Friday, August 25, 2006
During my annual blood, urine and stool tests this year the lab found blood in my stool. I don't know what causes that, there could be many reasons. But once this discovery is made, you can be sure it's going to mean further tests to get more specific information to determine if it means anything that will require further action and more tests or treatment.
I know this is a part of the body growing older and beginning to wear out. It's old age encroaching on every aspect of your life. It sucks! Bill Clinton recently turned 60 and his comment was, "I'm 60 and I hate it!" I can sympathize with his feelings. After all, in the past 2 years I have had a cat scan, an ultrasound, an MRI, sinus surgery to remove polyps and now this.
My doctor told me I had two alternatives to get further information about the blood in my stool. One way was very invasive and expensive and included being put under to have a scope inserted and threaded through my colon, a colonoscopy. The other way is less invasive and cheaper but required me to be awake to participate in the exploration.
Having recently heard horror stories about routine colonoscopy that went terribly wrong, I opted for the enema. How bad can it be, I thought? Shoot some barium in my rectum and take some pictures and I'm done. HA!
Both procedures require the same preparation before the test which means a complete cleaning out of the intestines so a good, close look can be had at the insides of the colon, in this case, the lower intestines. So I spent the day before the test drinking lots of fluids, drinking broth and boullion(sic), drinking some "professional cleaning-out fluid", which tastes nasty, taking some pills to loosen the bowels and a self-enema to top off the evening. And lots and lots of trips to the bathroom all day long.
I arrived at AGH Radiology department on Friday morning and donned my gown and lay on the table all ready for the procedure. A cute, young nurse told me I'd feel some discomfort and gaseousness but they would work quickly to minimize it. Then she told me she was going to insert the tip into my rectum and to please just relax. HAHAHA! Right!
Then she gave me a surprise. Once the tip finally made its way into my rectum, this cute, young nurse told me she was going to expand the bulb inside so that the tip of the enema tube would stay in place. Huh? They are going to close up my butt and leave that thing in there? Yikes. It was all I could do to keep from screaming but I gritted my teeth and proceeded to "get used" to having this thing sticking into my butt. My oh my.
Once the technician, another cute, young lady, was ready, they loosened the clip on the barium bag and it started flowing into my colon. Now there's a feeling. Warm, gooey barium flowing into your intestines. There was a monitor above my head and I could watch, fascinated, as the barium filled up the colon. At least this was a nice distraction to keep my mind off the fact that I had a tube in my butt. The lady tech told me I had a pretty colon. Said she bet no one had ever said that to me before. All of us laughed.
Then it was turn on your left side, lay on your back, turn onto your right side, turn onto your stomach, lay on your back. You get the drift. All the while the tube is sticking out of me. Once the barium pictures were finished, they let it drain out but the tube remained in place. Then came the really fun part, not.
There is ball on the outside of the tube that, when pushed, forces air into the colon. They do this to expand the colon so that they can get a good look at all parts of the inside. I get that. Let me just say that whenever the nurse squeezed that ball and air shot into my colon, it felt exactly like a fart in reverse. And it really is exactly that.
The air goes in but it can't come back out because, remember, my butt's plugged. So I can feel the achiness of a fart after the air is shot in and an extreme urge to let it back out but it only travels further along the intestines and the ache slowly dissipates. A fart in reverse. Very interesting and unpleasant.
Once all the picture taking is complete, they make you lay on your stomach until they verify that the pictures are OK before they remove the plug. When the plug comes out, I can feel sticky stuff excreting from my body and I am a shade embarrassed, because it feels like I just took a shit. It really is the barium coming out, because, after all, I cleaned myself out completely the day before so what else is there inside of me but what they just put in there.
Then I got off the table and walked to the bathroom to take off the gown and put on my clothes. Barium everywhere! Barium dripping onto the floor. Barium all over my genitals and my butt and dripping down my legs. Not a wonderful feeling. Also, barium dries quickly and turns into a chalky substance. Yuck. My stool was extremely gassy and white. The gasiness went away quickly but the white stayed around for two days.
