The power of a praying proctologist

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"Thank you, Sir, may I have another?"

“Thank you, Sir, may I have another?”

All of the preparations for the colonoscopy went as expected; it was what occurred moments before the actual procedure that were a surprise. I planned on writing about my colonoscopy experience in an effort to help others but I KNEW I was going to write when my doctor surprised me.

As the medical team wheeled me into the area, we engaged in pleasant conversation. After all this time, things were finally ready. A sterile piece of equipment was soon headed where no man had trodden asunder.

But before the doctor began the colonoscopy, my doctor did the craziest thing.

He prayed for me.

And it wasn’t a haphazard, “I better do this because I’m a doctor in the Bible Belt” kind of supplication.

No, quite the contrary.

Um, yeah...

Um, yeah…

Instead, he gently leaned over me, the room grew still and he kindly placed his hands on me and prayed. As the words flowed out of his mouth, I remember distinctly feeling that this guy meant what he said.

Though there was a very embarrassing aspect of what was going to happen next, this man was caring for another part of me that was even more raw and I wouldn’t have thought that possible. It was my heart, the spiritual beating of my soul.

I didn’t feel like I was in a revival which is hilarious considering I was getting a colonoscopy and those things don’t usually go together. Nor did I sense that he was scared about what he was going to do so he had to ask Jesus for help. Instead I sensed humility, reverence and respect. He recognized that he was being entrusted with a special task. Our previous conversations have basically dealt with far more temporal matters, wink, wink. As I lay there on the table, I thought, “Thank you God. No matter what, this is going to be ok.”

And while I recognize that some people might find this whole praying notion super weird, for me, I wanted to sing with joy.

Before drifting into a fuzzy vapor, I declared, “You have no idea what a comfort your prayer was to me. Why didn’t I know this about you before? I’m going to tell all the ladies in my Bible Study about you!”

Then his assistant talked to me about Chicago cuisine.

Prayers!

Portillo’s!

Pizza!

Oh yes, what a glorious day! Bring on the colonoscopy!

And then poof, the procedure was done and I was awake. As if the experience couldn’t get more wonderful, I dreamt about Justin Bieber. Not even joking.

So here I sit praising God that I can sit.

I rejoice that my test results weren’t just good, y’all they were “EXCELLENT.” Every aspect of the tests were EXCELLENT! #shablam #eatgreenthings

As the medication wore off and the doctor spoke to my husband, over and over again, I said, “You have no idea what your prayer did for me. Thank you. This was the BEST COLONOSCOPY EVER!”

Me

Me

Pass this post onto someone you love who needs a colonoscopy. Tell them that yes, it’s awkward, unpleasant and a basically big giant poo-fest but s/he can do it. I did and I’m a wimp. I hope I kept it real but not real gross. God does show up in the strangest and most amazing places.

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Colonoscopy, number three…

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photo copy 32Few people can say, “Best colonoscopy ever!” but I can and I did! As I was wheeled out into the elevator to recover at home, I wanted to shout, “Hey everybody! That was just the best colonoscopy EVER!” but I decided it was more socially acceptable to do it in this manner. Do I want to do this again, HECK NO! Was it fun? Seriously, you didn’t ask that! Read on, I’m keeping it real but not real gross.

After enduring the many indignities related to colonoscopy prep, the time had finally arrived for us to embark on the final leg of this journey.

Feel free to read into the title of this post any nuance in my wording. Number three is fitting. If you don’t get it well then I guess you haven’t had a colonoscopy yet.

13. In an effort to preserve my sense of humor, I took a picture of the absolutely ginormous bathroom in the medical facility where I had my procedure. A large family could easily live there. We live in a hurricane prone area and the restroom alone should be listed as a shelter site. It is very commodious.

14. Although I no longer suffered from any burning emergency (and again, feel free to read into my wordsmithing), I visited the bathroom. No Charmin Freshmates but I bespied this miracle product that should be sold commercially. I had no need for its use but I promptly texted a picture of this to my ministry minded middle to amuse him.

images15. I am dreadfully needle-phobic. My experiences with IV’s are quite horrible. Once I endured six months of radial nerve damage in my elbow from an IV. Anxiety grips me long before the “stick.” And once the IV is in, I disassociate my arm from the rest of my body. Please tell me you know someone who does the same thing!

Plus my veins wiggle and nurses complain about the size of them. After two days of expulsion, I doubted there was any kind of liquid left in me. But praise the Lord, and I truly mean it, the nurse was victorious the first attempt. Still, I wanted to just go home and forget about the whole stinking thing.

16. This is me after it’s all said and done. I’m saving the best for last. Just wait until I share with you the nicest part of the entire experience. Few people can say, “Best colonoscopy ever!” but I can and I did! Do I want to do this again, HECK NO! Was it worth it? YES!

Pass this post along to someone you love who needs a colonoscopy. I’m a wimp and if I can do it, anyone can.

Please let me know if this has been helpful to you. I sincerely wanted to share my experience to encourage others.

Five minute Friday – friend

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photo copy 11When someone chooses to call me her “friend,” I have to catch my breath. Did she just call me a friend? It blesses one of the most tender places in my heart.

It’s like a badge of honor to move from being someone a person just “knows” to being elevated to friendship status and I’m not talking about getting friended on facebook. If I am introduced to someone, I admit I pay close attention to how they refer to me.

I know someone who competes with others on the amount of facebook friends she has. It is massively annoying. That’s not friendship.

Recently in casual conversation, I discovered a new friend of mine was having a colonoscopy three days before I was going to have mine. We have shared some personal things in the short time we’ve gotten to know each other. It meant a lot that she shared intimate details with me about the procedure.

