Monday, June 27, 2011

Colonoscopy - check!



Today I completed my first colonoscopy, in fact two, but I'll explain that later. While I'm still younger than 50, the recommended age for a colonoscopy, some of my siblings have had polyps found during their own proceedure, which would speak to getting it done sooner than later. Additionally, I have a dear friend from Salt Lake City, Mary DeLaMare Schaefer who admonished her friends and associates at the city to get it done. I've included her story, which is a good reminder to not put it off. In consulting with my primary care doctor, looking at family history, including history of cancer, we decided having it done five years early did make some sense. I've sort of debated on whether to even write about it, but if by chance, someone I know has put it off, or is afraid of it, than I should care enough about them to encourage them to get it done.

Going into it, I was warned that the preparation for the procedure was worse than the procedure, and they were right. It could have been worse, but Sunday's clear fluid diet of broth, jello and fluids was a reminder that I should be grateful for the fact, that the alteration to my diet was only short lived. I also realize that next time, the 64 oz of Gatorade I choose to mix with Miralx, should be a flavor I don't like. It may be a while before I get back to my favorite of Orange. I am grateful however for a supportive family, incredible spouse and good insurance that took some of the worry out of it for me.

As the day moved forward, really the most painful part of the day was the process of trying to find a vein for the IV. Unfortunately, I seem to have inherited my mother's veins which always seemed to keep it challenging for medical personnel. When I woke up from my first procedure, everything seemed to be fine, but then was informed that when you're tall, your clothing size isn't the only thing that's big! How about your colon - go figure. The machine they had at the University Redwood Clinic wasn't long enough to get to the top! They had found however one polyp in this phase and then "tattooed" a mark to know how far they had reached. It was my first tattoo! I even have a picture which I would show, but Cathy would never speak to me again.

Well, since I was already prepped, had an IV stint in my hand, we decided to put me in a car and go up to University Hospital, where they had a longer scope. Dr. Fang also followed us up and completed the procedure. Things looked good, but they also found another couple of polyps and so they got removed as well. The doctor seemed optimistic they will be benign, but getting them removed early, may have been one of the few smart things I could have done. I think the whole medical team liked me so much, they wanted me to come back in three years! I very rarely get invited back to anything, so I do feel special.

While I'm still a little out of it, I am grateful I didn't put it off and erred on the side of caution. I was grateful for a great doctor and a capable staff who were friendly and very helpful. I truly can't think of any legitimate reason to put off a colonoscopy if you're 50 and never had one. (I'm not saying I want to do it every day...). Just get it done, check!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Lee Creek Natural Area



I've had the opportunity over the years to be part a number of public conversations and part of formal bodies to discuss, preserve and to try and recommend policies that respect multiple uses of Utah's natural areas. It's really been an interesting opportunity for me. I was one of the original 13 members of the Quality Growth Commission, which included then private member, Jon Huntsman Jr. and a county commissioner from Utah County, Gary Herbert. Over the eight years I served in that capacity, I became acquainted with a number of the land conservation and preservation groups and also got to know a number of local individuals from around the State of Utah. The Quality Growth Commission among its responsiblities, administers the LeRay McAllister Grants, used to match other dollars in preserving some of Utah's most critical lands.

I currently serve on the Great Salt Lake Advisory Council. Again as a charter member, asked by now Governor Herbert, to represent local government. It has really been quite interesting to begin to understand the competing needs on the lake, the delicate balance and the contribution it makes to our economy, not only in tourism, but a number of other industries as well.

As part of the City Council's efforts to reach out and talk about things happening in our community, we have started producing YouTube videos which are not only posted on the council's YouTube Channel, but run like commercials during the breaks of our council meetings, which is where I'm hoping they get viewed! As I look at some of the view rates of our current postings, while mine have done as well as most, we have a long way to go!

This interview is with Ella Sorenson and Wayne Martinson of the Audubon Society is the first of three segments we filmed that day as we looked at the work that the Audubon Society is doing, just outside my district. I've had the chance to work a little with both, and respect their great passion for the work and dedication in the preservation of critical lands for the birds and other wildlife. The Lee Creek area, on the way to the GSL Marina along the frontage road, is a great educational opportunity for those passing by, or someone looking for a nice sunset walk, either by themselves, or with a friend. I hope you'll enjoy. Special thanks to council staff which includes Brian who did the filming, Kristin who did the editing, and Janice, who has given staff support as I've served on these various boards.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Father's Day - I probably haven't done a lot right, but my girls are the exception

I've often been one to share my thoughts, but in the more formal political realm, it's difficult if not impossible to say what you really want to say.  Often it can be political suicide, which doesn't make blogging any better.  However there are times, when I just want to say it anyway, and take the brunt of the result.  I guess if I'm lucky, I'll get to say whatever I want, post it, and no one will ever read it, and thus never be offended!  While I do like doing the Facebook Status update it doesn't always convey what I want, and while sometimes I can find an article that reflects my thinking, simply posting a link doesn't cut it either.  Carlton's Corner is my attempt to voice my feelings and create whatever forum it creates.

I thought about writing about my frustrations of yesterday's Republican Organizing Convention, but for my first entry, and with it being Father's Day, it just seemed like a bad way to honor this day.  Somehow, Heavenly Father blessed me with two of the choicest girls I could have wanted.  Cathy, my wife, will probably insist (as she should) that she had some bearing on it, but I haven't ever figured out how I became so lucky to be their Dad.  I've had a lot of titles in my life, but its the three letter title of Dad, that makes me feel the most important.  We have this rule, that when you put a partially empty drink bottle in the fridge (for me it's usually Gatorade) you have to write on the lid who it belongs to, so it doesn't go forever without anybody drinking it.  Carlton is too long to write on a lid, but Dad works.  I can't help but think of how lucky I am when I write that term and what it means.  It isn't always easy and sometimes I'm not as good at it as I would always like to be, but nevertheless, wouldn't trade it for anything.  On this Father's Day I miss my own Father, who died when I was 10, but will be forever grateful for the impact he has had upon my life, and a hope that maybe I might have the same impact on my own girls.