Jamal Khashoggi Murder: A Sleeper Down South

by Charles S. Garabedian

You certainly know about the murder of Jamal Khashoggi at the Saudi Arabia consulate in Istanbul, Turkey. Mr. Khashoggi was a legal resident of the United States and a columnist at The Washington Post newspaper in Washington D.C. Although Mr. Khashoggi was not an American citizen, he was one of our own American people—for all practical purposes.

The news of this murder has been buzzing around in the daily news media like The Three Stooges dance instructor with a bee down the back of her dress. Just in case you do not remember:

People are no doubt talking about this outrageous murder over lunch in New York City, Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, and Seattle. As many of you know, I have lived in the American South all of my life. So far, I have not heard anyone down here talking about the Khashoggi murder over lunch, dinner, or anything else.  Why?

I suspect it all goes back to the 1970s, OPEC oil embargoes, high gas prices, long gas lines at service stations, the Arab-Israeli War of 1973, and the American Hostages in Tehran (1979). The Iranians are not ethnic Arabs—but Christian fundamentalists, conservative evangelicals, and the redneck population of the American South make no such distinction. They are all Arabs in their eyes. It began in the 1970s, but the terrorist attacks at the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001, were the last straw. Most of the attackers in that group of 19 terrorists were Saudi nationals.

In the American South, all you have to do is look at the long lists of negative comments at the ends of newspaper articles and Facebook stories about Arabs and Islam. I am sure some exceptions exist, but I feel comfortable in saying that most of the conservative population of the American South (including the average Christian fundamentalist and conservative evangelical) hates Arabs with an almost perfect hatred. Ever since the 1970s, they have had three terms they often use to describe Arabs. Those three terms are ragheads, towel heads, and sand niggers. Worst of all, they are not very educated or discriminating in their use of such terms. For example, male members of the Sikh faith from India are often mistaken for Arab Muslims because they wear a nicely wrapped turban on their heads. That is a real shame because Sikhs are some of the nicest people you would ever want to know and call a friend—as are many immigrant Arabs and Iranians in the United States.

I feel pretty sure southern conservatives are shedding few tears about the death of Mr. Khashoggi tonight. To their way of thinking, it was just one worthless bunch of sand n-words killing another worthless sand n-word—and the more dead sand n-words you have—the better off the world will be.

God—I hate living in the American South today.  It is just plain crazy down here with all these racists, white supremacists, poorly educated Bubbas, religious zealots, right wing extremist ideologues, red state politicians, southern belles who quasi-admire their wealthy “diddies,” and Trump fanatics. The American South is a bonafide cultural zoo every space alien anthropologist will want to study after they arrive on Earth.

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Christian Fundamentalists, Conservative Evangelicals, and the American People Must Choose in 2019

by Charles S. Garabedian

Trump and Jesus

“Donnie. You Remind Me So Much of my Dad’s Old Second in Charge.”

What Has Come to Pass

Christian fundamentalists, conservative evangelicals, and many other Americans had a choice to make in the 2016 presidential election. In voting for Donald J. Trump, they chose to:

(1) Abandon the spiritual discernment some so-called “true” Christians are supposed to possess and apply to political candidates, other kinds of people, their philosophies, and their spiritual perspectives. Only a mustard seed of spiritual discernment would have been necessary to recognize that Trump is unwittingly allied with the Evil One. One would think that at least a few major leaders in the fundie community would have had the gift of spiritual discernment. Unfortunately, I have seen little evidence of such discernment among fundie leaders—and if any of them actually have it—they appear to have not tried very hard to press their case against Trump within the fundie community. Perhaps they are afraid of being ostracized for standing on the side of Jesus and his truth instead of Trump and his lies.

(2) Abandon the spiritual and moral lessons they were taught in Sunday school and stampede themselves into the open arms of a chronic liar, racist, business cheat, serial fornicator, and serial adulterer, whose only true god has been the lean, mean, green almighty dollar—a man who is—as the Bible plainly warns against—unstable in all of his ways—a man with a long history of wallowing in sin like a hog in a feces-contaminated sty of mud.

(3) Sink all of their faith into one huge lie—that being evangelist Lance Wallnau’s false notion that President Donald J. Trump is a latter-day King Cyrus of Persia. The Bible says that God chose this evil, ancient king to benefit Israel. Today many Christian fundamentalists and conservative evangelicals are totally sold out to the idea that God has personally designated Trump as The Anointed One of the Lord—sent to save and restore the faltering fundie faith in the United States; to set fundie religion on a high pedestal of spiritual authority and leadership over the American people; and to make America Great Again. Never mind that this same Holy Bible speaks in numerous other places about how much God despises evil leaders. Never mind that the Holy Bible warns about the tragedies that befall nations who are led by such evil men.

(4)  Trade away the things of God the Father, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit in exchange for the corruption of worldly power on this present Earth. In the Holy Bible, God warns against seeking first the things of this world. In voting for Donald J. Trump, Christian fundamentalists and conservative evangelicals sought to gain great personal power for themselves in this world—and did it by backing Trump. If they do not soon repent of their evil choice and renounce Trump, the fundie belief system shall soon reap a harvest of disgrace and destruction from the evil seeds it has sewn.

The Dawn of 2019

Twenty-two days from now, the year 2019 will arrive. In my opinion this is going to be one of the most consequential years in American history. It will be a year in which Christians and the American people in general will be forced into some difficult  decisions.  Here are my predictions:

(1) Christian fundamentalists, conservative evangelicals, and other American citizens will learn the final results of the Robert Mueller investigation.  Those results will clearly show that President Donald J. Trump is the worst crook who has ever resided in the White House—as shown by a whole list of federal charges involving felonies and misdemeanors. All charges will be supported by hard core, corroborated evidence. The American people and the U.S. Congress will be faced with a critical decision. Do they keep an alleged, multiple-offense criminal in the Oval Office or throw him out of office so he can do no more harm to the presidency and our country.  You—each of you who are reading this—will need to express your opinion to your elected representatives when the time comes. For my part, I shall be asking my three members of the U.S. Congress to impeach Trump—and afterwards—for the U.S. Senate to remove him from office if a senatorial trial concludes that high crimes and misdemeanors were indeed committed by Trump.

