Taking Care of Business

Work in Progress

Have you ever been overwhelmed by life?

If not, skip to the bottom, this post is not for you, and it might even compromise your well-ordered life. And by the way, I’m blocking you.

Did you know there are thousands of variations in color for a single tile? It’s enough to send one off to the loony bin? I’m not exaggerating, send in nurse Ratchet, “You are in this hospital…because of your proven inability to adjust to society,” clearly.

I just want to go ostrich and bury my bewildered head in the sand but that is never a long-term solution because life always catches up with you. Right? I call it a design flaw but God probably programmed that one in as a reality check, let me just say Her dedication is excessive.

So, as an alternative to a psychiatric ward, I’m going to purge my angst right here and let you deal with the consequences of too much information, often referred to as TMI. When I need to let it out, I write. When I reach times of overwhelmingness I take a deep breath and allow it to slowly escape like gas.

The first of the formidable decisions on my list was the scheduling of our couples colonoscopy, which as you know requires a lot of unpleasant preparation, but we wanted to put it behind us so to speak.

“Take care of your body. It’s the only place you have to live.” Jim Rohn

We scheduled our consultation a few weeks ago as if I had to be consoled before preceding, which ends up being true, because the first thing the doctor asks of us is to “step on the scale.” It’s located in the main hallway, in clear view of the world, well at least those of us milling around the space, which happened to be Larry, the nurse, the doctor, and me. But still. I would rather my husband avert his eyes when I’m standing on a scale than if I were standing naked before him. At least then I can hold in my stomach but the scales are a whole new level of honesty and I don’t believe our relationship is ready for this sort of rectitude.

When it comes to my weight I’m all about rounding down, starting with my driver’s license, to be fair I’m no longer a blond, and I believe the height listed is a total stretch. Aging issues.

I’m torn about taking my shoes off or not because I want the most bang for my buck, meaning when they ask the anesthesiologist how much to give me based on my weight, I want it to be enough to put me out, so more is better in this case. I leave my shoes on and lean into the scale ever so slightly.

In all fairness the doctor was rather debonaire, I hopped off that contraption the second the number flashed on the little digital screen and I noticed the doc made an unreadable notation on his chart, it’s the little things that count. When Larry stepped on the scale the doctor actually announced the poundage claiming Larry had not gained a single pound in ten years. He said nothing about me. Screw him.

After being escorted into a small room the doctor confirmed we were not allergic to any medications, recently constipated, or suffering from enlarged organs. He thought it was adorable that we were scheduling our scopes together, he made some lame comment about Larry’s idea of a romantic date, if he only knew! On our last date night he hired some lady to walk all over me, literally! I would say his dates are going from bad to worse, but sometimes things that seem uncanny are what shield and protect us from the worst situations in life.

When we get to the scheduling part of the appointment, Larry selects my next day off, which means I’ll be teaching on our prep day (no food or red liquids), and I’ll be teaching the day after the ghastly procedure. Perfect, the last classes I will ever teach in person will forever be cross-pollinated with a couples colonoscopy, no wonder I was reduced to a blubbering puddle of snot as I exited the campus of Notre Dame.

The prep was anything but romantic but at least we had two working bathrooms which was key. Not to get too detailed but it involved dozens of horse pills, massive amounts of water, and lots of lientery. Repeat at 5:00 am. Enough said.

“If Mr. McMurphy doesn’t want to take his medication orally, I’m sure we can arrange that he can have it some other way,” nurse Ratched.

Julie dropped us at the office, and after we were processed, stripped of our clothing, tucked under a warm blanket, our mobile beds were moved into adjoining rooms with a curtain divider, which we pushed aside so we could discuss our frayed nerves, and hold hands. The nurses thought we were adorable. If they only knew.

Ladies first, thank God, because there were a few complications with my procedure, and apparently forcing air where the sun don’t shine became a necessary evil. Thank God I was too drugged up to care. I could no longer discern what was real and what was fake. Clemantine Wamariya describes it well, “everything, including the present, seemed to be both too much and nothing at all.”

Larry was rolled in to the “procedure room” after I was rolled out (imagine dealing with asshole after asshole on a daily basis), he’s already full of it, no forced air necessary. As we’re coming off the anesthesia they push you back into your prep room and tell you to get dressed? I have no memory of dressing myself, but my shirt was on backwards, so there’s that. This is also when you’re given the results, which seems irresponsible, but from what we could piece together on the ride home, chauffeured by Julie who could not stop laughing, we were both given the all-clear.

