This is awkward. I recently had that medical procedure old guys have every five years or so (but generally don’t talk about in polite company). It’s an unpleasant event, especially the day before, but it’s a medically important procedure that helps old guys become older guys. So I did it, it was over, and the results were all good. I thought nothing more about it, until…

A couple days ago, I received a THANK YOU note… from my colonoscopy team.

Just let that sink in for a minute: A thank-you note from your colonoscopy team.

My first thought was, Wow. What the hell happened after “100, 99, 98, 97, 9…”? I’m not that much fun when I’m conscious.

Okay, obviously the hospital marketing people decided to thank patients for choosing their hospital. Health care is competitive these days, and hospitals don’t have great reputations. Being “the friendly hospital” that appreciates your business can help that hospital stand out. A tasteful, professionally printed THANK YOU card makes sense.

But then I opened it up. Several people had personally signed their names and their roles in the procedure: Maggie, admitting RN; Abby, Joyce and Joanna, procedure room; Alex, CRNA; Deb, recovery nurse. All these people were part of the procedure. These personal hand-written notes from my colonoscopy team seemed to cross the line between nice… and creepy. (After all, I know where those hands had been.)

Put yourself in my position. A team of medical professionals spend an hour or so standing over you, working their technologically intimate magic. And then they want to thank you?

It could have been creepier. Each team member could have written personal messages next to their names…

Nice seeing you last Monday. Hope to see you again soon.
Joyce, procedure room nurse

Thanks for the memories.
Deb, recovery room nurse

You have a nice smile.  😉

It was a pleasure doing business with you.
Alex (I don’t work here; I just heard a party, and stopped in)

I guess it’s a good marketing idea for hospitals to send THANK YOU notes to patients. But maybe they should lose the personal, hand-written notes, at least for this unique group of patients.

Bottom line: Colonoscopies are generally unpleasant. But they can also be fun. Mine apparently was.

Here’s looking at you, kid.

14 thoughts on “32. THANK YOU

  1. Larry, I gave my team the “gift” of laughter when I attached 2 signs to my bottom.
    One read: “Be Kind, Rewind” and the other was a stamped “Handle With Care” ala shipping crate font and design. (Graphic artists get so bored in their down time.) The nurses loved it, the Dr. was not amused. I switched Dr.s and used it again next time! Glad all went well with you. Btw, I did not score a thank you note for my humor.

  2. The “Thank You” story was thought-provoking. I think you should include a multiple-choice question about which one of the “personal notes” was not dreamed up by you. (Perhaps I am under-estimating how strongly the colonoscopy crew bonded with Mr. Mitchener; and then, wrote heartfelt, or bottomfelt, post-test personal notes!)

    1. Sidney, great to hear from you, after all these years! Bottomfelt… I like that.

  3. Which is more odd: getting a thank you notes or getting – full color – photographs.

  4. It’s not just for old guys, Larry….my doc has had me do one every 10 years. So mine was on April 1. Yep. And I announced to – whomever – it was going to be my last. I call them up-your-butt-oscopies. So when the doc visited my cot afterwards he told me that I would not need another. I told him I’d already decided that. Then they gave me — wait for it — PICTURES! I really didn’t know what to do with them so told them that I would put them in the Christmas letter. Other people put in pics of their grandkids…..

  5. I dunno, maybe they’re appealing to the younger generation that likes receiving these and lumping in everyone that visits. Personally, I wouldn’t mind receiving a thank you card for any number of things I do every day. Generic or not, makes me feel like I was important for a little while.

  6. I’m asStounded about how you’re looking at this Larry. To have such a body that you have people sending you Thank You cards??? One could only wish to have their body asSociated with the likes of the statue of David. And Thank You Larry for letting me watch you in your white tennis shorts.

    1. I’m used to it, David. Been that way all my life. I’m also used to such asinine puns.

  7. Had the same procedure a few months ago. When I woke up I met my nurses. They had to be three of the most beautiful women I had ever seen in my life. Of course they were giggling a bit.

  8. Hey, Larry,
    Chuckles for your cogent comments. This bane of older adulthood should be evaluated rigorously before just applying an age marker as the sole criterion for this icky-to-the-max procedure. Two years ago I was prepped and ready to leave for the hospital when the phone rang with a recorded message cancelling the procedure due to the hospital’s having all computer’s down at the same time and without a projected restart time. Arrgh! I complained loudly and the customer service rep called to apologize 3 days later – not sufficient IMHO!! Glad you got thru the ordeal and got thanks to boot!

  9. Just read that cursive is on that way back and that hand written notes are about to be “in”. We’ll see. Will never forget my first fountain pen. Thank you Miss Parmely at Bristol School.

  10. Well it was fun for someone ……
    By the way did you know some places have the administration count how many thank you notes were sent out by the staff, they have weekly and monthly quotas, docking procedures if do not meet target, and you can sign cards enmass (?) and some damn office will find the address and mail them. And you should see the faces of some of the people who have been asked (?) to sign the cards when they are signing the cards while they could be doing some other work. And by the way do not believe the cards as you are not a patient to the hospitals but a consumer, and the care provided was nothing but a service line. So ” in the end you were well served “. 🙂

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