Hart: Going boldly where no man has gone

Hart: Going boldly where no man has gone

November 17th, 2017 by Ron Hart in Opinion Columns

One in three folks over 50 who need a colonoscopy fail to have one. That's nuts. It's easier than it's ever been, and not getting this done might kill you. So schedule one now, before Obamacare implodes further and you can only see your doctor in a few years if you sign up to caddy on Saturday at your local country club.

If you are totally afraid, they now have what President Obama had when he turned 50, a "virtual colonoscopy." It's where they just X-ray to see if there are polyps. This procedure simulates a full and proper traditional colonoscopy exam, but it's not as thorough — much like the Obama Justice Department's simulated investigation of the Clinton Foundation.

"Proctologist" is a word a man never likes to hear, along with a few others like "testicular," "ingrown," "listen," "ask for directions" and "let's cuddle." But a colonoscopy is something we all have to do.

My procedure went well, but now I know how those sock puppets in the media feel. And to you liberal bloggers out there, the answer is: "No, my doctor did not find my head up there."

Ron Hart

Ron Hart

Photo by Contributed Photo /Times Free Press.

I don't listen to instructions well, so I really didn't know what to expect. I felt like it would be best to treat the procedure like French marriage: Asking a lot of questions takes the fun out of it.

First, you have to stop eating the day before and drink a particularly obnoxious concoction called "MoviPrep," plus a lot of Gatorade.

This stuff tastes like tinsel from your Christmas tree ground up into creek water coming from near a phosphate plant. Yet they have easier-to-swallow pills now.

In about 30 minutes, you understand what the "Mov" part of "MoviPrep" means. You run to your potty. And you and the toilet make like a jet ski for the next hour. It's like that scene from "Dumb and Dumber," a movie from back when Jim Carrey was funny.

If Trump would just allow it, they should give "MoviPrep" to captured ISIS terrorists in New York. After taking it, everything comes out. It is like a divorcée at a Houston bar after three vodkas.

Then a loved one (or someone just looking for entertainment) drives you to the procedure. You meet with the anesthesiologist who — by American Medical Association rules — has to be foreign, unintelligible and socially awkward. My anesthesiologist looked like he got his medical degree at Chuck E. Cheese using one of those claws in the toy machine. More mistakes have been made combining a doctor with minimal English language skills and anesthesia than anything in the history of mankind — except maybe bourbon and a pistol.

You then impart critical personal information to this person who is going to take you as near to death as you have yet come. Mine asked if I had any mental illness in the family; I said I have an uncle who worked in the Carter administration.

Everyone asks you about 10 times if you are allergic to anything. My answer remained consistent: Pilates and weak-willed men.

Then you are rolled into a room and intravenous medications are placed in your arm in preparation for putting you into a mini-sleep — or, as Michael Jackson called it, "nap time."

Later, once you can stand up, you are released to go home. It's the same criterion my bartender uses. You are told you cannot drive that day or (my favorite) "operate heavy machinery." This fits my lifelong rule: Do Not Operate Heavy Machinery — Ever. I call my assistant into my office to operate my stapler.

Southerners occupy five of the top five positions of most obese states, which is all the more reason to get a colonoscopy. If Tennessee Williams were to adapt his famous novel about the South today, he'd have to call it "A Streetcar Named Diabetes," and Marlon Brando would be screaming to bring him a "Stella" beer.

You can also use the time to ask your gastroenterologist about the health and lifestyle choices you make and their potential damage to your internal organs. Mine asked if I drank a lot, and I didn't disagree. I told him that I liked bourbon over ice, Jack Daniels on the rocks or, occasionally, Scotch whiskey on ice. He told me that is really awful for me. So I learned an important health fact: Ice must be bad for you.

Contact Ron Hart, a syndicated op-ed humorist, author and TV/radio commentator, at Ron@RonaldHart.com, Twitter @RonaldHart or visit RonaldHart.com.

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