First I was afraid
I was petrified
Just thinking how they’d probe my butt
While I was on my side
But(t) then I’d spent so many nights
Thinking how my butt felt wrong
And I grew strong
And I let them move aside my thong
I will survive!
Ok, that’s not exactly how it happened, but I did have a colonoscopy this week that went well and I am so relieved I’m making up yet more songs about it. If you’re friends with me on social media you’ve probably already been inundated with the tales of my tail and its adventures this week, but it has been quite a journey, and I am fully relieved, to be honest, for the first time in months. So phew. Thank you for witnessing and helping me get through this.
Humor = key. I joked with one of the nurses, as she inserted my IV, that having a colonoscopy was a fresh and welcome change of pace from the current election season. As one of the other nurses started my Propofol drip I told her I was "off to the butt spa." She said "they probably have those somewhere," upon which I told her about anal bleaching, which she had never heard of, and then I realized anal bleaching was probably not the last thing I wanted to think about before going off to dreamland.
Humor is important, but so is something equally profound, it would seem: exposure and support. At the Newport International Film Festival in 2008 I saw a life-changing film called Life. Support. Music., about Jason Crigler, a Maine guitarist who had a brain hemorrhage and whose family nursed him back to health. At the beginning it looked like he would be in a vegetative state for the rest of his life.
The film had me bawling my eyes out by the end, as this man had been restored by the hard work of his family and doctors. Jason still had some problems that the hemorrhage caused, but he could walk and talk and play the guitar, and he was there at the screening, and it was as if he had pushed aside the giant boulder on Easter and walked out to greet us. It shifted my whole world.
Jason shared that one of his family members, a psychiatrist, told him how something about being filmed can help people recover. I don’t know if it is the idea of being watched, or what. I don’t even know if it’s scientifically proven to be true. But I do know it has always stuck with me. I bring it up here because every time I have a medical thing that makes me feel vulnerable to share and I post about it on Facebook or Instagram, I feel something in me shift. Something grows lighter. It happened this past winter when I had DCIS and it happened this week when I had to have a colonoscopy.
Much like Jason Crigler’s recovery, I can’t tell you what energetic magic is at work, but I can tell you: hot damn, does it ever help to share instead of hiding. Something about being seen, even in circumstances that might feel scary and like a part of me would rather hide, throws some serious love light on the whole shebang. I think it pulls us through to feeling OK, and, maybe even JOY.
Here's the trailer for Life. Support. Music. if you're interested:
You can rent Life. Support. Music. here, on Vimeo.
Again, thank you for seeing me (and my butt and surrounding areas) through this whole thing. It really helped, all ass puns aside. (Also, is being the Weird Al of colonoscopies a marketable skill?)
Big bottom loves to you!! Hope your November is going as well as mine, but, like, without the butt-probing.
I am nervous about getting a colonoscopy Thursday morning. I met with my new gastroenterologist today and she is an aggressive screener, so she wants to check me all out up in there (she likes to start colonoscopies at age 40, and then every five years). The prep begins. She said research shows a connection between early/young breast cancer and a certain kind of polyp/colon cancer. So, naturally, I’m worried, though my still, small voice says (not small right now, actually): “YOU DON’T HAVE IT. YOU ARE FINE. GOOD YOU ARE GETTING CHECKED OUT BUT YOU ARE FINE. YOU DON’T HAVE IT, YOU DON’T HAVE IT, YOU DON’T HAVE IT.”
Still, I get freaked (having had breast cancer at 40 will do that to a person). And so, as I gaze upon the handout on hemorrhoids the doc also gave me, and see the word “anus” everywhere, I also make up this song set to the “Dreidel Song”:
Anus anus anus / I made you out of clay
Anus anus anus / I don’t like anal play
Anus anus anus / I checked you out today
Anus anus anus / I get you checked Thursday
That made me feel better.
I am scared. I hated being told I had cancer in January. That fucking sucked. I got through all the dealings and treatment fine, but it fucked with my head. That said, it was tiny tiny tiny. So yay. And I keep reminding myself of that. I’m in good hands. Hands that will have a scope up my ass. No problem.
When I went to see psychic medium Karen Noe in August, the first person who came through was my mother, to say: “You are not me. You do not have what I had, you are not me. No more of this.” It was the main thing I wanted to hear and the thing I was most nervous about, because my mother had her breast cancer taken care of and then had stage 3-C ovarian cancer a year and a half later (which killed her). Karen said, “Your mom's saying, ‘All is well now, no more of this.’ And she's telling me to write it down.” It really helped me, and I’m trying to focus on that now, too. And the still, small voice sounds like that as well. But I do have the bulldog mind of a critic and academic who wants to discount that kind of thing (and my brother-in-law swiftly tried to discount my reading over dinner after I had it back in August). But I have to choose love over fear (loving reading Gabrielle Bernstein’s The Universe Has Your Back: Transform Fear to Faith).
I talked to my sister this morning, texted with my other sisters, too, hugged and laughed with my husband, pet the cat and gazed upon his magnificence, and am focused on the positive for my poop chute and all adjoining areas and situations. From anus to teats to the top of the head to the bottom of my bottom to the bottom of my feets. Clean, clear, strong and beautiful. And so it is.
This also happened, during the simpler time that was yesterday:
And I hope, if you've had it checked too, your pooper peeping was clean as a whistle.
It's me, Jennifer Bernice (rhymes with "Furnace": it was my Granny's name) Sutkowski
• More details about my writing here.