It will be a decade before we have to starve, void, or be inappropriately inflated again. Praise be to God.

I got in my pjs and went straight to bed, Julie brought me the best plate of scrambled eggs I’ve ever eaten, and sourdough toast dripping with melted butter. I slept for five hours, Larry painted the entire ceiling of the kitchen and old dining room? Clearly, I should have taken my shoes off.

While I prepared for my final classes amongst the chaos and the dust, there was nothing I could do to dim the super gases being stored in my inner sanctum, it was an endless chain of intestinal firecrackers if you get my drift. It passed, let’s move on.

As I was recovering from the trauma of “the procedure,” I also had to pick out the shade of black I wanted for the tiled backsplash in our demolished kitchen while simultaneously preparing for the long Memorial weekend at the lake with the entire Oreglia clan. No pressure.

As noted in previous blogs I’m going for a dramatic look, white cabinets, marbled stone counters, with a black backsplash. Why not? The counters were installed on Tuesday, and after discussing the look with a designer and tile installer, we settled on the perfect shade of matt black for our project.

Off we go on our much-needed weekend away, but while we sipped local wines, roasted marshmallows, and barbecued burgers on the grill, our tile order when though a bit of a snafu. To start with Larry texted the contractor the wrong size (slip of the finger, blind as a bat sort of thing), which couldn’t be found in the tile we selected, which then required a new selection by the tile guy who doesn’t fully grasp my vision. He wanted something in stock, something close to the desired color, something installation-friendly. When we arrived home we were greeted with ten boxes of chalky blue-grey tile, narrower, and longer than I wanted.

Yeah, no.

Larry suggested I sleep on it, not the tile, the idea that a chalky blue-grey skinny tile could work with my vision. As if I’m a sizest who finds the color grey offensive, and he thought we should also rethink the grout. I didn’t sleep a wink, and by morning the grey was well still grey?

Larry called the contractor and we went back to the tile shop to start all over again with the agonizing decision on the perfect shade of black. We ended up with the tile we selected in the first place, but it will delay the project another week, and we had to make a few charming adaptions to the bar area due to a stock shortage. It should all work out in the end, and that seems to be the case for just about everything these days, colonoscopies included.

I’m really going to miss being a teacher, designing kitchens, emptying my bowels. Not!

I’m Living in the Gap, the struggle is real, care to join me?

Anecdotes:

  • “Such harsh truths so early in the morning cannot be good for digestion.” Will Herondale”
  • “In understanding the basics of digestion, you’ll discover who’s in charge. Here’s a hint. It’s not you.” Nancy Mure
  • “Whereas chimpanzees spend five hours a day chewing raw food, a single hour suffices for people eating cooked food. The advent of cooking enabled humans to eat more kinds of food, to devote less time to eating, and to make do with smaller teeth and shorter intestines.” Yuval Noah Harari.

33 Comments

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  1. Isn’t it nice to have a 10-year break from another colonoscopy? Since I’ve moved out of California, I’m going to need to find new doctors. At least my new gastroenterologist won’t be one of my good friend’s husbands. Talk about awkward. Good luck with your remodel!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Elizabeth, What a relief it is to put that procedure behind for another 10 years. Our doctor who did our scopes a decade ago and last week will not be practicing in ten years so we’ll be on the search too. But I draw the line at a close acquaintances husband! Not happening! Looking forward to the day when I can walk down the hall and get something to eat! It’s the little things, C

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Your kitchen is almost as long as my entire house!
    Great humour with the colonoscopy story, Cheryl, I enjoyed that, especially as I am not due to have one!
    Now, those black tiles…
    I want you to remember what I warned you about water stains on black tiles. So when you are scrubbing those off for the fifteenth time in one day, you will hear me saying “I told you so”, all the way from Beetley! 🙂
    Best wishes, Pete.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Pete, I think that picture exzagerates the length of the counter? It does appear to be quite large in that shot. Things never are as they seem, but I’m extremely happy to have scored an all-clear on the colonoscopy and won’t have to deal with that business for another decade! Even that seems too soon! And I know I’ll be lamenting about those water stains on the black tile in no time at all, and I’ll be saying, “why didn’t I listen to Pete, what was I thinking!” I’m just so enamored with the idea of it all! Warmly, C

      Liked by 1 person

  3. C, seriously, I can’t stop giggling. You really do have a way with words. May your tile be ever so perfect, your bowels left alone, and the dates improve from here on out. You have ten years and I think all will be good during that time if you keep letting it all out like you’ve done (sorry, I couldn’t refuse). Hugs and peace my friend! Karla

