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7:54 p.m. - 2018-12-03
Eye Sodomy: A Chronicle
AUGUST 24, 2011
Thanks to my father and his genes, I’m at high risk for colon cancer. Therefore, instead of waiting until I’m fifty for my first colonoscopy like most people, I get to have one tomorrow, at the age of forty-two, ten years younger than my father when he was diagnosed with the disease. (His surgery was successful and today, twenty years later, he’s doing fine.) A colonoscopy is a fairly involved procedure, involving a day of intensive preparation. Then, after the prep day, you go to a lab to be rectally violated with a camera. Here, then, is my story:

3:05 PM
I’m holding a gallon bottle of PEG-3350 & ELECTROLYTES UNFLAV. I’ll be drinking eight ounce glasses of this medicinal fluid every ten minutes for the next couple of hours. It will clear out my colon. Eventually it will allow trained medical professionals to jam a camera up my ass to find out how damaged my organs have become due to my genetic legacy. The medication started out as a quantity of powder at the bottom of a massive plastic vessel. I added water, as per the instructions. The liquid is clear and more or less indistinguishable from tap water. Soon I will begin the procedure. I will drink the liquid and my bowel will free itself of camera-interrupting debris.

3:15 PM
First glass of PEG-3350 & ELECTROLYTES UNFLAV: It appears, in the glass, to be normal, clear tap water, but it’s salty. Quite salty. Unpleasantly salty. And weirdly thick. Not thick like a milkshake, but more smooth and chemical-based. It’s an unnerving, strange liquid I have to drink. This is the price one pays for high quality, preventative health care. The listed ingredients are: polyethylene glycol 3350, sodium chloride, potassium chloride, sodium bicarbonate, sodium sulfate (anhydrous).

3:23 PM
I have to say, I’m not so much enjoying the PEG-3350. Maybe I’ll try adding ice.

3:26 PM
Ice helps a little. But damn, there’s a lot of PEG-3350 yet to be consumed. The thing is, though, I usually enjoy salty things. Potato chips, Chinese food, pizza, fried pork dishes: Yum! But somehow a glass of water with salt in it isn’t as much fun. You’d think it would be, since you get all the salt with none of the chewing, but no.

3:30 PM
Still no explosive bowel movement. Still waiting. Maybe I’ll put on that Talking Heads record that has the Still Waiting song on it. Is that on the one record we have? Remain in Light? Whatever. It’s a really good record. Either way, I’m putting it on.

3:34 PM
Yes, that song is on the record we have, but it turns out the song is actually called Cross-Eyed and Painless. I should know have known this. It’s part of what I do, for my “profession”.

3:39 PM
So far I’m enjoying the Talking Heads record. Somewhat more than the liquid. Now I have to pee, but I wonder if I should suppress urination, because will urinating distract from bowel moving, my one true goal for today? Is there a hotline I can call? The PEG-3350 hotline?

3:44 PM
Decided, to hell with it, just to go ahead and urinate. Still no bowel action. The Still Waiting song has come and gone. Still lots and lots of foul salty liquid to consume.

3:50 PM
The gallon of PEG-3350 comes with seven pages of instructions. Here’s the list of foods that I’m allowed to consume between now and my appointment tomorrow morning: *water; *apple or white grape juice (no tomato, grapefruit or orange juice);* soda; *Gatorade (not red); *Jell-O (do NOT add fruit, NO red or purple); *popsicles; *broth; *tea or coffee (no milk or cream; sugar is okay).

3:56 PM
Still not enjoying the liquid so much, but at least Once in a Lifetime is playing. One of my favorite songs ever. Once I thought I was going insane but then I heard that song and I didn’t. At least not entirely.

4:00 PM
I’m beginning to grow restless. I still have a lot of liquid to slam down. A LOT. It’s starting to seem daunting.
Now there’s a Jon Hassel solo on the Talking Heads record.

4:07 PM
Still no movement of the bowels. Also, I’m feeling a little sleepy. I can’t tell if it’s from drinking this weird fluid and having almost no food today, or from being out until three in the morning last night. Oh well, time to drink more liquid. Mmmmm, salty!

4:25 PM
No change. Still choking down the fluid. The Talking Heads record ended. Maybe next I’ll put on some Tim Berne or something. Now Kia’s home. I’ve been encouraging her to enjoy herself despite that fact that my evening is ruined.

4:39 PM
Whoa! Stomach churning! Could this be the start of something? The start of something BIG?

5:07 PM
Bowel rumblings are beginning. I’m still not halfway through the giant-ass bottle of unpleasantness, however. I still haven’t found a new album to put on. I’m still considering Tim Berne. Or maybe I’ll just put on the TV. Whatever. I kind of want a cigarette. I can’t have food or booze, but I can has cigarette, right? Or coffee, or broth.

