6 Observations About Colonoscopies That I’m Sharing Today Because I Had One Yesterday

Illustration for article titled 6 Observations About Colonoscopies That I’m Sharing Today Because I Had One Yesterday
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1. If you haven’t done so already, you should probably go get you a colonoscopy. And yes, I realize that colonoscopies aren’t exactly iPhone chargers. You can’t just walk into a store and find one for 35 percent off on a discount rack. (And if you could, you’d need to run the fuck away from that deal. And that store. And the strip mall, city, state and country it’s in.)


But they are very helpful for early detection of numerous diseases and conditions—some of which you can have without any symptoms—and for diagnosing symptoms you may be having.

2. The procedure itself is quick and simple. They put you under and then you wake up, like, a half hour later, and it feels like nothing even happened.

3. Colonoscopy prep is the fucking devil. 

4. There are apparently four different ways to prep. The most popular (and the one I used) requires the following:

  • A week before the procedure, you can’t eat any high-fiber foods.
  • A day before the procedure, you can’t eat any solid foods or thick liquids. Basically, you’re stuck with water, clear Gatorade, maybe some pulpless lemonade and some straight chicken broth if you’re a socialist.
  • The evening before the procedure, you have to take this special solution, pour it into a 16-ounce cup and then fill the rest of the cup with water. Then you have to drink all 16 ounces.

And then, over the next hour and a half, you need to drink 32 more ounces of water.

And then, six hours before the procedure, you need to repeat the entire process. Which meant I was up at 3 a.m. practically waterboarding myself.


5. Of course, the purpose of the prep is to clear out your system so that there’s nothing, um, in the way during the colonoscopy. And without getting too graphic, clear out your system it definitely fucking does. Your system will be clearer than Angela Bassett’s skin. You could start calling your digestive system the Clear Channel. If your system were the weather and it was also warm outside, you’d think it was a good day to grill or go swimming.

6. I don’t know what specific drugs they use to put you under. But the following conversation—which I do not remember having—apparently happened after I woke up, according to my wife:

Me: Did they remove anything?

Nurse: Just a benign polyp. Nothing serious.

Me: Can I take it home?

Nurse: Huh?

Me: Our dog died a few months ago and we need a new pet.

Nurse: Ummm ...

Me: [Singing.] Polyp on a leash. Polyp on a leash. Po0000lyp on a leeeeeeash!

Those were some good-ass fucking drugs.

Damon Young is the editor-in-chief of VSB, a contributing opinion writer for The New York Times, and the author of What Doesn't Kill You Makes You Blacker (Ecco/HarperCollins)


BIMming It

I got put under for my wisdom teeth a couple years ago, and after the procedure was done, they put me in a waiting room while I waited for my ride to show up.

I vaguely remember THINKING to myself “Damn, these drugs are gooooooood... I feel amaaaaaazing. La laaa la fa la da daaa! Wow, it’s like I’m weightless. I wish I felt like this all the...”

Nurse: “Sir, is everything alright?”

Me: “Of course, I feel great” *Cheshire smile*

Nurse: “That’s great. Would you mind keeping it down, our other clients are getting concerned.”

Me: “Oops...” *breaks into laughter*

Apparently I was basically shouting all of my inner thoughts while sitting alone in a small room. People were worried... lol.

My ride showed up shortly after this, and I spent the next 10 minutes telling my best friends wife how amazing she is and how much I love them both.