Humbling reminders

Well it certainly has been a while since I’ve updated.  In short, the coast was declared clear and I’m only due for another colonoscopy in 3 years time.  Maybe I’ll be more diligent than the recommended timelines.  We shall see.

Equally amazing is that despite what I thought was a write-off in terms of my ability to get life and/or critical illness insurance, I was able to qualify for both.  And at that, without a “rating” – meaning, I’m not considered an elevated health risk.

In other words, despite a large polyp, the underwriting world sees me in the same risk category as an average healthy 40 year old.


Colonoscopy from up high

I went for my follow up colonoscopy on September 8th.  This time around I accepted the anesthesia, to make life easier for the endoscopist.  And I suppose for mysslef.

Last time I was harassing the poor doctor throughout the 20 minute colonoscopy, staring at the screen – “what was THAT?  Is that normal?  Wait go back, look at that”…

Apparently after an endoscopic mucosal resection, it’s good practice to check back at the site and see what’s going on.  I woke up just as they were taking a biopsy near the “verge” (i.e exit of the bum).  I’m like, what are you doing. Why. Is that common.

Anyhow here we go again with the two-week-wait.  I’m not so nervous this time around.  Que sera sera.   Hopefully all will be normal.

What is up with grandfather clocks?

Grandfather clocks are enigmatic to me, for several reason.

First is their sheer size.  It’s hard to imagine any urban young adult, living in a squalid 300 square foot condo – making sure to find room for the family grandfather clock.

The second reason is their utility.  Perhaps when they were invented 200 years ago, the grandfather clock represented innovation, accuracy, precision, etc.   Now, that utility can be replaced by an iPhone app that fits in the pocket.

The third is their imposition.  Grandfather clocks turn time into sound and make the passing of hours a conversational interruption.

Who in their right might would buy a grandfather clock?  I can only imagine a few specialized submarkets.  The rest of the market inherits them.

And yet for all their quirks and oddities, grandfather clocks are a stark reminder – that time is valuable, important, and sacred.  That it’s not just something to flick on your wrist or pop in your pocket.  Time exists.  It’s real.  It’s palpable, like the space it takes up, or the sound that it chimes.

We might get caught up in our own little words. Busy with busy-ness.

But people who have a grandfather clock to come home to, have that stark reminder – watching them wisely from the corner of the room – that despite their efforts, time is limited.

Four score and seven years from now…

I heard an interesting bit of wisdom the other day from a judge – 68 years young.

A female lawyer pleading before him said she was turning 50.  The judge said “Remind me to tell you about my theory about turning 50 someday”.  She said, tell me now.

“When you turn 50, you realize that whatever you’ve been given – that’s all you’ve got”.

I’m thinking, oh, like life is a gift?  Deep.

“After 50, everything starts to go… memory… the body…”

“Then at 60, I thought I figured everything out: that 60 is 10 away form 70.  But then another lawyer corrected me – and he was right – 60 isn’t 10 away from 70, it’s 20 away from 80”.

I’m thinking, this judge has lost his marbles.

“Because now that I’m 68, 70 ain’t so old.   80 – that’s old.”

Ah, I kind of get it.

And yet – hearing from people who’ve been diagnosed with serious situations… or have succumbed way to early… I think the judge – with respect, your honour – is missing something.

Yes, I may be one away from 40, 10 away from 50, etc… but that’s just hope,  expectation, imagination.

Practically speaking – it’s about today.  That’s it.

Having another 20 years in the bag – that’s a hope.  And for some people – would be a dream come true.

We should all live to 120 years ripe in health.

Adenoma – pronounced, “I Dunno Ma”

So as the senior endoscopist anticipated, the biopsy report came back looking “fine”.

The technical report indicated “fragments of tubulovillous adenoma, negative for high-grade dysplasia”.  Meaning, likely pre-malignant and (presumably) caught in time.

There is still a bit of uncertainty that looms – i.e. making sure that the “fragments” that were identified in the polyp were in fact local to the area that was resected.  Was all of it removed?

Also, does negative for high-grade dysplasia mean possible medium-grade dysplasia?  Whose judgment are we going by?

This is the new uncertainty.

The next colonoscopy will either be September 8th or November 3rd – it’s a bit of an art as to when to do a follow up to make sure things have been addressed properly.

Onwards, one day at a time.

Nobody is Alone; Every Body is a Loan

I recently heard a story of a Wise Man who had to undergo serious surgery relatively late in life.

Many of his close friends and students felt awful over what the surgery involved as it would result in a major disability thereafter.

The Wise Man said “Imagine being given a one million dollar loan when you were born.  Many years later, the lender asks for twenty thousand dollars back.  How would you feel?”

A while ago I was cross-examined on an injury I received as a result of a moped accident. The question was “How did you feel after the accident”.

My immediate response:  “Gratitude.  Grateful that I wasn’t more seriously hurt.”  I threw off the line of questioning – I suspect.  But it was totally true.  I was, after all, moving.  I was walking. I was alive.  The sun was still shining.

I still had the loan.  And I wasn’t alone.