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Karla, I’m so glad this gave you the “giggles” it was one of my intentions I set when writing this post! Success! I also wanted to inspire others to get their health checks done and not be afraid of the unknown. Thanks for the Irish blessing on tiles, blowels, and date nights! Cheers to “Letting it all out,” as you say, I believe it’s why we write! Warm hugs and gentle blessings coming your way, C

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Cheryl, so you had a double date with the Rear Admiral. That is romantic. Did you dream of tile as you counted backwards from ten? The prep work has gotten better each time I have done mine, but is nowhere close to “fine.” My wife is scheduling hers soon. We have not resorted to the double date, though. Might mess up the plumbing here. Keith

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Keith, you crack me up! “A double date with the Rear Admiral,” hahaha! I had a nightmare about tile as I was drifting out of my body and away from that room! I agree, the prep has gotten better but there is lots of room for improvement! The couples colonoscopy is good for people who find it difficult to suffer alone! I’m thinking this could become a destination thing, think Hawaii, rented house on the coast, with lots of bathrooms…C

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Kim, I’m excited for it to all come together! I most likely will be cursing the water stains as Pete has warned but the effect of the dramatic colors will be pleasing to the eye! Glad this one put a smile on your face, my intention was to make he procedure less daunting and hopefully inspired others to schedule their scopes! I totally agree, there has to be an easier way? I think they would rethink the mammogram too! Warmly, C

      Liked by 1 person

  5. You are witty, Cheryl. Life overwhelm? Hell, yes. You are brave in the way you handled your procedure and I am glad it went well for you and Larry. A neighbour had it done recently and that led to a different kind of conversation as we put our bins out the other evening. Your kitchen refurb looks fabby and yes, I get that there are many shades of black (and other colours). I had a discussion with my Mum’s plumbers yesterday on shower trays and mm’s …. that took some time! Thank goodness for your humour and the way you write. A bright moment in my day to read this. Much ❤ to you all. Xxx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Jane! What a kind and generous response. I am ever so pleased to allow the deaded procedure to become a faint memory but my intention was to bring awareness to these scopes because they truly can be life saving if you catch something early. Our technology continues to improve along with our treatment for various cancers but we have a long way to go before we can irradicate the word. I’m so ready for the remodel to be finished, people, dust, and noise milling about the house is not conducive to writing! Glad to have brought some light into your day Jane, much love to you, C

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Miscellaneous ramblings brought about from your entertaining prose:
    Butt, Butt. . . Okay then. I think we’ve bottomed out here. Enough about that subject 😉

    Words never used in the same sentence. . . EVER: ” Kitchen remodels are just sooo much fun!” We know, your pain. we are in the middle of one right now as well. Sigh.

    Confession – I’ve never actually use the words “Keep Calm And Carry On” verbally or in written form. . .until now. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You are hysterical Chris, yes I will agree, we’ve bottomed out on the colonoscopy business, let’s put it behind us! And kitchen remodels are especially challenging as they restrict our ability to graze the refrigerator at want. I’m starving half the time, no wonder I’m going with black tile, it’s as if I’m in mourning. Which I am…and without the calm I might add. C

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  7. First, your counter is gorgeous! Second, I am glad my ordeal is done especially after the doctor said congratulations this procedure just saved your life! I would never had had it done but the surgeon wouldn’t do my other surgery until this was done. I’m happy you both came out clear in the end too! Lol Third, you are making me rethink remodeling my kitchen in 3 years!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Diane, I’m in love with the counters! When we picked out the slab of stone I had no idea how beautiful it would look after it was installed. So this daunting procedure saved your life? That’s wonderful! It’s why I wrote about it, I was hoping to demystify the process, and encourage others to get one scheduled! It’s imperative as we age. Okay, the remodel, I waited 3 years to do ours too, I had the money all saved but we had other projects that took residence over my kitchen. I am so excited about the clean new look, I would say do it as soon as you can. All my best, C

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  8. 1) Gorgeous countertop/can’t wait for the backsplash! 2) I cried real tears imagining asshole after asshole on a daily basis. 😂 3) I’m teaching at a writing camp for 13-14 YO next week. One of our activities is compiling a list of “Words I Like.” I added debonair and uncanny to my list. I might add asshole if they weren’t 13.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Crystal, your comments always come with a breath of fresh air! I’ll post a pic when the tile is complete! I’m so excited for this project to be complete. Love your words choices, some of my favorites! And asshole is strong contender for the over 50 club! Wishing you great success with our future writers! Enjoy, C

      Liked by 1 person

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