Colonoscopies, then and now
To the editor,
The article by County Agent Guy (Jan. 16 issue) of Farm News, “The colonoscopy” was quite funny, especially to those of us who routinely endure this procedure.
However, his opening paragraph referring to the SR-71 Blackbird was what caught my attention.
During my shortened career in the United States Air Force, I flew as a Reconnaissance Systems Officer in the world’s fastest airplane accumulating over 300 thrill-packed hours of flying time.
Ironically, there was a common link between the SR-71 and the procedure that examines our nether region.
Prior to being accepted into the program, all crew members were required to pass a physical administered at Brooks Air Force Base that literally looked into parts of our body we never knew were there.
The physical lasted a week and one afternoon was spent with the proctologist whose weapon was the proctoscope – a hollow, rigid steel tube 1 to 2 feet long with a diameter seemingly that of a baseball bat – used to examine the rectum and lower large intestine.
The procedure was quite simple. After several enemas to remove fecal material, we were told to strip from the waist down and kneel on this thing that looked like a giant step.
It was then rotated 45 degrees which put our rear ends in the air as the blood rushed into our heads.
What followed was not a pleasant experience.
Suffice it to say today’s colonoscopy, when compared to the past, is wonderful.
Yes, the prep is miserable (drinking a gallon of essentially saltwater in a short period of time) including the necessary IV, but the Valium is wonderful.
County Agent Guy truly captured the essence of the present day procedure.
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