Friday, March 27, 2009


Well, a little bit off maybe.  The delightful "sedative" I had "just to relax you" before the endoscopy left me just somewhat physically wobbly.  It was great.  After being fully prepped stem-to-stern, with a painless IV inserted by a very beautiful young blonde, the ubiquitous oxygen tube up my nose and draped around the ears, a funny bite pacifier thing in my mouth, the sedator announced she would just give me a little "good medicine to relax you."

 "Ahhhhhhhh..." If I had to swear in court that I actually had this upper GI procedure, I couldn't.  I wanted to say, "Ahhhhhhhh...okay, you can just hold it right there for a few hours," enjoying the feeling that we think we are trying to achieve during deep meditation or possibly after drinking a gallon of actual mai tais in a Waikiki beach bar.  I didn't make it past the third or fourth "h" in "Ahhhhhhhh."  Then I came back like a bodhisattva from my induced nirvana to be confronted with the already-in-progress visual journey through my colon on a high-def screen much much bigger than my laptop's, and with a background commentary that mostly involved the staff comparing notes about their teenaged sons' bad behavior.   (I kept wanting to say that they are all hopeless, but I couldn't do anything but laugh.  I'm not sure they heard me.)

I had been watching a DVD the night before while sloshing down 8-ounce faux mai tais every time the kitchen timer went off, like a really desparate happy hour.  Wong Kar Wai's "Fallen Angels" had more plot, but the visuals of my colon's twists and turns were just as interesting as Chris Doyle's cinematography. (It only lacked a Tony Leung.)  When I had finished drinking (yang?), the action was getting good for the evacuation (yin?) portion of the prep.  Being a little too distracted to follow another subtitled Hong Kong film, I watched "Moonstruck," an old favorite.  The DVD's extra feature about Italian cooking explains why I was craving spaghetti and a meatball on my release from the Endoscopy Unit.

So, speaking after the quick announcement from the doctor, "No polyps, no cancer, no problems from your GERD, just keep doing what you're doing," I must say that if you are of a certain age (50+), and have health insurance (shouldn't everyone?), there is no reason to avoid having a colonoscopy.  If Katie Couric can have it done on TV and Dave Barry can make it sound hilarious even in its apparent horror, you can ENJOY this.  Much in the way we reference root canals, now I can honestly say, when I am in a mind-numbing meeting or during some other tedious waste of my precious time, "I'd rather be having a colonoscopy." Really, I would.

Thursday, March 26, 2009


Had a pleasant equinox last weekend (3/21), when everything felt very balanced, warm, dry and sunny, but I am dreading the new moon tomorrow a bit. My TCM* source says spring is a good time for cleansing to unblock stagnant liver qi, but I don't think what they intended was quickly drinking a gallon of salty pineapple-flavored electrolytic fluid until my gut runs as clear and vigorous as a mountain spring. Tomorrow is colonoscopy day! And since I will be all prepared, and have occasionally complained of heartburn (who hasn't?) I get a complimentary endoscopy too. I've never done this before, and it is time. All my friends are saying, "It's horrible, and you won't remember a thing." I hope. Dave Barry's colo-column at least gives me honest encouragement.

So I started this day-before with black coffee, have a can of chicken broth set aside for lunch, and will probably get through a busy day with Monk's tea. Then home to the large faux mai-tai. I can't believe some people do this high-colonic cleansing stuff on purpose, and possibly for fun. On the other hand, I wish we had senior health spas where, while one is getting probed, one might also get a mani-pedicure, maybe a waxing, a facial, even a teeth cleaning, while listening to a nice Hawaiian quartet, with attractive buff attendants in lava lavas and sarongs. At Ka'anapali. That might make it fun, especially if my health plan covered it. Then I could truly face the rising yang of spring as a whole new person.

Why can't they make a gin and-tonic-flavored cleansing solution?

*TCM=traditional Chinese medicine

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Some ducks have moved in under the bridge outside our parking lot, having found safe refuge from people, traffic, dogs and whatever else threatens ducks. In this rainy winter, the woodland stream is full and flowing, good duck conditions. But some of our human tenants are complaining about the ducks' morning quacking, a new note in our usual dawn chorus of birds, frogs, a couple roosters and an occasional horny Siamese cat. I like to hear them, the noises of nature waking up. I used to have a telephone shaped like a decoy that quacked instead of rang. It was weird, but less alarming than an ordinary phone ringer. There's something goofy about quacking that just makes me smile.

I'm betting that the complainers are also the same people who have big noisy cars and trucks with car alarms that go off at 2:30 a.m., stereo systems with excessive bass response and loud conversations in public spaces. Give me a duck any day. In fact, I might like a car alarm that quacked.