Colonoscopy Humor by Dave Barry

Jodi_SoCal

Having recently gone through the prep for both a signoidoscopy and a colonoscopy within two weeks of each other recently, I read this last night and laughed til I cried...

Dave Barry is a nationally known syndicated newspaper columnist, this is from his colonoscopy journal

I called my friend Andy Sable, a gastroenterologist, to make an appointment for a colonoscopy. A few days later, in his office, Andy showed me a color diagram of the colon, a lengthy organ that appears to go all over the place, at one point passing briefly through Minneapolis.

Then Andy explained the colonoscopy procedure to me in a thorough, reassuring and patient manner. I nodded thoughtfully, but I didn't really hear anything he said, because my brain was shrieking, quote, 'HE'S GOING TO STICK A TUBE 17,000 FEET UP YOUR BEHIND!'

I left Andy's office with some written instructions, and a prescription for a product called 'MoviPrep,' which comes in a box large enough to hold a microwave oven. I will discuss MoviPrep in detail later; for now suffice it to say that we must never allow it to fall into the hands of America's enemies.

I spent the next several days productively sitting around being nervous. Then, on the day before my colonoscopy, I began my preparation. In accordance with my instructions, I didn't eat any solid food that day; all I had was chicken broth, which is basically water, only with less flavor. Then, in the evening, I took the moviPrep.

You mix two packets of powder together in a one-liter plastic jug, then you fill it with lukewarm water. (For those unfamiliar with the metric system, a liter is about 32 gallons.) Then you have to drink the whole jug. This takes about an hour, because MoviPrep tastes - and here I am being kind - like a mixture of goat spit and urinal cleanser, with just a hint of lemon.

The instructions for MoviPrep, clearly written by somebody with a great sense of humor, state that after you drink it, 'a loose, watery bowel movement may result.' This is kind of like saying that after you jump off your roof, you may experience contact with the ground.

MoviPrep is a nuclear laxative. I don't want to be too graphic, here, but: Have you ever seen a space-shuttle launch? This is pretty much the MoviPrep experience, with you as the shuttle. There are times when you wish the commode had a seat belt. You spend several hours pretty much confined to the bathroom, spurting violently. You eliminate everything. And then, when you figure you must be totally empty, you have to drink another liter of MoviPrep, at which point, as far as I can tell, your bowels travel into the future and start eliminating food that you have not even eaten yet.

After an action-packed evening, I finally got to sleep. The next morning my wife drove me to the clinic. I was very nervous. Not only was I worried about the procedure, but I had been experiencing occasional return bouts of MoviPrep spurtage. I was thinking, 'What if I spurt on Andy?' How do you apologize to a friend for something like that?

Flowers would not be enough.

At the clinic I had to sign many forms acknowledging that I understood and totally agreed with whatever the heck the forms said. Then they led me to a room full of other colonoscopy people, where I went inside a little curtained space and took off my clothes and put on one of those hospital garments designed by sadist perverts, the kind that, when you put it on, makes you feel even more naked than when you are actually naked.

Then a nurse named Eddie put a little needle in a vein in my left hand. Ordinarily I would have fainted, but Eddie was very good, and I was already lying down. Eddie also told me that some people put vodka in their MoviPrep. At first I was ticked off that I hadn't thought of this, but then I pondered what would happen if you got yourself too tipsy to make it to the bathroom, so you were staggering around in full Fire Hose Mode. You would have no choice but to burn your house.

On the subject of Colonoscopies. .. Colonoscopies are no joke, but these comments during the exam were quite humorous.... . A physician claimed that the following are actual comments made by his patients (predominately male) while he was performing their colonoscopies:

1. 'Take it easy, Doc. You're boldly going where no man has gone before!

2. 'Find Amelia Earhart yet?'

3. 'Can you hear me NOW?'

4. 'Are we there yet? Are we there yet? Are we there yet?'

5. 'You know, in Arkansas, we're now legally married.'

6. 'Any sign of the trapped miners, Chief?'

7. 'You put your left hand in, you take your left hand out...'

8. 'Hey! Now I know how a Muppet feels!'

9. 'If your hand doesn't fit, you must quit!

10. 'Hey Doc, let me know if you find my dignity.'

11. 'You used to be an executive at Enron, didn't you?'

12. 'God, now I know why I am not gay.'

And the best one of all.

13. 'Could you write a note for my wife saying that my head is not up there?'

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Comments (32)
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rosemaryt

That is too funny. He's always been one of my favorite writers. And #13 is indeed the best...

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jel48

Funny. #13 made me laugh out loud. I've had a colonoscopy and I can relate to the MoviPrep stuff. I didn't drink vodka with mine :-)

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rachelacey

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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nodakgal

OMG I almost fell off my chair thanks to this!!!!
I gotta send this on!

