Panto Season

Following an email today from a good friend, reminds NM of further bottom of the barrel humour, in the literal sense this time.

In the past NM has genuinely suffered from the real IBS and not just the normal run of the mill pain in the @rse of daily life. As my mum died of bowel cancer I play the ‘glove puppet’ part in the bi-annual junior doctors pantomime. This involves lying on your side as nursy makes charming small talk at you, meanwhile her colleages are lubing a JCB with TV crew in the corner of the room. The first time, I was asked would I like to watch the vid, I said yer ok, not really understanding the question, so a good sixty metres or so of garden hose is ‘inserted’. To be honest its a bit of a boring vid looking a bit like a slo-mo trip on the Northern Line, certainly the gap between stations seemed as long. Well after a good few minutes of severe discomfort, not unlike the learned previous correspondants description, one was told the ‘procedure’ was complete. Breathing a sigh of relief I relaxed, to then notice a team ‘hug’ going on in the corner. I thought that seemed unusual which was soon confirmed by the consultant appearing at 90 degrees to the normal field of vision, (you lay on your side for an endoscopy), for a little ‘chat’. At this point under normal circumstances you’d probably follow though just out of principal, she being a cancer specialist and all that, but the ‘tank’ is fortunately empty.

It appears there was an ‘obstruction’, so naturally one panics. That has a ’cause and effect’ result. To insert the previously mentioned JCB and film crew, they inflate, ( yup, you did read that, inflate) ones chuff with a quantity (unknown, but significant, by any stretch of the imagination), of compressed air. As you lie there it begins to find its own way out through the first natural exit point. So the doc says, ‘we’ve found an obstruction’, your natural verbal response is to query the statement, however your bodily response is to reply by releasing some compressed air before you can formulate your reply. ‘No its not that bad’ she says, and you breath a sigh of relief, well you dont actually breath it as such, more expell rather than breath, and, well, you don’t need to be a rocket scientist to work out what the ‘obstruction’ was. ‘We didn’t get all the way to the end’, she explains, so it is the chuffing Northern Line you think, and she asks if they may repeat the procedure. Being a practical type, and not wishing to return for a second helping of the procedure and hoping the nurse wouldn’t make a fist of it, one gamely said ‘yes’, grasping the blitz spirit, in for a penny, in for a pound, and all that. So after an appropriate interval as the main players sat down to cups of char and the audience milled around the auditorium with their G&T’s, one assumed the glove puppet position and was subjected to a second underground trip.

If ever there was a time I felt the Elephant and Castle had visited me, rather than me visiting them, this was it ….


One Response to “Panto Season”

  1. Hammy the Hamster Says:

    Ah, yes. The old “Arse Cam” malarky. Guaranteed to make you feel like a four legged extra in “All Creatures Great and Small”.

    First things first, the self administered enema*. After all, You’re about to play host to an expensive bit of optical equipment and they don’t want it, in the words of the song, “B*gg*r*d up with sh*te”. So some contortions later, the squeezy bottle is empty, you’re on the throne having poohed a bit and you’re feeling quite pleased with yourself that that stage is over and about to stand up. Big mistake. Intestinal techtonics take control and all hell breaks loose below the waist. You now have a deeper appreciation of the creation of the island of Surtsey almost 50 years ago.

    Now squeeky clean, you present your self with as much dignity as you can muster for your close up. This is much as was described above. Not too bad so far you think, listening to the murmured medical commentary from behind you. Which suddenly announces “Im just going to introduce a little air so I can get it round the bend”.

    Those of you who remember school physics will recall the Bourdon gauge in which a curved tube sealed at one end tries to straighten when pressurised. This you try to forget as you seek your “happy place”, preferably one without images of ballons tied into amusing shapes.

    Finally, everybody concerned has had enough and the camera emerges, blinking, back into the light. The doctor then proudly shows you exactly how much Japanese optical technology was involved. 60cm to be exact. Enough seemingly for a dental check up at the same time.

    On the plus side: 1, Nothing wrong. 2, At least endoscopes are flexible these days – they used to be rigid. And 3, When dragged into veggie restaurants I can say to the tofu wearing yoghurt knitters that I can’t eat anything on the menu as it makes me very very ill. Result, as yoof would have it.

    * Chemical enemas can either be had on prescription (expensive) or as the pharmacist told me, over the counter for a quid. Which begs the question, why in the name of all that’s holy is there a market for such a thing? You can get the same effect from beer and curry and with more fun the night before. Perhaps some questions are better left unanswered.

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