HOFFMAN FILES Colonoscopy…..is Such a Lonely Word
Wednesday, 10:15PM (EST): I chow down on a hand full of Bachman pretzel rods, by far the best pretzel rods on the market. I remind myself that this will be the last solid food I get to eat until late Friday morning when I awake from my colonoscopy. Pretzel logs seem like a weak choice, but considering I’m going to be ingesting multiple fluid ounces of bowel movement inducing chemicals, I don’t want to go for anything too flavorful. This is no time to start experimenting with “Buffalo style” anything. There’s a colon at stake here, and the good Lord in all his wisdom only gave us one.
Thursday, 5:35AM (EST): I awaken for work well into my cleanse. I’ve already gone six hours without eating solid food, (It probably bears mentioning that I was sleeping during this time, but a cleanse is still a cleanse.) I believe I can now empathize with Gandhi, the father of modern fasting. We share so much, our soul force, our discipline, our “six-pack abs”, and our hatred of the British empire. We are truly united through our common suffering.
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Sure Gandhi defeated the British empire by using non-violent civil disobedience, but nobody ever talks about his “six-pack” abs. I know how you feel fella. (Getty Images)
Gandhi may have been more disciplined than yours truly, as well as having a better body, however, his knowledge of trivia, particularly in regards to baseball, The Godfather, and Seinfeld paled in comparison to my own.
My soul-force is a little darker than Gandhi’s, but I’ve always believed that we were cut from the same “home spun” cloth. (Hoffman Collection)
Thursday, 6:30AM (EST): I’m drinking coffee but without milk or half ‘n’ half. (Like an animal.) Black coffee? Unfortunately, I don’t have a choice. (All I’m missing is a pack of cigarettes and one of those sleeveless t-shirts that every alleged perp on “Cops” is always wearing while they run away from whatever Southern police force that is chasing them.) Skipping the coffee is not an option. If I try to negotiate the day without my “morning Joe,” I would be subject to a pounding headache, as well as a disposition ripe with surliness. In addition to having to drink my coffee black, I can’t have my breakfast. This minor yet noteworthy change has me off of my routine. I’m supposed to be eating breakfast now, but I’m all disheveled. I go to make my son Alex his breakfast before he leaves for school, but because I’m off my routine, I burn his “French Toast Sticks”! Why does everything have to be so difficult?
Thursday, 11:45AM (EST): It’s lunch time at work, and I’m eating canned, store brand chicken broth. It looks like a Tupperware full of urine, and not in a good way! I feel light-headed, and what’s worse is that I have no “walk through the door and have a snack” (or snacks) moment to look forward to when I get home. This is “First-World” suffering at its worst!
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One man’s lunch is another man’s urine sample. (You Tube)
Thursday, 4:00PM (EST): I’m home now, and after getting into my comfy sweats, I proceed to mix my chemical laxative with cold water and the lemon flavoring packet they have generously provided me with. The bottle looks like it was designed to hold bleach. (Which is what the concoction looks like) I put it in the fridge and tear open a container of lemon Italian ices. I’ve never tasted anything so good in my life. It’s the closest thing to solid food I’ve had, or will have all day. I’m starting to see the appeal of gruel in some parts of the world.
While it may not look appetizing, at least it has the consistency of motor oil when you drink it. They literally could not have chosen a less appetizing container to have provided me with. (Hoffman Collection)
Thursday, 6:00PM (EST): I drink down the first of what is supposed to approximately amount to 15 glasses of the “lemony” concoction. While the texture is gooey, you can’t beat the oily taste. I can’t believe how much of it there is. How come when I grab a six-pack, I sit and wonder if it will be enough to get me through a football game, yet this jug of “Clorox” seems bottomless. I fill a pint glass with as much ice as will fit, and attempt to drink it down as fast as I can. Each successive glass goes down a little bit more slowly. This Herculean task seems to become a bit steeper with every swallow. The good news? I’m not hungry anymore.
Thursday, 9:00PM (EST): I have just finished my 9th glass, and I’m done. The taste is relentlessly bad. However, it is the texture that has me at the cusp of delivering one of the most violent power-hurls of all time. While this “medicine” may in fact be the single worst thing that I’ve ever tasted, there have been other foods and liquids that I’ve ingested that could give it a run for its money. That list would include, but is not limited to…
1. Sambuca – I am not one who throws up easily, even when I overindulge in “spirits.” However, two of the times in my life that I have “lost my cookies” from drinking too much, which includes my 19th birthday, as well as at my bachelor party, Sambuca played a pivotal role.
2. Scotch – (I’ve tried, I really want to like it, but like the little girl in The Exorcist” when she was doused with holy water, “It burns!”
3. Black Licorice – Well, if you hated Sambuca, which I do, then you kind of have to hate black licorice. The key ingredient in both of these unpleasantries is anisette.
4. Too much Mayo – Mayonnaise is all well and good, but if you glob too much of it on, it gags you right at the top of your mouth, and coupled with its pungent aroma, can induce the gag reflex most effectively.
5. Head Cheese – It’s all in the name.
Friday 8:45AM (EST): I’m on my way to the doctor’s office. My wife is driving and soon we see the sign, “Colonoscopy’s While you Wait”. My insides are devoid of all debris. The hardest obstacle to overcome at this point is that right now, I can’t have coffee. I’m so addicted to caffeine that I need an intervention. Uh oh, it looks like it’s time for the big event, it appears they’ve brought in the “A Team.”
In the words of Pete Townsend, “They could see for miles and miles.” I guess that lemon flavored Drano really works. (You Tube)
Friday, 11:30AM (EST): I’m awake and I feel confident in stating that as anal probes go, this one wasn’t too bad. In fact, I believe that I can state unequivocably that if I was to be abducted by aliens for the purpose of that very same said style of probing, I think I could handle it, nay, perhaps even thrive in such a world! In a related bit of good news, the nurse who is giving me my instructions advises me to try to pass gas liberally throughout the day. A “License to Fart” if you will. That’s like giving a dog a license to lick his genitalia. Since I don’t want to be one of those difficult patients, I reluctantly agree. My poor wife releases a heavy sigh as she attempts to figure out what the actual difference will be whether I have medical permission or not, to pass gas. She appears to be silently contemplating the pros and cons of separate bedrooms.
I get dressed, and after they cut off that ID bracelet, as well as ask me my date of birth for 500th time, we leave the medical building, hop in the car, and make our way to the Glenville-Queen Diner. I implore her to make haste, Papa, after all, needs about three cups of coffee and an omelette.
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A meal meant for a man with a clean and healthy colon. (New York Times)
Friday, 3:00PM (EST): I’m now back on my couch, my “happy place” if you will. All in all, it was quite the little adventure. It was a test that I waited 50 years to take, and yet in so many ways, it seemed like it arrived way too soon and has taken place far too frequently. Still, it was the fastest I’ve ever lost five pounds, so anyone who thinks I’m full of sh_t, will have to be careful not to be so careless with their facts. According to the scale, I’m barely 2.223% full of sh_t, the rest of me, like my boy Gandhi, is just pure “Soul Force.” (By the way, if you get a chance, google “Gandhi Shirtless”, it’s quite an eye opener.)