Tracy Beckerman column: It all comes out in the end
Columns share an author’s personal perspective.
“What’s with all the Gatorade?” said my husband when I walked in the door with two bulging bags of the stuff.
“It’s for tonight,” I said matter-of-factly.
“Is there a special occasion that calls for large amounts of fluorescent green liquid to be ingested?” he asked, wondering if perhaps he’d forgotten an obscure holiday that was celebrated with excessive amounts of electrolytes.
“Yes,” I said. “The occasion is my colonoscopy tomorrow and the Gatorade will facilitate the celebration, if you want to call it that, which will happen for a good portion of the evening.”
He blinked as he registered what was about to take place. I was sure he was recalling his own colonoscopy prep several months prior when he told me that he now knew firsthand how Mount Vesuvius felt when it erupted. I tried to be supportive, but seeing there wasn’t much I could really do to help, I basically just shouted out words of encouragement while giving thanks for the fact that we had a place with two bathrooms.
“Sorry honey,” he said. “Is there anything I can do?”
“You may want to leave the country until this is over,” I said. “And take the dog. There’s no reason he needs to be exposed to this kind of apocalyptic trauma at his young age.”
“Well, the good news is once you do this, you won’t have to get another one for five years,” he said.
I glared at him. “Assuming I can get through the first one.”
I’d actually been through something like this once before, more or less, when I ate some bad shrimp in Peru, so I kind of knew what to expect. But of course, nothing truly prepares you for the equivalent of an internal power washing on an otherwise lovely evening. When the doctor said the prep was the worst part, I had thought he meant the mental preparation for having a medical procedure. I didn’t realize it was the six-hour assault on my intestines that would make me wonder if I should have invested in a Tempur-pedic toilet seat and bought stock in Charmin.
I had hoped not to let it be known that I was doing this because, honestly, there are some things in life we are just meant to do alone. My husband, however, was under the erroneous belief that I should have lots of support to help me through this process. And thus, it came as a complete surprise to me when, as I sat on my throne, my phone rang.
“Hey Mom,” how’s it going?” asked my son.
“I’m kind of in the middle of something right now,” I said.
“Yeah, I know. Dad told us.”
I silently took a moment to wish a prostate exam on my husband.
“So, I’m not really in a good place to talk right now,” I said.
“Oh, sure! No worries. Call me later.”
Thirty seconds later the phone rang again.
“Hi Mama,” said my daughter. “How are you feeling?”
“Not great. Gotta go, because, you know, I gotta go.”
“No problem,” she said and hung up.
Within the course of the next 20 minutes, I heard from my mother, my father, my brother, my sister-in-law, my former babysitter, the guy who rotates my tires, my senator, Anderson Cooper, and Oprah, all calling to ask how it was going and offer words of encouragement.
Finally, when I was just about done with my ordeal, the phone rang one more time.
“Hi,” said a voice I didn’t recognize. “We’d like to offer you a free estimate on getting your ducts cleaned.”
“Thanks,” I said. “But I think I’m good now for five years.”
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