“The day I had my colonoscopy was the best day of my life,” Everett Staley told me. Staley liked to shock. But he tended to tell the truth.
“I hated the prep of course. But the colonoscopy itself lingers in my memory like a comforting dream.” Even now, the thought evoked a sigh from Staley.
I should explain something. Everett Staley’s colonoscopy occurred toward the end of what he called his “Year of Pain.” He was in pain, more or less constantly, for more than twelve months. It had nothing to do with his colonoscopy. The colonoscopy was merely a foil to make the Year of Pain more understandable.
“Whenever I go in for a colonoscopy, I always ask them to go easy on the anesthetic so I can watch,” Staley said. “The inside of your intestines are up on a monitor, you know. If you’re not fully knocked out, you can watch the doctor’s progress. I like to watch and pose questions and offer advice. At least I think that’s what I’m doing. Maybe I’m just dreaming.” Staley paused and reconsidered. “The truth is, I asked them to go easy on the anesthetic this time so I’d be conscious enough to enjoy it.”
“Enjoy what?” I asked.
“The absence of pain.”