My Annual Physical

I went for my annual physical exam today. Truth be told, I was about 2 ½ years late. My doctor cajoled me to make a better effort at showing up every year. (Hey! I’m a busy man! Retirement can be overwhelming at times.)

After much poking, prodding, and…well…other things, I left with a clean bill of health—sort of. At least he verified that I’m still breathing and I’m not getting any younger.

Besides being quite personal and intrusive, these things can be rather scary. At my age, who knows what evil is lurking deep within. Because of this, we golden-agers subject ourselves to physicals, shots, supplements, rectal exams (excuse my language), and the ever-dreaded colonoscopies. As Mick Jagger once sang, “What a drag it is getting old.” Of course, if you’re old enough to remember that song, you’re old enough to schedule regular colonoscopies.

At First Swig

One hasn’t lived until one experiences the joy of a colonoscopy. Actually, the procedure is a breeze (so to speak). The prep for these babies is the killer. It used to be, you had to drink about thirty-seven gallons of foul-tasting, metabolic mixture that was truly a gastronomic adventure. At first swig, you might guess that it came from a toxic waste dump. It’s actually prescribed by your attending physician, so you know it has to be good for you.

You then spend the next several hours displacing any unwanted particles of food (or whatever else you like to digest) from your colon. This amounts to living in the bathroom for what seems like a day and a half with your ankle chained to the toilet. This is not something I would recommend for the first few days of your vacation. Do this on your employer’s time if you can. If you’re retired like me… Well, if you’re retired like me, you may want to avoid the entire experience. You might die sooner, but at least you’ll die happy.

Fortunately, things have improved. I just checked WebMD and they recommend picking up the following items a few days prior to your big event:

  • Prescription for an over-the-counter laxative specified by your MD
  • Low-fiber food
  • Sports drinks, juices, and broths
  • Moist wipes
  • (and last but not least) Diaper cream

This sounded like so much fun, I immediately called my friendly, neighborhood gastroenterologist to schedule one. Can’t wait…

Please, Pray for Me

I hope this all goes well. If I’ve got to do this every year, I might not last to the ripe old age of seventy-five. I’m not sure my innards can take it. As we in the church like to say in times like these, “Pray for me.”

The Jews of the Old Testament used to make annual sacrifices to atone for their sin. In Christianity, we believe that the sacrifice of Jesus cleansed us from our sin, once and for all, eliminating the need for the yearly thing. I believe that with all my heart. But apparently it doesn’t cover colons. We still need to cleanse those regularly.

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