Tuesday, May 13, 2014

The Power of Prayer and Colon Blow

Okay, so this is how I think prayer works, or at least how it works in my life. I equate it with meditation in many ways.

Tomorrow, I have to have a colonoscopy. I debated about telling you all this, not because I have any shame in the matter but because I don't want to turn it into a big "thing," even for myself. My anxiety is getting the better of me -- mostly about the IV... ugh, needles, which I hate, and anything medical. As a control-freak, it's hard to let go and let someone else take care of you/do weird things to your body, even when I know that these biopsies are going to give me answers as to what my stomach is rejecting.

So, yesterday, I prayed to God, to my spirit guides, to the ever-encouraging image of Phil Hartman eating a huge bowl of Colon Blow, to help my anxiety go away.

After praying, my first thought was that I needed to have more information. And not Googled information. Google is an anxiety death-trap. I was nervous about other things besides the needles, but I didn't realize this until I took some time to focus, to pray, to meditate, to think. First, I had to deal with all the unknown aspects. I stopped at Kinney's to pick up my prep kit. The woman announced to the entire store, "And... what is it you're here to pick up!?"

"MY COLONOSCOPY KIT!" I yelled back. I have no shame. My toddler was behind me, climbing on the blood-pressure machine, yelling to the pharmacist technician something about eating boogers. She had taken apart (what I have named) the Automatic Hand Sanitizer Hand (dis)-Infecting Tray (the AHSHIT) in the waiting area and was using pieces of it to "make some cookies."

I gave the woman my money, suddenly realizing that I was paying $12 for a deep cleansing of my bowels. Ugh. I turned back around to see that my child had found a large crayon basket, dumped the crayons on the floor, and had colored a (beautiful) mural on the tile floor and on the remaining pieces of the AHSHIT.

There was also a cloud of poop smell around her. Miraculously, I was able to get her to put the crayons back and help clean up the mess. There were no tissues to wipe up the puddle of sanitizer under the missing AHSHIT, so I reassembled it and squished it back into place on top of the sanitizer puddle, using the excess gel to clean my hands.

When I got home, I got my little darling to watch a video while I sat on the couch and read through my information packet. I tried to breeze over the side-effects section, but certain words jumped out at me: "seizures," "vomiting," and "sudden death." I felt my stomach tighten.

I put in a call to the doctor's office to ask the logical questions -- if it's okay to take certain medications during the prep, etc. Meanwhile, I noticed that the information from the pharmacy didn't include when and how much of the prep solution I should take, so I called the prep-line at the hospital. An abrupt woman gave me the information, then said, "Well, I don't really know... let me check." I felt my stomach muscles tighten more and ran to the bathroom to get sick while I waited for her to return. When she came back to the phone, I tried to sound like I hadn't just gotten violently ill. I politely ended the call and debated cancelling my call to the doctor's office, since I had the information I needed, but I didn't.

I thought, it couldn't hurt to have another office's opinion. A few minutes later, a nurse called -- Nikki. It was the nurse who was on call throughout my entire pregnancy. She's the one who listened to all my questions like, "What is this funny, little pinch on my left side, when I get up out of my chair?" and answered sweetly with, "I don't know, but I'm sure it's fine."

"Nikki," I said, "You know me. I'm reading through these side effects, and I'm freaking out. I'm seeing that 'seizures' and 'sudden death' are on the menu, and I can't deal."

And, do you know what that angel told me?

She said, "Gretchin. In all my years of doing this, I have never seen anyone have seizures or die from taking this laxative. I want you to stay close to the toilet and have a good book ready. That's all you have to do."

And I said, "Oh, Nikki, it's so good to hear your voice. You were my voice of reason throughout my entire pregnancy, and I feel so much better after talking to you."

Sometimes prayer feels like a two-way street in which God meets me halfway, giving me the tools I need to cross the street, changing the streetlights at just the right time, and being my friend waiting at the other side, but I have to take the first step.

Don't get me wrong, I think prayer can also trigger miracles, shake the ground, and break the laws of the universe, but if that happened every day, exactly when we needed it to, it'd be a little bit like a superhero movie around here... because Lord knows I'd be praying for flying powers, a Hobbit house, doves to follow me everywhere I go, and green-bean casserole every night for dinner.

Sometimes answered prayer is a knowing, a feeling, a calmness that we have the power to fix things, to let God and positive energy move through our lives and work through us. And now I prepare for the "spirit" to move through me. Tonight is prep. Tomorrow is D-Day.

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