Steve Jordan: And finally... Is this the end?

May 15 | 2024

This month I welcome my friend Mark Oakeshott, from Mark Oakeshott Consulting, as a guest contributor to share his thoughts in ‘And Finally…’. Do you have a story to tell? If so, please sent it to me at

Steve Jordan ... and finallyNot that it is any of your business, but I had a colonoscopy in mid-April. I have been trying to avoid this procedure, that is recommended for people over 50 for many years, but after much persistence from my doctor, and pressure from my wife, I finally relented. Like many people of my generation, we tend to ignore preventative medicine. Ignorance of what may be lurking inside your body seems preferential to the worry of knowing. In short, we only trouble doctor’s when we are obviously sick or injured.

Unlike the moving industry, where my trust is based upon experience, my procrastination also comes from a general distrust of the medical profession. I see a visit to the doctor as similar to taking your car in for an oil change – as soon as they look under the bonnet, you know that they will find many other things that need fixing.

So it was with some trepidation that I arrived at the medical facility having lived on liquids for 24 hours and awoken at 3.30am to drink the second part of the solution, that is designed to make things easier for the unfortunate soul given the role in life to complete such work. The friendly nurse guided me to a curtained area, told me to undress, put on the nicely sealed gown, and left. Unaccustomed to such situations, my first challenge was to decide which way the gown should be worn. Logic suggested the opening should be at the front to allow you to tie it together but having put it on that way and laid down as instructed, I sensed it was rather too revealing. I hastily got up and reversed the garment and jumped back onto the bed.

The doctor promptly arrived to introduce himself. “Have you had a colonoscopy before?” he asked. “No, but more importantly, have you ever performed a colonoscopy?” I responded.

Ignoring my attempt at humour, the doctor said, “Generally, people come in for their first colonoscopy in their fifties, but others come in when they are 64.” I appreciate sarcasm as much as the next person and meekly suggested “that I had been busy”. We established that he had once played golf in my home county of Kent, and he left to prepare himself.

Then comes the moment of reflection. Left alone on a gurney with beeping equipment around, a simple medical procedure suddenly became a matter of life and death. What if the doctor, like the overzealous mechanic, does find something more troubling? The anesthetist seemed very professional but what if I never wake up? And don’t even think about the ‘C’ word.

I was ready to make a run for it, when I found myself being wheeled hastily into the equivalent of the operating theatre and I knew there was no going back. I was hooked up to even more equipment and told that I would shortly fall asleep. Before I knew it, I was back in the confines of the previous room with the friendly nurse encouraging me nicely to take my time, get dressed, and make way for the next victim.

Apparently, with at least a healthy colon, I will live to fight another day and look forward to seeing you in Edinburgh.

Mark Oakeshott

Do you have a story you’d like to contribute to And finally …?  If so, please click here to e-mail it to me, Steve Jordan.  Cheers!