Colons Before Coffee?

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“It’s only awkward if it matters.” Joyce Rachelle

There are some conversations that should never be heard in the light of day, it’s true, they should be confined to the pages of a nondescript journal, sequestered to the back of a dusty bookcase, maybe to be discovered post mortem. Life is not always graceful, and unfortunately for you I process my experiences online, impulsively publishing my unfiltered thoughts with little regard for your sensitivities.

This is how the unpleasantness got out in the first place, all I can say is there is some reprehensible use of language, and you might consider this a courtesy warning?

“It’s going to be a shit show,” I think I hear Larry spew something of this manure nature as he enters our room, totally shattering my pristine dreamscape.

Now, just so you get the full picture, the sun hasn’t fully risen, I’m still trying to make sense of my hazy world, in a complete fog I struggle to remember where I am, oddly enough the curtains at the lake are taupe and the ones at home are blue, I deduce we’re home, but squint at the man standing in the doorway to confirm it’s my husband attempting to discuss colons before coffee?

Who does that?

Stretching my groggy limbs, I mumble something nondescript, “things are called shit for a reason, dear.”

He walks over, places a cup of coffee on my nightstand, and a kiss on my lips.

I watch him settle into his recliner before he blatantly overshares, “I’m thinking of scheduling my colonoscopy for next week.”

Attempting to adjust the pillows behind me, I offer a pleasant warning, “no bathroom talk before my first cup please, Emily Post would be appalled.”

Disregarding the established decorum, he says, “when are you due for your next one?”

After a fitting and proper glare, I say, “I’m enormously aghast to confirm there will be a sequel to Cheryl’s Rectum, I got my notice a few weeks ago, which I’m planning to ignore for the near future, we’re in the middle of a pandemic, it would be irresponsible.”

“Let’s schedule them together.”

Is there anything more ghastly than picturing that sort of procedure with your husband holding your hand? I have no words so I remain silent.

“Think about it, we’ll have our Dulcolax cocktails before a liquid dinner, you can light some of those smelly candles, each of us traipsing off to our own restroom, clean as a whistle by morning.”

“Yes, if memory serves you scheduled your last one the day after Mother’s Day?”

“I had to watch you slicing up your filet mignon while I sipped gallons of vile Kool-Aid.”

“It was not the romantic evening I was envisioning, I believe you were quite testy about the prep?”

“A couple’s cleanse, it’ll bring our relationship to a whole new level.”

The idea is ludicrous, I mimic his earlier claims, “it will definitely be a shit show.”

Rubbing his chin, as if seriously considering this whole shindig, he says, “we’ll have to stock up on ultra soft toilet paper.”

I laugh claiming, “Bahaha, because you’re full of crap.”

He smiles and says, “I believe it’s one of the few times in my life when I will not be full of shit!”

I lift my cup and offer, “to duo defecations, honey I need a refill.”

As he gets up to grab my cup, he says, “we’ll have to Uber.”

“That will be interesting, instead of drunk college students, they’ll have to manage two elderly people still high on Demerol, carrying their donut pillows.”

“I’ll treat you to a McDonald’s breakfast biscuit after they’re done filming our sequels.”

“Honey, Netflix has nothing on us.”

We moved on to more mundane topics, but the truth is I believe words are strong enough to overcome what we fear, don’t you? As Anne Morrow Lindbergh says, “good communication is as stimulating as black coffee,” and just as pungent in some cases.

All joking aside, a colonoscopy is the best screening test available for colorectal cancer, a lifesaving procedure, and a necessity for everyone at some point in life. It is the only screening test that also prevents many colorectal cancers, but unlike the COVID vaccine, people aren’t lining up for their debut? 

During a colonoscopy your doctor examines the lining of your entire colon to check for polyps or tumors. These are the terminators of life, we want to know about them, so they can be removed immediately. It might sound uncomfortable and embarrassing but there are many reasons we all need to schedule an appointment.

