I decided to put this in a separate post because my war story was getting too complicated.

Men, what makes you think that if a doctor sticks a single finger up your ass, attempting to perform procedures that might save your life, you’re being violated…but we women, who have no prostate, should want something much bigger up our asses?

I’m tired of hearing you guys whine about colonoscopies. Boo fucking hoo. The instrument that goes in your rectum is smaller than a finger. So don’t you dare ask for anal sex from me unless and until you can say and prove you are not afraid of a prostate exam or a colonoscopy.

By the way, in my last post I mention an ultrasound on my left ovary. You know how they do that? With a vaginal probe. Basically, it’s a big vibrator attached to the ultrasound machine. Now, that’s entertainment! This thing is slightly bigger than a Hitachi Magic Wand (http://www.hitachi-magic-wand.com/shop/HitachiMagicWand/, widely considered to be the Rolls-Royce of vibrators), and the technician lubes it up and lets the patient put it in. After you insert it, she grabs the things and shifts it like the gearshift on a Porsche Boxster. You think that’s comfortable? Guys, trust me, it’s not. If she hits the ovary the wrong way, or if there’s an ovarian cyst, one of the reasons you might need this procedure, it can be anywhere from uncomfortable to downright excruciating. So I don’t want to hear about the doctor’s finger. Boo fucking hoo.


I was having some problems in 2003 that I thought certainly meant ovarian cancer. Naturally, I was going batshit, but after two doctors and a technician with the ultrasound machine told me the ovary looked  normal, I had to go looking elsewhere for the problem. The resulting  colonoscopy experience would have made a great Seinfeld episode. After an office exam by the GI doctor, I scheduled the thing for 6/5/03, a  Friday, at 9 in the morning. Since I was working at CompUSA at the time, which meant being in front of a classroom every day, there was no way I could have gone in to work during the prep phase. So I took June 4 and 5 off and began the prep.

For those of you who haven’t done this, the prep starts out with, not an enema as you might imagine, but a four-ounce bottle of Fleet PhosphoSoda, which is a very concentrated solution of monobasic and dibasic sodium phosphates which up until recently was an over-the-counter product. (I learned that last year, PhosphoSoda became prescription-only. Apparently the possibility of renal damage exists: http://www.phosphosoda.com/pdfs/DDL%20for%2015%20Dec%202008.pdf  Nice. That’s just fucking spiffy. I guess if I had had renal damage, I would have noticed by now…maybe?) By the way, what is it with Fleet? Enemas, oral laxatives?? I see on their web site their slogan is “Providing Care and Compassion for Your Family.” Maybe it should be: “Fleet. We’re Obsessed with Your Ass.”

Anyway, that Fleet PhosphoSoda is the Nastiest. Shit. Ever. It said on the package “lemon ginger flavor,” but folks, it’s not a cocktail mixer. Maybe it should be. Maybe a shot of Malibu would have gotten it down better. Maybe a shot of 10W40 motor oil would have gotten it down better. It took me, literally, fifteen minutes to get down two ounces. A colleague at  Camden Yards suggested I mix it with ginger ale rather than water. I neglected his advice and was very sorry. It was effective, however.  After an hour I was squirting jets of water that could have hosed down the side of a house. (Another Camden Yards colleague had warned me,  “You’ll be able to hit a pinpoint target at 20 feet.” He was right. Don’t ask me why I share intimate details of my ass with my baseball colleagues, as I am not quite sure myself.)
That afternoon I received a bill from the GI doctor, and called the office to ask them a question about it. The gal who answered the phone said, “Where are you?” 

“I’m at home, doing the prep.” (In my head I was thinking, where the fuck do you think I am, having to hit the head every five minutes??)

“You’re supposed to be here.”

“No, my appointment is for tomorrow.”

“No,” she replied, “your appointment is for today. The 4th.” 


I looked at my book and sure enough, I had put the appointment sticker on the wrong square on the calendar. “Well, I’m doing the prep now,” I said. “Any way he can squeeze me in tomorrow? I can’t take any more days off from work.”

She looked at his appointments and told me I could come in on the 5th for a 1:30 procedure. So what that did was add another 4 1/2 hours I had to go without food and water. Yuk. Oh, I forgot to add, adding insult to injury, you cease all food after 7 pm, and all liquids after midnight. Also, you take a Dulcolax tablet before going to bed. I was thinking at that point, what the hell for? There’s nothing left in there. Later it occurred to me it was simply a bowel relaxant at that point, but while I was taking it it sure sounded like gilding the lily, as it were.

So the next day I walk over to Mercy Hospital, over on St. Paul Street, with all the strength I could muster, and they get an IV in me, what a relief that was. “So! A day late and a dollar short, literally,” the doctor says to me. He’s actually a nice guy, just a smart ass, so I let him get away with it. It was my fault, after all.  Then we do the procedure. I had wanted to stay awake a la Katie Couric, but after the fentanyl drip all I remember is the nurse saying, “Okay, you’re going to feel the rectal swab;” something cold and wet on my butt (could have been a rectal swab, could have been a dog’s nose, at that point I didn’t really care); and then the doctor saying, “OK, kid, you’re clean, beat it, I’ll see you in ten years.”

I’m actually sorry I missed it.
The there was the issue of getting home. Mercy Hospital insists you have a trusted person take you home. In your narcotic-impaired state, they will not let you walk. They will not let you take a cab or public transportation. (They must have had a lawsuit, I figure.) I’m so used to being independent, this is a problem for me. I had to hang out for a couple of hours to wait for Lewis to get off work so he could come and take me home. He took me to a coffee bar over in Federal Hill and I tried to eat a panini.