedure – it may sound scary but it really isn’t painful or uncomfortable. But it is a very important diagnostic tool and I don’t want the humour of my blog to minimize the importance of having regular checkups – for men and women – as your best defence against cancer. Colorectal Cancer is one of the most difficult cancers to detect and the mortality rate is one of the highest of all cancers. And it doesn’t matter your age, sex or lifestyle.
Within twenty minutes of entering the operating room – the procedure was over. And it was painless – easier than having your teeth cleaned at the dentist. As they wheeled me back to the recovery area, one of the nurses told me that everything looked fine and they only found one small alien (polyp) which they removed. She said that the results of the biopsy will be sent to my family doctor in a couple of weeks. She also reminded me that I would be passing a lot of gas for the next 24 hours.
And just as we entered the recovery ward I noticed another patient being wheeled down the hall towards the operating room. And as we passed each other in the hall, I held up my hand with my ‘thumbs up” as a sign of solidarity and encouragement – and then I noticed who the other patient was – and I was shocked!
It was none other than the drone lady from the Township’s Dog Licensing Department.
‘Karma’, I thought to myself.
I only made one stop on my way home from the hospital – at the corner smoke shop to buy a pack of wooden matches.
Dedicated to my friend Lui Pasaglia and all other Colorectal Cancer Patients/Survivors