Colon

Colon: (n) large intestine or large bowel

Talk about “it’s a dirty job but somebody’s gotta do it.”

How’d you like to be a colon?

“What’s your job, Mr. Colon?”

“My entire function is to take the shit to the hole.”

I’ve had two colonoscopies in my life. That’s where they go into your intestine with a camera to make sure that it’s ooey-gooey and doing its job. They want to confirm that you don’t have cancer or polyps, which are possible precursors of the disease.

The first time I had a colonoscopy I went into the hospital feeling really bad. A beautiful young woman from China was my doctor. She was so sweet–but I knew
she thought I had cancer. It’s not that I believed I was free of the affliction, but I saw no particularly good reason to etch my tombstone until I had more information.

So they prepared me for the whole process.

The day before the event they brought in a gallon of fluid and told me to drink all of it in as short amount of time as possible. The drink loosens the bowels and empties everything inside–or at least, everything that is willing to be dislodged.

I was faithful. I pooped until my poop looked like water. (And that is a little weird.)

Well, long story short, she went in with her camera and found out there was no cancer and gave me a clean bill of health.

What I remember most about that experience is the legitimate joy on her face when she came to tell me I was alright. It was so intimate, tender and childlike that I teared up and cried.

Was I crying over her gentleness, or was it releasing tension I didn’t know I had about the possible diagnosis?

I don’t know. But it was beautiful.

So every time I go to the bathroom–well, nearly every time–I think about my colon and how patient it is to do its job.

And I also think about someone who was a complete stranger to me–a doctor–who possessed such empathy that she took a moment of grace and the memory of it will last for my whole lifetime.

 

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Biopsy

Biopsy: (n) an examination of tissue removed from a living body

Dictionary B

I got sick.

I mean, really sick.

There are so many times that we are convinced that we are ill or have contracted some mysterious disease, or contend that we are presently “under the weather” that we fail to recognize what it means to be in trouble.

The body is a great megaphone of its own condition.

In other words, when you’re ailing, every single part of your anatomy sends a memo, an email, and even tweets, “Danger.”

There’s little doubt.

I found myself in the hospital under the care of a lovely female doctor from China. She was beautiful in all ways. We immediately struck a chord of friendship, even though by cultural standards we had little in common. For some reason, she liked me, and I certainly appreciated and loved her for her soul and gifts.

She scheduled a series of tests. I could tell by her demeanor that she was worried that I had cancer and that we had caught it too late.

I will never forget lying on my hospital bed the night before my colonoscopy, alone in the dim lights with a few machines whirring and tweaking in the background.

It was just me…and me.

I thought about my own death.

I thought about dying soon.

I realized that to a barbarian fighting in Gaul in 32 B. C. that my death was insignificant, whether it happened next week or forty years from now. After all, what’s forty years to a Gaelic barbarian who’s been dead for over 2,000?

Of a certainty I was going to die. The question was, which ailment, disease, condition or speeding bus was going to perform the task?

Gradually, peace settled into my soul. It was a peace accompanied by an unexpected comedic, jovial sense of well-being.

For certainly, unless an angel of God was going to enter my bowels and produce a miracle overnight, what was in me was soon going to be made evident–and all I had left was the class and style that I could muster, to deal with the biopsy.

As it turned out, there was no problem and my young doctor came bouncing into the room with tears in her eyes, speaking half English and half Chinese, which I translated as “all is well.”

Yes, my friend, all is well until all isn’t well.

Between those two stations lies the possibility for some beautiful living.

 

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