Monday, February 8, 2016

Good News and Bad News

I run a terrible risk in this space when I write about personal health issues. For one thing, my sister will get mad at me because if you even insinuate anything physically unpleasant around her, she gets the vapors. My wife might protest that I am offering too much information...that most of the people who regularly read this blog have their own health problems, so they don't need to hear about mine...an excellent point. So, instead of giving you a blow by blow account of the last 24 hours, I'll let Dave Berry do it for me.

A dear, sick, and twisted friend of mine sent me an email last week offering this observation: "As someone in the health field, I feel it to be my duty to let you know just what you're getting into with regards to your up-coming procedure. Let me know if this info changes your mind about going through with it."

Attached was a column written by one of my favorite satirists, Dave Barry. He too had endured a recent colonoscopy, and unlike me had no reservations about writing of his experiences. I won't produce the entire article, but the following paragraph is, believe me, right on the money!! It captures the essence of what it is like to drink the four liters of swill, and what follows. His stuff was called MoviPrep. Mine was Prep335.

"MoviPrep is a nuclear laxative. I don't want to be too graphic here, but: Have you ever seen a space shuttle launch? This is pretty much the MoviPrep experience, with you as the shuttle. There are times when you wish the commode had a seat belt. You spend several hours pretty much confined to the bathroom, spurting violently. You eliminate everything. And then, when you figure you must be totally empty, you have to drink the second half of the MoviPrep, at which point, as far as I can tell, your bowels travel into the future and start eliminating food that you have not eaten yet!"

For me, this meant missing the entire half time show...from what I have read, this turned out to be a blessing. That's all I can say about the night without violating the admittedly lax internet decency laws. The actual procedure was a piece of cake. The last thing I heard was an exchange between my doctor and the anesthesiologist:

Doctor: Did you hear that they said that last night over 20 million chicken wings were consumed?

Anesthesiologist: Poor chickens...

The next thing I heard was an enthusiastic nurse asking me if I would like some ginger ale. Just like that, I was on my way home. Results to follow in a week or so, but so far, so good.

On a completely unrelated note...yesterday I received some bad news about a kid that I taught back in my youth group days. Every so often it happens. Kids lose their way sometimes. It's hard becoming an adult. Most of the news I get about the kids I taught is wonderful, someone got married, someone got a huge promotion, someone else is having a baby. But then, bad news comes, and it's devastating...still. I'm always surprised. No matter how troubled kids may have been, I suppose I always feel like they had enough potential to eventually figure it out. When the bad news comes, I think back to my encounters with him or her. I wonder why I couldn't get through to them, I ask myself whether I tried hard enough. Then regret sets in. But I remind myself that there's much more good than bad. 

And then, I want to hug my own kids a little closer.