Friday, April 27, 2012

X is for - EXcuse me; Your eXperience and eXpertise aside, I am Xenophobic and not eXtremely eXcited about the eXcrable eXposition and eXpansion of my eXcremental eXit to eXtend a flexible instrument of eXamination on an eXplorative and eXpeditious eXcursion and to eXecute the eXcision and eXtraction of eXcrescence.

(Title Translation:  They're My Polyps And I'm Gonna Keep 'em.)

My former pastor and I used to joke about our personal health care practices.  Neither of us was wont to run to the Doctor often for our ailments but occasionally we would concede that, in the event of a perceived serious problem above the waist, we might go.  But if it involved anything below the waist, we were just gonna die.

After I turned 50 my health plan provider started bugging me regularly about the need for a preventive colorectal examination.  At least once each year they would send me a do-it-yourself, mail in stool sample kit.  Yeah, right.  Somehow that seems so wrong.  Imagine standing at the post office counter in front of a line of people with your little package when the postal clerks asks, “Anything fragile, liquid, or perishable?”  What are you going say? 

I never did send a sample.  I just tossed all the kits in the can.  Kaiser hounded me for several years.

So one year they called me and insisted that I should attend an informational meeting regarding the procedure.  I finally gave in and showed up at the appointment.

The room was well-filled with dozens of people my age (50+).  I don’t like most people my age.  My generation is weird and most of them have never gotten over the psychedelic drug/ anti-establishment/free love stuff of the 60s.  There they all were; a bunch of old hippies with long grey pony tails.

One thing I have noticed about my generation and their “issues” is that they love to show and tell.  The room was full of people who had never met and most of them were comparing their operations, diseases, maladies, and prescriptions (they’re still on drugs but they’re legal now).  My grandparents’ generation was not like that.  If they had medical problems or ailments, they kept them to themselves.  It was personal and confidential and not something to be discussed in polite company.

So this female health care professional enters the room and begins the meeting.  We all got to introduce ourselves (I really didn't want to introduce myself.  It's not like I was there to make friends.).  After the introductions the first thing she addressed was the stool sample kit.  (Now remember, she is an educated professional and she is addressing 50-60 year old adults.)  “When you receive your kit,” she said, “you need to collect a small sample of your ‘poop.’”  That’s right, she said "poop" as though she were addressing a bunch of four-year-olds.  I’m thinking that probably most of those brain-dead hippies wouldn’t know what “stool sample” means.  

A little further into the session she was describing the events that would occur after the colonoscopy procedure.  We would all be sent to the “fart room.”  I’m not making this crap up (pardon the pun), honest.  She said “fart room.”  You see it is necessary to inflate your intestines with air before they run the 5’ long flexible tube, with the little camera on the end, up through your colon from the bottom.  The bloating is painful so when they’re through, the air must be evacuated.  And that occurs in the fart room where all the recovering patients are gathered together without privacy or dignity until they are fully relieved.

I was so outta there.  If I have any polyps, I'll just keep them. 

I never went back.   

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