Unbeknownst to many, colon cancer is super common, it can run in families, or happen randomly, but the best news is the procedure is simple and non evasive. I agree, it’s awkward as hell (so are mammograms), maybe that’s why the whole couples colonoscopy has not taken off? 

No excuses, you have the script, and as Milena Veen says, you too can be “an inexhaustible source of awkwardness.”

I’m Living in the Gap, discussing colons before coffee, care to join the conversation in the comments?

Anecdotes:

  • “Spontaneously, without any theological training, I, a child, grasped the incompatibility of God and shit and thus came to question the basic thesis of Christian anthropology, namely that man was created in God’s image. Either/or: either man was created in God’s image – and has intestines! – or God lacks intestines and man is not like him. The ancient Gnostics felt as I did at the age of five. In the second century, the Great Gnostic master Valentinus resolved the damnable dilemma by claiming that Jesus “ate and drank, but did not defecate.” Shit is a more onerous theological problem than is evil. Since God gave man freedom, we can, if need be, accept the idea that He is not responsible for man’s crimes. The responsibility for shit, however, rests entirely with Him, the creator of man.” Milan Kundera
  • “We react squeamishly to shit, don’t we? But if we look into the matter you’ll see that it’s the most valuable substance on earth, all life comes from shit and returns to shit.” Daša Drndić
  • “Sometimes I act like I have my shit together more than I do. Sometimes I act like I don’t have my shit together as much as I do. I’m done acting. I’d rather just be okay with however together my shit is at the time, and still do my best to show up, as I am.” Scott Stabile

36 Comments

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    1. OMG Elizabeth, that is the most awful colonoscopy story yet! How do you manage the next cocktail party knowing the guy on his second martini knows more about you than your own mother? This could be a sitcom! C

      Liked by 2 people

  1. I wore out that Jackson Browne single, back in the day. 🙂
    Over here, we have ‘poo stick’ tests for colon/rectal cancer. We ‘stroke a turd’ onto the stick, seal it into the container provided, then send it off to the government lab, free of charge. If it is ‘suspicious’, then we are ‘invited’ to undergo a colonoscopy.
    I would never put myself through that for a ‘just in case’. Same language, different countries, very different medical systems. 🙂
    Best wishes as always, Pete.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Oh my Pete, I’ve never hear of the ‘poo stick’ tests, but I tell you what, that sounds sublime compared to the cleanout procedure and that acwkard rectum debut on some invassive colon camera! I’ve been told repeatedly today that I’ve stepped over some proverbial line! Opps…warmly, C

      Liked by 1 person

    1. That was my hope Fraggle to bring a little levity to an important but awkward issue. I figure if we can giggle about it the chances of actually inspiring others to sign up for the procedure might be increased or at least considered. And yes, “we’ll be getting it done” as you say, let’s pray for a clean colon! C

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I have missed your wonderful humor. I smiled throughout as I read your light-hearted musings. What a wonderful relationship that you can arrange Valentine’s colonoscopies! Will you start a new trend? Maybe a new kool aid will be named after you? My 3 years is up and I will be repeating this test in 3 to 5 months, it’s the prep not the procedure I dislike. It helps to have the seatbelt now on the toilet seat. Bless you crazy people both. Hugs. – Dave

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Hi Dave, so good to find you here in the comments! Hope you’ve been well. Very pleased to know this brought a smile to your face. I was hoping to bring awareness to this important procedure with lightness and humor. And I totally agree the prep is horrible and let’s pray a laxative never bears my name! Bahaha, bless you and yours, warmly, C

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I never thought I’d laugh at the subject of colonoscopy! I’ve only had two (because of my IBS, and ulcerative colitis), and I found the prep the worse than the procedure. My husband has never been able to bring himself to go through it, and now that we haven’t been able to afford health insurance for the last few years it’s a moot point.

