Notes from Jan

Life on the Run

August 20, 2019

The doctor might as well have added to his instructions “remain seated with seatbelt securely fastened due to turbulence.” Prepping for tomorrow’s routine colonoscopy is anything but routine.

Yesterday, I heard there’s a pill you can take. Too late, already invested in Gatorade, Miralax, Dulcolax, Charmin and Herb Ox chicken broth. Never before has kale or liver made me salivate.

So, here I sit, race or skip to my loo, doing my part before the doctor does his tomorrow morning. Part of me rests in the word “routine,” another part worries,”will everything be ok?” Then again, it’s a rare day fear doesn’t nibble some edges around a part of my life, disrupt trust in God, myself or others.

Sometimes I wonder how Jud kept fear from consuming him, so much so, while bouncing around in the back of an ambulance from MGH to hospice with his daughter, asked Heather,”Can you raise me up, so I can look out?” Last looks at the Charles River, Boston and a part of this world he loved. How crazy and fearless is that? More often than I’d like, my shoulders droop, spirits sag along with other parts and before I know it, I’m stuck in the middle of a muddle, with more questions than answers.

Cathy Tyndall Boyd, wrote in Forward Day by Day, ” God is more of an artist than a mathematician. Things rarely add up.” For sure.

While my innards rumble in chaos, my mind works at loftier thoughts, and admits a colonoscopy’s a wise but weird test. In between running back and forth, I challenge myself,”Think about once it’s over and you step on the scale without it muttering, “One at a time, please.”

“All’s well that ends well.”

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  • Reply Rita Smith Dove August 20, 2019 at 3:01 pm

    Wow, Jan. You still have a way of articulating so many of my thoughts and feelings—-and then you make me laugh out loud. Bless you! May all go well tomorrow. May you have a “clean bill of health”, and a delicious meal after delighting in what the scale says.

    Much love,


  • Reply David L Smith August 20, 2019 at 3:09 pm

    …and, as Dr. David says, “…it’ll all come out in the end.” (Sorry, doctor humor.)

  • Reply Priscilla Young August 20, 2019 at 3:20 pm

    I love reading your entertaining thoughts on such an unpleasant subject. Good news — this should be the last one you ever have to have!! I just had my early 60’s one and the doc said, “only one more!” Yippee! (Oh, and my dad the doctor made the same kinds of jokes as Dr. David above!)

  • Reply Dale August 20, 2019 at 10:07 pm

    Thanks Jan. Your creativity has shown you to be a “graphic” artist as well as great story teller. It is a puzzle in medicine how we can insert a new heart while the patient sleeps, but ask the patient to do most of the work for this procedure while awake! God’s mercies are new each morning, which is a good thing, since yesterday’s have been consumed.

    I have not been able to drink Gatorade for the last four years. πŸ™‚

  • Reply Marianne Cannon August 20, 2019 at 10:14 pm

    Oh, Jan, you are so funny. Sense of humor in the face of stress is the sign of good mental health, but, then, we already know that because of our faith , faltering as it may be at times.

    I hope you are at home enjoying your kale and liver and, certainly, much more.
    Love you so,

  • Reply Anna August 21, 2019 at 4:10 am

    I care for folks doing this strange but important testβ€” as I do this today, I will pray for you!! I pray for you now! You have gone through the worst part by now! They use good medicine! I am glad you are taking care of yourself!!!

  • Reply Jeannene Webster August 21, 2019 at 6:51 am

    These aren’t fun to prep for (Honestly never knew I could do the Texas Two Step so quickly!) but the procedure itself is a easy. I had three last year because do I know how to live it up or what? I tried to convince them they should throw in a free tummy tuck with the third one, but nooooooooooooo…

    And yes, these things *do* make us look back in awe at just how much courage, grace and strength people we loved faced their final foe. God gives what we need for the moment, as long as we don’t go running headlong into the Alleys Of What-Ifs, because He doesn’t dwell there.

  • Reply wendy lane August 21, 2019 at 9:59 am

    I need to schedule one of these too, keep putting it off for exactly these reasons! πŸ™‚ As others have said, the worst is behind you and hopefully the recovery will be quick, uneventful and yummy!
    Yes, your Jud was one amazing man… for sure.
    Love you!

  • Reply RUSS BISHOP August 21, 2019 at 10:04 am

    Just close your eyes and think of Dave Barry!

  • Reply Elizabeth Payne August 21, 2019 at 2:12 pm

    Just in case others have not sympathetically sent this classic Dave Barry column about his colonoscopy, enjoy…while you are on the run.

  • Reply Eleanor Towle August 22, 2019 at 2:12 pm

    Dear Jan, glad your colonoscopy is over. Sue had one last week and they told her she wouldn’t need another one for 10 years.
    she only had to take gatorade and Miralax but she was very sick. Eleanor

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