Friday, September 4, 2009


I am a drug rep. Since becoming one I've come to see and speak the world a little differently. For instance, because I've pedaled gastrointestinal drugs I'm now very comfortable discussing fecal matter, evacuation, bulking agents, and stool habits, though I am sickened when blogs feature posts on potty training processes. For if we're talking digestive results, my clinical hat is on; and my personal prism dictates that potty training isn't deserving of that particular beanie--so let's not have to hear or talk about it at all.

However, I have no issue discussing or reading about mucus or blood in the stool, diarrhea, constipation, and improving bowel motility. And it's not just with physicians and their cohorts that I'm at ease addressing these subjects; I'm completely comfortable speaking of GI issues with family and friends. And when discussing the matter, it is stool or fecal matter; it's not poop, crap, sh*t, or any other informal euphemism.

(Though the colloquial terminology Gastroenterologists enjoy can be pretty coarse. In one office I used to call on, reps waited for the doctor in a designated patient room. While waiting and rolling around on the doctor's chair--just kidding, I can't let myself do that; I always stand patiently while my feet threaten to throb right off my cankles--I was examining all the imagery scattered about the room. A colon model inflicted with every unpleasantly imaginable. A nearly-dead kidney model. A poster of the entire GI tract riddled with ulcers, polyps, and lesions. When the doctor finally dropped in to see me, I said, Doc, I think if you leave patients in here waiting long enough your 'artwork' is going to scare them to death. His response: What can I say? I have a pretty sh*tty job!)

When I called on Gastros I often kidded that if everyone had regular bowel motility there would be fewer car accidents, more summer picnics, winking at strangers would become a habit, and, as a whole, we'd verge on world peace.

So we meet, you and I, and I learn that you've recently experienced some bothersome gastrointestinal upset. Don't be surprised if I start artfully digging and making you slightly uncomfortable with some of the language I use and what I'm not bashful about discussing. I only want to help. You and everyone who knows you. And my helpful goal is to get you to go visit a Gastro or, if you've already been, to induce you to agree to get scoped. It's really not that scary.

And there's a chance that if you do go through with an endoscopy procedure you'll be put out with propyphol, "the Michael Jackson drug" as we're terming it these days, and the 30 minutes you're out will be the best 14 hours of sleep you've ever banked in your life.

1 comment:

Jessica said...

isn't it amazing what we become accustomed to, depending on our profession?