Posts Tagged ‘colonoscopy’

Carmen at Gosford

May 19, 2017

It’s been a long time since we watched an opera. A good friend suggested we join up and see Carmen. Of course Carmen was the one we used to tap our feet with many years ago. I could never get enough of ‘Oh Toreador’ which is one of its main operatic attractions. Off we went a couple of days ago in our Peugeot. The car our daughter returned when her stolen car was finally able to get re-registered in her own name again. There is an opera waiting to be written just about that saga alone.

The last time we watched a real-life opera was Wagner’s ‘The dance of the Valkyries’ whose whole opera, the ambitious Ring Cycle takes a complete week-end to watch. I think that takes a lot of operatic keenness which I am still working towards. Some people find Wagner a bit moody and heavy but we loved the dance of the Valkyries. Perhaps sunny Australia isn’t the place for moodiness in music. I am sure Bizet’s Carmen would fall on better and more eager ears.

The Carmen production was held at a small 400 seat theatre in Gosford’s Laycock theatre.  Gosford used to be a small sleepy village in the fifties when I used to drive my parents there in my first car. This first car was a light blue Ford V8. A single spinner. It had brown leather seats. The front seat had a build-in ashtray and held three adults. People would buy a block of land around Gosford and work towards building a nice week-end retreat. Retirees would flock from Sydney to Gosford. It had a milk bar and its own railway station. On a quiet day you could hear sheep bleat.

Gosford isn’t a sleepy village anymore. It is huge. There are more traffic round-a-bouts than people or New York City.  The theatre itself is surrounded by so much traffic chaos we felt like giving up. Helvi even suggested we might have to go home. No bleating sheep anymore in Gosford. It wasn’t just the traffic and round-a-bouts. The visual assault with so much signage, a blur of gaping car sales yards. Big McDonalds. How can people even think of eating ?  It was next to a white severe looking building which had ‘Endoscopy’ written on it. Do people have a Big Mack and then go for a colonoscopy next door? What an amazing world we live in!

The theatre remained a distant prospect. We could see it as we drove around and around. Screaming tyres. Huge exhausts belching out smoke from road trains gone berserk. My hand gripping the steering wheel of the Peugeot as if  at any moment I would be dragged to the hangman’s scaffolding. I needed a good Carmen. We finally hurled ourselves from the round-about and parked next to the Endoscopy building. It felt safe.

The theatre itself an oasis of calm and serenity. Peaceful retirees. Lots of grey hair and muffled sounds. It was packed and the performance ready to start. An electronic buzzing indicating we should take our pre-booked seats. The theatre was fully booked. Amazing when you think this was Wednesday at 11 am. The Carmen production was just brilliant. A huge cast with the orchestra well hidden below the stage. Rousing responses from the audience after each song or performance. We enjoyed it thoroughly and it was well worth the drive and manic traffic and chaos. Isn’t it wonderful that despite the spiritual barrenness of the surroundings with all that blatant exposure of crass commercialism one also get those jewels of art and creativity?

The world isn’t as bad as we might sometimes believe.

Thank you Bizet.

Advertisements

“Almost there.” ( The reluctant bride)

January 16, 2016
Old Australian cottage on our farm.

Old Australian cottage on our farm.

With six days away we spent some time mulling over a title of the book that I plan to self- publish. One can actually have a computer generator going that will come up with thousands of suggested titles on the internet. It is called a ‘title generator.’ We quickly gave the generator the flick. I have a petrol generator underneath a small bench outside in case of a power failure. We have used it a few times. The noise is nerve wrecking, but with the double glazed windows it is bearable and very handy in an emergency. The neighbours have no such protection!

In any case, after much mulling on our mind’s generator, we came up with ,”Almost there.” It feels nice and does relate to a journey as told in the following chapters holding many fictional memoirs. Is there such a thing as fictional memoirs? Is this a severe case of tautology? I am curious. Aren’t all memoirs to a degree fictional. Are all our memories so set in concrete when so many years have passed? I suppose in biographies of famous people, the writer uses dates and much  corroborated material that can be dug up from archives etc. One can say that a biography is non-fiction, but memoirs…?

I do believe the title of a book is very important. It has to be interesting enough to catch the viewer’s attention as the first step. A casual observer in general just gives a few seconds, to make up his or her mind to take it to the next step in glancing a few pages or the header. It is after those first few moments a book is either bought or not. Perhaps mainly not!

