As I walk through life today, there is a strut in my stride. I can hear the Bee Gees in my head and I’m standing a little taller, a little more self-assured and a lot more relieved.
Today, I did something to hopefully avoid any surprises in my personal health.
Today, I did something to help myself stay alive longer.
Today, I danced with my personal fears, leading the steps toward the dance floor of courage.
Today, I had a colonoscopy.
As I sit here and over share, I hope that somebody reading will decide to take the same step I did and proactively seek beautiful pictures of their insides, allowing a trained professional to photograph the most embarrassing of nether regions.
As a lover of the spotlight, I never thought a camera would go to a neighborhood on my body where the NO TRESPASSING sign had remained intact since my birth. But it was all right, it was OK, I was hoping to be able to say many, many years from now, ‘I’m going to live another day’.
Embarrassment and all, naked fat man sitting on a tiny stretcher, wearing the ever practical hospital robe, I embarked on a cheek to cheek adventure that had less to do with dancing and more to do with prevention. The adage going through my mind that kept me going was an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure and one-hundred overweight pounds of embarrassment is worth a lifetime of health.
Here is a simple rule of thumb – to stay alive we need to see doctors. To prevent health issues, we need to speak about them and seek cures and treatments. And, to stay healthy we sometimes have to go to the ugly places and let them be explored, pictured and displayed across a Doctor’s screen.
Today, I literally showed my ass to a host of strangers and God in His infinite grace marked the procedure with moments of humor (Ruby, my nurse, she asked me if I feared for my life or was afraid to go home – part of a new process to identify abuse), moments of discomfort bordering on pornography with a side of Charo (Nilda, the assistant nurse, go ahead Papito, scuchi – I think she meant scooch – your bottom closer to me) and moments of tempered relief (My Doctor, for the most part you have a very healthy colon, but of course we will wait for the final results).
Yesterday was an interesting day where I had to be on a liquid diet and consume enough chemicals to literally render me empty. While this kept me at home on my Sunday evening, it was a relatively easy process where the loo became my rehearsal hall and my strut was more of a sprint. This morning, getting up early (before the sun had pushed night away) on my day off was not fun, but it was tolerable. Later, getting to the hospital and having the procedure done was literally, a non-event.
I had prepared for the contest, tested my moves and by the time I hit the dance floor I don’t even remember the music or the steps – all I know is that on the other end (no pun intended), I emerged victorious because I had done something to help myself stay alive longer.
In the end, whether you’re a brother or whether you are a mother, the art is to stay healthy.
And, if you stay healthy, barring any unforseen incurable Saturday night fevers, you will also be staying alive.