Congratulations to All the Participants but I Have Once Again Won the Colonoscopy Contest
Notes on a Colossal Colonoscopy Competition
I suppose, considering my age and station in life, it was inevitable that I would eventually make the transition from “guy who writes about parenting” to “guy who writes about having a colonoscopy.” Well, at long last, here we are.
My recent colonoscopy was not my first “scopeo.” Because I have a mild inflammatory bowel disease, I began having semi-regular colonoscopies in my mid-thirties. There are some advantages to starting young. Namely, you’re typically decades younger than all the other patients in the gastroenterologist’s waiting room so you are treated as a bit of a novelty. During my earliest appointments, multiple staff members, patients, and casual observers commented on how youthful and vibrant I looked. This doesn’t happen quite as much anymore, but I still have the memories to look back fondly upon. Like the time the office staff gathered around and marveled as I performed a series of stretches to show off my flexibility. This particular memory is a made-up one, but I sometimes wish it were real. I’ve always treated medical appointments as a competition and colonoscopies are no exception.
Because of the pandemic, I was able to forestall my colonoscopy by a couple of years, which was ideal because it gave me more time to train. Whenever my schedule allowed, I practiced guzzling liquids. You’re probably thinking this is a joke about drinking alcohol, but you’re wrong. As a purist, I only guzzle water. And occasionally water laced with salt on April Fool’s Day when my kids pull one of their very original and hilarious pranks. All my hard work certainly paid off because, on the evening before my colonoscopy, I was able to down the entire first dose of the liquid prep in under 9 minutes and 30 seconds. After the last drop of saccharine sweet and salty solution passed across my lips, I slammed the plastic mixing jar down on the kitchen counter triumphantly and immediately texted my wife to let her know about my momentous accomplishment. She replied, simply, “Congratulations.”
Perhaps she would’ve been more impressed if I had texted her my exact time, but I rounded to 10 minutes because…