Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Being Thankful

This comes in late by some standards. I know, others wrote, spoke, and preached about what they were thankful for before Thanksgiving. I can appreciate that, I did some of it myself. But in the midst of turkey, dressing, and football I was a little preoccupied.

Two weeks before Thanksgiving I went to the doctor for some pain I'd been experiencing in my shoulder and arm, hoping that he would either give me a shot or shoot me, just so I could sleep at night. While I was there he recommended a blood screening test for the following Monday.

I went in, had my blood drawn, and they told me they'd e-mail me the results. I figured that, at the worst, I might have diabetes (runs in the family). Two days later they called me and said my PSA (prostate) readings were almost ten times the normal range and that I needed to see a urologist.

There was a very good chance that I had cancer.

I told my sweetheart that night, at home, after I couldn't tell her when we went to eat or on the way home. I didn't know what to say since I didn't know anything other than better than 70% of men with my PSA score had cancer.

I told my children the week of Thanksgiving.

I told my mom and sister yesterday.

I'm telling whoever reads this today, because tomorrow I go for the biopsy. It promises to be an interesting experience. If it's anything like the first visit to the urologist I can't wait.

First of all I hoped and prayed I'd have a beautiful, small-handed lady doctor.

Not happening.

Dr. Brock (Daniel) was neither, obviously. After lowering my pants and my dignity he performed what is referred to as a "digital" exam. Without going into the details, let's just say I've never been that intimate with anybody. Ever.

After three trips around my prostate, he told me it was "enlarged and firm on one side." I almost replied, "That's what she said" but I was still trying to regain my eyesight, so I just kept quiet. What do you ask in that situation?

Anyway, he basically told me nothing other than I'd have to have a biopsy tomorrow, using "local anesthesia." I didn't want to know where they'd give me the shot. I still don't.

My preparations for this procedure include several things, all of which pale in comparison to one: The Fleet Enema.

I've had a lower GI test done before. I prepared for that using a box labeled "Evac-U-Quik." I am not making this up. And the box is appropriately named. I drank the contents of the four bottles in the box, at designated intervals, after which I felt like a test site for atomic bombs, particularly the crater left in the aftermath of the explosion.

My wife thought the whole thing was funny. As a side note, what is it about men being in pain that women find so humorous?

With all that was in the box, there was no enema. And there was peace on earth.

But not this time. The Fleet Enema is only two ounces of something--"Not To Be Taken Orally", according to the instructions--that is going to "prepare" me for the biopsy. I think that after the enema, the procedure will be a breeze. I shouldn't need any anesthesia at all. I probably won't have any feeling left back there anyway.

Doc said he had some mind-altering drugs, but I probably wouldn't need them. I told him I wanted all of them. He laughed. So now, in addition to my wife, the doctor thinks my pain is funny too. This is going to be great.

I think I'll start a discount prostate diagnostic business and call it "Rooters 'R Us." Our slogan can be "From Your World to Uranus, We'll Dig It Out".


bella said...

That is the best thing I've read all day. Papi, I don't find your pain humorous... I simply find YOU to be funny! You're perfect. And healthy. I love you very much :)

So blessed to be yours.

Michael Ruffin said...

Women have absolutely no sympathy for us men and our prostate exams. Their doctors have been prodding them for their entire adult lives, they say.

We're praying for you, brother.