When it comes to medical procedures, there are few that compare to a colonoscopy. There are many ways to look at things and find a positive side to almost anything….but not this. Well, getting awesome results would be a positive side to a colonoscopy, but that’s about it.

A couple of years ago, I decided to get tested for all kinds of things as middle-age had crept up on me, and I figured I should check things out, just to make sure. And so my doctor sent me for a stress test, multiple blood tests, heart ultra-sound…..the whole nine yards. But we saved the best for last; the colonoscopy. Everything about the process was horrible.

For those of you who have gone through this, you know what I mean, and so I won’t go into any great detail as per the preparatory time, other than to say that it was quite ‘invigorating’. Let’s just say that I was hungry and empty. I missed two days of work to prepare for this exam, and I was for damn sure going to pass it!

Now, I did not go into this procedure entirely ignorant of the process. I read up on it, I checked out the internet, and I asked questions. Most important on my list of questions was ‘do they put you to sleep during the procedure?’ I was assured that yes I would indeed be given a medication that would induce me to sleep. Really, after that, my other questions became minor, more of a general ‘want to know for the sake of knowing’ kind of thing. If I was asleep, then I could handle this.

Going into the waiting room the morning of my exam, I met two people I knew quite well, which was quite awkward to be honest. There we were, all in the same boat, so to speak. We all knew why we were there. We were all going to be invaded. Our insides were going to be exposed, we were about to be prodded, much like the aliens have been doing for decades (that’s a whole other story). We all participated in idle chit-chat, not quite looking each other in the eye, never really broaching the subject of the upcoming events. And, one by one, everyone dropped off to sleep after consuming their medication.

Except for me.

Let me just tell you that, in life, nothing can ever be easy for me when it comes to things like this. I should have known that I would be the only one to be awake. And sure enough, to make things much more interesting, they were testing out a new piece of equipment, so there were three other people in the room to calibrate the machine. To top things off, I knew the attending nurse quite well. We even had a lovely chat while I waited for the festivities to begin. Quite lovely, in fact.

Which brings me to the crux of the entire matter. I never really wanted to see my insides in quite this way. Maybe after the fact, sure. But I didn’t want to watch the screen as the ‘probe’ approached my posterior, my hairy posterior, all in high-definition, approaching it much like the X-Wing Fighter approached the exhaust tube in Star Wars. Almost in slow motion, it seems. I muttered a slow-motion ‘noooooooo!’ as finally it docked and began it’s ‘Fantastic Voyage’, going places where no man had gone before,

Sorry about the metaphor….I just couldn’t help myself.

It has been two years since this ordeal, but occasionally, while in front of the campfire, or while entertaining special guests, my wife will ask me to please tell her about the time I saw things I was never meant to see. And, once in a while, I indulge her sick warped sense of humour.

  1. I’ve been having colonoscopies since I was 20 years old, I’m now 48. I once had a similar experience to yours and for whatever reason, the medication did not make me fall asleep. I too watched everything on the monitor. Normally, the preparation for the colonoscopy is the worst part, the actual test is something you don’t remember. For what it’s worth, it never happened to me again. The next time you have a colonoscopy, if there is a next time 🙂 mention your experience to the anesthesiologist and they’ll be sure to knock you out.

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