Sunday, October 15, 2006

Turn Your Head And Cough, Please

The very first thing that I noticed when I hit 40 years old was that I felt like was slowing down now as I get closer to middle age. The sucky part of that was now folks are saying that forty is now the new thirty. Which means that I now am way behind while the rest of the world has gone ahead. I certainly doesn't help that I have end stage renal failure, high blood pressure and am a stroke victim. At least my cholestorol is 180, which is a good thing. But the other stuff? Yeah, it's a bear.

I am playing it smart these days. I do my best to moderate everything I do these days. I snack, but for the most part it's fruits instead of junk all the time. Don't get me wrong. Once in a while, I'll get a jones for a Dorito or two (Nacho Cheese, natch. I'm not gonna take a chance with that Spicy Habenero) , but I'm better off just grabbing some grapes and sitting back on the couch to watch "Heroes". One new thing I've jumped on is hummus. Oh yeah, that's the bombdiggity these days for me. Particularly any made with roasted red pepper. It's low on fat and calories and can fill you up if munch with pita bread. Twenty, no, ten years ago if you had asked me to try the hummus at your house party, I would have double smacked you like I was George Raft in a original ganster movie. And you'd have liked it.

I also make doctor visits often now. If there's something wrong with me, I will get up and go see someone withthe quickness. Is it me being a hypochondriac? Well, yeah kinda. Blacks are more prone to heart attacks and strokes, plus are the leaders with high blood pressure when you break down race. So I will go see an M.D. fast if I know something isn't right. Of course, it's not just a race thing with me. I know loads of folks who get ill or hurt and just let it go. I knew a guy broke his pinky toe and just let it go. Three days later, he died from a stab wound. Okay, I think those two have nothing to do with each other, but that should tell you to go see a doctor anyhow.

On Friday, I had an appointment to go see digestive doctor Dr. Hathaway due to having some tummy problems. I'm not going to give T.M.I. (or "too much information" as the chat rooms say), but I wasn't doing too well there, dear reader. So, the best suggestion for me according to the Doc was a colonoscopy, which I agreed to. Now, if you're over the age of forty, YOU NEED TO DO THIS. It's a simple thing and it only takes an hour. It's all the stuff that proceeds it that's the hassle. I did this before, back in August of '04, although I barely remember it. Possibly because I knocked out by drugs so they could do it. Trust me...You'll want to take 'em when the realization of a long black camera IS BEING SHOVED UP THROUGH YOU WHILE YOU ARE LAYING ON A TABLE. WITHOUT THE DECENCY OF FLOWERS OR CANDY. YOU HAVE BEEN CASTED IN "OZ".

Now in order for them to...sigh, "do that thing", your body needs to be cleaned of any waste. So, you must take an entire day off work, play, whatever, and drink an entire gallon of product that they prescribe called Nutralyte. It comes in powder form in a plastic bottle and once filled with water, you drink it down, where then the nuclear powered laxatives inside work their magic and flush out anything you may have eaten in the past decade or three. If you swallowed a button as child in 1973, it will come back to haunt you. Remember that time you stole that cake from the community fridge at work? No evidence at all.

Now, Nutralyte comes on four, count them, FOUR WONDERFUL FLAVORS. Crap, Crap, Crap and Tropical Crap. No matter what you say and do, it's awful. Now, doctors say that you can mix it with Crystal Lite and it will help the taste. I'm not a fan of that stuff and mixing it with Nutralyte ain't gonna help it, so I'lll cut it with Tang, throw it in the deep freeze for a hour and just let it chill till ready. No solid foods after I drink it. Nothing but clear liquids and broths until midnight then nothing else. I then call my loved ones to give them my goodbyes, place a tv in front of the bathroom door, then prepare for what could called by my Cherokee ancestry "a dreamquest".

The next day you go in for procedure, which isn't as bad as folks make it sound. First of all, they care about you to give you Vallium and Vercid, which makes you forget about the fact that THEY ARE SHOVING A LONG BLACK CAMERA THROUGH YOUR BODY WITH EVEN THE EFFORT OF TAKING OUT FOR DINNER BEFOREHAND AND NOT EVEN ASKING HOW YOUR DAY AT WORK WAS. Trust me, if you even knew what was going on, you'd be pissed. You just don't wanna know. Just give in.

After an hour or so of them running that thing, it's over. All done. They wheel you out to the recovery room where you wake up in a chair like nothing ever happened. It's like you just woke up from a wild frat party the next day and you did some crazy stuff there, but nobody wants to talk about it. They knew you just wated to have a good time and all, but it got out of control when you started talking about how cool Kim Jong Il is while dancing the Mamoushka with the dog.

The good news of it was when I had it done the fisrt time was they couldn't find anything wrong, which was great. But as I get older, the chance of something happening is greater, so I'm suggesting to everyone over forty, especially men, to get it done. The chances of colon cancer increases as you age, so the best thing to do is get that check up now. Doctors are now able to stop it now before it gets out of hand with regular check ups, but it's up to you to get it done. All jokes aside, I've never felt better about colonoscopy these days because of that. It may be hell to drink down a gallon of liquid lava, but it's better in the long run for you.

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