Thursday, February 25, 2010

Doesn't This Look Like Fun?

On Tuesday afternoon I had an appointment with an anesthetist for my upcoming colonoscopy. I drove up to Blois, about forty-five minutes from here, to the Polyclinique to fill out pre-admission forms and consult with the anesthetist who will be knocking me out for the procedure.

This is the Tour Verte (Green Tower) at the Polyclinique where the anesthetist's office is.

The admissions secretary took all my information (address, telephone, health service number, person to contact in case of emerengy, etc.) and then asked me to select what kind of room I wanted. A private room is fifteen euros a day, a double room is covered 100% by the national health service. But there is a third option, which is what Ken had two years ago. It's called a box in French. It's not a room, but an area that's more like a large office cubicle with no door. There's only one bed, so it's kind of private, but not completely closed off. Ken's was very nice, and since the box is also 100% covered by the national health service, I selected that option.

Next I was given three plastic vials of special anti-bacterial soap and a brochure with instructions for my pre-procedure shower. I have to take two special showers at home. The first the night before and the second the morning of the colonoscopy. The graphics in the brochure just cracked me up, so I thought I'd share it.

The Pre-Op Shower. Translation below.

How to perform the pre-op shower.
  1. Remove all jewelry, peircings, rings... Cut your nails, remove any nail polish and all make-up.
  2. Wet your body and hair (first shower), your body only (second shower).
  3. Apply the soap starting with your hair (body = 1 dose of 10ml, hair = 1 dose of 10ml)
  4. Lather up! Wash yourself using bare hands.
  5. Wash your face and neck paying special attention to the area behind your ears.
  6. Thoroughly wash your armpits, navel, groin, and feet.
  7. Always wash your genital and anal areas last.
  8. Rinse off well going from top to bottom.
  9. Dry off with a fresh clean towel and put on clean clothes.
  10. Brush your teeth well.
That's all there is to it!


  1. Ahhh, so *that's* how you take a shower. I never knew :-)

    I surprised they didn't go into great detail about anal cleansing.

  2. Well, that is hilarious. :)) This will be a great teaching tool :))


  3. LOL! This is SO funny in SO many ways!

    No mention of you having to drink that vile potion they (used to?) make us drink here. That was always the worst part of the whole procedure.

    I can just picture Parisian women being horrified of the idea of removing their nail polish!

    Seems like most of this is in aid of the drs and health care workers not having to deal with smelly patients with bad breath.

    "Good news, Monsieur. You have no colon problems. However, the area behind your ears is dirty."

  4. Judy,

    If you have to translate the pic #6 to your students, I will like to see the reaction on their faces :-)

  5. When the first line of the graphics appeared, I thought they had hijacked the American meaning of douche, which in this case would have been very appropriate.

    What is appropriate, however, is that you have to remove all make-up especially your navel's. It is understandable because that small camera in your intestines would be so close to it the make-up might interfere with any important reading. Also any other make-up should be removed from top to bottom. That's extremely important.

    I'm surprised the brochure doesn't say your have to go to the barber [Barbier in your case] exactly one week before procedure. Imagine what could happen if your hair was one millimeter too long or too short. You might implode!

    Well, good luck with your French douches, they could be doubled with an American one. LOL

    I'll think of you on the 4th. Not Independence Day, but Colonoscopy Day. I'll skip work that day!

  6. I think Judy can tell her students that figure #6 is a clown. That's what it looks like to me.

  7. I'm SO confused. Do I have to follow everything in exact order? I'll need someone standing by to read me the next item on the list.

  8. Again I'll ask, what does brushing your teeth have to do with a colonoscopy?

  9. I think this would look good framed and hung up in the bathroom for future reference !!

    Do you get to drink the lovely explosive stuff that has you terrified of being more than 10 feet from the bathroom on the day before ?

  10. Explosive stuff -- how very apt that description is! You might want to stock up on the softest toilet tissue you can find. In the good old U S of A, all I had to do was show up with a cleaned out digestive tract and a phone number for someone who would give me a ride home.

  11. Oh! But why save washing your privates until last, they're the best bits!

  12. larry, we all need a refresher course from time to time. ;)

    judy, I learned a new word or two myself.

    cheryl, I'm not looking forward to the vile potion...

    beaver, I'd bet there'd be a few snickers in the classroom.

    chm, everybody should get the day off!

    alewis, that could be fun!

    starman, good question!

    jean, yes, the lovely explosive stuff gets drunk on Wednesday evening and again on Thursday morning.

    susan, we're ready.

    evol, but you said it. You save the best for last! ;)

  13. Sounds like a preparation for sex.


  14. I will try to tell as many people as I can in town.

  15. victor, if only...

    michael, they will be better off for it.


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