The challenges of ageing

Why is that getting old (-er)  forces us to confront yucky stuff?

In my recent annual doctor check-up I was reminded by her – ever so gently – that I was over-due for a bowel screen.  Nooooooooooooo!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

This poem was penned after my first and only experience some years ago …..


Oh dear, oh dear, oh dear!!

What am I to doooo ?!

The gov’mint sent a personal invitation

to Citizens of Age

to support

a delicate and private health promotion

of  National Importance

it was said.

I felt it my duty to comply

so ticked the box reply.


The postman delivered a parcel

 instructions and equipment


I read them carefully.

Put them aside.


and debated

before I decided.


Took the sample.

Sent it in the envelope for testing

not expecting

any further treating.


Oh yes,

I could not have been wronger!

Oh me, oh my, there was to be MORE !!!


The test it came back positive,

for occult blood, they said.

(not of the demonic kind

for peace of mind)


I was not  in the least bit worried.

No, no, no, not  at all.

I would simply ask

my local friendly doctor

for a sign off,

no further action needed.


It turned out

he was not so friendly after all.

Cross, he  told me off,

in no uncertain terms.

Did not take seriously my lament –

’twas but a surface tear, I said.

He said – Oh no,

how do you know?

You wanted to participate

so participate you will.

You must, you simply must, follow through

now that you have gone this far.


To those of you who do not know

the preparation for the


was an abomination!


Ghastly tasting poison

to be drunk in litres

had the innards gurgling, gargling,

churning, whirring, stirring

till without a warning

out it came


in gallons!

I shat me pants.


The preparation for the ‘oscopy

was the worst humiliating catastrophe.


How was the colonoscopy you ask?

A cinch.

An anti-climax.



Told you so!!

© Raili Tanska

Steps for Peace

Avoid stress if at all possible!


40 thoughts on “The challenges of ageing

  1. Aaaaah the plumber in me is laughing, the poet in me is sighing, yes I had mine done, found a bit of scum, five years on, it’s all gone, no more pesty tests, I’ve received a five year rest.

  2. Oh tell me about it! I thought I had written about my colonoscopy in my “colostomy” category, but it must have been a private sharing! That disgusting drink, the runs – and then gas-and-air at one end and the ignominy of repeated farting at the other to facilitate the procedure which in my case (my colon being inflamed) was extremely painful. On the other hand, once I had my colostomy, a colonoscopy through the stoma was a doddle, and I got see my appendix from the inside on the display.

      1. Absolutely fine now, even the memory is fading like my scars. I gained a lot from the experience – unfortunately, once it was over, that included unwanted weight!

  3. Been there, done that, not pleasant but bearable. I think it’s the embarrassment more than the examination!
    Glad to hear you’re all clear! Good on you for sharing.

  4. So pleased it was ‘clear’, Raili.. 🙂
    “Took the sample.
    Sent it in the envelope for testing.”
    Yep, have done this now twice; the last just a few months past. It sure is good to get the ‘all clear’. 🙂

  5. Ah yes, the prep is so much worse than the actual event. You’d think with all the advances in modern medicine we wouldn’t have endure that horrific torture.

  6. Here in the UK, we do bowel screening at home. They send you a little pack with three test envelopes. You do a poo and send a minuscule sample off in your packs. I’d HATE an ‘examination!’ PS, I changed my avatar – but I’m still Elizabeth, though, following you…..

    1. That’s how it starts here too except our pack ha two test envelopes. If the sample is identified as containing occult or frank blood, then it’s the whole shebang. Thanks for letting me know. I always enjoy reading your posts

  7. lol talk about timely, we were talking about this exciting process at lunch today … a colleague is about to have the experience so I related mine … trying to get to the appt by bus with that spurting stuff 😦

      1. lol with quite a few stops for public loos … fortunately the bus ticket lasts two hours from time of purchase so just cost me time and discomfort 😦

      1. It was interesting – and the procedure itself was not so bad. Just gets a bit painful when they go round the bendy bits, but if the nurse presses down on your tummy it makes it much easier

  8. A friend of mine got that test through the post. She sent off the samples, which resulted in a further test that showed she was in the early stages of bowel cancer. She had an op which included a temporary colostomy. It has since been reversed. Thank goodness for those tests. If she’d ignored hers, her prognosis might have been very different.

Comments are closed.