Hissy Fit - September 2017

How Not to Be a Tourist Who Tourists Call Tourists


The last 12 months have been dreadful. As I skim back over them, and I truly don’t want to do anything more than a swift skim, there just aren’t a whole lot of good memories. Without rehashing the series of unfortunate events, because I am not a complainer and I’m over it, the fact is, one of my fondest memories is having a colonoscopy. It’s pathetic, but true.

However, even in the midst of bad, badder, baddest, worse, worst year ever, my health was still on my radar—along with waterproof mascara. The American Cancer Society (ACS) recommends men and women with no family history, or prior colon issues, get a colonoscopy at age 50, because apparently, turning 50 isn’t humbling enough in and of itself. Right when your knees start aching, pounds start clinging like plastic wrap that’s doubled over on itself and often you have no idea why you walked into the kitchen, but you eat a few cookies just so it wasn’t a wasted trip, the ACS recommends for us to bend over and take it.

Who knew the drink special when you turn 50 is colonoscopy cool-aid. Nothing like throwing back a giant shot of a fairly nasty tasting concoction that makes you sit on the toilet for eight hours. The least they could do is make the drink taste good. Maybe like a MacDonald’s Big Mac and a glass of chardonnay. Come to think of it, those have about the same effect.

After my wonderful evening alone —jogging back and forth to the bathroom, aka exercise—my estranged husband took me for the procedure. I recommend going with someone who hates you. It makes the fact that you’re about to be knocked out and get a camera and surround sound piped up your entrails a welcome relief.

I was scared. I don’t like any medical procedures, not that I would imagine many do. So why is this colonoscopy my fondest memory of the last 12 months? Long story short—having a colonoscopy was incredibly easy. A few minutes prep (aside from the long-term affair with the toilet), and an anesthetist, who puts you out before you can ask where he’s from, and Voila! You wake up in a dreamy state like you just had the best nap of your life and literally only 20 minutes has passed.

I asked the nurse to be quiet because I was having good dreams. But she woke me anyway, and whatever the anesthetist had put in me turned me into a comedienne; even you-know-who was laughing. I was the happiest I’d been in a long time, and I loved everyone, even you-know-who. They should have had an "easy" button, because it really was.

Having a colonoscopy is something many people put off, some because of costs, others because of the nature of the procedure. However, this easy procedure can save your life. Colon cancer, when caught early is pretty much curable. However, colon cancer when not caught early is pretty much fatal. I’m sharing my experience and joking about it because I want you to be proactive with your health.
So many people don’t put effort into being healthy. Their effort comes in recovery and healing from disease once diagnosed, instead of preventing it in the first place. I see us Americans, with our first world problems, complaining we have to take an antibiotic for 10 days and perhaps have to take it twice a day. OMG! It’s just too much for our busy schedules. Why should we be burdened with having to take a pill twice a day for oh so long; give us a Z-pack, whether or not it’s the right medicine for the illness, because it’s easier.

Folks. My father’s sister died from strep throat in the late ‘20s. We are blessed to be living in a time when there are real cures for dreadful, dangerous diseases. Taking a pill twice or even three times a day is not too much to ask; not if you care about your health.

My dad was pretty healthy up until his early 70s, when he had his first heart attack and was diagnosed with type II diabetes. I have to give him credit for being diligent about taking his meds, but he had another issue. He would take any pill or have any surgery to get better. What he wouldn’t do is diet and exercise. You never know, but I believe he would have lived longer had he stopped eating all the sweets and gotten serious about taking control of his health. He died in 2008, and back then his physicians really weren’t emphasizing the importance of diet and exercise or the dramatic improvements it could make in his health. Maybe because they felt like they were fighting city hall.

The bottom line is our mentality. We want maximum outcomes with minimum effort. It’s wild how someone can be obese, eat terribly, never exercise and then when he/she has a heart attack or stroke everyone is in an upheaval, begging for prayers. I know this sounds harsh, and of course I would pray for them, but how about praying for them now to get a handle on their health before a heart attack happens?

The body is an amazing machine and many of its systems are simple solid science. Just like 1+1=2, obesity plus poor eating habits plus lack of exercise equal very poor health and quality of life. Think about it. Carrying extra weight every day is hard on the body. Obesity makes you tired, winded and lethargic. It strains your joints and organs. It causes diabetes. It increases the bad stuff— risks of almost every disease out there—and decreases the good stuff—your libido, self-esteem and mental acuity. Basically, there is not one thing good about being over weight, except you get to eat whatever you want, which is ultimately fatal.

If I were a doctor, I would be rolling my eyes at a lot of people and feel very used. We don’t do what they say until we’re sick, and then we ask them to fix us, perform miracles, and make it easy. How about start performing your own miracle by putting effort into your health? You may see less of your doctor, but I’m sure he/she won’t mind. There will always be those who just don’t get it.