Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Preparing for a Colonoscopy

How can writing about preparing for a colonoscopy be a subject for a blog about shamanic oracles, paintings, drums and spiritual practices?  Several days ago I demonstrated to myself that this is a perfect event for trusting spiritual guidance, for staying in the present moment, and for expressing deep gratitude.   Just like the Datura at the height of summer, I have used my body to create beautiful art, and the age for appraising my continued well-being has come.

I asked my stone teacher about the success of the examination, because I was struggling with anxiety about what might happen, rather than staying in the present moment. I was told to not be in fear and this became my greatest challenge.  I worked to stay present by trying to not judge any part of the preparation before I experienced it.  Others had said the colon lavage drink was a struggle  to swallow because of the taste.  I kept my first impression neutral and discovered that to me it tasted like licorice. Someone said I would spend "all day sitting on the loo" but my experience of the cleansing was two 3 hour sessions separated by a good long nap.  Trying not to have any pre-judgments feels like accepting the riot of color and texture in the container pots on the deck. Each flower is just itself, and needn't be compared to any other.

If I were to do anything differently, next time I will pay more attention to my own comfort during the preparation, and I would ask more questions about what to expect in the several days after the colonoscopy. I would have appreciated a lap robe and something to pad the toilet seat, plus a foot rest would have been a relief while waiting for the lavage to cycle through.  Now that my energy, and a diet of solid food has returned, I feel incredibly grateful to live in Canada where such a preventative examination is freely and routinely available.  This tiny rose was given to me by a homeless man several years ago, and I'm happy to know that this opportunity for health is possible for all of us, no matter what our choices or circumstances.