It's been one week since I had the BE, and I had the upper GI test yesterday, drinking lots of barium, but it wasn't so bad, and I must say I have felt absolutely wonderful the entire week. I have no pain in my stomach like I often feel. My stool is of perfect color, texture and quality. I often rate my stool and I always look at it, so I know what I'm saying here. Besides that, I have a healthy appetite and increased energy and I am sleeping well.
I don't know if the BE is helping me to feel better, I doubt it. But perhaps the cleansing of the bowels has something to do with it. Maybe my increased attention to yoga and meditation is helping, too. I really don't know. I only know that I have felt great this past week.
I don't know that I would recommend anyone to take the BE route as opposed to the colonoscopy route, but I think it had a positive effect on me. Remebering the discomfort, I was reamed, OK, if I ever have to have this procedure done again, I may opt for the colonoscopy next time. It's hard to get over that initial feeling of the dreaded tip being inserted where it shouldn't be inserted. I could never be gay!!!
One tenet of yoga and meditation that I have tried to abide by but haven't always been very successful is to BE HERE NOW. BE takes on a whole new meaning for me these days.
Tuesday, August 08, 2006
Opposite of; contrary to: unrest.
To reverse or undo the result of a specified action: unbind.
To deprive of or remove a specified thing: unfrock.
To release, free, or remove from: unyoke.
- An international organization composed of most of the countries of the world. It was founded in 1945 to promote peace, security, and economic development.
This group of world representatives is a travesty in operation and deserves to be unseated from its New York home and sent packing to anywhere else, perhaps moving it to Beirut or Teheran or maybe even Pyongyang where its motive will be more in line with its unactions.
Time and again the UN shows itself as it really is, an anti-American, anti-freedom, pariah organization which couldn't even exist, much less have any credibility at all, without the US fighting its battles and funding its operations. Are you grateful to this pseudo-government for managing the Saddam-era Oil for Food program which featured so much corruption and mismanagement that Kofi Annan's son was able to become a millionaire and such American-unfriendly countries like France and Russia to dominate the Security Council and allow under-the-table payoffs to their own hand-picked officials and corporations?
I am so unimpressed with this organization that I find it hard to believe that anyone in this country can actually think it is worth saving. Look at their track record. Point out one thing they have been involved in that has occurred on the world stage that has been positive. Bet you can't find anything. Point out one instance where the UN has been a friend to the US. All of their viewpoints are anti-American and they simply love to take the contrary opinion of siding with terrorists against the US and Israel. They actually remind me of our wonderful(yeah, right) ACLU.
The task of the United Nations is to promote peace, security and economic development. Where have they done that? When have they sided with economic development anywhere in the world? Except for their own economic development, that is. When have they promoted peace? Oh yeah, right now they want peace between Israel and Hezbollah. They want a cease fire from Israel and hope that Lebanon can reign in Hezbollah, something they have never been able to do by themselves.
UN peacekeepers sit alongside Hezbollah terrorists and watch them fire rockets at Israeli targets. They remain comfortable in their assignments of observing but never doing anything to actually promote peace.(How many years have they supervised in Lebanon?)
Sometimes peace has to be won through fighting. Sometimes talk does not produce any viable results. Sometimes enemies will never be able to co-exist peacefully. When this happens, it is best to just let them beat each other to a pulp until one side wins. But the UN realizes that a terrorist organization cannot be beaten down like an organized country can. So they do their best to level the playing field, for the terrorists. And they call for a cease fire because they know an organized country will obey international law while a terrorist group will not. By its very nature, it does not have to do so.
So the rules for terrorists are different than for civilized nations. We expect civilized nations to respect life and property to some extent even in war. We never expect a terrorist group to do so. Only when it is to their advantage in some way will terrorists ever respect law. Only when they can win something for nothing will they invoke civilized societies to call for peace. After all, terrorist need time to regroup and rearm, too.
Kofi Anna has condemned Israel for defending itself and its citizens. Kofi Annan has never condemned Hezbollah and its terrorists. The UN is worthless and should not receive any support from US anymore without a major change in its directions and support. If they feel we are worse than the terrorists, then they should get out of our house!
Let's undo this useless organization. And that is my unofficial opinion on that!