It's time.............. oh bugger.
Some Hours Later.....
Well, that went oh, how can I put it? Better than anticipated. The self administered enema wasn't nearly as grim as my worst imaginative fears led me to believe and the trip to the Queen Alexandra Hospital in Portsmouth was as quick and easy as was the actual procedure.
It's a big hospital although the endoscopy department is closer in vibe to a village hospital. The staff are open and welcoming and take great care to explain and demonstrate before they do anything. In fact, I was beginning to feel right at home, right up until the point they invited me to lie down and bend my knees to my chest. Actually, I'm not going to take the mickey on this occasion in case anyone reading with a future appointment might be put off.It's pretty straight forward with a feeling of mild discomfort and the odd twinge in the stomach. The build up and thought of the procedure is very much worse than it is in practise. The team were all chatty, engaging and interested and made the whole thing feel as routine as loading the dishwasher after a good lunch. Kirsty, the rear entry Endoscope Queen, explained every twist and turn and its all there on a big screen for you to watch should one choose to. I chose to close my eyes and think of England but the team scored another double bonus point when one said, 'Do you do a lot of fitness Mr Crumble, you have the resting heartbeat of a real athlete.' More talk like that and I'll be back for a second go. As luck and good grace would have it all is well, 'pink and healthy Mr Crumble,' which I'll admit is a surprise following many years of very determined consumption of grain & grape not to mention bacon sarnies, (Best on the Planet when made with Mrs Flashbang's world famous salsa), Kettle Crisps, carcinogenic barbecued sausages and sundry other rubbish.
So, if you find the envelope on the door mat one morning don't go into a cold sweat and worry about it or ignore it - JFDI, (Just Fxcking Do It). Men morph into little boys when they go near hospitals, (I'm an Olympic level competitor at this having missed the births of all three children), but this screening is only as big a deal as you allow your imagination to make it, so don't. A good friend has just gone through two years of pretty radical treatment for bowel cancer and he was as fit as anyone his age. Don't be that guy.
A final thought. On leaving the hospital, (actually I was doing somersaults and pirouettes of joy), I passed this shop which is more in keeping with an Esso petrol station than a hospital. What in the flying fxck are the people who run these hospitals thinking when every third person walking in there is morbidly obese?