Colonoscopy 1 — Getting Ready

21 07 2013

How it all began….

 

One day in 2013 I  hit the ripe old age of 50.  I figured the half century mark would not really be that big of a deal… right?   Well several days after my birthday, my health insurance provider sent me a mail message to remind me of my upcoming appointment.  I had not scheduled any “upcoming appointments” so I canceled whatever it was.   My Doctor was none too happy with me and called me personally to let me know that he had scheduled the appointment (who cares if I could actually make it on the scheduled date and time).   When I inquired as to why he felt so led to schedule an appointment for me he told me that I had hit 50 years old and the computer flagged me as being ready for a colonoscopy!   All I could picture was my supervisor from 20 years ago who periodically

help

had to have the procedure done.  He affectionately referred to it as “Riding the Silver Stallion.”  

Thanks for the imagery Dr. L.     That was back when I was 30 and had no thoughts of having any such procedure done anytime soon.  I was not even thinking about 20 years in the future… My how time flies!!!  So here I am 20 years and 70 thousand dollars in salary increases later… now awaiting the my first colonoscopy procedure.

 

Its not just a one stop shop deal any more.   Now in order to make the test easier the preferred method is to put the patient to sleep.  Then its slam, bam, thank you… Doc (I tired to think of a word to rhyme with Doc but nothing came to mind.  Well you get the picture.)  Now however you have to first go in for a consultation so that they describe to you in very graphic detail (only thing missing was the powerpoint presentation) exactly what they will be doing.   Then you get a packet of information and prescription for a prep kit.  

What’s in the prep kit?  Well it depends.  My fiance got what seemed like the nice preferable and already prepared solution.   I had to mix two powdered substances (one being lemon flavoring… YUM!) with water over a period of time.  Also included was an OTC laxative and antiflatulence (GAS-X) pills.  Prep kit sound nice, generic and mundane.   Truth be told…. they clean you out so that there is nothing to block the scope from seeing your intestinal walls.  (Sounds like a I have a medical degree, huh?).  Here I am the day before.  My “cocktail” has been prepared and is being refrigerated, I have orange Jell-O in the fridge and can only drink clear fluids that do not have any red or blue dye (yes, orange is fine).  My last solid food was my son’s birthday cake last night.  One good thing that will come of this is that I will lose a few pounds in the process.  I’ve been trying to get some weight off but every time I lose it, I find it again.  Well drastic times call for drastic measures!   The trick will be keep it off.

One thing I found out about colonoscopies too, ask anybody about them.  Everybody has an opinion.  Good, bad, wrong, or indifferent.  Why, there’s even a dummies book out on the subject!  Not saying that you are one if you read it… I’m just saying its out there.

So this is my weekend with my kids and I am at the point where now I can’t eat and I have sit around and smell food getting prepared and watch everyone else eat while I sip water, apple juice or other clear liquids.   They say I can have seven up or ginger ale.   Seriously?  I’m already going into a procedure that is going produce gas… why in the word do I want to add to it prematurely?  Go figure.

 

Well I of course am not anxious about this or anything and I am very relaxed and ready to grab the bull by the horns (hmmmm wrong imagery wrongthere) and get this job done.  Tomorrow is the big day, but today is the one I need to make it through!  And yes… I will be posting an after action blog report.   Until next time!

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This is NOT and Exit

15 05 2013

firedrillWe were enjoying one our favorite past times–NOT– yesterday here at work.

  There was a fire drill!  

ARRRRGH.  They always occur right when you get settled in and you are in a very productive mode.   You have all your ducks in a row ducksand then the bell.  And, of course, one of those bells and annoying flashing lights is right over my desk.  So I can’t say that I didn’t hear it and to try to even suggest that I couldn’t see the light would be as far fetched as one could get.fire

The fire drill is really not the subject of this blog post.   Although, this was one of the shortest fire drills that we ever had and it was not a “full blown” drill.  That is to say, the fire department was not on scene with the trucks truck(you say ‘seriously?’  Yes… seriously).  Getting back to ranch… ( a phrase my English Professor from College English 101 used to use because he was always getting off topic.. as I have just done again) the thing that I saw yesterday that jumped out at me for the first time was a sign.  Not just any old sign now.  It is one of those signs that I have, literally, passed more than 1,000  times!  

