And here I thought that I knew close to everything. Sure, my nickname is The Baroness, but I thought for sure that I was The Queen of The Colonoscopy.
Because even though I’ve had more than my fair share of poopshoot photography, this last go-around gifted me with a wealth of new information.
Which I will share with you now.
Because I’m considerate like that.
The first thing that I learned is that my BFF ascribes to a philosophy that some numbers are not numbers at all, but instead are ‘Bullshit Numbers’.
This discovery came to light when I was grousing about the water-tower-sized vessel that I had to drink to prepare for my recent procedure.
Okay, okay. It was only 4 litres – that’s still a gallon to you people south of the border (and when I say ‘you people’, I mean it as more of a catchall term rather than dissing you collectively)(Seriously, I love you)(But you know that already).
Yup. A. Fucking. Gallon.
That’s what the instructions said. 4 litres, and clear liquids.
Who, may I ask, is ever thirsty enough to drink this? No one.
Who, may I also ask, decided that 4 litres was exactly the right amount of this barf-inducer? And which nitwit decided that not only should one drink this amount, but also portion it out so you are leisurely sipping on 1 cup every damn 10 minutes? Clearly, some frat boy.
(You know what else is a clear liquid? Vodka)
(Why isn’t THAT on anyone’s list?)
So, I’m complaining to my friend, and she asks if there is some factoring-in consideration for weight. When asked to clarify, she sagely states, ‘How can a little-bitty short person be asked to drink the same amount as a 350 pound, 6 foot 4 man?’
‘That 4 litres? It is a BULLSHIT NUMBER.’
I adore that little-bitty short person and the common sense she throws down on the daily.
Now, don’t get me wrong. I mean, who wouldn’t want to savour such an exquisite substance?
Especially every 10 minutes?
Who wouldn’t salivate over chugging this magic, salty, fruit-flavoured motor oil elixir?
So I didn’t. I made it to 3 litres, and gave up.
Another thing I learned? That the capacity for viscous fluid in a human stomach is approximatley 3 litres. And I learned that one’s stomach does not empty completely every 10 minutes.
I learned that the medical community has an inordinate amount of agency in the written instructions they dole out, and I learned that they do not take kindly to patients who make decisions off-page.
I learned that they have absolutely no appreciation of the Bullshit Number Theory.
I learned that it’s not a great idea to joke one’s internist just prior to a procedure, and I learned that one should disregard all the beeping and booping of the high-tech apparatus in the room as mere ambient beeping and booping, and not ask one’s internist if they are playing Space Invaders between scopes. I learned that one’s internist does not have a similar sense of humour as one.
And I learned that there is no place for humour in a procedure room.
Where they’re sticking a camera.
Up your butt.
What else, what else? Oh, yeah! I learned that there is actual term for anaesthetizing patients so they are completely ‘out’ during a scope.
This is called ‘Snowing‘.
I also learned that my internist, who does not believe in The Bullshit Number Theory, also does not believe in snowing his patients.
I learned that I had been snowed in all my previous colonoscopies, and I learned that I quite liked it. It is not only the reward for all the crap (Ha! Wordplay!) you suffer in the 24 hours prior, and it truly is the only 20 minutes where I feel that I can actually completely relax. (I get you, Michael Jackson).
I learned that when one gets a procedure and is not snowed, one understands how a clogged toilet that is being snaked might feel.
I One doesn’t know how this information would ever be useful, but just in case toilets evolve into sentient beings, one is prepared.
I learned that I had a singular polyp. I learned that it was snipped off for biopsy and its base was cauterized, all during my procedure. (So, not just a vacuum and wash, but on-site service as well!) (Five Stars – would recommend).
I learned that I wasn’t tripping balls and I learned that the weird, unconcious craving that I had for barbeque during this section of the programme was just a result of that singed-flesh smell.
Okay – kidding about that last bit.
Today, I learned that the biopsy concluded that the polyp was non-cancerous, and was, upon close scrutiny, ‘a normal polyp’. Whatever that means.
I learned that the size of it was SO small, it was quantified in the official report as ‘punitive’.
This struck me as a rather odd description of size – never in the history of my lab tech career had I every said something was ‘punitive’ millimeters in length.
Once I left my doctor’s company, I committed to scurry home to my beloved dictionary to better understand. (Secretly I wanted to do the ‘I am right and you are wrong’ dance)(One of my favourites)(because,really, come on – what kind of fucking number is ‘punitive’???)
Punitive (\pyu-ne-tiv): inflicting, involving, or aiming punishment at
I learned that something SO small is considered a punishment. To even mention; to even write down. To even discuss.
I learned that even though it is an unusual type of amount, ‘punitive‘ is no Bullshit Number.
I learned that I’m okay with that.