Lisa’s Procedure

barn(..and yes, I did get permission from my wife to write this)

With increasing age comes greater respect, increased personal reverence and a distinguished place in your community-also greater medical invasiveness. Lisa and I are now both in the fifty-plus group which opens us to an increasingly expansive world of medical tests. It is a Munchausen Syndrome paradise.

Lisa went in for such a procedure just this past week. Most of these procedures begin by removing food from your diet prior to the event and replacing the food with laxatives, Jell-O and Gatorade. I think there’s an implied standard of internal cleanliness involved in this process. The patient truly hopes whichever doctor is at the other end of the probe is duly impressed with how detailed and clean is the passage in question.

I had one of these procedures after my brother was diagnosed with Esophageal Cancer. I make humor about these tests however their importance can mean the difference between life and death. Early detection is so important, particularly when it comes to your digestive system. A lot of these cancers take time to develop and if you catch them early the rate of treatment success is high.

Lisa worked out the logistics of her trip to the doctor. I had to work that day but was able to take a little time to bring our subject to the clinic and transport her home. You have to be driven home after these procedures as you are anesthetized for the process and will not be right in your head afterwards. I insisted on driving myself home after my own procedure but Lisa used her ability to reason with dumb people to counter my wishes. Thank goodness she did this; I remember little of the trip home.

I sat in the waiting room and watched the big television which lets you know who is in pre-op, who’s in post-op and which procedure is in process. It’s a little like watching the board at a horse track and I considered a system which could work a little pari-mutuel betting into the mix based on which patient would finish first. I shared the space with two very nice ladies and we had a great conversation about country music.

I went back to sit with Lisa after her procedure was complete. Lisa’s procedure results were already documented along with pictures to illustrate each point of the report. The pictures were so clear that I considered asking for ping-pong pictures to share with friends but Lisa trumped me and suggested we use the pictures instead for Christmas cards. This was an idea that faded away at the same speed as did the anesthesia.

Lisa had not eaten for some time and was otherwise internally empty. It was time, Post-Operative Peanut Butter and Toast! Has anything ever tasted as good post-op peanut butter? A little can of fruit juice with a straw, toast with peanut butter on a little plate? Lisa beamed as she had her first food since her internal fashion shoot.

Our doctor came in a said all was well. We were relieved however I had already reviewed the pictures and report so he was only confirming what I had already discovered using the knowledge I had gained during the first responder course I attended in 1992. The doctor told us that things had turned out so well that Lisa would not have to return for ten years. Lisa decided it had been such a good experience that she insisted on a yearly return. She doesn’t get to vacation much.

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