Between the first and second floors in my building we have a mezzanine level.  It is basically where the maintenance staff sets up shop and has their offices.  Well as I was walking up the steps yesterday (waiting in line for an elevator after a fire drill is NOT an option for me.  I don’t have that kind of time to waste) and as I was going past the mezzanine level door opened!  That had never happened before and I have been in this building now for a little over 5 years!

As I think about it now… that had to have been the trigger!  The signnoexit on the door reads:  This is NOT an EXIT.  You can imagine how the “king of imponderables” would react to seeing such a sign and then seeing someone exiting the floor via the very same door.  Now I realize that this could all just be a matter of perspective, but I’m just saying.  So the question becomes, when I leave the staircase am I exiting a floor or entering a floor.  I suppose the argument could be made that I am exiting the staircase but who in the world thinks like that?  I can’t be going crazy because I am LEFT handed (although you can’t tell from my typing so I thought I’d enlighten you) so that means I’m always in my RIGHT mind.  I’m just saying.  So for the sake of argument and because this is MY blog, shouldn’t the sign read:  This is NOT entrancean ENTRANCE… or… I’ve got it… I work for a company that is so Politically correct they would buy this…. it should read… This is NOT and ENTRANCE/EXIT!  Which would lead me to yet another blog post…. Why is the door even there!

Well, it doesn’t matter.  I can blog until I’m blue in the fingers… and with my complexion that would be quite a feat… but I can pretty much guarantee that the sign will not change and that someone, somewhere has already made the decision that the sign– no matter how confusing it is to the 10 percent of us in the world who are lefties– serves its purpose and will not be changed… that is… until one day… someone among the “powers that be” happens to be walking up the steps after a fire drill and someone exits the entrance just as they are passing the door…  the sign will be changed in less than 24 hours.





Afraid or Afeared?

6 05 2013
Image

AFRAID

When I was growing up and people were scared of things, generally the younger the age the more you were likely to be afraid, however  the older you were the more likely it was that you would be afeared.  Little did I know it, but I was just in the the beginning stages of developing what I would later come to know as pet peeves… and in my half century (just like everyone else) I have developed quite a few.

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AFEARED

The reason I even bring this up has to do with this morning’s ride into work.  I picked up a taxi at the slug line this morning. (The ride was still free, the driver just wanted to use the HOV lanes and taxis can do HOV-2 [two people in the car] and are not restricted to HOV-3. Now this taxi was a minivan and he could have take 5 people if he wanted to,  but for whatever his reasons were he only picked up 1 rider and I was the dude at the front of the  ine so I got first pick.  I thought to myself how lucky I was.  Then the driver took off.  I knew I was in trouble right away.  Notice I said I got in, but I never said anything about the door closing?  Well it was one of those automatic jobs and it was closing on its own.

The driver was not about to wait for it and cramp his style.  Or perhaps he had things to do and places to go.  The fact that the passenger (ummm that would be me) could have fallen out Image at any moment before the door closed did not seem to phase him int he least. It felt like we were in the Pole Position at the Indy 500. My first thought definitely was NOT… “You’re in good hands with Allstate.”  In fact I came to realized that I was afeared.  Yes, you read that right.   Not AFRAID…  AFEARED!

