Can a colonoscopy be funny and teach you life lessons? (81)
(written intro for social posts - Yes, my friends, I’m going there. If you’re a certain age, especially if you have a family history, this procedure becomes part of your life, and we’re going to talk about it; the terrifying to the humorous, and we’ll talk about how personalities wind through all of it.)
Hello my lovelies and welcome to the Moving Toward Better podcast. I’m your host, Karen Bemmes. I’m a business, relationship and life coach, and my superpower is helping you unleash your inner badass to become the real you in the real world because anything less is BS. So what does a colonoscopy have to do with any of this? Plenty, let me tell you.
Let me start out with a disclaimer that I am not a medical professional. Any and all medical procedures that I talk about are the result of conversations with medical professionals I trust. Any claims or suggestions I make should always be discussed with your own physicians before making decisions for yourself. So let’s get started.
This podcast stems from several factors. The first is that if you are 50 or over, you need to talk with your doctor about having a colonoscopy. Why? Because according to Web MB, colorectal cancer is the third most common cause of cancer-related death for both men and women. However, if it is caught early, colorectal cancer has a 90% survival rate. That’s the medical reason for my task oriented folks. The other reason is that it’s a brutal way to go, my friends. I watched my grandmother pass from it. I have a friend who lost her dad a mere few weeks after diagnosis, and I just found out a friend of mine passed three short months ago and her youngest child isn’t even out of high school, but before you think this is all doom and gloom, it isn’t. It’s merely a way to show you how, given your personality, it might be time to look at things a bit differently when it comes to this and other procedures that are inconvenient and can save our lives.
In the US, we often take a D personality attitude toward routine procedures. We focus on how they might slow us down when the reality is that these procedures keep us going, often far longer than the people we know who waited or refused to get them in the first place. The thing is that by choosing to take care of your health, you take control of your physical being from the inside out as well as the outside in. Also, you now have choices on how to do the procedure, which is awesome. In the case of a colonoscopy, you may be able to choose screening if you don’t have a family history, and if you do have a family history, you have choices in how to prep. I won’t go into all of them, but trust me when I say that when I got mine, I was delighted not to have to drink that awful tasting liquid. Woohoo!
Remember the friend I mentioned that lost her dad to colon cancer? She’s an amazing D personality that decided to take the bull by the horns and get a handle on her health because she felt her dad left this earth way too early. She’s determined to stay healthy and be there for her kiddos for many years to come, and I am so glad she is. So, those of you who are Driven personalities, I challenge you to get your health in check. Take a note - That means working with your doctor to make sure you’re doing what is best for you.
For those of you with the I personality, I know this does not like fun, but here’s what I figured out this time. Planning out what I could consume was actually kind of fun. I had two different types of broth and even made a mocktail of ginger ale and apple juice in the late afternoon, which soothed my inner child who just wanted some freaking food. I met some awesome people during the procedure and overheard some amazing stories. Would you like to hear my favorite funny story? As an I personality, I’m always looking for the fun and the funny. Here’s what happened to me. You see, I do not respond well to narcotics. In fact, they usually make me really sick. I’m also a super lightweight, so a little bit goes a long way. For those of you who know what Triaminic cough syrup is, it knocks me out, and before you tell me that it’s for kids and has nothing to knock me out in it, I know that, but that’s my life.
At one point, I heard the nurses talking about rearranging patients and pushing one back, and I just knew they were talking about me. I was right because the doctor came in to tell me that they only had one nurse anesthetist that day, and they wanted her in the room for my procedure, so they were moving me.to the last appointment of the day so that could happen. By the way, that only meant that one person went before me, no big deal for the most part.
So, they wheeled me into the room for the procedure and everyone was incredibly nice. We were laughing and joking and the nurse explained what she was giving me. Within a minute or two, I was drifting into dreamland, and then something interesting happened. I could hear the staff talking and one of them said, “Is she signing?”, and I realized I was signing the phrase “I’m awake”. I wasn't scared, upset or in pain, and it struck me funny. It still does, and I’m amazed I still remember it. It definitely tickles my funny bone and I love walking away from things like that with a funny story. It helps balance out some of the not so happy stories I heard that day too about people who delayed their own healthcare to take care of others.
