Because this afternoon I'm having cameras shoved into my every orifice, I've spent the last 24 hours not eating and the last 12 hours testing the sturdiness of our plumbing.
The only fun bit has been scarring the children for life. Well, it was fun at first.
Driving them to school yesterday I explained why I was home and briefly touched on what the procedure entailed.
"They put a camera inside you?" gasped Miss5.
"Have you done this before?" a wide eyed Miss8 wanted to know.
"Sure have," I told her. "Half a dozen times at least."
"Does everybody have to do this?" asked Master7, his knees around his chin.
"No," I told him. "But lots of people in our family have. Grandad has, and Uncle Shane. Maybe you guys will be the lucky ones who don't have to worry about it," I assured them. "But you won't have to worry about this sort of thing for a long, long time."
"Doesn't it hurt?" asked Miss5, her bottom lip starting to quiver.
"Not one bit. When they're ready to do it they give me a needle and put me to sleep."
"A NEEDLE!!" they chorused.
When I was younger I was scared of needles too. I think this stems from the tetanus shots, after which your arm aches for days. What cured me was an endoscopy when I was about 20 which taught me there are worse things than needles. Not having needles, for example.
A friend of a friend had just had the same procedure, which involves a camera down your throat, into your stomach, and told me he didn't have a needle. So on the day I told my doctor I didn't want one either.
"We'll see how we go," he told me doubtfully.
So I lay on a slab and, fully aware of my surroundings, they fed what seemed to be a 10 foot tube into my mouth and down to my toes. To my credit I managed to suppress the gag reflex, but it was a near thing.
FYI, I don't recommend this. Neither does the friend of a friend who suggested it. When I saw this bloke a few months later he inquired how things went.
"All good," I told him. "And I did it without a needle."
"So you had the gas?"
"The gas. Instead of a needle."
"You didn't say anything about gas!"
These days I have the needle. As I mentioned, there are worse things.
Thanks to my fun little chat, last night no one was terribly keen to go to bed. Seems they were worried while they slept someone might put a camera inside them. I ended up sleeping in the girl's room on a mattress I'm pretty sure was stuffed with a concrete-stone blend, and which I've now decided needs urgent replacing.
So quite beside the Fleet mixture working it's magic on my insides, I've been having a most uncomfortable time.
But then I guess, unlike my first endoscopy, I've no one to blame but myself.
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