5:21 PM
I eventually put on Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald. I want to do it with Yid Vicious some more. Most of us in the band are from the industrial north and several of us are haunted by the legacy of the big lake they called Gitchee Gumee and how it never gives up her dead when the storms of November turn gloomy. Also, no recent bowel activity. Kia’s in the kitchen making up some Quinoa. It’s funny how when you don’t get to eat food, that’s when you start to crave food the most. Yes, it’s most peculiar. Most peculiar indeed, how the mind works.

5:40 PM
Still waiting. I finally just gave up and turned on the damn TV. Sit-com reruns. How I Met Your Mother. It’s a sit-com about the romantic exploits of young urbanites who slap each other a lot. Meanwile, waiting and choking down liquid. Foul, foul liquid. Maybe I’ll get up and pace for a while.

6:13 PM
So unpleasant. So, so unpleasant. The liquid is doing nothing but making me feel bloated and horrible. There’s still almost a half gallon to go. Meanwhile, the TV is still on.

6:23 PM
Still downing the fucking liquid. Also, looking forward to the INVASIVE PROCEDURE that awaits me in the morning. Now M.A.S.H. is on. It’s a BJ episode, pre-mustache. Winchester just got assigned to the unit and he’s not too happy about it. Kia suggests I jump up and down, either for her amusement or for bowel activity. She appears to be finding not a little bit of glee in my (minor) ordeal.

6:49 PM
OH SNAP! Bowel rumblings! Is this horrible liquid actually working? Whichever, the guys at the 4077th aren’t warming to Winchester too quickly. BUT, after the first marathon surgery session, I think they’ll develop a grudging respect for one another.

7:00 PM
Still maybe a quart of the fluid to go. Kia has been pouring it into a martini glass to make the process more enjoyable. Now Mary Tyler Moore is on the TV. CRAMPS! Now the cramps are starting! This is to be expected, according to the literature. Cramps! Urgency! Is it beginning, FINALLY? The process?

7:12 PM
Well! I just enjoyed my initial purging. I feel quite a bit lighter than before, although I still have maybe a couple of pints of liquid left to choke down. Kia says I get coffee when I’ve finished the PEG-3350!

7:27 PM
Last glass of PEG-3350. It’s almost over. I’ll finish the PEG, and then all that’s left is a bunch of diarrhea, a trip to the hospital, an hour of being sodomized by a camera, being sedated, and fourteen hours of fasting.

7:49 PM
Okay! I finished the PEG-3350. I drank a fucking gallon of that foul, salty, horrible, repulsive liquid. And now, more diarrhea!

8:05 PM
Well, that was quite a bout of diarrhea! And now, coffee! Bob Newhart is on the TV.

8:49 PM
I think my colon is almost all cleaned out. Now I feel really tired and depleted. Kia made me some clear broth and gave me some apple juice, which helped a little bit. We’ll probably stay in tonight. Besides broth and juice, I don’t get any food tonight, also no alcohol. Sad. Now Cheers is on TV. There’s a guest actress lady who looks kind of familiar but I can’t remember her name. Then M.A.S.H. will be on again, although we may change the channel and watch The Office.

9:26 PM
I think I’m done purging for now. Maybe I’ll try and go to sleep early. The appointment tomorrow is at 7:15 AM. Kia will take me there and keep an eye on me in the recovery room and then bring me back home.

9:35 PM
Wait, wait, wait! Maybe one more quick purge! And good night!


6:30 AM
My appointment was for 7:15 AM at University Hospital. It’s about a fifteen minute drive from our house with no traffic. We weren’t anticipating any traffic at this hour. I thought I’d wake up feeling extra weak and crummy from hunger, but I didn’t feel any worse than normal when I have to be up at six-fucking-thirty AM. I don’t get to drink any water or anything before the appointment, but I’m allowed to brush my teeth and spit the water out. Kia packs me up in the car and off we go.

7:15 AM
We go to the reception for the hospital’s Invasive Care Clinics and check in. A cheery lady behind a desk asks me a bunch of questions that I can barely answer because of the early hour. I guess you could say I’m not much of a “morning person”! She scans one of my palms, so now University Hospital has a record of what one of my palms looks like. Having no idea what the hell is going on, I just go along with it. And I haven’t even been sedated yet!

