Saturday, December 12, 2009

The Music Of The Spheres

So I had my first colonoscopy right on schedule a few years back, and evidently I passed it with flying colors. Lord knows something passed with flying colors. And now they've started asking me to take more of a personal hand in my routine testing. This is why I was sent home from Kaiser with a small envelope containing everything I would need to collect my own stool sample and send it through the mail. I'm always getting shit in the mail, so it's sort of a novelty to send some back.

The thing is, this is one of those areas I've always preferred to leave to others. Maybe it's because I've never been a mom or a janitor, and I have been a baby--but if someone has to deal with what lands in the toilet, I'd rather it were someone else. The colonoscopy, for instance, didn't require all that much of me. My only role was the night before, and that wasn't really any big deal. You just do what comes naturally, only louder and with more pep. Once you've gotten to the clinic and have your gown on, your part is pretty much over with. In my case, I did come to, at some point towards the end of the procedure, and was able to watch some of the goings-on on a TV monitor and recognize what I was looking at. But I could tell I wasn't entirely back to normal because normal people do not blow "Oklahoma!" out their ass in a crowded hospital corridor. I recognized the opening note right away, and I discovered that if I exercised a little sphincter control--I believe trumpeters refer to that as "embouchure"--I was able to replicate the tune pretty well. I held onto the "O!" for as long as I could, and by the time the wind came sweepin' down the plain, I'd like to think I had everybody's attention.

The home stool sample kit comes with instructions that are pure literature:

Unfold and put the large collection tissue paper inside the toilet bowl on top of the water. (Don't use the small absorption pad included in the return envelope--you'll need that for something else later.)
Gripping! See how that keeps you on the edge of your seat? It's a page-turner.

Have a bowel movement so that the stool (feces) falls on top of the collection paper.

The paper takes up the entire interior of the toilet bowl. If you miss it, you were way too close to the edge of your seat.

Take a sample of your stool (feces) before it touches the water.

Fortunately, they don't mean in mid-flight. But frankly, seeing your stool plated up like an entree and twirling a spoon in it sort of cancels out the entire beauty of having indoor plumbing. The instructions go on to say you can flush, and to ("please") wipe off the sample bottle if some sample has gotten on the outside. As a former mailman, I can endorse that request.

Dave got a kit at the same time I did, but he's just practicing for now. He's doubtful about the collection tissue paper and is pretty sure he can sink it in one shot. I think he can, too.


  1. I'm a fan right back atcha. Snarftastic, as I say on Twitter when somethin.g is coffee-snortin' funny

  2. why oh why are poop and Murr so funny ! If anyone can sink the collection tissue - Dave can.......

  3. Dang you've got one heck of a nice posterior for an old broad!

  4. Wow, Julie was right, you really did take my advice to do more poop related posts! I feel so er...honored? (Is this why people always say "Be careful what you wish for"?)

  5. Gabrielle, you should feel sort of puffed up inside.

  6. This is wonderful. My-wife-the-shrink and I are scheduled for back to back colonoscopies on Monday morning -- in a manner of speaking.

    This came to my attention as we were enjoying our last real meal of the weekend, and I read it to her out loud. Since you are knowledgeable about these things, does the prep get stew meat out of your sinuses?

  7. Don't forget, "It sure smells sweet when the wind comes right behind the rain!"

  8. Ah, music and musicals celebrate our most productive days.

    ". . . . Brown paper packages tied up with strings,
    These are a few of my favorite things."
    (Boom chuck chuck, boom chuck chuck . . . )

  9. Ha! digitalzen, my man. Who's driving you? I loved the prep. It was fine; it was just loud. I looked at it as a science project: okay, you can now eat off my colon, how long will it take to produce anything again? (Answer: two days. I'm disappointed.)

  10. I've been reading Murrmurrs since your friend, sharpeee maarka, told me about you (btw-my husband build the poetry shed). I've snorted a few guffaws 'cause of you, but this one takes the cake (the one you made for #100). We're talking tears. Thanks, Murr

  11. One of my thirtysomething kids' out-of-work friends, who has exactly the sense of humor necessary to revel in the job, has selflessly agreed to chauffeur us in return for the privilege of making all the bad jokes she can think of. We think she was favorably influenced by the fifty bucks, but we could probably have gotten her for free.

  12. There are ways, in a closed automobile, you can get her right back.

  13. Well, I've read and enjoyed all 101 and I guess I always assumed you'd get the poop thing out of your system (so to speak). I can see now this is not to be. But as you calculated, you're not completely full of crap - only 18% full! I think that proves you should definitely keep writing.

  14. I think it might be a curse that I know show I will never get this out of my head...
    You are a fantastic writer! Congrats on the 100.

  15. There are ways, in a closed automobile, you can get her right back.

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