On of the less delightful aspects of growing old is the panoply of medical tests the AMA has decided it needs to inflict on me to make sure I'm not sick in various specific ways. Next week, I will undergo one of the least fun pleasant, a colonoscopy.
In preparation for this ordeal, I have been given instructions on how to make my insides as cleanly visible as possible to the probing gastroenterologists. For the seven days before the test, I am directed not to eat anything with seeds: no corn, popcorn, cucumbers, watermelon, tomatoes, berries, poppyseeds, sesame seeds, or nuts. I am appalled to realize how difficult I'm finding that simple direction.
Yesterday, my son Jeff took me out to lunch. I was very good about not ordering anything with tomatoes or corn salsa or nut garnish, but when it came time for dessert, the cabernet blackberry cheesecake slipped right past my (not very alert) guard. It was delicious, but it was garnished by four or five actual blackberries, which I ate happily before realizing I shouldn't have.
Well, OK, there are directions for what to do if one's guard is slipped past, just drink more fluids, apparently to sluice out the offending seeds. I figured, "How much harm can five blackberries do?" and grabbed another can of ginger ale.
But then today, I decided to treat myself to an Easter Dinner at Burgerville: a pepper bacon cheeseburger. And I was good: I had it without tomatoes and felt enormously virtuous. I like tomatoes. It was mostly devoured before I realized that (a) it came on a sesame seed bun and (b) it came with pickles, direct descendants of seed-bearing cucumbers. And it was the first day for Burgerville's fresh strawberry shakes, which are delicious because they contain fresh strawberries, which are, you'd be elated to learn, the only fruit that carries its seeds on the outside.
So in four days, as people peer deep into my inner self, there is a possibility that they will see little chunks in there looking like pre-cancerous polyps when they're actually just evidence that I can't do as I'm told. I wonder how many cans of ginger ale are required to wash them all through.