Sunday, November 16, 2008

An Unwanted Journey: Day 1089 - Indignity


Colonoscopy preparation is just about the least dignified thing in the world, even when conducted in the privacy and corner of your bathroom at home. But when done in hospital with a clinical attendant right there, a room mate only a few feet away trying to sleep, and with a body already exhausted to the point of utter frustration and hopelessness...there's true indignity in such an experience.

I had to turn away visitors today, for fairly obvious reasons. Still, when doing so, that doesn't mean you aren't in social need. In fact, it may be that at times like this you are most in need of support. The problem is that most of us, like me, are too proud and too horror-struck at the prospect of needing physical support when we are a ball of uncontrolled and uncontrollable angst and physical failure.

I find myself without borders today, without strength, without dignity, and, even though it's there, without support.

And, to make it worse, my carefully crafted email notes don't seem to be reaching their destinations. I'll try to figure that out Monday afternoon, but if you are one of the ones who may be thinking I've ignored your equally well crafted notes to me, rest assured. It's a technical glitch. You are on my mind.

At least it's only another 16 or 17 hours until the colonoscopy. Whatever the news coming from that procedure, there are some major challenges ahead, some very important consultations to take place with my oncologists, and some decisions to be made.

Today I can totally identify with Edward's character in The Bucket List (played by Jack Nicholson), who says, "Somewhere some lucky guy is having a heart attack..."


Brie said...

My words are not well crafted, but my thoughts are with you. What a yecchy time for you!


ken coe said...

You are one tough hombre, Don.

I thought indignity was when I suffered the slings and arrows of prodding digits exploring my over sized and dysfunctional prostate and also when several well intentioned but perhaps somewhat unsympathetic practitioners attacked, with so much zeal, my haemorrhoids and their ancillary site issues. I always wished to have major medical issues arising in places where my pants could stay securely around my waist. To say I am squeamish, shy and easily indignant would be an understatement.

Why don’t we have more elbow issues? “Roll up your sleeve and let me have a look.”

Hair? “Take off your hat and put your head in the vice.”

Toes! “You know the drill Ken, off with the shoes and socks—foot into the boiling oil.”

Your mastery of indignity has reached some extremely high levels and puts some of us to shame as we shyly drop the drawers and assume the position for procedures so comparatively benign that we have little excuse for a whine.

I hope you get a respite here soon. You have been working over time for too long and a gentler time is well over due.

You have given me the encouragement to seek out the procedure you are preparing for. If you can endure what has been sent your way, I, and many others monitoring your progress along this journey, can try to deal with some very minor indignities.

As ever, our best wishes are for you and yours.


Lorna Scott said...

My fingers are's to good news!

Don Spencer said...

Thank you for your well wishes, Brie, Lorna and Ken.

Ken, Marg and I especially enjoyed your humorous references to medical tests, the squeamishness of men and how "silly" life can seem at times.

Thanks again to you all for being in my corner...