Writing for five minutes is a treasure. Do it!

Writing for five minutes is a treasure. Do it!

To enter that private place with someone and feel safe, to laugh and be encouraged, I received a gift AND a colonoscopy. One (the person) was better than the other (the procedure) but they went well together in a weird sort of way.

I received a text from this woman at 6:30 in the morning the day of my procedure. She was checking on me. I would have assumed she was asleep but early in the morning, she reached out.

Do you have any idea what a sweet comfort it was to ask her the most indelicate questions and feel totally safe? I’m praising God for the many people who call me their friend.

Join us for a writing adventure, click here for the deets.

Colonoscopy, part two

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The colonoscopy prep continued yet I never lost my indomitable sense of humor. That’s not ever going to be flushable. Read on if you dare. I am keeping it real but not real gross.

photo copy 27Admittedly, there were many times I wanted to give up. I wanted to eat, relax, have a reprieve. I had already put it off for a year, why not postpone it a little longer? The only thing that stopped me from ruining the process was the strong desire to not have to do it again anytime in the near future!

7. Since I was restricted to a liquids only fast, I asked the Hubs if he and Ike could not eat in front of me. As picture #7 proves, this worked until I spotted him with a bowl of cereal. Since his colonoscopy is next Thursday. I might grill a steak the night before to give him a dose of his own medicine.

8. Ironically, though things were flying and that’s putting it mildly, at 7:47pm, my ability to leave the bathroom for more than 10 seconds was realized. Someone on Survivor ate a bite of pig brains and I contemplated the contestants’ bodily functions in between experiencing my own. “Wow, they must have a lot of diarrhea and other intestinal issues,” I mused in empathy.

9. Following a worthless night of sleep, I chugged another 16 oz. of the solution and swigged an additional 32 oz. of water.

10. Chills went up my spine and I braced for the next round of activity around 6:26 in the morning. A friend sent me a text telling me she was praying for me and we shared another bowel bonding moment.

"I'm not having a colonoscopy in the technical sense but I'm back in Ranger School so it's almost the same thing!"

“I’m not having a colonoscopy in the technical sense but I’m back in Ranger School so it’s almost the same thing!”

Weary and irritable. I pondered the fact that my Soldier had begun Ranger School that EXACT SAME morning. When I had informed Nate of my colonoscopy, we had chuckled a few days prior. “Mom, basically I’m going to be having the same thing done to me on that day!” Oh how I love that kid!

11. Back to those Charmin Freshmates. Truly a Godsend. During my experience, I wondered if I might go through the entire box. When feelings of guilt or indulgence came my way, I told myself I deserved such extravagance. On this morning, Charmin Freshmates were the equivalent of me eating a bowl of slightly melted vanilla bean ice cream with salted caramel sauce enjoyed with an unsticky spoon and that’s saying quite a lot!

12. Then everything settled down at 8:40am. You don’t realize how full of it you are, until you aren’t. I had no more to give and I’ll spare you the biological details.

I’m proud of me for taking care of myself! Send this post to a loved one who needs a colonoscopy. They can do it!

Colonoscopy, keeping it real but not real gross, part one

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If you have reached the half-century mark, congratulations! The good news is that you are considered to be a person of greater wisdom; bad news, soon you will find yourself at the proctologist scheduling a colonoscopy.

How do I know? Well today I had a colonoscopy. Now I’m going to blog about it. You who are weak in stomach might want to move right along. I will be discerning about the experience. My sincere desire is to keep it real but not real gross. As unpleasant as it is, (and it is), you gotta do it. Join me on this journey, feel free to share with anyone you know who needs to schedule this rite of passage.

Here's how things "went."

Here’s how things “went.”

1. The Hubs and I went to the grocery story the night before. A strange date night to be sure, but I needed the emotional support of his company. Together we bought hard candy, lime popsicles, coconut water, organic white grape juice and the finest toilet paper money can buy. My orange hair, freckle face olive shoot was threatened within an inch of his life if he even tried to get one square of the hygienic items we had scored. (The Hubs is getting his colonoscopy NEXT Thursday!).

2. The day prior to the procedure, I refrained from eating any solids and any red or purple items. A moment of panic ensued when I realized I had some watermelon and grape Jolly Ranchers. I was grouchy and anxious throughout the day. The Lord kept reminding me, “Girl, you are blessed. You have insurance, you have the ability to do this and I’m right by your side including your backside.” Resolutely, at 5:51, the night before the procedure I chugged the first bottle of solution in record time. BLECH.

3. Per directions, I drank 32 oz. of additional water. The solution tastes like really bad cherry cough syrup and salt. I choked back throwing up. ADVICE – REFRIGERATE THE STUFF, it tastes nasty but not as nasty as it would if it were room temperature!

4. Thankfully we also bought one of the finest items in the grocery aisle, Charmin Freshmates. I would gladly do a commercial about this ingenious product and if I knew a friend were having a colonoscopy, I’d give it as a gift, they’re that wonderful. I can’t say enough about Charmin Freshmates and yes I am now a die-hard fan.

5. About nine minutes later, it became quite clear that the solution was “effective.” ADVICE – HAVE ALL ELECTRONIC DEVICES WELL CHARGED, you will have time to check everyone’s facebook status, Instagram and social media you even remotely know. There will not be time to run and get these electronic items, have them in the bathroom.

images-1With a brief reprieve, I reviewed the doctor’s orders. I didn’t want to goof this thing up. At this point, I was hungry, tired and praising Jesus for those Charmin Freshmates.

Btw, I’m proud of myself, this wasn’t easy to do but sometimes you gotta go, you gotta do it.