Getting To The Bottom Of Things
A couple of years ago I had something peculiar going on downstairs. No, I’m not talking about weird noises coming from the basement. I’m trying to be polite and tactful. Let me just say that I decided to get a referral to a proctologist. Aha! Now the penny drops – do try and keep up.
I’m not particularly fond of doctors, but occasionally, my wife realises that I need to see one. It was with resigned truculence I paid a visit to the practice rooms of Dr Menuhin. He was the first proctologist I’d ever seen, and he enjoyed his work a little too much for my liking. I didn’t much care for his name either—I suspected he may have been on the fiddle (just when I thought the lame jokes had finished… Ed) However, the most disconcerting fact about him was that he had the hands of a navvy and fingers the size of Lebanese cucumbers.
Dr Menuhin wasn’t content to have a good old rummage inside me with his cucumber fingers, oh no, he wanted to get me into hospital and have a proper go at it. He told me that it was a routine procedure that involved sending a camera up inside me. It was at this point I had visions of a cameraman dressed in a wetsuit getting oiled up by his assistant. I didn’t really want to go into hospital, but once I’d told my wife, I didn’t have much choice in the matter.
It was the most humiliating experience of my life! I’m not talking about the actual investigative procedure here. I realise that going up the rectum is a serious matter and nothing to joke about. What was humiliating, was the pre-operation routine. I assumed that I would be given a private room with my own ensuite, considering that certain things had to take place before the camera crew entered me. I consider myself pretty street-wise and clued up, but sometimes I can be a real thicko.
I arrived at the hospital and sat in an overcrowded waiting room for thirty minutes. Eventually, a nurse came out with a clipboard. In a voice, that could be heard by all aboard the International Space Station, she yelled,
‘Mr Northouse? Colonoscopy?’ The crowded waiting room, which, until that point, had been a sombre tomb of boredom, now bristled with excitement. I hurriedly followed the nurse out of the room and into the hospital ward. Nope, no private room for me. She pointed to a bed on the end of a long line of beds and said,
‘Please get undressed and put the gown on and I’ll be back in ten minutes.’ I looked to my right and there was a row of reclining chairs that were occupied by people in various states of discombobulation. It was the post‑operation recovery room. Some gawped at me with vacant expressions wondering what time the film would begin. Others happily munched on egg sandwiches and one or two looked like they were in need of urgent medical assistance. Directly opposite my bed was the door to the waiting room, a door that was wide open. A row of faces stared at me waiting for a bit of free entertainment. I drew the curtains around my bed and disrobed. No sooner had I got my gown on and the nurse was back.
‘Mr Northouse,’ she barked at me, ‘you have the gown on the wrong way around. The opening should be at the back.’ Well, how was I to know, although considering the operation I was about to undergo, it did make sense.
‘Ah! Okay,’ I replied. ‘If you could just pop outside I’ll put it on the other way around.’ The nurse huffed at this.
‘Nonsense. You haven’t got anything I haven’t seen a million times before,’ she responded impatiently. I felt like saying, “Okay, why don’t you get your kit off, don’t worry love, you haven’t got anything I haven’t seen before.” However, the nurse was a woman of senior years and I wasn’t sure if that statement would hold water. I turned my back to her, pulled the robe off, and was just about to put it on the correct way when I heard the swish of the curtains. I turned around to see the nurse heading off down the corridor and to witness the fascinated faces in the waiting room, entranced with my nakedness. I quickly shut the curtains, put the robe on, and lay on the bed contemplating the rich tapestry of life.
A few minutes passed before the nurse returned with a couple of plastic tubes.
‘Okay, Mr Northouse, in a few minutes I’ll be giving you an enema,’ she boomed. ‘It should be painless.’ I’ll be the judge of that, I thought. ‘All you’ll feel is a cold sensation in the bottom.’
