Cousin Bruce talked me into it. He's a decade younger, and if he was doing it, then coming from the same gene pool, so should I, I reasoned in February and made an appointment.
That was February, so I was comforted that it was three months off, but as the day drew nearer, I began to wonder how much it would cost, what could go wrong, what were the odds this screen was worth it?
Then Bruce's appointment was canceled, so he says, and mine was just a week away when he and Uncle Chet appeared one Friday evening.
"We've come to steal your rototiller," Uncle Chet said.
"I'll help you load it," I put on my sneakers.
"Bruce is going to till my garden in the morning."
"I was just thinking about you, and my upcoming colonoscopy," I said to Bruce.
He grinned sheepishly. "I haven't re-scheduled," he said. "Still got that jug with the chemicals, but after watching Billy Connolly on YouTube, talking about shoving a camera up your rear, I haven't called back."
"Weren't you the one saying what a great idea it was?" I said.
"True, but you're the older one; you really ought to go first," he said.
"It's not that bad," Uncle Chet stepped into the kitchen. "It's the prep that's a killer. Don't you have some instructions?"
"Somewhere," I said.
"Well, if it's next week, you'd better read 'em," he said. "There are things to do and not do, like don't take aspirin, in the last week."
"I don't take aspirin."
"Just read the instructions and follow 'em," he said curtly as we went out to the shed and rolled out the rototiller.
Days passed. I read the instructions, picked up the gallon jug and the Drano. At 6 the night before, I mixed up the brew and took my first glass.
"What is that stuff, Dad?" Buddy, our 10-year-old, asked from the recliner, where he was sipping iced tea.
"Frack water," I sputtered. "Want a little?"
"No," he shook his head, watching me down the first glass.
"Your father's going to show you how to deal with medical issues maturely, aren't you, Dad?"
"I aren't," I said and poured another glass.
I kept drinking until there was a rumble inside, then came the first of several eruptions that would purge me of liver, spleen and whatever else was down there.
Early the next morning, Hon drove what was left of me to the hospital. We went to the clinic, and I tried to relax. I told myself that in a few hours, this would all be behind me. A stack of magazines lay within reach and I took the top one, Readers' Digest.
And what was the top story in the top magazine? "Doctors Confess Their Fatal Mistakes."
"You gotta be kidding!" I showed the cover to Hon. "Now, there's a sign."
She rolled her eyes, removed the offensive material and gave me a periodical on golfing.
I couldn't read it, but soon was called into a waiting room, where I signed a disclaimer and was hooked up to an IV.
"Have you signed a `do not resuscitate order'?" the nurse asked.
"No!" I sat up in bed. "I thought this was a routine screening."
"It is," she said. "But we have to ask."
"By all means, resuscitate," I said.
After several minutes, I was wheeled into the operating room, told to lie on my side and was given some drugs to relax me.
Then, just before we started, the hospital's computer system crashed.
Another sign. HAL didn't want to see my insides. Twenty years earlier, I might have gotten up and left, but the drugs were relaxing and reassured by the nice doctor and nurses that they didn't need a computer system, I said OK.
Next thing I knew, I was back in the waiting room, Hon fading in and out from the foot of the bed.
"How was it?" she asked through the ether.
"Piece of cake," I mumbled, newly self-righteous, for I'd made it through basic training. "And next year, it's your turn."
Cooperstown bureau Reporter Tom Grace is traveling with his Uncle Chet, who he says is imaginary. Grace's column appears every other week. For more of his columns, visit www.thedailystar.com/tomgrace.
- Big Chuck D'Imperio
There's no tough sledding when you're a youngster|
Winter weather is here. And so are outdoor winter activities.Continued ...
- Vroman's Nose hike is no walk in the park
- Being a grandpa will be better than just OK
- Some hits from the soundtrack of my life
- Some book picks from an avid reader
- There's no tough sledding when you're a youngster|
- Cary Brunswick
Instead of boycotting, buy locally
Buy Nothing Day, that international day of protest against rampant consumerism, is traditionally reserved for Black Friday in the United States and for the next day, Saturday, in other countries.Continued ...
- Don't expect high scores from hungry students
- Obama's stuck between a rock and a hard place
- Common Core had little input from educators
- This shutdown stuff is making me nauseated
- Instead of boycotting, buy locally
- Chuck Pinkey
- Guest Column
Attitudes are changing on gas drilling
With elections over, the candidate lawn signs are gone. Otsego's permanent signage has once again returned. "For Sale" signs have reclaimed the lawns -- people attempting to sell and leave.Continued ...
- Balancing the city budget on kids' backs
- Dude, where's my socioeconomic class?
- Congress playing hunger games
- Election choices: what are they, really?
- Attitudes are changing on gas drilling
- Lisa Miller
A view from above
Fire towers in the Catskill Mountains have always been destination points, built to capture some of the region’s best views. These sentinel stations served an important role for the earliest possible sightings of forest fires in the remote mountain ranges. But the fire towers and those who manned them fulfilled a multitude of other roles as well.Continued ...
- Being a parent is a constant learning process
- Healthy doesn't have to mean expensive
- A family era ends with close of Potter series
- Independent stores make up for loss of Borders
- A view from above
- Mark Simonson
Oneonta's Foreign Exchange Student Program got green light 55 years ago
"A foreign exchange student, attending classes at Oneonta High School, looms somewhere near in the future."Continued ...
- It could be difficult to get around Oneonta in late 1888
- Professional basketball exhibitions played at armory
- Railroad, related developments expanded Oneonta in 1863
- Famous hobo discouraged youths from becoming wanderers
- Oneonta's Foreign Exchange Student Program got green light 55 years ago
- Rick Brockway
Gray squirrels bring back some fond memories
I was on my hill sitting in a tree stand about a month ago when a large, gray squirrel ran across a branch not far from me. I was actually surprised. There hasn't been a gray squirrel in my woods for many years, at least none that I've seen. I watched him go from branch to branch and then down the trunk of a large, red oak tree.
- Whitetail bucks are as smart as they come
- DEC makes deer season even better
- If you happen to come across a lynx, the DEC wants to know
- It's the right time to hunt, but you won't be alone
- Gray squirrels bring back some fond memories
- Sam Pollak
The feds still aren't coming for your guns
"Tuck this column you wrote away in your scrapbook ... it will one day prove to be a source of great embarrassment for you."Continued ...
- 50 years can't fade a day to remember
- Getting robbed of my untapped potential
- Here's what I've learned about the next generation
- I blame the liberals for America's mess
- The feds still aren't coming for your guns
- William Masters
Schreibman tops Chris Gibson on women's issues
As the time to vote draws near, we need to remember how money can run politics more than we can. Raising funds is a prominent (if not the dominant) task of getting elected. Raising issues is also crucial, but those efforts are subject to distortion and fear-mongering.
Republicans feelentitled to allthey can garner
An entitlement is a legal benefit available from the government to individuals who are within a defined category of recipients, such as needing insurance for unemployment or health services.
Romney focuses on self; Obama emphasizes unity
Mitt Romney criticizes President Obama for saying a person's success is rooted in his community, and is not all his alone. Romney belittles this with his belief in individual initiative. He is better at the put-down than the push-up.
Romney shows little regard for common man
The Republicans in Congress have voted over and over, 33 times, redundantly and uselessly, to rescind what they call Obamacare.
Scouts' gay ban creates problem where none exists
The Boy Scouts of America's "emphatic reaffirmation" of its vow to exclude any and all homosexuals from its hallowed ranks is ill-considered and pathetic, especially in view of its having reviewed the matter for two years.
- Schreibman tops Chris Gibson on women's issues