I am writing this week’s blog from bed.
Tomorrow I have to have a colonoscopy. My father was diagnosed with colon cancer this past summer. He shared the news with the family on July 4, just a couple weeks after I turned 40. He had surgery, a battery of tests was done, and he was pronounced healthy. The cancer had been caught early. Of course, now when I go in for my own physical, I mark the box on the form where they ask you for family history with my dad’s colon cancer and, at the age of 40, early screening begins. So, tomorrow, I have to have a colonoscopy.
Of course, tomorrow’s colonoscopy is no reason to take to bed. I’m in bed because I injured my back on Sunday (pause for the body-falls-apart-at-40 jokes) and I’m lying on ice. I’m not taking Advil or anything because of my colonoscopy prep, so I’m riding out the discomfort.
Did you know part of the colonoscopy prep is fasting? And down the hall, in my kitchen, the Great Canning Fest of 2013 has been happening. The salsa was done and we are onto round 2 of applesauce. The house couldn’t smell more warm and savory on a cold fall day. Let me take another sip of my clear fluids.
I am so grateful. No, seriously. No sarcasm here. I am incredibly grateful.
My father has Medicare and that meant that he went to the doctor when he wasn’t feeling well, the colonoscopy was performed, the colon cancer was identified and removed, and he is healthy.
I have medical insurance and that meant that I went for all of my annual exams – family doctor, gynecologist, eye doctor, dentist – and has my cholesterol monitored, eyes checked, teeth cleaned (no cavities!) and was sent to a specialist so that I could get my own colonoscopy.
I have a wonderful job that fortunately pays enough for me to budget for visits to an incredible chiropractor (Barnes Chiropractic rocks!) who has worked his spiny magic on me for the last three days straight and has me on the road to recovery.
As I lay in bed, I have WHYY playing in the background. They are reporting on whatever news they can get from the Philippines. Typhoon Haiyan’s havoc continues to unfold. Towns are destroyed, bodies piled in the streets. The radio tells of two women witnessed giving birth on the side of the road, nowhere to go. They are days and days into the devastation with no food and no clean drinking water. The death toll is expected to exceed 10,000. I squeeze my eyes shut to try to block the image of horror that the radio story creates and take a moment to be glad I’ve given up television.
I am grateful. My one day fast will be broken by a wonderful meal after enjoying the privileges of health care coverage, in the comfort of my home, surrounded by my loved ones.
I am grateful.
WHAT ARE YOU REALLY GRATEFUL FOR?
Ifeoma U. Aduba