Once again, she buggered off leaving the curtains open. There was at least one redeeming part to this hospital farce, and that was the fact the nurse was elderly and female. I’m not sure I could have handled an attractive young nurse or God forbid, a male nurse administering the enema. That may sound ageist or even sexist but I don’t mean it like that. My nurse was more of a motherly or even grandmotherly figure and her air of impatient indifference brought me some solace.
When the nurse returned, she asked me to roll onto my side and pull my knees up and into my chest. I heard the smack of rubber gloves being put on and then a new voice. I looked over my shoulder to notice another nurse in tow. A young nurse, an attractive young nurse. Strike me down! If I fell arse backwards into a barrel of tits I’d come out sucking my thumb.
‘Now, Mr Northouse, you don’t mind if our junior nurse administers the enema, do you? They have to learn somewhere,’ shouted the elderly nurse, as though she was working on the docks. Well, what choice did I have? My humiliation was now complete—or so I thought. The nurse was right and, she was wrong. Yes, it was cold, and no, it wasn’t bloody painless. As the second tube was inserted, I threw a quick glance over my shoulder. The damn curtain was slightly open again. There was now a crowd in the waiting room all jostling for the best position. I swear I could hear a hawker drumming up business from the street outside.
‘Roll up! Roll up! Step this way for the greatest show on earth!’
When the procedure was complete, the nurse informed me I had to keep the liquid in for as long as possible, at least fifteen minutes.
‘Where’s the toilet?’ I asked. The nurse yanked the curtains fully open and pointed across the corridor to a door that backed onto the waiting room.
The first couple of minutes were a breeze. By the third minute, there was a definite rumble in the jungle and by minute four, I was performing involuntary Kegels that would have got me a spot on the British Olympic Kegel Team.
I broke out in a cold sweat and realised I had only seconds before imminent disaster! I tentatively lifted myself off the bed and teetered out into the corridor. The problem was, my buttocks were so tightly clenched they could have split the atom. This prevented me from walking in a normal way. The only way I could move was to keep my legs rigid with my feet splayed outwards. As I made my way across the corridor, I caught my reflection in the mirrored glass of the reception. I looked like a cross between an arthritic penguin and Frankenstein’s monster.
Thankfully, I made it to the toilet and closed the door behind me. I could hear worried murmurs from the waiting room and then two people stopped right outside the toilet door to have a nice little chat about the weather. I could hold on no longer.
I’m going to skip the details, but let’s just say that seismologists from around the globe were frantically examining their seismographs to pinpoint the exact location of the tectonic shift that had just occurred in the earth’s plates. Tsunami warnings were duly issued for the Pacific Rim.
As I made my way back to the bed, I no longer cared that my arse was on view for the world to see. I lay down with blessed relief. But, not for long. As with earthquakes, there are often a few tremors before the big one. Unbeknown to me at the time, that first visit to the lavatory was nothing but a pre-tremor.
The nurse returned and said I was doing well, eight minutes had passed, only seven more to go. I informed her that lift-off had already taken place some moments earlier. She looked disappointed in me, as though I’d let the team down. I aired my concerns about safely making a return trip to the toilet and suggested she put the Chemical Spill Team on red alert. I felt another unnatural sensation from down below and fully expected the Alien to erupt from my midriff at any moment, and this nurse was no Sigourney Weaver. The nurse smiled wearily at me then handed me a giant nappy.
‘Here, put this on,’ she ordered. Under normal circumstances, I would have snorted derisively at her. Not on this occasion. That nappy went on in world record time.
I made my way back and forth to the toilet another four times. I walked as though rigor mortis had set in and each time I passed the waiting room, I silently cursed the smiling faces.
Eventually, the storm abated. The nurse returned and gave me a pre-med and within minutes I was off with the pixies having a wonderful time. As they wheeled me into the operating theatre I was happily whistling, “Doo Wah Diddy Diddy” by Manfred Man. The camera crew and production team were all there, dressed in wetsuits and oiled up, but I didn’t care anymore.
Until next time, keep on keeping on!
This chapter is taken from “The Discombobulated Newsletters – Best Of The Best – Keep on Keeping On – Book 1”.