I am making an enormous leap here. The fantasy of having my book in a shop is nice to contemplate but let’s not hurry to the altar too quickly. This bride is very reluctant and likes to spent a bit of time mulling as well. She might well think the groom is a bit of a Wally and she needs more time in contemplation.

The previous suggested miss-mash linking vignettes and memoirs with a nostalgic looking back on Colonoscopy and Erection Dysfunctional Benefits (EDB), were howled down unceremoniously. “How could you even think of it,” followed by, “are you mad, stupid or something, you call yourself a writer?” Being the general gist of it.

Most other titles seemed  clichéd or sentimental, not really connected to the story, plain silly. It is not easy. Fortunately I have Helvi who is very good at connecting things and coming to the unembroidered essence of things whether with titles, arguments or in general matters. Isn’t it odd that is took a few days to come up with  ‘Almost there?’

The title then has to be followed with a short and general description of what the book is about. This too is very important. If it doesn’t hold attention, chances are it will be put back on the shelf. Each word has to be succinct and arouse the interest.  And then, the choice of cover. What then and what next?

And so it goes.

The drunken conductor and Bush. More hyphens.

January 7, 2016

001

As mentioned earlier a Pole had become a self-proclaimed taxi-driver. In Holland this would never ever be allowed to happen. It was an example of how one could become and have the freedom to initiate an independency without interference from higher up the Australian Bureaucracy. It was a heaven of freedom. However, on the way to the train I could hardly look the Polish taxi-driver in the face. I had observed his wife in the shower and seen her ‘bush’. The showers were sex separated but in the same block. I had already heard through the camp grapevine, that if you took the last cubicle adjacent to the female section, one could get a peek. Soon after, I too became privilege to that peek and had obtained another level of attainment in sexual observations. At that time I was the envy of aspirations held by many boys in their early teens. It was such a specific goal in growing up…I could now hold my head high.

Of course, today those things are observed in all its plucked colonoscopy chicken wing minutia on the Internet well before 15 years of age. Different times now, but far more erotic then. It was afterwards and with some guilt (always on automatic) I recognised the woman walking along the mess-hall. I could not look her in the eye. One can imagine going to the Polish taxi-driver’s hut when she came out. It was his wife that I had been viewing through the opening of the flimsy shower partition. A deep shame must have coloured me red…But, I was fifteen.

The train trip. We had all settled in the train. Mum was holding a small suitcase in her lap in which she had packed numerous sandwiches made from the free white bread and previously mentioned free fruit laden IXL jam. Those sandwiches would see us through the day and perhaps even on the trip back. Frugality would reign in this family through thick and thin but mainly thin. But, the rhythmic rocking of the train together with the pleasure of viewing the new passing landscape was interrupted (never to be forgotten) by the conductor wanting to clip a hole in all the passengers’ tickets.

There was something a bit odd about him. He had a dense smell and unfocussed eyes. ‘Show us your thickets or fickets’, he kept mumbling, swaying along while holding onto mum’s seat. We could not understand what he was saying but knew he might want our tickets. Even so, dad wanted to know and asked; ‘pardon?’ Pronouncing it in French. ‘Show us yer frucking thickest mate’, he persevered, now lurching dangerously towards my mum. She kept her suitcase firmly in her lap. We were by this time getting very alarmed. Were we about to be robbed or worse, was our mum and her sandwiches at risk? All of a sudden, the conductor gave up all pretence of soberness and just fell on top of mum and her case with sandwiches. We were all dumb struck. What was this? Someone said ‘he’s been on the turps.’ We had never heard of this term, didn’t know even what ‘turps’ was. A man who understood our plight gave the hand to mouth gesture indicating drinking. We understood quickly. The passengers helped the man up who stumbled back to his locket. We were so scared. In Holland we had never ever observed a drunk. A drunken conductor on a train? What would be waiting for us in Sydney? Lucky, that was the only incident but it was a great shock to us. We made it back home and the kind Polish taxi driver was waiting at the station. This time I was more brazen and felt that after the shock of the drunken train conductor, a mere peek of his wife in a shower was now an honest well-earned bonus. We had survived some difficult times and I needed something to cheer me up.

More words and more sex.

