Berger’s Burg: Columnist finds enduring the C-Scope humiliating

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Doctor, I have some dimes stuck in my ear.” “How long have they been there?” “A year.” “Why didn’t you come in sooner?” “I didn’t need the money.”

Gloria looked at the calendar and reminded me it was time for my biennial colonoscopy — just what I did not want to hear. If there is anyone out there who has never heard of the dreaded colonoscopy — or C-Scope — let me explain. Medically speaking, it is an invasion of one’s private, secretive, not-for-public part of his or her lower person.

For those not privileged to have undergone this bellyful of laughs, let me elucidate. It is exploring every hill, dale and valley of one’s blue horizon — forgive the poetic license — that cannot be seen by the naked eye. The C-Scope is an x-rated procedure whereby a gastroenterologist — a sadistic physician — pushes a camera attached to a flexible tube up and through the most personal and sacred region of the human form where even the sun does not shine.

“What is he looking for?” you inquire. He is looking for polyps. No, polyps are not Polish lollipops. They are %u2026 hmm, you better look it up in the dictionary. If he sees one, he snips it off and brings it back to civilization for evaluation. Since this procedure is recommended for every adult over the age of 40, I was planning to tell the doctor I was 39, but my loving spouse carries my birth certificate in her purse.

Before undergoing this torment, there is a lengthy preparation period. Since this is a family newspaper, I shall not use the non-genteel word to describe the part of me that needed to be cleansed. Suffice to say that in Yiddish it is called your “kishkes.”

So on the day before the grand burrowing into my persona, Gloria tacked onto the wall the pre-procedure instructions I had to follow. She then departed for work, leaving me all alone to tackle this Einsteinian mish-mosh.

At 8 a.m., I was to eat a light meal and refrain from all dairy products — even my nightly dish of coffee ice cream — then down 8 ounces of a clear liquid every hour until 12:30 p.m., when a foul-smelling concoction was added to the mix. The 8-ounce clear liquid regimen continued until 6 p.m., when I was to swallow two of the smallest pills in existence. Immediately thereafter, I was beginning to achieve the required result.

The next morning, bright and early, merciless Gloria awakened me. She waved an enema bag in front of my eyes. I pleaded that an enema was no longer necessary since my insides were now cleaner than my mother’s house during Passover. I had no more to give.

Unmoved, Gloria threw me on the bed and requested I remove my shorts. “My,” I thought, “this would be a wonderful diversion.” But my blissful expectations soon evaporated as an enema bag was thrust in my direction. “Now use it!” Gloria demanded. I did.

Now it was time to proceed to the hospital. Yes, I had to be admitted to a hospital for the procedure. I undressed and put on a hospital gown with the rear end exposed. I cannot figure what covers less territory: these hospital gowns or my medical insurance. I was then placed on a gurney and wheeled away to meet my fate.

The pretty female anesthesiologist inserted a needle into my arm and positioned an oxygen ring up my nose. After that, I did not think she was pretty any longer. Then in marched the doctor, all dressed in white.

I had thoughts of grabbing him by his nose and saying, “We aren’t going to hurt one another, are we?” There was no answer and the fun began uncontested.

Needless to say, I cannot relate what the doctor was doing to me as I watched the odyssey going on through my plumbing on the doctor’s TV hookup. Where was Gloria, my two sons, my four grandchildren, my neighbors, any friendly person at a time like this?

At last it was over and I heaved a sigh of relief that it was finally behind me. The good news: The doctor declared my derriere fit as a fiddle; the bad news: He said gleefully, “See you again in four years.” Gloria packed me up and brought me home none the worse for wear and tear. I was happy to be back on my saddle again.

“I am happy to tell you that you’ll probably live to be 90.” “But doctor, I am 90!” “See, what did I tell you?”

In all seriousness, colon cancer is the most preventable and, with the miraculous C-Scope procedure, the most treatable of all serious cancers. So, if you never had the pleasure, make an appointment with your doctor and say President Barack Obama and yours truly sent you.

Contact Alex Berger at

Updated 10:28 am, October 12, 2011
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