speedy gonzales
So Speedy Gonzales; as I have so affectionately nicknamed my driver (and that’s being very kind), was zipping in an out of traffic like a mad man.  He was cutting his corners a ittle too close.  By all rights by the time we had gone 1 mile we probably should have died 5 times!  I could only eyeball it, but it looked like he was only leaving about 3.6789 inches  clearance between the van we were in and the vehicles we were passing.  Some of those we were almost pushing  because my driver did not feel a need to slow down just because the brake lights went on in the car in front of us.  No, it was much easier to slow down at the very last minute.  Many people were getting out of his way; I was trapped and did not have the luxury.   I could only think that this is what it felt like to be afeared.  I tried closing my eyes at one point— mistake.  The way the car was jerking this way and that and slowing down at will, (if it is possible) my imagination of what was happening was much worse that what was actually occurring    I decided to keep the eyes open and then, at least, if I was going to dies I could see how it happened.  How that would be helpful to me, I’m not sure, but that’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

So that was all of the negative stuff.  There were two positive saving graces.  First… I was running late to begin with and Speedy helped to make up some of my lost time.  And secondly when I told him where I wanted to be dropped off, he did not take me to the typical  drop off point for that area which is 2 1/2 blocks away from my building; so I would have to walk a little…  He dropped me off right across to street from by building!  That saved me even more time. So I can be thankful for those little things, but most of all I can be thankful that I survived!  And… not that I didn’t trust the driver, I waved him by and decided to not try to cross the street in front of him.  Good call, I think!





I Think My Big Brother Was Wrong

27 07 2012

Ever have one of those days where you think about a thousand and one things from the past?  I have and today was one of them.  I was helping a friend of mine out with something and she said something that my brother used to say thirty years ago!  My brother’s first two initials are A and C.  He had this saying, and I’m not sure if it was borrowed or if it is/was original, but I liked it and it was who he was.  I’ll have to edit it a bit so that it is politically correct (wow, I think I have definitely matured).  Talking about himself he used to say:

A. C. Rolle, sweet man of soul…   

  • Woman’s pet
  • some mens fret
  • and some mens pinup poster. 

He’s not the baddest man in the world, but he’s in the top two because his little brother (that would be me)  is still living.

Of course that was back in the 70s and 80s when bad meant good.  Yeah I know,  go figure.  But what did I mean when I said my brother was wrong?  My big brother is the baddest man in the world!  And… I guess, by his rating that makes me #2 because we’re both still living.  ‘Nuff said.





Why Slug ends with UG!

20 06 2012

Well if I did not know before, I do believe that I now know why slug ends with UG!

This morning I was running just a little late and I needed transportation.  I had to get to work FAST!  PRONTO!  ASAP! THE SOONER THE BETTER!  Well, I think you get the idea.  I got a valuable piece of information the other day.  I have riding the Pentagon slug line when I am late in the morning for about four months now.  A few days ago I inquired about the other lines and found out that the line that I have been watching for some time now and that is just 20 feet from the line that I sand, actually goes directly to my final destination!  UG!  All this time now, when I have been taking the Pentagon slug line, I have had to either walk to Crystal City or try to catch a connecting bus or Metro train!  UG!  UG!  UG!

Of course that is not what prompted the initial reason for this post and my initial UG.  When I got in the driver’s car this morning I thought I was about to die.  This driver was obviously a driver an the he VERY OBVIOUSLY smoked in his car. UGH!  I’m pretty sure my forehead read:  GAG ME!  As soon as I got in the car he glanced in the rear view mirror and started the air circulating.  I made it to Crystal City in record time, but at what price to my health?  Gag Me!  I suppose beggars can’t be choosers! <cough, cough>.

The life of a slug sure is interesting.





There I go Shaving the Yak Again!

9 04 2012

It is very likely that you will not fully understand this post unless you have read my December 3, 2010 about Shaving The Yak.  As soon as you read it,  I am sure you will be able to relate all too well.

I had my Saturday pretty well planned out this past weekend.  In fact I even knew what time I was going start each task and end each one; and it was going to happen exactly as I had planned without fail because I had it written down and plotted out, right?

Oh, I see.  You’ve been there before too! 

After what actually happened I had to send a message to my friend who follows my blog quite closely to tell her, “There I go “Shaving the Yak” again.”  So just what does that mean?