March 11, 2015
My parents first home in Australia

My parents first home in Australia

With luck most of my mornings are born with some positive thoughts that turn into a melancholic potpourri as the day progresses. Of course, with Milo the incorrigible JR Terrier on his special pillow next to me on the floor, makes for positivity no matter what nightmares one survived in those previous hours. It was hoped that with getting old, a kind of dull soothing numbness would give a deserved relief to being on a razor’s edge grappling with pasts that have gone. Not that there are many things that I ought to have regrets about but reflections still nag and refuse to lie down.

One of those is never having studied and gained a university degree. I am still overawed by anyone that has a degree, even if just a bachelor one. As for a PhD, I restrain myself not to shake hands or curtsy, offer to shoe-shine a PhD owner. It doesn’t matter when people tell me, all this glorifying of academia is grossly overrated and I should be satisfied with what I achieved. I married an academic, with a cum laude as well, but at times feel rotten, taking the credit as if somehow I was sitting next to Helvi during her studies at the Jyvaskyla university in Finland. It was so long ago. She did not speak much English and my Finnish consisted of one word ‘rakkaani’. We stumbled by in German, but love’s language is often simple, that one word Finnish poem sufficed, still does.

I read in Saturday’s paper a large full page ad from the University of New England. It exhorted the public to take up degrees in all sorts of studies. I went through all the options. How would it feel to hold a degree in Rural Science or bachelor of Criminology, Master of business? I could have studied medicine and spend years doing colonoscopies or alternatively, been a renowned dentist, looking at patients from the other end. A good lawyer; soothing warring couples in Family Court, while wearing a wig kept overnight in an Arnott’s biscuit tin. I could be walking through Law courts with a roped blue duffel bag slung (casually) over my shoulder and coughing significantly while passing an attractive , just minutes before walking out of chambers with her mint fresh decree nisi, fascinating divorcee.

We all know that men think about sex nineteen times a day and not as previously thought every seven seconds or so. It is also claimed that they think about food about the same number of times. In any case, in sex-thinking at least, it is twice as much common in men as it is in women. I think it explains a lot. When taken in consideration that most man also wake up daily with an erection, (or ‘boner’ in American English) it is surprising men get to do anything at all. How did they manage to become doctor, statistician or admiral?

As a growing roseate cheeked school boy totally taken in by sprouting first pubic hairs, my greatest fear was being called in front of class while suffering an un-abating relentless case of tumescence (boner in US). I used to feverishly conjure up about being rope- bound on a tram track being run over. I was too young still relating that to the opposite sex. That came later. I kept thinking pensively that ‘this’ has to finally go somewhere. It just has to. It can’t be for nothing. My mind was inquiring and curious. I remember pushing it against a door lock. But, one glorious day, I happen to look at a women’s magazine ( my mother’s). (Oh, I know, there is a lot there), and stared at an advertisement for a girdle. It rose magnificently again and all fell into place. The puzzle was solved. Even so, miraculously, I weaned myself away from girdles and moved over to gir(d)ls. It took some time though. I could so easily have ended up sleeping with underwear with buttons under my pillow.

Of all the possibilities that came after Rotterdam, my parents migrating away from home and culture did play a role. I worked and earned in the New Country, did alright, but no degree.

A nostalgic look back at my Colonoscopy.

February 21, 2015
English spinach

English spinach

When I wrote the vasectomy piece a few day ago I did not know that I would be in for spamming e-mails trying to flog pills promising to ‘enlarge your man meat’ and ‘make her scream for more of you.’ followed this morning with the cheery, “Satisfy even the most insatiable nymphomaniac with your relentless sexual power!” At my age I just enjoy a warm milk and spoonful of honey stirred in. The last thing I would want is a screaming nymphomaniac lunging for my manhood. She might have trouble finding it now!

It brought back memories of my colonoscopies some years back. I don’t know why. Perhaps the images of ‘man-meats’ and most male porn, dedicated to images of turkey wattles and inner bicycle tyres has that effect on me. It turns the mind to the opposite of erotica, perhaps as a calmative, antidote or kind of army administered bromide in tea, to keep hands above the blankets. Hence a look now back on my colonoscopy. It is a grey day and raining relentlessly.

