Joining the Colonoscopy Club

15/09/2011 11:56 BST | Updated 10/11/2011 10:12 GMT

It has been an odd few weeks since a visit to the Doctor lead me to be advised that if I did not go for further tests, my choice of outcome would be two conditions of which one was fatal and the other unknown to me but did not sound much fun as it had the word "ulcer" in it. I was examined manually to support the conclusion in a manner which was somewhat eyewatering. Indeed, if I had been a cartoon character, I would have shot through the ceiling. And to paraphrase a much re-written joke, "he didn't call, he didn't write afterwards".

Visiting a more senior director a week later, he prepared me for a more scientific version of the same process reassuringly telling me that there were many more diagnoses for the collection of symptoms I had beyond death and ulcers or indeed both.

Reading from the referral letter the GP had given him, he commented "Your GP writes that you were not too keen on this procedure". I ventured weakly that he had caught me by surprise, although should have added that he had fingers as thick as bananas. "Generally, this is not a surprising observation", he ended sagely.

I then went through a process which seemed from my end to suggest that I had been probed by the Hubble Space telescope in search of Uranus, although from my doctor's end was smaller in scale.

I left the appointment with a greater sense of assurance but with what was described to me later as "a bit of a John Wayne" swagger, although technically more Rock Hudson in order to avoid libelling the Duke. I was advised I had to return the following week for a larger scale version of what I had been throug


With my pride bruised but in tact, it was only when I returned to work that I realised that reference to my experiences are commonplace in working life.

"They will get us up the arse if we do not complete this tender" was one.

Having been through this process for something that did not contribute to the achievement of my year end business objectives, I was particularly sensitive to this comment.

Next came "Nigel - if you do not sign this off now, your team will be caught with their trousers down"

I winced. Yes, it was me again.

Perhaps fate had led me to the position that I had to take one for the team. It was cleaner that way. I hope this will be recognised in my pay packet.

I made the observation of this imagery to a colleague, which made things worse for whenever he identified such a phrase falling from his mouth, he apologised often before I had identified the imagery myself.

Discussion with a sympathetic colleague led to the observation that I had got to a certain age when things happen. This was depressing. Puberty was so much more positive despite the spots and smells. I have now reached the age of "Make do and mend". My mother used to darn my father's knee length woolly socks when they were past their best. Have I now become like on those socks? It look like a sock, feels like a sock but you would not want to see it without shoes.

As was required by the Firm's Sickness procedures, I mentioned to the Firm's CEO that I was off for a further day for additional tests. To my surprise, he told me that he had been through the same thing the previous Wednesday. This was strangely assuring and explained better an earlier comment I had heard him shout at an underling.

"Look sunshine, if you do not finish the report, I will stick this right up your arse".

Perhaps a similar thing was said to him by a reassuring doctor the previous Wednesday as part of the procedure he was going through leading to his response "Thank you Doctor".

Returning to the bosom of my family that night, I entered the bedlam where visitors are leaving and the hall resembles the concourse of a mainline station at Rush Hour. My sister in law was issuing orders to her reluctant children, forced to quite prematurely from the computer game which had been their virtual life for the previous few hours. While one was ready to go, the other was stalling for time by not putting on his shoes.

"John - if you don't put on those shoes right now, I will shove them where the sun don't shine".

I clenched my buttocks and sat down for tea. I think I may be a little oversensitive.