Thanks Jodi!

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Tally

This is hilarious - but I have to ask. Was it copyrighted?

OK...

Actually I googled this, and it was copyrighted AND it has been altered from it's original form. Not meaning to be a downer here, because it is a riot, but some of this wasn't even written by Dave Berry.

The full article is published in the Miami Herald, and Berry actually wrote the column to support awareness of colon cancer. The last paragraphs of his article are encouraging people to have it done.

I only write this to make people aware that this is altered work under someone's name.

Here is a link that might be useful: Dave Barry: A journey into my colon -- and yours

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Jodi_SoCal

It arrived in my email last night. I posted it because I thought it would be nice to give some laughter to people in need like myself.

Jodi-

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liz

It's a a riot and my Doc has it copied out and framed in his office...(my doc is such good eye candy...I'm surprised I even spotted it!)

If you're over 50 and haven't had one...by all means do...My dad had colon cancer...I go every 5 years like clockwork!

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dotmom

So very funny. As someone who had this procedure done last June, I can relate.One funny thing that happened to me was, the stuff they give you to calm you also made me talkative. The Dr & Nurses were talking and I was answering everything they said. Finally one of the nurses came and squirted some thing in the IV & I got real sleepy and didn't have anything more to say! LOL
An answer to what He could have done to apologize if he accidentally messed on the Dr. Maybe he could take him out for a meal. Something like baked beans and prune whip for dessert. LOL Dottie

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Tally

Jodi, I'm sorry. I didn't mean to sound like a party pooper (pardon the pun).

But the bottom paragraph and the 13 bullet points didn't seem to fit, so I googled it.

The only reason I brought it up is because I'm a big fan of Dave Berry, and I hate to see his words (or anyone else's for that matter) selectively edited, lifted or altered without their permission.

Didn't mean to be a killjoy. I just feel creative works should be respected. And I thought people might want to know before they passed it along, especially since the original work was copyrighted, which makes it technically illegal.

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Jasdip

Thanks for posting this Jodi.
I got it in my email last nite and was so tempted to put it here for everyone to enjoy, but because it was so long, I didn't.
I heard back from a friend who I had sent it to, and she had it done last year and could relate! She slept thru the whole thing too, even though she wanted to watch it....

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Jodi_SoCal

I worked 19 years for one of the companies responsible for the forming of the Internet, so I've been "online" for a good while. Back in the early 80s we were given permission at work to subscribe to Usenet groups.

The very first one I ever joined was the "Dave Barry" group.

I own some, or perhaps all, of his books. Everyone knew my love for the crazy guy so I got his books at every gift-giving opportunity.

I remember the first Dave Barry story I read was entitled "How to Make a Board". It was hilarious and I was hooked!

So, you can see, I too am a big fan and I think he should be shared with everyone that needs a smile on their face.

Jodi-

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yayagal

I read that out loud to my dh, two of us are still wiping our eyes lol

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jannie

So funny, I had my first Colonoscopy on Oct 31 last year-fitting, it was on Halloween.

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gneegirl

Thanks Jodi - needed this one. I'm going to read the actual article, but this one was hilarious. Excuse me - I need another box of tissues - still crying from laughing.

Gneegirl

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Pat Chamberlain

Exactly how I felt. to funny. Thanks Janet. Next week 4hrs of taking of pictures of everything except heart and lungs. Ugh. Today they found a polyp and something in my throat. Pray for me.

Pat

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maifleur01

Although this is ten years old and some of the "stuff" has changed this is THE YEAR. I do find I am curious as to what they give now to clean you out as some have mentioned that they did not drink gallons of stuff.

I would have added to the list the embarrassment of single people trying to decide which of their friends they want to ask to be their babysitter after the procedure. I am hoping having a babysitter is no longer required only a driver afterward.

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schoolhouse_gw

I'm single. My aunt drove me to the hospital for the colonoscopy, but afterwards I drove us back to my house. She left ,and I went out and mowed yard.

My prep was 64oz. of lemon Gatoraid with a bottle of powdered Miralax mixed in it, drinking a cup of it every half hour, and some Dulcolax tablets taken separately.

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maifleur01

Last time I asked my two closest friends, married, if they would be my babysitters. I told them that I only wanted them to drive me home unless there were problems. I have always been given instructions not to drive and never wanted any accidents to happen in my car seat after the procedure. They did not listen to me and insisted I go home with them and spend the night. Although I did not have a problem I was worried that if I did have an accident they would insist on cleaning it up. I can ask the two to take me places like they did for my cataracts but the idea of having to have them clean me up or clean up the mess if it happened I have problems with. FYI they are 60 and 70 something men.

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Chi

I had one 2 weeks ago and did it without sedation so I drove myself to breakfast! I will never have sedation again.