You  may not believe it, but here’ show it happened, one bright summer day, a little bug sneezed…   Oh wait same concept, wrong story.  That line is from the first page of the Dr. Seuss Book “Because a Little Bug Went Kerchoo!”  Funny story about the chain reaction created by a little bug’s sneeze… an even more juvenile version of the house that Jack Built, I guess.   Having 7 children I ‘ve only read it a few hundred times.   I digress.  Back to the ranch… Here’s my story…

I had pretty much decided that I had bitten off more than I could chew and decided to put some stuff off (see my post on procrastination) until Monday and tackle one major job that I had been putting off since Adam and Eve were in the Garden of Eden (careful, now I’m showing my age).    I was going to get my bedroom in order.  The major and most important chore, of course… for those who know me, was to tackle the mess at the computer table!

Seeing the computer reminded me that if I was going to clean it up, this would be a GREAT opportunity to set up the dual monitor display that I have been wanting to do for almost a year now which would help me immensely with developing websites (oh boy!  Here we go!)

Of course,  in order for me to do that I needed to open the computer up to determine what slots I had available so that I could determine the type of graphics card I would need to purchase for the second monitor.  No sweat right?  WRONG!  First I had to go into my workroom and find the computer tools (I have three sets) but the workroom… well that’s another job waiting to be tackled.  Thankfully, I spotted a set of tools so I did not have to clean the whole workroom before I actually could find the tools to start the job in the bedroom that I wanted to completed before actually starting the job that needed to be done!  Praise the Lord!

Back in the bedroom now I got down on the floor and under the computer table and cracked open the CPU and took a look at to see what I would need.  I could see that in the mini case that I had there were two open slots.  I had to then go and get the laptop and bring it in so that I could pull up the specs on the manufacturer’s website see what these slots were.  I was able to quickly determine that I had a  PCI Express 2.0 x 16 and a PCI Express 2.0 x1 slot open.  Yeah, I know most of you understand what I just said as much I understand some guy who looks at my tires and asks me if those are 20’s that I have.  The only 20’s I ever have are in my wallet, and trust me, these days there usually aren’t too many of those either.    So… armed with this new  information  I now went to the Best Buy website to see if I could pre-order what I needed online and have it ready at the store when I got there.   EVERY SINGLE ITEM THAT I CHOSE was not available for immediate store pickup.  THAT I could not believe so I hopped in the car and went up to the store.  I found every single thing that I had looked at sitting on the shelf staring right back at me.  GRRRRRRRRR!

Now, the part I hate about going to these stores. 

In order to get help, I have act like I am helpless and don’t know a thing about computers.  Also helps to see if they’re going to try and rip me off.  They get really challenged when you demonstrate that you have more knowledge about their job than they do.  So I went over to a jolly looking guy with three products in hand only wanting to know  one simple answer.  Since the products were security sealed I could not open them up and I needed a half height card for my mini computer case.  I played my stupid act, showed them to the guy, finally formulated an intelligent sounding question (you should have seen the superior look on his face) and when I asked if these were half height cards, my tip off should have been the glazed look in his eyes, if not the hesitation before he answered while he tried to tap into his brain cells for information that obviously was not in his “database” to begin with.  Finally I got a “yeah, that’s right.  Those are half height.”  I also showed him the external USB adapter I had which cost $5 more but was worth it to me to not have to come back to the store.  He shook his head knowingly (another sign I missed.  Hindsight is 20-20).  So happy as a clam now (although I don’t know where that saying comes from or how to determine if a clam is happy) I paid for my purchase and went out to my car.   That little nagging voice said open the box.  Do NOT start the car until you know!  Do Not pass Go!  Do not collect $200.  You don’t want to get home and have to drive all the way back!  I love it when I actually do listen to myself AND turn out to be right?  The card was a full height card!  GRRRRRRRR!  

