Notes On Ageing – Volume 78

I’ve heard that life is a series of hurdles. While there may be truth in that it is also a series of probes and pokes and as you age the frequency of probes and pokes increases. Someone is always wanting to put something someplace.

I don’t know how old I was when a doctor first suggested I allow him to stick a finger in my anus but it wasn’t too long after that instead of a finger it was a 6′ colonoscopy tube.

A few years later my doctor said it was time for the tube again and good practice dictate that I have this done at least once every ten years. Well, I received a note from my insurance company informing me that my ten years was up and it was time to, with a smile, bend over and spread ’em once again.

At seventy-four I’ve been pretty fortunate that I’ve not been told they were going to open a leg vein and send a probe into my heart to look around a little. I do have some electrical issues with my heart but Dr. Electrician assures me there’s little chance I’ll have to endure that invasion. I’m just hoping he didn’t have his fingers crossed when saying that.

I remember the Southern humorists Lewis Grizzard talking about the time they put the valve from a pig’s heart into his chest. He said there were nine orifices in the human body and he was pretty sure they had found a way to poke him with twelve probes.

The orifice that concerns me the most is the one Gray’s Anatomy labels the urinary meatus. It’s that tiny little opening in the penis from which urine and semen are introduced to the world. In the 1980s, during the summer, I would most mornings talk with some old WWII veterans on ham radio. When they weren’t killing Nazis they were talking about prostates and all the horrors they’d endured with theirs. Each guy tried to outdo the others in describing the various medical procedures. Mentally this didn’t prepare me well for when my day would arrive.

That day came when my doctor, after removing his finger from my anus, told me there was a hard place on my prostrate and he thought I should see a urologists. So with several shots of Scotch in my belly and the branch off a sturdy oak tree to clinch between my teeth I submitted to having some guy in a white coat shove a skinny little tube with a TV camera on its end, up my penis and into my bladder and, “say cheese!”

Damn that hurt and damn did I feel psychologically violated while he did that and his female assistant watched. Even worse than when I had an upper and lower GI and I’m laying buttass naked on a cold     x-ray table while three people checked out my innards with a fluoroscope.

I’m talking about all of this because in a few days I’m scheduled for another colonoscopy and a few weeks after that another road trip up my urinary meatus. Where in the hell did they find that name? I’ll never look at old baldy the same!

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