The colonoscopy was performed by a good and fully qualified endoscopist/doctor. I don’t know what drives anyone to become an investigator of colons. The same might well be asked of those that put down words in a certain order. At least the inspector of colons gets paid handsomely. He might come home to a lovely wife (or husband), gets served up a nice lamb chop with English spinach. He can relax and regale to spouse about his terrific colonoscopies performed during the day. He might be tired but has done his job well. He knows that.

The writer of words has to stumble in the dark. It is not clear cut as a polyp post polypectomy. He has a feeling, but feelings are often strange bedfellows. How words feel, can change. They are not set in concrete. Definitions of words are there, but as soon as you put another word next to it, it changes. A rose at dawn is withered at dusk. He hopes for the best but as luck has it, he/she has one arrow, unfailing and unwavering. It is the enjoyment of it. So, in a way the colon investigator and word writer might both be as necessary. In fact both might be symbiotic.

It was during my second last colonoscopy. Nurse asked me to draw my knees up higher; ‘doctor needs good access,’ she murmured. I obliged, I knew the score and was on first names with the good doctor. I woke up during his attempt to remove yet another obstinate polyp. The pain was somewhat greater than the tranquiliser. As I woke I had a look on the screen and in my drugged and confused state thought I was having a look at turkey wattle inner tube bicycle porn. The horror, the horror! Fortunately it was my own bowel, the very end of it.

I woke up in bed and after an hour or so was rewarded by a kind nurse with a nice ham and cheese sandwich and lovely lime jelly as desert. I was so hungry!

I did write about his before and GOT PAID.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2008-09-07/32512

Doing the ‘Custom and Border protection shuffle.’

September 4, 2014

images

If you think that hours spent on a flight is less than riveting, spare a thought of what now goes on before the flight. I am not surprised people are flying less. This is our story.

You arrive with the minimum luggage. A back pack each or just a shoulder bag. The waiting at carousels after a long and dry flight is hardly encouraging to take suitcases or as I saw, huge surf boards or jet skis. Before one just used to go through the immigration or custom officers and get your boarding pass and number. Not anymore now.

The first hurdle is to get your ticket validated. After that the immigration or custom procedure. This is were I was astonished beyond and from behind. Fair enough, the luggage (Shoulder bags) were put through a scanning device. A tray was handed in in which to put all metal objects such as watch, coins, jewellery and electronic devices. All apparatus operated by batteries had to be switched on before the scanner, proving their function as legitimate. I know that bombings are to be prevented but does anyone know of a single aeroplane that came down as a result of a passenger blowing up the plane while travelling?

The worst is yet to come; There is always a tension, palpable amongst all plane travellers. The atmosphere is thick and hanging heavily and not a word is spoken. With all the instant news on terrorism and beheading videos, one scans nervously for any sign of a sword or machine gun. Not a tree or blade of grass insight. Nothing to give visual comfort to the hapless traveller now asked to go personally through a scanner as well. ” Take your belt off and place in the tray, shoes too.” Men and women in separate rows now. Husbands, wives and children are now put about 10 meters apart and a female starts to pat down the rows of females and a man the men. Shades of Buchenwald arise in this traveller. Men are shoeless and holding up their pants. All their belongings now disappear into the darkness of a scanner together with their jackets and pullovers.

imagesHHK8BQMOthe patting down

After the patting down, no machine gun comes out of my trousers, which, because of my skinniness has to be held up by both my hands. I have no hips. I hop towards a personal enclosure where I see a man holding up both arms while a sinister custom officer is looking at a screen. I finished the hopping and enter the steel enclosure where I am told to put my socked feet on a painted space on the floor indicating a left and right foot. Hold up your arms and look straight ahead, the man ordered. My pants slid down at half mast. “You still have metal somewhere”, the man stated. I pointed to my hearings aids which have batteries. “Take them off and re-enter again, he ordered.” I bend down to lift my trousers glad I wasn’t inspected internally or worse, given an spontaneous colonoscopy on the run. I got through and was met by hordes of men tucking in shirts and arranging their private parts in a certain order. Putting on shoes and belts. The relief was instant. One man cracked a joke and another giggled nervously.

