When colonoscopy met up with motivation

I have written extensively about what motivates people. Last week, I encountered an entirely new take on the theme…….as I began to reflect on my colonoscopy.

If you want to know what a colonoscopy is, I refer you to Dave Barry’s hysterical description.

A few days ago, I also had the dubious honour of “turning my back” on a doctor in an examining room. For all my worries and deep breaths of apprehension beforehand, I feel that Mr Barry did not share my ridiculous set of circumstances.

Let’s go back to the previous afternoon, when I had to open the first of 2 sachets. I was instructed to add the sherbet-like powder to cold water. Ominously, the instructions said that if the mixture heats up, I should not commence drinking until it had cooled down.

What? I had visions of 3 Shakespearean witches, stirring the spoon in my cup. Hot steam, oozing out of a fizzy mess. Anyway, I downed the concoction quickly, and expected to have to rush off to the small room very quickly.

In fact, nothing happened. And that’s when you begin to get worried. Because you know that if you do not empty out the system, all the fasting and liquid diet up to then will have been a waste of time. It was 5 hours later as I was about to go to bed, when the “heavens opened”. It may not have been rain, but there was a lot of thunder.

Well that was good news. Except that my doctor’s instructions told me that I now had to reach for the next sachet. More visions of cauldrons.

The next morning, I got up early. Nerves, you may think. No, not really. It was time to take the final eye-watering solution. How women go through this every time before they give birth, I do not know.

My wife really was very good to me. Showed concern, sympathy, and even produced some genuine smiles. Worse, she took a route to the hospital which skipped all the traffic jams. She was determined that I would not miss out on the fun…..which was only just beginning.

We found the gastro department without any problems, unfortunately. Inside, we had to wait until the nurse had finished her vitally important conversation on the mobile regarding her holiday plans. I took the opportunity to look around and read a sign asking members of the public to switch off their phones. Say no more!

Madam nurse finally greeted me with the words “the doctor has been delayed by traffic”. My face gave a response implying “oh no problem”. Meanwhile, something inside me was shouting “I have come all this way, on time, nervous, and the expletive expletive is late! Is this a scene from candid camera?”

Still, we progressed. She took my blood pressure. Now, I had to wonder. Here I am, hungry, tired and worried, and they want to test my pressure level. Did anyone consider how uptight I was and they might get a false reading? In fact, she pumped me up twice, because the print out from the first machine inferred that I had three hearts.

And then it was time to put a needle in my arm. OK. One needle in one arm. Simple? Madam nurse just left it there. No fluid. That would come once I had been wheeled on to the room with weird machines. She had brutally stabbed my delicate body because that was what the rule book said was next on the list, regardless of the need. So, I had to lie there in some discomfort for no reason, waiting for doctor!

Stupid, you may think. Now get this. As I am cursing my luck and wishing I had a fullish whisky flask next to me, I was given a consent paper to sign. In less than 10 lines it asked for my permission that in case something goes wrong, the staff can do whatever they want – including leave the country on the next plane – and I will have no objection. Cool, why not, who could say no to that? Why was somebody hinting that anything could go wrong? Anyway, nobody gave me a pen, as the nurse hit the phone drug again.

Finally, I was asked to get undressed…. with the damn needle still protruding out of my side. Did anybody think of drawing up a workflow for these people? I can tell you I began to understand how disabled folks have to cope, and just how capable they are.

The big moment arrived. Off they took my bed to the doctor, and they made sure I was on it. They look after the important details. And that doc is also no fool. After a quick good morning, he immediately shoved the consent form in my face with a free bonus pen. My lucky day.

30 minutes of my life disappeared. I woke up to be told that all was OK. I was handed my health card and a letter from the doctor, and we left for home. And I was feeling dead pleased with myself. Why?

There was nothing truly difficult or painful. I had been anxious beforehand. The 48 hours beforehand was annoying, but not terrible. There are many many worse medical procedures.

 For all that, I realised that I had beaten my “internal fears”. I had been determined to get over this issue, and move on. With hindsight, I had treated the matter, just as if approaching a troublesome professional problem or trying to improve my running. I was determined to succeed and knew that I could if I wanted to. Nothing – not even a silly nurse – was going to stop me getting it right.

Back in my own sweet smelling lounge, armed with a much needed coffee in my favourite mug, I read the doctor’s note…………with another person’s name on it. I had been given the wrong person’s file, and will have to return to the hospital next week. Scream!

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6 Comments on “When colonoscopy met up with motivation”


  1. […] Colonoscopy and the motivation gameplay « Afternoon Tea In Jerusalem […]


  2. Colonoscopy and the motivation gameplay « Afternoon Tea In Jerusalem…

    I found your entry interesting do I’ve added a Trackback to it on my weblog :)…


  3. […] When colonoscopy met up with motivation […]


  4. […] Colonoscopy and the motivation gameplay « Afternoon Tea In Jerusalem […]

  5. Judy K. Warner Says:

    And here I thought Israel had just about the best medical system in the world! My colonoscopy went better than that, probably because it was in a small American city where the women who become nurses take their duties seriously and don’t think it’s demeaning to put the patients first.

    • Michael Horesh Says:

      Hi Judy
      My comments were more directed to the motivation side

      To balance any negative understandings: I did not have to wait long for the appointment. The doctor was very good, with “after sales” service available if needed. The hospital was clean and friendly, with the slight exception of the nurse.
      It was just that the morning turned into a comical set of circumstnaces, which may be what helped me get through.

      Most important of all, both you (I assume) and I are healthy.


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