Do you ever look at your friends and wonder how their life is “behind the scenes”? I mean, you sure aren’t a Mr. or Mrs. Sunshine if you start a catch up conversation with, “Have any tough stuff going on this week? Wanna talk about it? You’re my friend and I’ll listen.”
When we ask our friends how they are doing, the usual response is …..
Then we might give each other a hug as they ask how we are. Yep, same response in return.
I consider myself very blessed that I have dear friends willing to peel the layers away to get at how life really is.
I am so grateful for real conversations. I am doubly grateful for family and friends who are brave enough to share the difficult parts of their life. Honestly, otherwise I would be left in the mire of us being the only ones with problems! And if that were the case, I would think everyone lived here….
While I lived here…
I do know better than to let myself get caught in that trap, but it can seem that way if friends don’t talk about things. Talk about struggles.
Well, this week things got tough. And comical. Yep, this week was die of fright; or laugh. Because……..there just are some topics that people just DO NOT talk about.
So I’ll just go ahead and say it. This week was colonoscopy time.
Ok, I can hear you all snickering out there! Knock it off!
I was going into this totally blind. Never had one before. Didn’t want to get it done. Thought of running away; like to Paris or something sounded very appealing a few days ago.
No, be brave I told myself. BUCK UP BUCKY!!
Fears increased. “No choice” was the mountain I faced. Ok, onward!
I went to an appointment for a consult with the doctor that would do the procedure. (see we hide reality behind totally nondescript words like “procedure”) Came as no surprise when I researched this hot topic to find out that 70% of people who get a script for getting this done actually back out. Called the most squeamish procedure out there. Hmmmmmm…….I still had no idea what to expect. Further reading research was required.
Want to know what I found out?
Yep, when I googled prep, and more importantly recovery, what I came upon was so hilarious that I had to share it with some of the children. And we all had a good laugh!!!! Ah, when you are scared to death, laughter is great medicine, right? Sometimes adding a little humor makes it easier to “talk about” things we don’t like to “talk about”.
We thought this short video was especially hilarious: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vuMqbKoTQkM
As soon as Kevin came home, I told him about these hilarious Youtube clips I wanted to share with him.
Kevin looked at me in pure horror. (Actually, Kevin’s face made me roar!). After all, I had hit the bullseye in “things people don’t talk about”. “I don’t want to see that,” he shot back without hesitation.
But it wasn’t the procedure itself I was looking at, it was people recovering afterwards. And I will tell you what. I was so grateful these people were comfortable enough to share their ability to add humor to a …………ummmm……….er…………..let’s say “very delicate” topic.
The human body is such a miracle, such a mystery, and sometimes just downright challenging to live with. Or is this just a girl thing? Too embarrassed to talk about such unmentionable things with friends?
I felt much more at peace after we could look through the lens of a little added humor to this whole very unnerving situation that lay just a day ahead. I gained new strength, ready to face what I had no choice about. Laughter helped. Another thing I really noticed about laughter in this situation. Laughter helped the children to be more relaxed too. Yes, I asked them to pray for me because this was serious stuff. At the same time, laughter really lightened the atmosphere all around.
And sometimes going along with the laughter really breaks the mountain of stress, worry and anxiety…
The next day as Kevin was picking up meds for the kids, he called me. “You have prescription ready, am I supposed to pick it up?” For the life of me, it took me forever to think what in world could possibly be waiting at the pharmacy for me. So, I just asked him to pick up whatever it was, finally remembering that the doctor’s office had said that they had already ordered my prescription for the prep for the colonoscopy. Maybe some special pills or something I thought. (I know, cue LOUD laughter! Pills? Ya, Maureen. You. Wish. More laughter!)
The next morning, as I headed downstairs to begin our day, there was a Walgreens bag on the kitchen counter. I quickly grabbed the bag, “Man, I wish people would bring home things and put them away without leaving them on the counter,” I begrudgingly thought. Opening the bag sure there were multiple items in it, I looked down into the bag.
“Huh? What in the world…….”
In ultra slow motion, picture my arm reaching into the white paper bag. Super slow motion now…….pulling out a rectangular opaque white plastic jug. “Huh?” This was a B.I.G. jug. GIGANTIC jug.
I stood frozen, mouth hanging open in utter disbelief. It was shock. Pure unadulterated shock. And I wasn’t laughing anymore!
I was in so much shock I had to just take in the enormity of the size of that pharmacological thing. Do they ever give out things that big from a pharmacy? Really? Is this really a gallon jug? I am going to be involved in dealing with this, this, this ~ THING?
Yep, this is the only medical anything that has happened to any member of this family where you would have to get sick to be well. Make yourself so sick, sick, sick:/ Worse than the worst food poisoning you have ever had, before going in for a procedure.
Yep, drinky drinky drinky!
Ok, mustering courage. Yep, I will offer it up, so glad for my Catholic faith that allows me to “offer it up”. Tell you what. This one was gonna be a biggie.
First off, my dad always told us kids to read the directions before you start anything. So I wrestled with the instruction sheet attached to The Jug. And wrestled, and wrestled. Geesh, it was like they used superglue on that sheet of paper. Illumination hit as I discovered why. The insert was (and I measured it!!!) over 3 feet long with minuscule print on both sides! Really, it has to be a novel? Courage! Read the insert. Read and reread the doctors office instructions.
If you know what life is like for a mom of a large family. One rarely gets time alone, ever. This child or that is always seeking out mom to ask for this or that snack, needing help with a sibling dilemma or just wanting to be by your side. So, on more than one occasion a child came into the room as I thought I was hidden away reading medical literature at its very finest! “Mom, (picture saucer eyes on each and every child who came in and asked the same question as soon as THE JUG captured their attention with fright) you have to drink that? ALL of that?
What’s that powder in the bottom?” YIKES!
Well, kids DO talk about stuff, without filters! And before I knew it, more of the children were scampering into the room where I had hidden myself to do my “medical reading”. Running into the room to see THE JUG. After that, I wasn’t sure if they were all downstairs doing this ~
OR WERE THEY DOING THIS?????
Hmm, no time to find out. Went into the next day, and it was D-Day. Prep for a 10:30 am procedure one day from now started at 4:30pm today. (And yes, I was late)
And you know what? I have come to the conclusion that there are some things that are better if we don’t talk about them. Therefore, no further details will be divulged about one night when this lone mom was offering up a night of self-induced sickness for the sake of getting a medical procedure done. Talk about an absolutely hilarious oxymoron!!!!!!!!
Let’s just say, I am praying that the next Nobel prize for medicine should go to the first doctor who eliminates the need for colonoscopies!
As the day ended, I have to say how the best surprise of all was our INCREDIBLE children who came home with flowers and the sweetest homemade Bandaid card. Yes, there is the reason to work at being well, someone has to be here to take care of all these beautiful jewels called ……..our children! I hope for many, many years ahead! So we go through all those things we don’t “talk about” to continue to love the very thing we all love talking about, our family! So I guess I’ve got to do my best to “hang in there”, talking about things people don’t like talking about, so I can stay around to live for these others ~ my beloved others, my family!
Whether or not to have medical tests like these done is up to each person, but I will tell you, I was surprised to find out that Colon cancer is the second leading cause of cancer deaths in the US. Friends, my hope for all of you is that tomorrow you wake, blessed by God with the gift of another day of life………………………holding tight to your family and telling them how much you love them!!! Resting in the goodness of being alive, alive another day, Under the Happiness Tree!