Monday, January 7, 2013

Hot Yoga - Starting Month 3 with a Colonscopy

I can't believe I'm already into my third month of Bikram yoga practice. It's been a real challenge, not just do get through the practice 4 times a week, but to make the time to show up. When I went to regular yoga classes at the local YMCA, it didn't seem very critical to make each class but I've found I really want to go to hot yoga and miss it on the days I don't go.

This week though, I'm facing another challenge which all boomers should consider. I've got my first colonoscopy scheduled for tomorrow morning. The standard advice is to get one when you're 50 and then every 10 years after that. I've managed to avoid it until now but my doctor finally talked me into it.

 My husband has colon cancer in his family so he's had 2 colonoscopies to date, both clear. I used to be a surgical technician and even in the 1980's. A surgeon once told me that if people ate a better diet, it could eliminate colon cancer. This was back in the 1980's when almost no one talked about diet as a way to avoid cancer.

For the past 20 years, I've been the poster girl for avoiding colon cancer. I eat lots of fruits and veggies, get plenty of exercise (10% of colon cancer cases can be linked to lack of exercise), eat less and less red meat as time goes by and avoid unhealthy fats in my diet. Whenever we read about a certain vitamin or food which helps protect us from colon cancer, we start using it, because of my husband's history. I never felt like I needed a colonoscopy.

Still, my doctor kept bugging me, which is his job, and although I avoid using medications and practice holistic health, I do think we should take advantage of screening tests when they are available, especially as we get older.

Anyway, today I am doing the full liquid diet and have to drink lots of disgusting prep stuff, which my husband tells me isn't too bad. Then tomorrow morning at 6 am I go to the hospital so I can be first in line. I'm not nervous about having it done since the drugs are good now and I won't even remember it, it's just inconvenient and I won't get to go back to hot yoga until, hopefully Wednesday. I plan to do a good detox after the procedure to get the medications out of my system so my head will be clear by the day after.

What do hot yoga and colonoscopies have in common? Both are something extremely important to health and wellness, I think.

I've been using the Hot Yoga Doctor's tip about not wiping the sweat from my hands and instead, focusing on building strength in my fingers and it's working great! Besides some of my poses improving, the arthritis type pain in my hands and fingers is diminishing.

Stay tuned for my favorite green smoothie recipe - a sure fire way to protect yourself from colon cancer.

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