“Earth’s crammed with heaven…
But only he who sees, takes off his shoes.”
Elizabeth Barrett Browning
And you thought I was going to be talking about prepping and not about
that kind of prepping…
but prepping is indeed prepping…as in getting prepared…
for something…and today, I am prepping….
We should note that March is National Colorectal Awareness Month.
That is why it is August and I’m just now getting around to being aware.
I think most of us know that when we reach a certain age, our doctors
always start recommending certain tests and screenings.
They hit you with that…
“you know…now that you’re over 50…”
That’s why at 57 I’m suppose to be having a colonoscopy every 5 years…
and yet here it is well past 7 years and I’m just now getting around to doing such.
I would rather volunteer to have a root canal in North Korea before I’d volunteer
for a colonoscopy….just saying.
It’s not so much the actual procedure, that part is a piece of cake…
cause you’re asleep…good sleep too…just saying…
It’s rather what all is involved in the prep for this type procedure that is so….
in a word,
We can send men to the moon, with talk of Mars being next, and yet we’ve yet to come
up with a people friendly colonoscopy prep.
I have seen those commercials…
you know the ones…
the ones with the little blue and white box that talks to us
explaining that “it’s as easy as get, go, gone.”
No prep there.
But that’s a test for those age 50 at an average to minimal risk for colorectal cancer.
I’m not average.
If you’ve never had to go through such a prep just know that it seems to be a
challenge for any and all who participate. Even my doctor’s PA,
who I really love by the way, shared with me that she simply stayed in her
bathtub throughout her perp.
Her own little horror story followed with the very next breath telling me
that the prep has gotten so much easier than it use to be.
You’re in a bathtub and you’re telling me it’s now easy…
After reading through the prep procedure papers the only thing different that
I can see is that I can start the misery at 9 AM verses say noonish…
That way the misery lasts all day long verses afternoon and night.
During the last prep seven years ago, I lost 6 pounds—
which mind you is a great thing, but what I endured while losing 6 pounds left
an indelible mark on my psyche.
Laying on the bathroom floor, trying to simply sleep,
wrapped in only a beach towel, can be a bit traumatizing.
For whatever reason,
this body of mine simply doesn’t handle invasive trauma very well.
My mind does okay…tough as nails….
the body however is entirely a different story.
As you may recall, I’m adopted.
Whenever any of us goes to a doctor, they always ask if we or a family member has
a history of___________
filling in the blank with anything from heart disease to cancer…
Being adopted I can’t answer because I have no clue.
I have however always battled a lifetime of IBS, or what my pediatrician would
tell my mom, “she has a nervous stomach”…later in college they called
it a spastic colon.
Nowadays it’s known as IBS…
I simply call it a lifetime of angry and unappreciable guts.
Plus I’ve had my fair share of misery with a peptic ulcer.
So colonoscopies, for me, have been long before age 50.
In fact in college I felt more like a lab rat at the University’s Health
Center than I did a student seeking medicine.
So I know procedures and I know preps.
It’s just that I dread each one like a hole in the head.
There is a childhood memory however, that I carry with me to this day…
a memory that cuts right through my attempted humor over “prepping”….
a memory that reminds me that prepping and screening for cancer, any sort of cancer,
is a very serious matter that can mean the difference between life and death.
When I was a little girl my mom had a dear friend.
The two moms use to always get us kids together and we always had
such fun…there was a daughter my age and we always played at one another’s
houses— going to birthday parties together, trick or treating together,
the circus together…we did everything together as families.
Mom’s friend however had a condition that I did not know about.
I’m pretty certain the adults knew about it but back in those days, of the
very early 1960’s, not much was really known about treating ileitis colitis…
or what we know today as Chron’s Disease.
Such being that trying to “control” it through diet was about the only option.
And granted Chron’s is not cancer, it is however a disease that can be
screened for, treated and watched, lest it become overwhelmingly too late.
I didn’t know about her condition until late one afternoon when our phone rang.
My mom had gotten a phone call and I can still vividly see my mom breaking down
while on the phone, crying.
I had never seen my mom cry until that afternoon.
Her friend had had an “attack” during the day while her husband was at work and
her kids at school. She died a very awful death only to be found by her son,
in the bathroom, once they’d gotten home from school.
Mom’s friend was only in her early 30’s leaving behind a young husband
and two young children.
That episode left a lasting impression on me.
We tried to carry on together as families, but the husband eventually remarried,
moved away and stated a new life…
Knowing that I too had a troublesome gut, even as a child,
this one incident scared me.
I was determined from then on to be vigilant and proactive.
Mother’s pain over this sudden and tragic loss, made a deep impression.
Are we not always reminded in some sort of poignant way or another that we
are to take nothing for granted….
The one thing I’ve learned over the years is that we should always be proactive
when it comes to our health.
I’ve known many a woman who, for whatever reason, was unwilling to have a mammogram,
or to have one regularly.
I had many a female high school student who I knew were sexually active yet
refused to visit a Gynecologist.
I had a brother-n-law who would never have a colonoscopy and eventually died
from colon cancer.
So as far as our health is concerned, ignorance is not always bliss.
Yet that’s not to say that all screenings catch things early or in time.
But I honestly believe that by trying to stay on top of things we are better off
in the long run…
So….once again, I’m biting the bullet, or actually
more like drinking the full 64 ounce Miralx laced Gatorade, one more time…
while I go locate my beach towels…
wish me luck.
do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you,
whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price.
So glorify God in your body.
1 Corinthians 6:19-20