“Don’t do it,” Wendy begged. “You’ll just make an ass of yourself.”

“That’s different how?” I asked. “And, considering the topic, isn’t that appropriate?”

She could only muster a sigh and ask that she not be included in whatever might be written.


You readers are adults. You know about medical procedures and can handle a bit of frank talk about them, right? Heck, you endured two columns devoted to a kidney stone, so what’s the big deal about sharing some thoughts and experiences related to a visit to Digestive Disease Group?

If the third time is a charm, then Wednesday was charming. If you’ve never had a colonoscopy or if it’s been a good long while since your last, you’ll be happy to know modern medicine has come a long way.

First, a bit of history. What do you get when you turn 50? Aside from that first invitation to join AARP, if the big “C” runs in the family, you get your first colonoscopy. Dr. Gus Ramage was my doc of choice for the first two, but he has since retired and is probably glad he no longer has to start his day staring at rear ends. That’s all behind him, so to speak. That first one involved consuming a gallon of the most vile tasting prep beverage ever made. When it was over, it took the entire rest of the day to recuperate from the anesthesia. You feel like you slept right through Christmas or some other special occasion.

The second time, five years later, came with a slightly improved prep beverage, but the recovery was really no better than the first go-round.

My primary doc gave me a bye year in 2018. I’m not sure, but that extra year might have been a year in which some of those medical advancements were made.

Of course, first order of business was to pick out the doc who would do the deed, now that Gus Ramage quit pokin’ around. Laura Bachinski has endured me enough to know how much of one I can be, so I figured I’d spare her good husband the experience. Dr. Bryan Green was an option, but only briefly. We — and by “we” and mean Wendy and I — have socialized with them at Flynn’s on Maxwell on more than one occasion and it just seemed odd to me to jump to that next level of familiarity. On his part. I mean, think of the next conversation over a glass of wine, right? Plus, I did find it just a tad odd to attend church with Gus after that first visit to his office.

Dr. Mason, they told me, took on a number of Dr. Ramage’s former patients. OK, that settles it. Decision made.

So let’s jump to Wednesday. On second thought, let’s take it to Tuesday. Prep day. First of all, no more gallon jugs was a welcome change. A 6-ounce bottle of prep mixed with water for a 16-ounce drink of what can best be described as a Nehi grape soda. With salt. At 6 p.m., a glass of wine at Flynn’s would have been far better. With or without Dr. Green. That, followed by two more 16-ounce cups of water and I was good to go. So to speak.

OK, let’s move on to Wednesday, shall we? A morning coffee was followed by another salty grape soda and the requisite two 16-ounce cups of water, putting me well on my way to my midday appointment with Dr. Mason.

Heading back to the room where they do the deed I ran into Dr. Green. His sense of humor parallels mine. He had his lunch salad and beverage in hand, and I said something about not being able to make it through lunch and that’s why I stopped for a Dixie cheese, half ‘n’ half.

“We’ll find it,” he quipped, and then, not skipping a beat, asked the nurse if they had the extra-wide rusty scope ready for me. He really should do standup. Maybe during Ninety Six school board meetings.

Wendy did not do as I requested. I figured meeting a new doctor — and on such a personal level — it would be fun for them to adjust my gown and be greeted by the message “What’s up, doc?” on my right cheek. Turns out no one else has ever done that, so feel free to steal that one if you want.

As for the procedure, I can’t tell you a thing about it. Grateful, aren’t you? But here is the best part about how medical science advances have made this procedure a breeze. Well, the breeze does come afterward, but you know what I’m saying.

They use Propofol. Yes, that is the same stuff that claimed the life of Michael Jackson, but used correctly it’s wonderful. Even my primary doctor, who also has asked to never be named in my columns again, said he understood the Jackson attraction to Propofol. I suppose while wearing the hospital gown, I could have tried to moonwalk down the halls of DDG.

Sure enough, it’s like getting a full night’s sleep. In 15 minutes. And as soon as they’re done with the probe, the juice is off and you’re wide awake. No fumbling around as you come out of a fog. Able to stand up and dress yourself, essentially ready to greet the day and all it has to offer. Which for me was a Chick-fil-A combo.

In the end, the third time really was nearly a charm. No butts about it.

Whiting is executive editor of the Index-Journal. Contact him at 864-943-2522; email rwhiting@indexjournal.com, or follow him on Twitter at IJEDITOR. Views expressed in this column are those of the writer only and do not represent the newspaper’s opinion.