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.
It's me, Jennifer Bernice (rhymes with "Furnace": it was my Granny's name) Sutkowski
• More details about my writing here.