"Greetings From New Rochelle!"
...read my texted photo. It didn't take long for my cellphone to start ringing under the gurney upon which I am so fashionably positioned (don'tcha LOVE the hat?). "OMG, MOM??? What happened? Are you OK?" Casey blubbered into the phone. "I'm fine, darling, just celebrating my birthday a bit early - I'm getting a colonoscopy!"
"What the Hell?" I don't think Casey appreciated being punked. But I was in pretty good spirits.
I had woken up at 5 am and toasted the new day with a disgusting mixture of Powerade and Miralax powder. 64 ounces to be exact. Blech! And I had to finish the huge pitcher within two hours. I am a person who rarely sips anything, much less chugs it. If I'm going to drink anything at all it's plain old Poland Spring H2O. But here I am facing the horrible mixture. So I did my best imitation of Hawkeye Pierce, and hoisted my martini glass and toasted my soon-to-be BIG birthday.
The only problem was, that, as I imbibed my 8th glass, the final one - at around 7 am - my poor tummy couldn't take the challenge and like most, college kids who have had one too many, I spewed my guts projectile-fashion, all over the bathroom. So now I was feeling sick, quite grungy and I had to clean up the bathroom to boot. What a way to start the day.
When I called the doctor to tell him my um...progress...or lack thereof, he gave me the option of quitting - and trying it again another day. "Not happening," I told him miserably. "I will not do this to myself twice in a month, much less twice in a lifetime." So several laxatives later, there I was, ready to "assume the position" and submit my colon to a thorough inspection.
"I want to watch." The anesthesiologist looked at me like I was crazy. "You can't," she said. "Can so," I said back. "I'm paying you - you can make it so I can watch. Can't she?" I looked at my gastroenterologist imploringly. "She can watch," he told her.
"You may feel discomfort," the anesthesiologist warned. "And you won't remember a thing when it's over."
"Hmmm," I grunted, remembering some lousy dates I've been on. "Been there, done that. Bring it on," I challenged.
And so they did. Comfortably nested in fluffy pillows, perched on my left side, I watched as a snakey probe explored the organ that most people never get to really see for themselves. "We're turning a corner now," the doctor warned. "You may feel this." I did - a little, but the sight of the colon opening up like an amusement park ride was so fascinating, I just did a little Lamaze breathing and hung on tight. It looked and felt like we were inside a tubular flume, with occasional splashes of "who knows what" flying towards us. "Here's the small intestine," the doctor pointed out. "Let's go inside." He explored a bit. Wheeee! And then I saw what might be the reason I had this colonoscopy in the first place - my very own polyp. It looked like a big pimple bulging out of the pinkish fold. "That's a polyp," the doctor informed me. "We're going to grab it with the forceps and biopsy it." It was at the very end - in the ascending colon - near where my appendix once had been. A quick snip and a bit of blood and no more internal acne!
So now I've got a new dilemma - I would like to give my polyp a name. Any suggestions? Polly Polyp? Peter Polyp? I'm all ears...
In the past 50 years I've done some very cool things to celebrate my birthday. This may actually be one of the coolest. And, contrary to what the anesthesist said (and unlike the bad dates), I remember the details of my flume ride down my colon. But as my birthday draws near, I do harbor the insane hope that someone will buy me a drink that has neither Powerade nor laxative in it? Perhaps a Gimlet? Anyone up for a Polyp Party?
GO AHEAD: NAME THAT POLYP!