In a previous post I mentioned a lady who wondered rhetorically why it took 30 years for anyone to believe her charges against Bill Cosby. I have kept to myself for some 40 years an experience I was forced to endure. But now I must share it with the world. It was the most humiliating, degrading and embarrassing violation of human dignity imaginable. Fraternity hazing? Pfft! Water-boarding? Child’s play! The brightest of you out there have probably already figured out that I’m talking about a Barium Enema.
There are a number of reasons a doctor might prescribe a Barium Enema, and not one of them is good. Now, you don’t just go somewhere and have a Barium Enema; a preparation step must be endured first. There are two kinds of preparation steps. One is a rather mild one-day affair. The other is a much more rigorous two-day regimen. The first day I was allowed unsweetened tea and fruit juices. On the second day, I was allowed water. You might think that this would clean out any digestive system pretty well, but just to be extra sure, I had to self-administer four regular enemas each day. By the morning of the test, I was a quivering mass of weakness. I really didn’t care what the results of the test might turn out to be. All I wanted to do was get the thing over with so I could eat something. Anything.
It occurred to me that this might actually be part of their strategy. Once you’re feeling so crummy that you fix yourself on one single goal, you’ll be prepared to endure the most unimaginable indignities to the human body with little resistance, just to finally reach that single goal.
The sign above the entrance to the building said “Medical Arts.” Ha! I knew, even then, that “art” had nothing to do with what was about to happen to me. There was a row of examining rooms along one side of a hallway, each filled with X-ray equipment. The other side of the hallway was lined with windows and those plastic suction chairs that always have a wet spot on them when you get up. I never could figure that out. My pants would be dry, but there would be a wet spot on the chair. People reading two-year-old magazines occupied most of the chairs. I think they were running a sort of Barium Enema assembly line. Beside each examining room was a small dressing room, and each dressing room had it’s own toilet. That should tell you something right there. Anyway, they gave me this paper napkin gown and some paper slippers, told me to undress, put on the gown and slippers (with the opening of the gown in back) and wait. I had just about gotten the wooden bench warmed up, when I was called into the examining room. I was greeted there by two attractive young ladies. They always have women examine men and vice versa, just to add to the patient’s humiliation. They invited me to recline on their X-ray table – facing away from them.
I don’t want to offend any tender sensibilities here, especially if I haven’t already done so, but you need to know that professional Barium Enema equipment is designed to prevent itself from backing out of the intended victim by inflating a small balloon around the probe once inside. This is an absolute necessity, because the fluid used, though looking like milk, has the consistency of 10W-40 motor oil. I think some of the race cars at the Indy 500 use it. Anyway, once they start pumping the stuff into you, that little balloon starts to feel like the Goodyear blimp. I don’t know what the working pressure is, but it feels like about 40,000 pounds per square inch
The X-ray equipment, as nearly as I could ascertain operated like an over sized 35mm camera with a motorized film advance. Each time an x-ray was taken I could hear the large sheet of film being advanced and another taking its place. The sound was very similar to an auto advance 35mm, but louder. It also must have had some kind of fluoroscope monitor built in, because as the technician operated the equipment, she volunteered a running account of the progress of the procedure.
“That’s good, good.”
“Huh?” “Uh oh.”
I could hear the young lady flipping switches and tugging at levers. There was a long pause.
“Uh, Sir, do you think you can hold yourself another twenty minutes? This machine is broken – we’ll have to use another. Wait right here, I’ll come back and get you in just a minute.”
“Glurf blublif puvd.” Did those sounds come out of my mouth? Was I speaking in tongues? I know what I wanted to say. I just wanted to ask if I could be allowed to die in peace.
So there I was, five minutes later, following the technician down the hallway, carrying my professional Barium Enema equipment like an I.V., still hooked up. Despite the little balloon, some inevitable leakage had occurred and it was dribbling down the backs of my legs. Some of it was forming a little trail down the hallway and some was running into my paper slippers and squishing between my toes. Between accommodating that balloon and trying to keep those paper slippers on, I was sort of waddling and shuffling my way down the hall. The people sitting in the plastic chairs buried their faces in their magazines, trying to pretend they didn’t see me. By this time my paper napkin gown was wet in several places and was becoming totally unmanageable. And it never even crossed my mind at the time whether it was open or closed in the back.
Finally, we finished. The technician deflated the balloon and removed the probe and cheerfully told me I could go back to my dressing room and “let go”. Mustering as much dignity as possible, I shuffled back down the hallway. I didn’t care about the people in the plastic chairs. Their time was coming; mine was over. Little did I realize that there was yet one final indignity I would have to face.
The next time you have to go to the bathroom, try this experiment. Pour a cup of motor oil all over your toilet seat and another cup on the floor. The fact of the matter is, after a Barium Enema, you may go to the toilet, but you can’t stay on the toilet.
I have long felt that some sort of medal should be awarded to those who have been the victim of a Barium Enema. I guess it’s just one of those injustices that from time to time some are called upon to endure.
THIS JUST IN —–
(AP) Baltimore – Unconfirmed reports were confirmed today that rumors of an impending collision between the Earth and a large asteroid are, in fact, just that. The asteroid, described by scientists as being about 17 miles in diameter, would intersect the path of the Earth at a point where a collision would occur were the Earth at the same point.
Various businesses report a heavy increase in sales of hard hats, football helmets and large cookware. However, a government scientist, who agreed to be interviewed only on the condition of anonymity, stated emphatically that no degree of head protection can provide safety from an asteroid 17 miles in diameter. He did suggest, however, that purchases of room fresheners and deodorizers would be useful, since every living thing on Earth will die.
Senator Mikulski (Dem. Md.), when asked what steps the government should take, said that she will sponsor a bill in the Senate next month to outlaw asteroids. “In the mean time,” she said, “there is no reason to panic. However, it is obvious that this could have been avoided had the Bush Administration signed the Kyoto agreement.”
What part, if any, ISIS may have in this is unknown at this time. However, a White House spokesman said “this is just the kind of thing we would expect from ISIS.”
FILM AT 11:00 …