If you’re reading this, I made it

Still peaceful at North End shipyard

Still peaceful at North End shipyard.

I’ll admit right off that this was not one of my best ideas. In fact, it turns out to have been one of my worst. Still, you never know if something will work until you try it.

Do you remember that astronaut who drove 900 miles wearing Depends in a bid to kill her romantic rival? ‘That woman was a good multitasker,’ I said to myself at the time. Now I know she was either using another brand or the whole story was a fiction. I tried it yesterday and it was a fiasco.

Rochester, NY, where my medicos are, is 570 miles from my home in Rockport. (Yes, I have to do something about that.) Why not combine two tasks I hate—colonoscopy prep and a long Thruway drive?

The day started a little after 8 AM with a stop at the North End Shipyard. From there I went to Owl’s Head State Park to teach my plein air class. I was already regretting my plan, as the gastric fidgets arrived very prematurely.

There is one outhouse at Owl’s Head, and I was hogging it. Waiting patiently was a stylish trio in a BMW with Massachusetts plates. Each time I saw them in the park, they looked slightly more apprehensive. I’m sure my tattered painting clothes (de rigueur in the field) and slight niff painted a misleading image.

We tried to figure out if these were the edible kind of ferns at Owl's Head State Park

We tried to figure out if these were the edible kind of ferns at Owl’s Head State Park.

From Owl’s Head, we drove straight to Rochester, stopping only for gasoline, bathroom breaks, and to use a shower at the home of a friend in Albany. We arrived in Henrietta, NY just before midnight.

By the time you read this, I should be napping happily under a mask. But I’ve learned that there are limits to multitasking.

Medical screening is a hassle (more so if you prepare for it stupidly) but it saves lives. My colon cancer was missed at first because my then-doctor thought a colonoscopy was overkill. Another doctor thought differently a year later. I might have missed out on a third of my life if he hadn’t. My uterine cancer was caught by a sharp-eyed fellow who relies on routine testing, not wishful thinking. (I see him this afternoon.)

When people kvetch about the time and money we spend on medicine in this country, remind them of the alternative.

Carol Douglas

About Carol Douglas

Carol L. Douglas is a painter who lives, works and teaches in Rockport, ME. Her annual workshop will again be held on the Schoodic Peninsula in beautiful Acadia National Park, from August 6-11, 2017. Visit www.watch-me-paint.com/ for more information.