Women were busy squeezing hair shampoo and conditioners into smaller 100mil bottle avoiding having to surrender anything larger than a 100mil container. One women was scooping Nescafe into small bottles. She had bought a half kilo of Nescafe. Don’t ask me why? Was she thinking of selling or making coffee on Jetstar? Another sign of a traveller’s frugality was toothpaste being squeezed and divided into smaller bottles. How do you get toothpaste out of a bottle. Do you scoop it onto a brush with a match stick or suck it out? Huge bottles of Eau de Cologne were confiscated together with tins of Arnotts biscuits. One man was travelling with cigars. All taken away. Only duty free goods and securely and officially wrapped was allowed through.

images the hapless traveller

The flying is a breeze compared getting on or off aeroplanes. I wonder how far this hysteria is going to go? Will we be asked to bring a sample of a stool next? ( they too can be pretty explosive) Will we finally be subjected to such lengthy and personal procedures that only the most foolhardy will fly. I know they are trying to avoid disasters but I haven’t yet heard of single plane being blown up by a passenger on board. (Perhaps excluding above Somalia or Liberia)

Surely crossing the street while texting is much more dangerous.

Those courageous first Morning Steps

April 30, 2012

.

That business of getting up and defying gravity back towards the mattress is one of life’s challenges that might, with the passing of the years, increasingly call for ingenuity. As it is there seems to be creeping into my nocturnal habits a tendency to delay the inevitable. Of course, there has to be the choice made to either get up or not. So far so good. I want to get up and just have to now decide in which manner.

I saw on TV, (where else?) a young athletic person who could get up from the prone position on his back to standing up without turning around or the use of arms. His arms and legs were tied. Don’t ask me why, this is how things on TV work. In a single flawless movement he lifted his legs, threw them down again and at the same time used that downward movement as propulsion to lift his torso up to a standing position. This magnificent physical action happened within a split second.

I can’t remember if I was ever capable of doing this as well. Gymnastics was one of the subjects I excelled in at school. I even managed to take a run, do a somersault over seven prostate bodies on the floor and end up on my feet. Those were the days my friend, I thought they’d never end

Now, it is more likely to be a somersault by a probe deep inside the bowel and around the prostate. That’s what it has come to. I haven’t had a reminder from the expert bum prober for a number of years. He has either died or most likely is retired and himself subject to the bum-probing colonoscopy every couple of years. While many women might go through breasts examinations, at least they can do it themselves and all is above sea-level. With men’s business deep inside their bums there are no such easy self detection probes for dodgy lumps, not as far as I know.

It makes one wonder what the aspirations are of a young man or woman going through medical school and decide to branch of into becoming an examiner of bowels. What is the driver into that line of work? Is it an urge to go and tunnel? I mean the Snowy Mountains scheme attracted workers from all over the world some years ago.

I wonder if those future gastroenterologists have a penchant for vegemite above that of golden syrup or cured double smoked ham? Has the relationship of that subject ever been studied and have there been any stats compiled? If so, are they available?

My new computer has a driver; a driver that allows downloads and supports a W-Fi. My old computer doesn’t support a driver for a Wi-Fi, a message on my screen told me. ‘Please contact Toshiba’, it warned me.

When I am resolute enough to get up, I generally follow a routine of swinging the legs over the edge of the bed and stare down at my feet, gathering enough time and courage to put weight on those limbs and then get into an upright position. I take the first courageous steps of the day. My computer driver is calling me.

It is still a wonderful world of magic and surprises, isn’t it?

 

Delights of Colonoscopy

September 16, 2010

gerard oosterman says:

September 16, 2010 at 9:31 pm (Edit)

Yes, no area of medicine has richer veins to tap from than the much misaligned colonoscopy. My experiences with the colonoscopy are vast and at the Concord coloscopy unit I am on first name terms with all the professors, doctors and various peerers into the depth and mysteries of the various colons.
Thanks to my advice the complete Wagner’s Ring cycle is now put on during the daily procedures, soothing even the most nervous of patients that might still be hesitant in turning over and draw knees closer to the chest so doctor can have better ‘access.’
Indeed, some years ago I wrote of the virtues of the Coloscopy on the ABC’s Unleashed. I will try and dig it up just for you all to reminisce over those good old times.
I had a close shave once when to my surprise I had the name of a woman on my wrist. Just as I was being prepared for a hysterectomy, I protested vehemently and it was only when nurse lifted my gown to shave me around the conjugals that the mistake was noticed.
Still, I am now so much better for it and my advice is: go for it!
http://www.abc.net.au/unleashed/stories/s2357539.htm