Recently a fellow I know had a colonoscopy. It was his opinion that the preparation was far worse than the procedure. I think most of us would agree. The last time he drank that much liquid in such a short time was during a marathon chug-a-lugging contest back in his late teens or early twenties. The results were, of course, different. Still, all that liquid has to go somewhere.

A week or so after the colonoscopy, the provider sent my friend details of the procedure and findings, including this memorable line. “The colonoscopy was technically difficult and complex due to multiple diverticula in the colon, significant looping and a torturous colon…The cecum was not visualized.” He had no idea that his colon was torturous. He’d been having some problems, but not nearly to that degree. Bothersome, maybe, but not torturous.

But he soon found out what torturous really is. In the details mailed to him, including pictures of the “10mm sessile rectal polyp that was removed with a Cold Exacto snare” , was a note in longhand. It said, “Here are your procedure reports from 3-31-2017. You will be called with a date and time for a repeat colonoscopy with anesthesia. Have a good day.” And beneath the wording was a happy face drawn by hand.

I am not making this up. Have a nice day,”  and a happy face drawn by hand??? Not only did he have a colonoscopy, but something in his torturous colon requires a second look, I suppose the cecum which wasn’t visualized. They’re going to give him anesthesia this time – I forgot to ask if he got it the first time – and so the preparation is still more torturous than his colon.

Whatever happened to “Write unto others as you would have them write unto you“? “Have a good day”? A happy face? Really. Not even Hallmark has attempted a greeting card for a repeat colonoscopy. – DJ


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