Sunday, January 18, 2015

Live and Be Well

Dr. Joel raised his right hand to me in a gesture of farewell.

“Go and enjoy life, young man,” he said. “Stay out of doctors’ offices.”

Now there’s two great bits of advice—enjoy life and steer clear of doctors.

And I really liked that “young man” bit, but I felt compelled to gently inform Dr. Joel that I’m turning 58 this year and that perhaps “young” wasn’t the most accurate adjective he could use.

“You’re younger than I am,” he remarked.

So be it.

Dr. Joel is my gastroenterologist but I’d think he’d make a terrific rabbi. He’s just so caring and knowledgeable.

I had gone to him for a second—third?—opinion about surgery for the internal misery that drove me to the hospital in November.

His answer? A decisive “No!”

He believes that the incident was a flare-up in my colon that has since righted itself, and thus there is no need to cut me open. Dr. Joel showed my CAT scans to one of the top surgeons at Maimonides Medical Center and he also nixed the knife.

He actually told Dr. Joel that operating on me would be malpractice. That’s about as definitive as you can get.

Obviously nobody wants to get surgery. It sucks to get cut open and have several inches of your colon removed. But I would do it if there were a serious and immediate threat to my health.

However, if it’s not critical than it pays to be conservative. In addition to the scalpel, I’m also concerned about the anesthetic.

Freedom Awaits

I’ve had the so-called “twilight anesthesia” for colonoscopies, but I’ve never done the fully sleepy. And I ain’t in no hurry to try.

I sat in Dr. Joel’s office for a few more minutes until I realized that I was free. And then I gathered up my belongings and got the hell out of there.

Of course I’m relieved that—please, God—I won’t have to go back into the hospital. I’ll monitor my health and since I now recognize the scary symptoms of a colon attack, I’ll haul-ass to the nearest hospital at the slightest sign of a flare-up.

The only risk here is that something could go wrong when-and if-I’m nowhere near civilization. But since I hadn’t planned any canoe trips down the Amazon or excursions to Antarctica, I should be okay.

So now comes what for me can be a bit of a challenge: enjoying life.

My late father once told me that I look for things to worry about and he was spot on.

As soon as I get some bit of good news, I waste no time in finding some other form of grief to fret about. Dr. Joel would not approve.

Luckily I got an important message this morning that has reinvigorated my zest for life. It seems that the one, the only Precious Zamba wants to meet me.

Hi,” her email began, “am Precious Zamba by name, a female never been married, i have seen a lots of profiles but am very selective, you are one of my selection, please kindly write me on my private emailaddress so that i can send you some of my pictures and introduce my self to you.

Isn’t that precious? I suspect it may also be bullshit, but it’s nice that someone cares, even though she doesn’t exist. Hi, am Rob by name, a male, never been married, and, judging by my inbox, I’m clearly not selective enough.

Still, as I long as I'm able to stay out of doctors’ offices, I’m going to zamba until the cows come home.

I’m only following doctor’s orders.


Stephanie Faris said...

YAY!!! That's awesome news! I'd feel the same as you do--while surgeries are performed every day without incident, there is a tiny, tiny risk when anesthesia is introduced, so it's always better if you can avoid surgery. I hope you continue to be on the mend! And yes, something like that does make you realize how precious life is and how we should all enjoy every minute.

Bijoux said...

Great news! I've never been put under either, and I'm really hoping to never have to.

Now do you have to go back to the first doctor to refuse the surgery?

Rob K said...

Thanks, Bijoux.

I actually have an appointment with the first surgeon who wants to do the operation, but I may cancel it. I don't want to waste his time or mine!

Be well!

Rob K said...

@Stephanie--thanks so much!

I really appreciate the support I've received from you and my other blogging buddies during this crazy time! Please, everybody be well and count your blessings!

Ron said...

*clapping and cheering*

GREAT news, Rob! I am sooooo freaking happy for you! And I had a feeling that you wouldn't be needing the surgery. Your doctor sounds like a gem too! Just from you talking about him I could tell he's a caring and good man!

" I’m also concerned about the anesthetic. "

Oh god, me too! That's why when I had that tooth abscess drained two years ago, I did local instead of a general.

Love the picture of Gene Wilder from Young Frankenstein. What a great film!

Have a great week, buddy, and stay well!

Rob K said...

Thanks, buddy, you're the best!

Surgery is great when its necessary, but if it ain't critical, don't do it. Your body doesn't need that kind of grief.

And the anesthetic is a whole other barrel of magic that is best avoided!

Glad you like the Wilder pic, Ron. It seem appropriate for some reason!

Take care!

Jay, Sparking Synapse said...

That's WONDERFUL news, Rob! I am so happy for you. I have done the 'full sleep' several times and I'm in no hurry to repeat it, I can assure you. Modern anaesthetics tend not to have you waking up puking, but still ...

And don't forget that stress and worry can have a bad effect on your gut, too, so yeah, try not to replace this worry with another too soon, huh?

Rob K said...

Hey, Jay, thanks so much!

Great advice about the stress. I want to see how long I can go without worry about something!

I'll keep you posted! Take care!

Anonymous said...

I gotta admit I am just like you it is scary! I just got notified that I have to have some tests done and my fear is that it could stop me from enjoying life. And I really have worried so much I never got the chance to enjoy anything. Life is short my friend. Just live!

Rob K said...

Thanks, Shae, and I hope all is well with your tests! Sending prayers, hugs, and plenty of good vibes your way!