I went back inside.  The “security” associate at the front door said, “Back so soon?”  I said, yep, Wrong size.  He put a little pink sticker on my purchase (I was hoping it wasn’t some type of target marker) and I headed back to find Mr. Jolly, only to be intercepted by a member of my church wearing a Best Buy uniform and who actually knew what he was talking about!  How refreshing!   So… Now I got the external adapter and headed up to customer relations to make the exchange.   I hopped into the car and was on the way back home again, but happy (as a clam?) and deciding already that this was going to work.

Once I got back home I now had to  close up the desktop computer and get all of the wiring back together because I won’t need to install anything on the inside as I had planned.  Now I had to rearrange the computer table and move the wireless printer (Looks like I’ll need to get a small table for that now, but that’s not going to be part of this story or the job would have not gotten done until today!).   Then I was able to clean off the computer table. and connect the USB external video card.  Setup was straight forward and  now I have the dual monitor setup using the Windows 7 Extended desktop … which is (as the teens say these days) really way cool!  Now I can drag things from one monitor to the other!  SWEEEEET!  And if you haven’t already figured out, that took so much time and energy that I never even completed the original task which was to get the room cleaned up!  But that I can take care of one day this week, right?   <wink>





Eye Contact

13 02 2012

Well its’ Monday so it you know it was bound to be one of those days.  True to form… I slept terribly last night,  wound up being up for a couple of hours in the middle of the night, woke up late this morning as a result and my dog picked this morning to decide she needed to be retrained as to what bodily functions must be performed— knowing, of course, that I was short on time.

Rushing around I was quite surprised to find that I did not forget anything!  However, being late to the commuter lot I wound up having park in The Mysterious Beyond (see previous blog post).  This of course had the disadvantage of having to walk much farther before I could get to the bus stop.  That had the net effect of allowing me to miss my bus by a mere 47 seconds (that’s not an estimate).  Could I have caught the bus?  Sure if all of the stars were in alignment, etc. etc… Well OK if I were not suffering from some severe lower back pain, I would have broken into my O.J. Simpson sprint, hurdled the street and the bus and landed right in front of the door before the bus pulled off…. not a drop of sweat on me and my clothes in perfect condition; bowing briefly to the cheers of the onlooking commuters who all wished they could to that too.   But as I said the back is hurting so no laurels this morning.

So I wound up doing something that I have not yet had to do… In the interest of saving time and not having to wait another hour for the next Crystal City bus I got in the slug line on the way INTO work.  I was not sure where the Crystal City slug line for going into work was but, my bus stop was right next to the Pentagon slug-line and I could rid the Metro two stops from there.   My choice was a no-brainer!  I stepped into the slug-line (sounds like a Soul Train dance, doesn’t it) and did not have to wait long before I was able to hop into a vehicle.  <That was all just the intro now for the reason I’m making the post in the first place…>

I got in to a minivan with a lady driver.  Spanish music blaring.  The other Slug rider got in the front seat so the back seat was mine…. or so I thought.  Just to my right sat a little girl with her headphones on.  I was wondering what she was listening to.  Then she said in perfect Spanish (couldn’t have been older than 3 or 4) Mommy, my show.  Having taken Spanish for 7 years I sometimes don’t even realize that I had just made an automatic translation.  Of course if it is toward the end of the day as opposed to early on— forget it.   I guess I qualify to take English as a second language!  Anyway, Mom apologized (also in Spanish) and hit a button on the dash.  Talk about high tech!  A little screen folded down and there I was staring at Dora the Explorer.  I didn’t realize there was going to be “in flight entertainment.”

In the mean time the other person who was riding in the front seat and the driver began having a conversation in Spanish.  At first it started off casual, but then the front passenger decided that he was going to tell a joke… I understood part of it and then laughed when he said the punch line— not because I understood the whole thing, but because it was time to laugh.  They stopped laughing  to look at me.  At which point I stop  laughing because the driver has not slowed down any!  Lo and behold she remembered she was driving.  I think it had something to do with the car starting to swerve to the right– but what do I know.  The driver now starts talking to the passenger and says I think he can understand what we are saying.  Then WHILE STILL DRIVING AT 70 MILES PER HOUR turns to look at him for his reaction! 

