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Confessions of a Diet Deception: Navigating Health, Lies, and a COVID Curveball

Updated: Jan 16

I should have lied. 

March 11, 2022

I lied, once. Twice in one week seemed a little much. 

My son once complained about getting caught for some minor infraction. I explained to him that we are people who get caught. Maybe we aren’t devious enough. Obedient children don’t get practice in covering their tracks because there are no tracks to cover. The signs of disobedience are obvious. 

Perhaps my first lie led to the need for a second. But I had learned my lesson and professed the truth. 

My A-team of travelers had left the Midwest winter to seek sunshine here in the Southwest. Mike and I led them on a tour of Puerto Peñasco, Mexico, followed by three days in Phoenix. Before they left to burrow their way home, I had started a pre-colonoscopy white diet, which seems to be prescribed for high-risk patients. 

“White diet” is not a medical term. It refers to a diet with no vegetables, a few canned fruits, no grains or legumes, and otherwise white foods to reduce fiber in the colon. After three days, I crave salad! The day before the procedure is limited to clear liquids, no red. The night prior is sleepless as the patient drinks an abhorrent concoction designed to clear the digestive system. Often from both ends. 

I always schedule my colonoscopy first in the morning, so I can roll out of the recliner into the car in minimal consciousness. One of the COVID screening questions was, “Have you traveled in the past two weeks?” Considering Rocky Point (Puerto Peñasco) a suburb of Phoenix, I replied in the negative. That was on Monday. 

On Tuesday I awoke with a mild runny nose and sore throat. The home test affirmed COVID. Crap! (I have permission from a friend to use that word or worse.) Did the stress of the colonoscopy impair my immune system? No one else on the trip was afflicted.

Feeling slightly guilty about my “lie”, I called the surgeon who was to perform a hernia repair on me next week, to report the diagnosis. Yep, I must postpone for at least two weeks. 

I spent most of the day in bed on Wednesday, exhausted with a mild headache. By Thursday, I felt like my normal lazy self, and today, Friday, totally back to normal. I’ve been more debilitated by mouth sores. 

Should I have not informed the surgeon? I blame my Midwest upbringing, thinking about the other guy first. Knowing that many people have ignored with safety of others by refusing vaccinations, discarding masks, and yes, entering the hospital without revealing their exposure to the virus, I decided to do the right thing. The virus had little impact on me other than to increase my immunity, but for people like my friend Larry who could not be vaccinated, it could be deadly. Sometimes being good is annoying. Crap.

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