About the colon: Of serpents and revelations


That’s the first word that comes to mind as I look back over the past 24 hours or so in my life.

Then there’s “insane.” And “emotionally scarred.” And “profound,” as in “a revelation.”

Hey, on the plus side, I’m alive and well, and the result of my colonoscopy today is “normal.” I was asleep for it, so I can only go by the form that was given to me afterward.

I had suspected the whole process would be a waste of my time, but colon cancer does run in my mom’s side of the family — she died from it, as did one of her brothers. Even though I’m told I take after my dad’s side of the family, I figured it was time to get it checked out because I would really hate to come down with colon cancer and then be told by some doctor, “if only you had had a colonoscopy a year or two ago, we could have saved you . . .” Actually, it was well past time to check it out. I’ve been procrastinating, like so many others do.

I’m grateful to all the readers here who commented about their colonoscopy experiences. This is the second time I’ve asked you about personal medical issues (first time: gall bladder), and you’ve come through both times.

You were all quite correct in saying the colon-cleansing preparation is the worst part of the whole experience. In fact, it is absolutely disgusting! And insane! Surely there must be a better way than to have to drink two litres of a yucky “lavage” and . . . well, you know what happens in the hours after that.

My personal comments last night — call it my throne speeches — ranged from “This is disgusting!” and “This is insane!” to “Never again!”

In fact that is what I told the nurse at the hospital today, when she asked me if I had taken the Bi-PegLyte treatment.

“Oh, yes,” I told her. “It was disgusting! Never again!”

She queried: “Never again?”

“That’s right,” I replied defiantly. “Never!”

She didn’t press the issue. I think she could tell that it was a sore point with me, that I was somewhat angry and emotionally scarred.

I didn’t tell her that it had forever changed the way I would look at humans. I didn’t tell her that no matter how lovely she appeared to be to me — she was attractive and kind — I know what is snaking through her body and everyone else’s body.

Behold my revelation . . .

Behold the serpent in the Garden of Eden . . .

Yea, sisters and brothers, it’s inside each one of us, and no amount of praying and godliness will change the fact that we are all full of it . . . you know what I mean by “it.”

We really don’t think about this unpleasant aspect of our existence in the material world, at least, not until you drink two litres of Bi-Peglyte or come down with a bug of some sort that produces similar results.

It’s a necessary evil . . . and it really does put the whole Garden of Eden story in the Bible in another light. Think serpent, think apple, think what happens to that apple after it has been eaten.

Yup, that’s what the writer of Genesis must have been getting at: When Eve ate the apple, she welcomed the snake into her body. And we all know the snake was — and still is — full of crap, right? (While I may be jesting, there is one school of thought that the serpent was figurative, and that the apple story was about spiritual beings choosing to incarnate in the material world, and thus experience the various physical joys and suffering that comes with it.)

See, I told you this would be profound.

Sigh . . . They aren’t joking when they say “beauty is only skin deep.” I may be a Barbie Doll on the outside, but there is a disgusting serpent snaking through part of my body . . . And I fear this thought may now pop up with regularity when I see a physically beautiful woman or hunky guy, for a while at least. Or possibly for the rest of my days.

“Yah, well you might look beautiful, Ms. Hollywood type, but we all know you’re full of it, just like the rest of us.”

I’m emotionally scarred, she says, sobbing. (Note the alliteration.) Oh, Lord, deliver me . . .

Wait a sec . . . A lightbulb moment . . . Perhaps I need to turn my thoughts upward again, above the snake . . . to the heart.

Yes, a loving heart overrules the snake, doesn’t it . . . even if the person with the loving heart still carries the curse of the serpent . . .

Sigh . . . this is getting far too deep.

Suffice to say, I am grateful that my colon is “normal,” but I am also conscious of the fact that there are a million-plus other things that can kill my mortal coil . . . hmm . . . coil, serpent . . . Damn, there’s more Bible symbolism there. I have to say that before I got my results today, the thought of dying of colon cancer didn’t scare me at all, in light of all of the above. I mean, I have to go through life now with the increased awareness of my colon’s contents. It’s enough to make a person never want to eat solid food again.

Yes, I know some of you are chuckling now, and saying “You’ll get over it, Jill. It was just a routine colonoscopy.”

A routine colonoscopy? Yes, I suppose it was. I bet most people who undergo the procedure think exactly the same way I did about it all, right?

— Jillian

8 thoughts on “About the colon: Of serpents and revelations

  1. Colonoscopy a “waste of time”? You mean like surfing random web sites for hours is a waste of time? When you’ve got a 16-foot hose with a camera on the end up your ass, it’s never a waste of time. It’s an adventure. The shitting not so much. The last colonoscopy I had, the doc only went half-way in, my first – and last hopefully – semi-colonoscopy.


  2. I am thankful, with you, that everything was normal. My first colonoscopy was far from normal, ten polyps, and two of them big enough that they could have turned cancerous had we not gotten them when we did. My colon was also not very cooperative, and what should have been a thirty-minute procedure dragged on for over an hour and they still hadn’t gotten the scope to the end of the road. My second colonoscopy was much easier…and normal.

    Like you, I kept putting mine off, because “I couldn’t afford the time off of work”. Once I retired, I didn’t have that excuse any longer. The prep was the worst part of both of mine, because I couldn’t get away with just two quarts of that nasty stuff. I was supposed to drink the whole gallon, and NOTHING made it palatable.

    Cheers and Merry Christmas!



  3. Jillian: I’m pleased to know it all turned out very well. Not a pleasant experience that’s for sure, but at our age it’s an absolute must / an ounce of prevention and all of that.



  4. Spoiled b…. Like most of us! Think about people elsewhere in this “garden of Eden” whose snakes are laying on the road somewhere because an IED or .45 cal has liberated it from captivity. And has provided such a lovely life for Thee with no bitching and minimal supervision! Sorry, no cigar. But Merry Happy Holidays as you quench it’s thirst %P


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