SERIOUSLY?  Can the person operating the moving motor vehicle please keep their eyes on the road.  Eye contact is important, but now was not the time!   The passenger just shrugged, so I said, “Si, es muy verdad.” [Tranlastion:  Yes, that’s very true].   She turned to look at me again.  Then she said to me (in English) you understand Spanish?  Thankfully she did not keep looking at me to wait for my answer but turned her attention back to the road.  Well I couln’t resist, so instead of replying in English I said, “No, no hablo Espanol.  Hablo Ingles solamente.” [Translation: No I don’t speak Spanish.  I only speak English.”]  I love using that line.  But (and I know this is bad English) I shouldn’t have oughta done it. SHE TURNED AROUND AGAIN!  This time I think she actually sped up!  Perhaps the fact that I was turning white from fear made her turn back around again.  After all when a black guy turns white, you have figure SOMETHING must be wrong, right?

Well the driver and the front passenger continued to have an entire conversation about the fact that I could speak Spanish and how they are glad that they were not talking about me because it would have been quite embarrassing.  And YES, she kept taking her eyes off of the road to look at him for his response.  Then just to test me, I’m sure, she was talking to him about something that had to to with politics (I couldn’t follow it all) and in the middle of the conversation she threw in “Entiende que alli?” [Translation:  Do you understand that back there?]  Without missing a beat I replied.  “Entiendo que decirlo fuerte y claro” [Translation:  I understand you loud and clear.]  I could have just said, Si comprendo, but not knowing her I decided to reply in the formal since she asked in the formal.  I will not type her one word response/exclamation.  And, by the way, she did not bother to use the Spanish version.

And so it went the rest of the rest of the way except they pretty much ignored me now.  I was amused when the passenger up front asked in Spanish why they don’t just speak English since I could understand anyway.  The driver, TAKING HER EYES OFF THE ROAD AGAIN, said, in Spanish:  Does it matter?  We all giggled.  Then little Jr. (actually I think Jr. was a girl) wanted to open a bag of chips for breakfast.  Mom turned almost all the way around, while driving and took the chips, put them in a bag, pulled out a bag of dry cereal which I recognized to be Luck Charms (we sure needed those!), and handed them back to the child, turning around again, this time swerving as she did.  –I began to have my doubts as to whether or not we would make it to the Pentagon.  Then in an English/English exchange (what a concept) the kid said Mommy I want something to drink.  She actually did NOT turn around and said, “It’s in your cup holder.”  The kid seemed to be having some problems with this and so Mom finally DID have to turn around and this time took much too long trying trying to pry the cup out of the cup holder.  We stopped short of the car in front of us that had also stopped short of the car in front of them— and who knows how long that chain ran?  What a ride.  But hey the kid got her milk!  That was the goal right?

After that little incident we sat in bumper to bumper traffic for about 15 minutes with everyone else in Washington, D.C. who was trying to exit I-95 and make the left turn into the unsecured area of the Pentagon parking lot.  As I diembarked, surprisingly able to walk on what I thought I was going to be very wobbly legged, we had one last giggle to the commemorate the morning.   Without thinking I said in Spanish:  “Muchos gracias por el paseo” [Translation:  Thank you very much for the ride.]  (I was surprised I was remembering that much!)  She replied in perfect English:  “No problem thanks for riding.”  We both realized immediately what we had done and shared a laugh.  My only task now was to make it through the Pentagon Parking lot with my backpack and dressed in my bulky black coat, not to mention being black, and a million prying security eyes on me every step of the way without them thinking I was a security threat.  You know, me, the guy who is always the RANDOM check at the airport security when I fly!   Obviamente, esta vez lo hizo muy bien.   Uhhh, I mean Obviously–this time I made it just fine.