Limbo, with Public Service Announcement

National Poetry Month ended last midnight. Tomorrow at 11:00 AM I check in to Verde Valley Medical Center for a screening colonoscopy. So today I’ve been in limbo, albeit an eventful one, the event being the spring-cleaning of my lower GI tract.

They give you this powder in a jug with the fill line at one gallon. You have the option of adding a flavorant they provide, and suggest you may wish to augment it with Kool-Aid or Crystal Lite. Additives mask, but do not hide, the true flavor of this stuff, which I’ve come to think of as Beyond the Grave Potpourri. (I am going to encourage people of my graduating class to do what I’m doing now if they haven’t already, but I’m not going to sugar-coat it.)

You drink eight ounces or more every fifteen minutes or less till it is gone. Around about the third round, the magic begins to happen, the substance ingested acting much like the Liquid Plumr product they call Foaming Pipe Snake. You make the first of many trips to the bathroom. What you do in there is your own business, but I defy you not to think of a seltzer water dispenser, dispensing. You come out of the bathroom a bit shaken, sit down gingerly, and two to eighteen seconds later stand right back up again for another ride on the bucking bronco. Meanwhile, you’re drinking more of the miracle potion, which far before it is gone seems to have taken on the volume of the Atlantic Ocean.

Eventually, though, it is gone; eventually, the last of it goes through you and out the back. You stabilize. There are a few after-tremors, but a mere five hours after you started, you’re mostly fine, and what’s to come is all good: they’ll make you happy-sleepy and before you know it, “I’m ready for my close-up, Mr. DeMille.”

Katie Couric, Robert Kline, Meryl Streep, and Billy Connolly have all done this, Friends, and if you’re pushing or over 50 and haven’t done it yet, or, like me, HAVE done it but not for a long time–I hope you will do it as well. Colorectal cancer death is preventable via excision of precancerous polyps and biopsy of found growths–yet colorectal cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death. It killed my grandfather on my mother’s side; and the last four months of his life were hellish indeed.

So, please: join me; go on the Five-Hour Quick-Weightloss Diet. Have some fun with it, as Billy Connolly did. (Do an internet search on Billy Connolly Colonoscopy and watch the video; you’ll laugh like a hyena, I guarantee it.) But do it; for yourself, and your loved ones.

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