Meridian Star

March 15, 2013

The celestial colon ...

By Anne McKee / guest columnist
The Meridian Star

MERIDIAN —     Say what?

    That’s right – I have an almost celestial colon. Aren’t you just dying to know the story about my famous colon?

    Thought so … well, it all started with the annual checkup at the doctor’s. “Mrs. McKee,” the doctor said, with a smile on her face. “When was your last colonoscopy?”

    “Uh-err,” I stumbled. “Maybe 5/6 years ago or longer ...”

    “Why don’t we schedule one?” She didn’t skip a beat with the common-sense recommendation.

    Oh, I knew it was for the best, but who wants to volunteer for such a fracas unless entirely necessary? And, yes, my inner-voice said the scope was definitely necessary therefore on Sunday I began drinking the Toddy-From-Hades and it was awful. Yuck!

    It was, the TFH, sort of greenish and irked like water from a fish tank that had not been cleaned for a long time. At least that’s what I envisioned as I tried to get the stuff down, down, down. Oh, I jumped around, hung off the sofa, jiggled here, jiggled there – upside down, right side up as I eyed the measuring cup … just four more toddies, three, two, ONE! Then, it was BLAST OFF, for sure!

    Somehow, I made it to 5 a.m. – a lovely time of the morning to be totally starved, bleary-eyed, and scared, yet aggravated at the same time. I stumbled into the brightly lit clinic to see a dozen or more comrades as they sat slumped in their chairs located in the waiting room. Thankfully, I encountered an old friend there. Sheila and I swapped horror stories pertaining to the reasons we were out in the wee hours of the morn sloshing through a driving, relentless rain, with a possibility of tornadoes.

    I suppose it was because I was so needy for someone else who was needy as well that talking to Sheila soothed by soul, but not my stomach. No, no – there was still time to turn green and hold to my chair and think weird thoughts.

    Colon, colon – just what is a colon, anyways?

    Why, when we were kids we didn’t even know we had a colon, and neither did our Grannies, but now when the word colon is mentioned, the majority of us will usually shrug with a dread akin to bad news or a nightmare! However, the colon can be a source of pride as well as a terrific conversation starter.

    “Hello, do you have a celestial colon?” This will get the attention of even the most standoffish types; makes one start thinking for sure, and that’s a good colon thing!

    Also, I wondered during those weird-thought-musings, why is the word scope so scary? S-C-O-P-E, that’s an innocent enough word, isn’t it? Not any more, once one is initiated into the world of scope-ness.  I’m just saying …

    Sheila was called first. It was like saying goodbye to a pilgrim, because we had just walked together sort of as pilgrims in the pathway of the great unknown. She waved half-heartedly, as she disappeared behind the door-of-no-return or at least it seemed that way at the time.

    So, I was left with the husband, who was taking a quick nap, as the moments ticked slowly forward to my turn to enter the door-of-no-return. The call came. It was quick, and I knew I had to go; therefore I threw my purse, jacket, sack of meds, book, insurance and clinic paperwork, four-leaf-clover, and cell phone into my husband’s lap. As he continued to snooze, I was gone – just like that.

    I asked the lady, who sat next to husband, if he should wake, please tell him where I had gone. I figured that was better than leaving bread crumbs or drawing a big arrow in the direction of the door-of-no-return.

    She said she would.

    Now I must say, behind that door, I found the sweetest and most concerned members of the Meridian medical community. There they were – all gathered together, just for me (and Sheila), plus about 25 additional cases scheduled for last Monday (I learned later), but it did seem I was, indeed, extra special. I marinated in the kindnesses shown me, as I was escorted to my cubicle – a cubicle of my very own for 2/3 hours.

    Every minor detail was explained to me as if I were the new-kid-on-the-block. No, this was not my first colon-rodeo but I appreciated the colon-road-map all the same. Everything was looking pretty good until the green gown. “Uh, Mrs. McKee, it opens down the back.”

    What?  

    Well, it did open down the back for a precise reason of which I soon became acquainted. However, with those great knock-out-drugs, who cared?

    It seemed as if I had just arrived in the surgery suite, when I opened my eyes in recovery. A nice nurse asked if I was okay and before I could blink my eyes three times, the doctor arrived with a smile on his face. I had passed the “inspection” with HIGH HONORS! Husband arrived, looking all fresh and rested – he pulled the car to the exit door and we drove to the Frontage Road for breakfast.

    All memories of the greenish, fish-tank water and the green gown that opened-down-the-back totally left my thoughts, well, almost, and the doctor said I’m good for 10 more years. One more thing, the doctor casually mentioned that March is Colon-Cancer-Awareness-Month. Who knew?

    I have a question for you. Will you do your bit for the special month by scheduling a scope and join the Celestial-Colon-Club?  Call me and I will sit in the waiting room with you, but I will not join you for the Toddy-From-Hades. No, no, I am good for 10 years. The doctor said.



    Anne B. McKee is a writer and storyteller. Visit her website at www.annemckee.net.