One of the hardest things to do when you have an S personality is putting yourself first, because you easily put others' needs before your own, but what if taking care of yourself is not selfish at all? What if taking care of yourself is the ultimate sacrifice to take care of the people you love better and longer? Think about it. If you get sick, who will take care of the people you love, and how will it feel to have to turn that over to someone long term rather than the day here and there to fully take care of yourself? Interesting, huh?
You know, while I was waiting for my procedure, I was in a curtained off area, so I was able to hear everyone else give their medical conditions and histories. Let me tell you, if you want to feel blessed and privileged, this is one way to do it. One person took meds for high blood pressure, diabetes, depression, bipolar disorder and had IBS. Another had lost her mother and sister to colon cancer. Her brother and nephew both had colon cancer and needed radiation, and her niece had pre-cancerous polyps when she had her colonoscopy. This was her first colonoscopy. I cannot imagine the level of stress she felt before the procedure, and it sounded like the only reason she was there was because her family pushed her to have the procedure.
I was also in the bed next to her when the doctor came to deliver her results, and from the sound of it, they got to her before it was too late, but there would definitely be more procedures in her future. Like I said, perspective and counting your blessings. For the record, I had nothing of any note; no polyps, no hemorrhoids, just a bit of diverticulosis which is apparently common in people over the age of 50. That’s where pockets form in the colon and the treatment is to eat more fiber. That’s different from diverticulitis, which means that one or more of those pockets become inflamed and/or infected, which often means medication and additional procedures. At nearly 60, I am incredibly grateful for my results.
For the C personality, as usual, it’s complicated when it comes to medical procedures. You love data and knowledge, but when it comes to your own health, sometimes, not so much. Remember how we’ve talked about how perfectionism works in a C person’s life? Healthcare issues may be the only area that the C personality embraces the idea that ignorance is bliss because they don’t want their pond rippled. But what if you get a better pond by following through with these procedures and building an arsenal of personal health data that keeps you healthy for as long as humanly possible? Your biggest problem is often too much research and finding out all the possible ways things could go wrong.
I honestly think that patient portals were invented for and probably by the Cautious and Correct C Personalities, because it’s where so much data is stored. For people like me who are data challenged, I thank you for that. Because of those patient portals, I can look back at when I had surgeries and find the dosages of my supplements without having to look at the bottles every time. I can do the same for my family members if they need me to, and that is such a comfort.
In my husband’s case, it can mean the difference between life and death since he’s a type one diabetic, and he’s about to go on an insulin pump that will store so much information and will hopefully keep him healthy for years to come. It took us two years to get that pump, but thanks to my husband’s methodical and consistent S/C personality efforts, he finally got it approved, so thank you C personalities for doing things like that.
So which personality type do you see for yourself when it comes to your healthcare? Are you a D personality that needs choices and control over your decisions? Are you the I personality that may avoid procedures because it does not sound like fun? Are you the S personality that makes excuses that you have so many others to take care of that you put off your own healthcare? Are you the C personality who loves data, but maybe not that type of data? If you know your personality type, I’m sure you see yourself.
If you’re not sure but want to know, get yourself an assessment asap. Check the show notes or go to the Moving Toward Better homepage and click the Take an Assessment button. Then if you want to take your life beyond a simple understanding of yourself and others, you have two great choices. You can book a one on one session to get a deep dive into ways to boost your success in every area of your life or you can sign up for the Moving Toward Better DISCover Better Retreat in September. That’s where we take everything about your personality and super charge it in ways you can’t even imagine.
At the retreat, we'll teach you how to make every area of your life and business work in tandem WITH your personality rather than against it. Trust me, when you do that, you’ll live better than you ever dreamed you could.
Instead of returning to the grind, you return to your life feeling amazing because of the strategies you’ll learn and implement instantly to make positive changes in your life and business. It’s going to be a fun weekend where you’ll learn how to support those you love in ways that are meaningful to them and you. You'll learn how to get the best from yourself and others by genuinely speaking "their language" without denying or burying yours. Tickets are limited, so reserve your spot today at https://www.movingtowardbetter.com/2022-september-retreat .
It’s going to be a great time to recharge and return to your life feeling better equipped to deal with everything in your world than ever before. Sign up today, seriously.
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It is truly my mission to help people upgrade their life, feel better in their own skin and create a life that they love, whatever that means for them, so until next time, keep moving toward better with your unique and amazing personality. Love you all, and I’ll see you soon.
Links mentioned in this show:
Moving Toward Better Website
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Intro and Outro music licensed from Melody Loops.