I had a colonoscopy on April Fool’s day.
It was kinda funny, because then I went around telling people “I had a camera shoved up my butthole today!” and people would sit and wait for me to be like “APRIL FOOLS!!” but then I wouldn’t, and it would dawn on them in this kind of horribly unclear way that I must seriously have had a camera shoved up my butt, and then they’d sputter some laughter or high five me or maybe perhaps it created an awkward silence so profound I could hear the waves of the Atlantic Ocean all the way from Seattle. Can’t remember which. It’s been almost a month now.
At any rate, a colonoscopy actually happened. And I think I’d like to tell you about it.
It aaaalllll started when I dropped a deuce. (This time, I decided to do so in a toilet as opposed to in my pants in the forest.) Don’t want to get too graphic or detailed or anything, but let’s just say that when I used my right hand to gingerly wipe the excrement from my rectum in a forward motion, the white two-ply toilet paper I was using came back up covered in both feces and bright red blood. (Did anybody else just turn red with embarrassment at that sentence? I win at being horrible at euphemism!!!)
It wasn’t a little bit of blood. It was a lot bit of blood.
But it wasn’t enough to call an ambulance or grab a blood bag for donating purposes or anything. Just enough to be unsettling and then forgettable.
But then, the next day, it happened again.
At this point, I started getting worried. I walked over to the registrar of the middle school I work in as a therapist. Her name’s Keri and she’s about my age, and she’s very cool, and knows a lot about health and blood and science and all that crap. So I thought, “perfect candidate” not taking into account just how awkward the discussion I was about to engage in was going to be
Me: Hey, I know you research health stuff a lot and have done a lot of reading. Do you mind if I ask you a health related question?
Keri: Sure! I really do love that stuff.
Me: It’s kinda personal… is it okay if it’s a little personal?
Keri: Sure, I don’t mind. What’s on your mind?
Me: Wellllll… (awkwardly shifts weight)
Me: (Deep breath) Okay. So… rectal bleeding. Thoughts? (flinches)
Keri: Not good.
Me: …..Uh oh.
Keri: Why do you say “uh oh?”
Me: No reason (begins to whistle, looking around the room like nothing has happened)
Keri: Josh, are you trying to tell me that you had blood in your stool?
Me: YES. Thanks you for not making me tell you that I dropped a deuce and discovered I have blood coming out of my anus. Because that would have been reeeeaally awkward.
Keri Yeah. That sure would have been. Whereas this is the most natural conversation in the world….
Me: Right? Surprisingly NOT awkward!
Her: Yeah…. Not awkward at all…. (looks at me, horrified)
Me: So, tell it to me straight. Is it cancer?
Keri: I’m not really a doctor…
Me: Colon cancer, huh? I knew it.
Her: Listen, I’ve read some articles about health, but I don’t treat patients or anything. I’m a registrar. From what I’ve read, blood in the stool could be some pretty serious stuff. Or it could be hemorrhoids. But I think you should probably see a doctor.
Me: I so will… not ever do that thing you just said about seeing a doctor. Thanks for the diagnosis, Keri! Hemorrhoids it is!
Keri: See a doctor.
Me: All right, been fun chatting. I’m off to do some important work in my office now where I may also be praying or crying in the fetal position at the thought of cancer.
Keri: Or calling your doctor?
Me: Yeah… again, so not that.
,,,I ended up calling my doctor.
His verdict was basically this: Dude, you’re 30. You probably either tore up your bum bum with an unusually large poo poo, or you have internal hemorrhoids,,.
I was like “WHEW.”
But then he was like, “…unless you have a family history of intestinal cancers,”
To which I was like “I don’t have one single relative that has had cancer in any generation of my wait a minute it what am I saying my mom’s sister had intestinal cancer like eight months ago.”
And he said: “Oh.”
And I said: “…it wasn’t hard to excise?”
And he said “I think you’re gonna need a colonoscopy.”
And I said: “I hate you” and then drop kicked him like a ninja. In self defense. Either that, or we set up an appointment with a gut doctor. Like I said this all happened so long ago that the memories are hazy.
Stay tuned for PART II: How The Weed’s Butthole Became a Faucet