Friday, October 31, 2014

From Whining to Gratitude

This month I had a colonoscopy for the first time. I’d heard people talk about the pre-procedure cleaning, and how that was the hardest part. I read online about the drink that you take to empty your bowels, and how awful it tasted.

So I approached the cleansing day with some trepidation. My experience? It was easy. The drink tastes a little salty, that’s all, and if you’re prepared and spend the evening near a bathroom, the cleansing is a minor inconvenience, even funny if you take the right attitude.

The next day, while we were waiting for the doctor to come into the room, I told the nurse-anesthesiologist that, in my opinion, the cleansing experience was minor and that people were whiners. She replied “YES!!”

Afterwards I thought about it this way: modern science has developed a technology that can reduce the incidence of colon cancer (a very nasty and painful disease) to almost zero, and our part in the equation is to spend a few hours going to the toilet every fifteen minutes. But what part do most of us put our attention on? The small amount of discomfort. We whine about how much we suffered.

Because of my GLACHH (gratitude, love, acceptance, compassion, humility, honesty--see blog post) work, I was instead capable of putting my attention on the amazing gift to my health the colonoscopy represented. I could feel gratitude.

Everything is a mix of good and bad. In this dualistic world there is no free lunch, there is nothing that is all positive. In this country we have become so spoiled by the good life that we seem to be expecting life to have no down sides.


  1. Thank you Katie, This has helped me to get over the fear of getting this test. You are a great role model.

  2. Thank you Thea! I postponed the test for years...