Prep wasn't bad, I did Sureprep or something like that and I had to mix the formula with some water then 16 oz of water after that. I did this the night before and in the morning.

Pat, I hope they find nothing concerning!

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yeonassky

(((((Pat)))))

My sister has to go in for a colonoscopy as she has pre-cancer cells and polyps they want to make sure nothing has happened.

The last time they did this she had a stroke. She gets taken off the blood thinners to do this. We're all extremely worried but there is no other way to check for cancer.

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aok27502

I've always loved Dave Barry. I do not, however, love Moviprep. That is some nasty stuff. I told my friend that it tastes exactly like Lemon Pledge smells. And I'd always want the sedation, that is the best nap ever!

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sprtphntc7a

jodi_SoCal: what do u consider his best book - or- which one should i read first?? he sounds like my kind of author and i always need a laugh!!

TIA

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maifleur01

The sedation that was used on several of my friends and myself ten years ago was Propofol. One of the things that Michael Jackson used too much of. We could easily understand how someone could become addicted to it. One person had difficulty waking up but most stated they were both relaxed and felt like as one put it. "Wonderful". It may have been the second bag of fluid I needed but I felt really good.

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jemdandy

Yep. That's Dave Berry. He finds humor in 'odd' places.

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colleenoz

Yep, that Moviprep stuff is one of the nastiest tasting things I have ever voluntarily consumed, and the effects are terrifyingly explosive. I've had it for a colonoscopy and also once for extreme constipation (that time I was so scared to leave the toilet I ended up being on it for about 12 hours). It certainly cleans you out though, the doctor commented on how clean my innards were.

I was out like a light the whole time, but when the anaesthetist knelt down next to the gurney and took my hand (to insert the IV) I looked at him and said, "Why doctor, this is so sudden." :-D He clearly didn't get it :-D LOL

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schoolhouse_gw

I was at my aunt's yesterday afternoon. She mentioned she was having a colonoscopy July 6th. She pointed to a plastic jug on the counter -definitely not Gatoraid and def. not 64oz. More like a gallon! Whatever she had to mix into the solution was in a packet of some kind.

She had her choice of two places to have the procedure done. One is local, but she'd have to go in at 5am. for the 6am. colonoscopy. The other is app. 30miles away and can be done in the afternoon. She chose the afternoon.

Plus she has to go in 10 days before to have test of some kind to assure them she can take the anesthesia. ? First time I ever heard of that. Unless it's because of her heart.

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Chi

That's why I don't do it with sedation. There's always a small risk with anaesthesia that I don't like to take if I don't have to. The procedure itself is a bit uncomfortable but not painful, at least for me.

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maifleur01

I was told when I asked about sedation that some doctors do not like not using it because patients tended to move and tighten body parts while the scope was being inserted. I opted for the sedation after hearing that.

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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

I had Movi for my first procedure and told my doctor that I would never do it again. It infuriated me that modern medicine hadn't progressed past that point! The last time I had a colonoscopy, the stuff was in a tolerable quantity; I could keep it down!

Schoolhouse, my personal preference regarding the time of day is the earlier, the better. The thought of waiting all day, hungry and thirsty, is terrible to consider.

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maifleur01

This topic reminded me of the first test. I was told I would have to drink stuff that was mixed with water. I thought that was all and waited until after I started drinking it to read the rest. Instructions included taking several laxative pills the night before and an enema that morning neither one did I have. Quick dash to a drugstore a block away and back. Luckily they had the stuff. I was not quick enough.

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Chi

Well, it worked out that I would have had to do it without sedation anyway because no one could get my IV in (I wanted it just in case I couldn't handle it). After the 6th try from 3 different people including the doctor, I told them to stop as the colonoscopy couldn't possibly hurt more than more IV attempts!

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DawnInCal

I can't recall what the stuff I had to take was called, but I was given what I think was a gallon container and some powder to mix with water. I drank half of it, then waited a couple of hours and drank the rest. After all the horrible stories I'd heard, the prep wasn't as bad as I was expecting.

Propofol is the anesthetic I was given and the only thing I remember about that is the anesthesiologist asking me if I felt it when he gave it to me. I replied that I didn't feel it but that I could taste it and that it had a strong chemical taste. Then it was lights out.

The next thing I recall is the sound of people moving furniture waking me up. I was very annoyed that they would be so rude and make all the noise when peole were trying to sleep. A few seconds later, I realized that what I thought was furniture being moved, was my gurney/bed thingy being rolled into the recovery area. I think it was the wheels rolling on the floor that I had heard. It wasn't furniture that was being moved; it was me!

Love Dave Barry. I used to read his column every week in the local paper, but when we moved, the paper was no longer available to me and I kind of forgot about him.

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