A Door Unopened

A Door Unopened
Knock, knock...

Monday, August 1, 2011

South Pole Explorations continued...

This is a review I wrote for Yelp about the Endoscopy Center of Marin re. the colonoscopy I had last Friday. Oh yes, I did. To anyone who's wondering, "Do you have to share EVERYTHING?" apparently the answer so far seems to be yes. But not to worry, it's non-graphic (See? No pictures.) and only meant to inform the reader. It also ends with a PSA about getting the job done. It's part of turning fifty. Putting it off is a big mistake because there's really nothing to fear.
Without further ado I give you:
Fifty knocked on my door in January and with no other choice--I opened it and let her in. One of the many unpleasant things she dictated along with increasing eye wrinkles, diminishing close vision and a finicky memory, was a colonoscopy.

"Listen," I told her, "I gotta be honest, I'm not super into the whole spelunking thing."

"Bitch. I don't give a rat's pa-toot  what you're into. Go get your plumbing excavated and don't bother me with proclamations about your sex life ."

As I've said before, Ms. Fifty is one bitch of a laugh riot. NOT.
I don't really like her very much--but I do what she tells me.

Thus, I hooked up with Dr. Mazzotta and his team at the Endoscopy Center of Marin. I worked of with Elena (intake and IV installation specialist), Laura (gurney wheeler and scope room savant),  Michelle (who offered me a warm blanket post facto)--and of course, the congenial, deft and intrepid leader of the exploration, Dr. M.

Let's face it, hardly anyone really WANTS to have their South Pole scoped but with Dr.M. standing in the stead of the infamous, E. Shackleton, you have every reason to believe the destination will be reached (You hear that Ernest?) and everyone makes it back alive. (If you want to know more about the story of  Ernest Shackleton and his South Pole expedition please read my blog:

The one tip I give you is that the toilet--which I hastily accessed twice beforehand--is located in the alcove just OUTSIDE the office. This tidbit may save you some tense, clenching moments shifting from foot to foot while waiting to ask the front desk person who is busily helping the next victim...I mean, patient.

The demographic of the clientele was readily identified by the easy listening playlist attempting to sooth a room full of roiling guts. Cat Stevens and James Taylor are the only artists I remember, but I can imagine CSN and the Beatles get some heavy play as well. In case you needed any reminders that you're getting older, these very pleasant, middle-age melodies should do it.

Elena did a great job getting the IV catheter placed with minimal discomfort. In fact, the lidocaine injection was really the only remotely painful part of the day. Laura wheeled me into the room without clipping a single corner--not an easy feat as some of the angles are quite tight.

The journey officially began upon my entry into the scope room. Dr. M. seems to like his job and his patients. He and Laura are two medicos with whom it's easy to shoot the shit. (Couldn't pass up that piece of low-hanging fruit.) So I brought up the purging protocol (a very humane regimen of fasting, Dulcolax, Miralax and Gatorade) and remarked upon the rampant folklore you find on the internet about what comes out. People are so silly and believe what they want to believe--the more horrific, the more likely the masses are to buy it. NEWSFLASH: The general population is NOT walking around with 7 foot parasites ravaging their innards. and there is NO SUCH THING as colon plaques. (Laura apprised me of this phoney phenomenon.)  Why do we prefer to think otherwise? Dr. M.  agreed, and remarked that he battles this kind of mumbo jumbo often and even with his credentials, people do not believe him. Sheesh.  Ain't no cure for gullible, I guess.

As the conversation meandered (and I was fitted with a nasal nitrous line and rolled onto my side) I brought up the concert I blogged last week  (
http://evelynnave.blog...) where the guy in front of me unfurled fetid wind for a solid two hours, clearing the population three rows behind him. Dr. M. suggested that he might be suffering from one of three specific GI ailments. I know he listed the possibilities but right at that time I was drifting into La-la Land.

Dazed but fine, I woke in the same gurney slot from which I'd been wheeled earlier.  I received the good news and pictures that confirmed  there was nothing insidious lurking in my innards --parasitic, or oncologic--waiting to launch an attack. YAY! An hour and a half well spent.

The Huzby drove me home and still foggy, I teetered up to bed. Three hours later I awoke, the fog still in, but hungry. Leftover Thai food never tasted SO good!

If all goes well my next scopic adventure shouldn't be for another ten years. Oh, yeah. I can wait. Take your time, Sixty--no rush at all.

One last point and PSA: If you've been putting this off, DON'T. If there's bad news it's better to get it early. And if not,--and it's most likely not--you can spend the next ten years without worrying about it. You know the old adage: All's well that end's well.


And thank you to John Igel who found Dave Barry's gem about his colonscopy. Great, funny stuff:  http://www.miamiherald.com/2009/02/11/v-fullstory/427603/dave-barry-a-journey-into-my-colon.html 


  1. Glad the result was good, Lyn. I found the purge was the worst part. But isn't it a wonderful feeling when you've had the verdict and know you're fine! My doctor gave me photos of the pink interior of my colon to keep which was a weird doctorly thing to do...

  2. Yep--I went through this. Being cleared with a normal result for 10 yrs was the best part of it all because the prep is a "pain in the patootie." However, I was sedated with versed. I remember nothing after the IV went in. I then remember awakening, feeling just fine, as I asked why they kept telling me, "No driving for 24 hours." 24 hours after that, I remember only THAT. Apparently, after I got dressed, I was wheeled out of the hospital and to the curb of the front entrance, where I was assisted into my friend's car. She drove me to her place and we had a glorious dinner with 'great conversation.' My hubby then came to pick me up and take me home. Yep--24 hrs after awakening from the procedure, I absolutely have NO recollection of that glorious evening that I was told about on the next morning. No wonder why they told me not to drive for 24 hrs. That gap of amnesia from post-procedure to the next morning, in retrospect, was scary. My friend stated that I was completely lucid, appropriate, and coherent during that entire evening. Interesting, when my hubby had his colonoscopy, he also lost several hours of post-procedure memory--something that gets 'discovered' by the 'former patient' by the next morning. When he kept asking, "Why are you telling me I won't remember this evening in the morning?" I responded, "You'll find out!" True to form, he never remembered me asking him that question the next morning! Post-sedation amnesia....hopefully not for 10 more years, though!