Wednesday, February 22, 2012

"This test is easy to perform."

At the risk of alienating all three of my readers:

When you get to a certain age in Australia, you get this special invitation from the government.  It's not dinner with whoever works out to be the Prime Minister after all the wrangling.  Nothing like that.  No, it's an invite to participate in a national bowel cancer screening program.  Are you with me?

A large, flat box arrived in the mail yesterday.  Contents: two sophisticated looking little plastic 'toothpicks' for want of a better description, two plastic tubes to pack them in and two large squares of some sort of paper, sorry, 'specimen collection sheets'.

Read the instructions before bed last night, because I can't resist a test, and I was between novels.

So this morning, on my day off, I was on a mission.  (Quite nice to have a sense of purpose.)  There's no way I can say this without sounding either twee using euphemisms, or crude, being myself, so I'll quote briefly from the 'instructions for sample collection'.  Makes it sounds so worthwhile and productive.

"1.  Empty your bladder [who else's?], then flush the toilet." Too easy.
"2.  Place the collection sheet, printed side up, on the surface of the water in the toilet bowl.  The collection sheet will dissolve within five minutes of being in contact with the liquid.
 3.  Pass the bowel movement onto the sheet - do not worry if it sinks below the water - it will not affect the test."

Okay, couldn't be simpler for a regular kind of gal.  One, two, three.  Done.

Stood up and adjusted myself, grabbed the blue ended toothpick out of the zip-lock bag and turned to survey the contents.

Lo and behold!  The 'specimen collection sheet' was clearly a dud.  Mr Whippy, presumably in a bid for freedom, had plopped straight through the sheet and was sitting way below the water line.  Did I just imagine Mr Whippy was smirking at me, mocking me, saying 'you're not sticking that thing in me' as I stood, mouth open, toothpick held aloft between thumb and index finger?
Collection sheet will dissolve within five minutes?  Collection sheet dissolves on contact!

Now I'm going to have to call the 1300 number to get another kit. 

And given the penetrative-power of Mr Whippy, perhaps I'll need to pop by Chemist Warehouse and get a bed-pan.


  1. There's a certain trend to the last few posts, Fraudster. I think a bit of sick just came up in to my mouth. Happy Wednesday...

  2. LOL, Bronte. Sorry about the sick. Thanks for reading!

  3. Oh My!! you have just made me laugh so hard my grandchildren are looking at me strangely!!
    i've heard this same story (almost) from my mother, and she says she just uses a margarine container (empty of course), for collection purposes, then heaves the whole lot in the garbage afterwards! LOL!!! my stomach hurts from laughing so hard!

  4. Glad you enjoyed it, KD. When it happened I was in hysterics! Cheers.

  5. Only just found some time to come back and reading bloggy posts. . . almost didn't coz guess what hubby had? But, apparently enough time has elapsed for me not to be distressed about it.

    Why don't they supply plastic gloves instead? That'd work.

    Get another kit and go do it woman because you know what's worse? Not being able to pass a you-now-what coz everything's blocked. . . (by tumours) instead you throw up (several times a day) and stop eating at all.

    There, I've successfully ruined the tone of your post. Sorry.

    It's clearly not fun but the alternative is more distressing than I can ever describe. He was 42.

    If you like, delete my comment, I know it smacks of no sense of humour but you probably understand.
    Stella x