• Kaye Curren

The Pooper Alternative

For two years my doctor tried to get me to go for a colonoscopy. She coaxed, promised lollipops, shamed me by calling me chicken, and scared the crap out of me with stories of those who did not go.The steps to a colonoscopy are more than scary and I had more excuses than I had Carter’s Little Pills.

“I have no one to accompany me home.”

“I will vomit if I have to drink that abominable liquid.”

“I might explode when it comes out the other end.”

“I have to give birth to my third child.”

“You’re past menopause,” my sister sarcastically reminded me.

“Shhhh,” I said.

As life would have it, my persistent doctor found another way.

“It’s called the Cologuard Collection Kit. If I can’t get you to the test, I will send the test to you,” she said triumphantly. “It requires no ingestion of nasty liquids and no explosion of uncontrollable excretions. Just a simple stool sample you mail.”

“OK,” I said. “Soundsrevolting, but I’ll try it.”

The kit arrived by UPS. Remember the plain brown wrapper used back in the day for embarrassing products such as sanitary napkins? I was grateful the Cologuard Collection Kit was discretely hidden in a plain brown box.Inside I found what looked like a cylindricalcontainer for nuclear waste, a liquid to neutralize a nuclear reaction, and a little tube and swab to catch a bit of excrement.

What I did not know was that I would need to leave the actual bowel movement in the container and mail it with the swab to the lab.I carefully looked to see what I had wrought and found a small brown blob. It reminded me of early bowel movements when my parents would proudly exclaim,“Good job!” All Icould think was “Yuck.”

I quickly swabbed the blob, poured the “atomic”liquid into the container, sealed all specimens tightly, and labeled the box with my name, date, and time of collection. With a sigh of relief, I knew I had escaped having my rear exposed,my farts made public, and the agony of the preliminary procedures.

I handed the return box (no brown wrapper) to the UPS guy, hoping he would be ignorant of its contents. He handed me a receipt for the mailing and said with a grin,“Ah, I see you took the easy way out.”


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