7:25 AM
Leaving Kia in the waiting room, I’m soon called into the colonoscopy chamber. A nice lady named (I think) Kelly, a RN or some kind of medical technician, asks me a couple of questions, enters some stuff into a computer, and hands me a medical gown and robe, leading me to a little changing room like they have at department stores. I’ve never worn a hospital gown before. It’s a big day of “firsts” for Geoffrey! Okay, but I’ve seen these in the movies: for some reason there’s strings that tie in the back but the back never covers your ass (well, okay, in this case I guess that kind of makes sense) and how you’re supposed to reach back behind yourself and tie the strings is kind of a mystery, but somehow I manage it eventually. It feels weird at first, but the robe covers up your ass and the whole ensemble is pretty comfortable, actually. I stash my clothes in a locker and am led by Kelly (I think) to a little curtained alcove with a little hospital bed and various medical-type-looking things. Kelly asks a couple more questions (Like, “So, when it all came POURING OUT OF YOU, what was the color like?”), talks about the procedure a little bit, and hooks me up to an IV. Not a drug IV, a hydration IV. I’ve never been on an IV before. After a minute it’s kind of relaxing: you lie there, staring into space because you forgot to bring a book, staring at the slowly dripping fluid. You wait. Also, the little sign on the wall designates my little area as “Prep Area #2”, which, whenever I catch it my periphery, reads to me “PERP Area #2”, as in perpetrator, like if we were in the hospital ward at the penitentiary. I wonder what my crime would have been. Probably nothing violent. Probably some lame attempt at fraud. The kind of thing I’d fuck up for sure. Either way, my hospital bed is kind of cozy and it’s not a terrible wait. It’s pretty quiet and I can hear snippets of conversation between the personnel and the other patients. Not surprisingly, I appear to be far and away the youngest patient here.

7:50 PM
A peppy young doctor ambles in, greets me, explains the procedure, and he’s gone just as quickly and mysteriously as he appeared.

7:53 PM
Now a new nurse shows up and greets me. IT IS TIME! She tosses her clipboard onto the bed, tucks me in and rolls the bed down the hall into the colonoscopy room. The room is windowless and not very large in terms of square footage, but with a very high ceiling with lots of complicated lights mounted in various places. There are two large video monitors, one for the display of vital signs, the other to display what’s happening on the colon-cam. To the right of the monitors and suspended above the general area of my feet is some kind of large and frightful apparatus, surprisingly industrial-looking, with big tubes and belts everywhere. I’m guessing that at some point, some part of this HG Wells-inspired contraption and I will be in close contact. So, the nurse starts stick heart/lung/oxygen sensors all on me so now I can look at my vital signs on the screen for a couple of minutes until she fills up my IV with the drugs that are my REAL reason for making the trip. Just as I’ve never had an IV on me before, I’ve never had IV drugs. IV drugs work REALLY fast. It took about five seconds for them to hit after she dumped them in the tube.

? AM
The next couple hours: kind of a blur. I remember drifting in and out of consciousness and occasionally seeing my colon on the screen, and then waking up again in the recovery room where they let Kia wait for me, and a little later getting to put my clothes back on, and being offered a wheelchair and declining it and getting up and walking being a LITTLE more difficult than I remembered (due to being doped-up, not ass pain)(and by the way, it’s a really good thing hospital-grade sedatives aren’t made available to the general public. Within five minutes EVERYONE would be hooked on them, and society couldn’t function. I mean, society would function at an even lower level than now.) and the nurse giving me a skeptical look and telling Kia, “Watch him closely; he’s really out of it.” She may have been right. LUCKILY, though, Gentle Reader, the good people in the colonoscopy lab recorded the whole event.

“PROCEDURE: G0105 Colonoscopy Screening (Hi Risk)

“INDICATION: 1) Colon Cancer family history of

“MEDICATION: Midazolam 12 mgIV, Fentanyl 200 micrograms IV

“DESCRIPTION OF PROCEDURE: The risks, benefits and alternatives of the procedure were discussed. The patient understands and consents. Digital rectal exams were performed and revealed no abnormalities. The EC-3890Li (A111370) endoscope was introduced through the anus and advanced to the cecum, which was identified by both the appendix and ileocecal valve. The quality of the prep was excellent. The instrument was then slowly withdrawn as the colon was fully examined.

“A normal appearing cecum, ileocecal valve, and appeniceal orifice were identified. The ascending, transverse, descending, sigmoid colon and rectum appeared unremarkable. Retroflexed views in the rectum revealed no abnormalities. The scope was then completely withdrawn from the patient and the procedure terminated.”

6:06 PM
Now it’s several hours later, the sedatives have largely worn off, and I get to eat again. I’m surprised that so far I haven’t experienced lingering pain, although maybe my ass is still in shock and the pain will come later. One pain that won’t go away any time soon: having my ascending, transverse, descending, sigmoid colon and rectum deemed “unremarkable”.
Now THAT hurts.

*”Eye sodomy” is a term coined by yours truly during an exciting, international bout of Lit-Libs (same as Mad-Libs, but with literary pretensions) between Kia, myself and Melissa, then still overseas running the Yid Vicious Dakar Bureau. I just put the two words together without thinking of the mechanics of it, whereas Melissa and Kia each developed surprisingly vivid but divergent ideas of what the practice of “eye-sodomy” would entail. Later, when this whole colonoscopy thing came up, it was decided that “colonoscopy” and “eye sodomy” could be used interchangeably, according to one of the ladies’ definition of the term.

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