When a friend’s colonoscopy becomes a social event…

Time for Baby Boomers to come to grips. We are OOOLLLLLDDDD!! If you turn 50 this year, you are the Freshman Class, the tail end of the infamous Baby Boom Generation. This I have on good authority from P.J. O’Rourke, in his latest book The Baby Boom.  A fun read for any age but particularly poignant if you can relate.

Part of this aging process is submitting to medical procedures no one under 45 ever discusses. The other day I had the extreme pleasure of taking several hours off from life. I accompanied a friend to her colonoscopy. We have all been there, don’t lie. They won’t let you out of the recovery room without a designated driver, and believe me, they are totally right on that. A recent victim of this rectal invasion appears very lucid and sane, but they will, blissfully, not remember one minute of the previous several hours. When the doctor explains what he found, in the obviously labeled EXIT portal of your body, he’s speaking to the designated driver. The first time you have one of these procedures, you really want a loved one there; someone who will understand the depths of invasions you have just suffered. After that, it’s “Who’s available??”

The fact that this could become so routine in our lives was clearly illustrated, when I was the designated driver. Another friend texted she was coming to the area to shop and would meet me at the hospital. We sat in the cafeteria catching up on the parallel messes we have navigated lately and marveled at life as we have seen it for the last 20-odd years.

When friend #1 (come on, I’m not giving names here, we’re talking embarrassing medical procedures!) emerged from her happy haze, a perky nurse summoned me to her bedside. Drifty, floating, happy drugs are a good thing in instances like this where you are stripped to your birthday-suit, wrapped in a hospital johnny, with nurses asking if you have farted yet.

Once bodily functions were duly noted on the chart; coffee, juice or muffins were offered to the patient. Slap-happy Sally said she would take several of each, and I offered the remaining half of Friend #2’s sandwich from the cafeteria. A couple more pumps of the automatic blood-pressure machine and she was good to go.

We had a lovely reunion with Friend #2 in the waiting room then headed for the exit. As the three of us all walked through the hospital, it occurred to me what a lovely time I had just had with two friends, and how bizarre the surroundings and circumstances were…


10 thoughts on “When a friend’s colonoscopy becomes a social event…

  1. Hey Northern Belle, It gave me piece of mind when I had mine done, enjoyed your humor as usual, at our age, knowing instead of wondering helps me sleep. As we left the hospital that day I was asked by a nurse if I wanted a copy of the procedure? “A copy?” I replied. She said, “Yes, a video.”
    No Thanks!!!!!

  2. I don’t care much for the photos they send you home with, but they seem to think it’s important that you have them. My son was having digestive issues and he had to have a colonoscopy, and he took his pictures to school and showed them to his friends. Apparently they were a big hit.

  3. Well that’s a little unsettling. I thought we were the only generation who had become immune to the emotions of medical procedures. I’m feeling very old fashioned and wishing such things were not discussed in polite company…

  4. That pleasure is yet to come for me thank goodness although I’ve had plenty of other pokings and proddings involving massive indignity not to mention a major organ removal. Still I’d used it three times and didn’t need it anymore. The hot flushes were a bit of a pain for a while though.

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