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    1. I missed this comment Kim, all this colonoscopy talk is fogging my brain, sorry about the delayed response. I totally agree the prep is the worst part of the entire procedure! So I agree with Larry doing all that the same night might have its advantages? Health insurance is so expensive, I’m closing in on the age where it’s provided by the state but until then I’m able to get it through work. Everything I’ve read about healthy colons has to do with fiber, exercise, and lots of water most of which are not my favorites, warmly, C

      Liked by 1 person

    1. He’s one hell of a lovable guy if you’re okay with a little shit! Hysterical Crystal, I had to read your comment to Larry, now he thinks he’s all that and a bag of chips! C

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  4. When you share about Larry, I am always reminded of my husband. It’s good to have someone who you can discuss real things with, even as real as colonoscopies. They are ugly but necessary. I hope you both get through it
    and all is well for you. 💗

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I really debated LaDonna, about publishing this piece, I understand the importance of this procedure and it was my hope that with a little levity, it would encourage others to consider scheduling an appointment. Larry is a such a great source of blogging material, if your husband has a similar disposition, he must be a great inspiration for your writing and life. Always enjoy your thoughts LaDonna, C

      Liked by 1 person

  5. This is where I need a combo emoji – laugh for the hilarity! And heart for the message and encouragement for getting checked. Awesome work again Cheryl! This is the shi…. no, no I won’t.

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    1. Good morning Daniel, you nailed the purpose of this post, a little levity, and exposure around an important issue! I was so worried I’d stepped “in it” on this post and I appreciate your kind words and show of restraint! Blessings to you my friend, C

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Hi Cheryl,
    You never cease to amaze me. Baring your soul and your GI tract to the world, and for a noble cause. You never no when you may save a life (thank you for this.). True courage. What a hilarious take. I love it when you warn us of what you are about to write, and then of course I read on (curiosity killed the cat.). You have a way of bringing humor to the dark side of life. Glad you got your shit together and got scoped. Perhaps you were a perfect a**hole. Hope it turned out great. I believe that every once in a while, it is good to get totally cleaned out. Had mine a few years back. Was easy. Will do it again in 6-7 years (doubt I will write about it! 😊 )
    Anyway, the dual colonoscopies thing is a totally different yet cool take. Wonder if it will become a new thing. Definitely not for me (I need to be pampered.) Do make sure you have quality TP.

    I, like beetleypete, love your song choice. I really used to think the album cover was cool too, though the Saturate Before Using logo was a little confusing.

    Hey, we have started venturing out a bit. It is amazing how conditioned one gets to the whole virus thing. You can be vaccinated, wear an N95 mask, and then hear someone cough 10 rows back on the plane and it still gives you the Willies. I have been looking at the Calendar, and will be scheming up a visit to California. Sounds like your state may open up around the 4th of July.
    Give my best to the gang.

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    1. Okay Mike, where in the world did you find that song? You are certainly resourceful when it comes to applicable music! Bahaha, it’s not surprising that one didn’t make the top then charts. So perfect. I wrote this piece in a day and then debated whether to delete it or not for three days. I decided the risk of offending was less important then ignoring an important issue. I think I read somewhere that it’s like the 4th leading cause of death in adults? And it’s totally preventable if caught in the early stages. I figured the kindest thing to do was offer a warning and let the reader beware. I was surprised by all the supportive comments? People are not as easily offended as I feared.

      We have started to breach our self imposed boundaries too and ended up spending a long weekend with friends down in Dana Point! This area was pretty open, restaurants allowed both in and outdoor dining so we enjoyed some good meals and a few cocktails at the local pub overlooking the harbor! It almost felt normal? California is starting to open up, I go back to the classroom in April with a hybrid type of teaching until the end of the year. I’m so not looking forward to teaching in a mask, with half my students on Zoom and the other half in the class. That’s going to be challenging.

      Just let us know when you’re ready to travel in our direction, we’re ready and waiting. Oh and the wineries are all open! A new one opened up that we’re itching to explore! Can’t wait to see you guys and anyone who cares to join you! Hugs, Cheryl

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    1. Good for you Diane! Get that shit done – Bahaha! Hope your hubby enjoyed the fun and wasn’t appalled by the language! Shit, what can you do? Wishing you well on your colon debut, hope the trailer isn’t… – no I’ll refrain! xx, C

      Liked by 1 person

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