Humor: Author Laura Zigman Does The Colonoscopy Prep Math

This article is more than 9 years old.

A supremely virtuous colleague of ours recently took some flak for mildly calling colonoscopy prep "nasty." She was accused of possibly deterring some people who should get the procedure. So I can just imagine what those critics will say of the hilarious video above by the author Laura Zigman.

To forestall them, let us stipulate: Yes, it's no fun to swig quarts of swampy liquid and stay within a few feet of a toilet for hours as your digestive system roto-tills itself clean. But the colonoscopy is an important screening tool, it saves lives, and colonoscopy prep is nothing, really nothing, compared to advanced colon cancer. So let's just relax and enjoy it as Laura's character explains colonoscopy-prep math:

"It's how much of a disgusting liquid you drink, divided by how many hours before the test you stop eating solid food, multiplied by how many times you'll go to the bathroom, divided by the square root of how many times you'll gag, how many Preparation H cooling toilets you'll need, and how long it will take before you cry 'Uncle!' and threaten not to complete the prep."

And that's only the beginning...If you're a colonoscopy virgin, it might be best not to watch, but for seasoned veterans, the three-minute video will offer many a knowing chuckle — along with a pointed illustration of just how complex medical instructions can get.

Further reading: Oh, Joy! The Prospect of Laxative-Free Colonoscopies

This program aired on January 2, 2013. The audio for this program is not available.

Carey Goldberg Twitter Editor, CommonHealth
Carey Goldberg is the editor of WBUR's CommonHealth section.




Listen Live