(2) Christian fundamentalists and conservative evangelicals will come face-to-face with their own spiritual folly in electing Trump and supporting him for the past three years. Most hardcore fundies will do what they usually do—reject the truth and hold ever more tightly to their corrupt lies, spiritual errors, and fantasies. They will do the same thing they do when they discover their head preacher has stolen from the collection plate and/or had sex with teenage girls in the congregation. The congregation will stand by him no matter what—even to the bitter end. Most of these fundies will similarly stand by Trump until the bitter end. They talk a whole bunch about repentance—for everyone else—but repenting of Trump is something they will be unable to do because the Evil One has blinded them, tucked them into the back pocket of his red spandex suit, and snapped the flap shut on them.  He now owns them.

(3)  A number of other Christian fundamentalists and conservative evangelicals will be blessed with having the scales fall from their eyes. They will finally see Trump as he truly is and recognize that they have supported dreadful evil. Furthermore, they will realize how wrong and how corrupt the Christian fundamentalist and conservative evangelical belief systems have become—and finally see that blindly following fundie preachers leads to horrible ends.

They too will have a decision to make—stay in their fundie churches or leave them behind for other churches where the love of Jesus Christ and sanity prevail. I do sincerely hope that these people will abandon the Southern Baptist Convention and its churches; abandon the Independent Fundamental Baptist (IFB) churches; and abandon all of the other fundie churches. There is no sin in fleeing from a church that spreads out a red carpet of support for an evil man like President Trump and his evil ways. The leaders of these churches must be forced to come face-to-face with the Satanic folly they have supported with such extreme devotion for the past three years. The best way for congregation members to force them into facing the truth is to walk out of their churches and never go back again to their church, or other churches like them, for the rest of their lives.  That will send an enormous signal that no fundie preacher will be able to ignore—and maybe they or their wallet—will learn something from it.

Flee from Christian fundamentalism and its plastic, pink flamingo Jesus. Flee to the authentic Jesus of the New Testament, his love, and his comfort.

(4) Most Americans who live outside of Christian fundamentalist and conservative evangelical circles will be outraged when Robert Mueller reports the final criminal charges against President Trump and the evidence that undergirds them.  They will do a quick Salome dance and demand Trump’s political head on a platter—and they will get it. Why?  Republicans in the U.S. Congress are running scared after the ass-whipping Blue Wave they just received from the American people. After reading Robert Mueller’s final report and seeing how angry the American people are at Trump and his alleged crimes, Republicans in the U.S. Senate will be running from Trump like rats fleeing from a burning ship—and well they should. Trump’s presidency will be history, and the 2020 presidential election will be a no hope scenario for Republicans and their disgraced party.

(5)  I am not predicting this, but it is an outside possibility to bear in mind throughout 2019 if the U.S. Senate chooses to remove Trump from office.  Some bunch of yahoos will probably say:

Come own boys!!!  Grab yer AR-15s, shotguns, and all the ammunition you can carry. They’re about to remove The Anointed One of the Lord from office. Several thousand of us’ll meet in Little Rock and drive together to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. Trump is just like us. He won’t go without a fight. We’ll form a massive human ring around the White House and dare the U.S. Marshals or anyone else to break through our ring and lay hold on Trump to take him to jail. Trump’s the hero that saved my lunch box. It’s up to us to save him now!!!

If you grew up in the American South as I did, you probably know some people who would really do this kind of thing. They have been sucking at the tits of Sean Hannity, Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, Fox News anchors, local conservative talk radio hosts, and the last remnants of the old John Birch Society for as long as anyone can remember. They are propagandized, crazy as lunes, dumb as a rock, and ready for action. My bet says they fold when they realize law enforcement authorities are shooting tear gas, pepper spray, and rubber bullets at them.

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Why Do Christian Fundamentalists Desire These Things So Much?

by Charles S. Garabedian

flag and snake

We learned some big things in 2016 and the two subsequent years. One of those was who elected Donald J. Trump President of the United States. Well, a lot of people voted for him. However, the two groups given the most credit for supporting Trump and putting him across the finish line were Christian fundamentalists and conservative evangelicals—in particular—those who are old, white, and reside in small towns and rural areas. You know—rural areas—where you can hand wash dishes at the kitchen sink, gaze out the window at the bulls humping the heifers, and feel close to nature—and nature’s God—I guess. Quite frankly, I have never fully understood why small town people and rural people are so on fire for fundie religion while big city dwellers can take it or leave it—mostly leave it—and go vote for Democrats. For example, Metropolitan Nashville is a large dot of blue surrounded by a sea of rural and small town red.

Small town and rural fundies have deep-seated wants, needs, and desires. I suspect these wants, needs, and desires are somehow rooted profoundly in the everyday experience of living in a small town or rural area—but I am not at all sure why.  Maybe you could tell me?

Today I have an interesting article for you to read.  This article is four years old, but it is just as relevant today as it was when author Dave Anderson crossed the last “t” and dotted the last “i” in it.  The title is 10 Things Christian Fundamentalists Want.  This article is not a vehicle for satire or comedy.  It is dead serious stuff. Christian fundamentalists and conservative evangelicals across the United States pine for these 10 things like a mother longs for her child stolen away by the Angel of Death.  You may read the article by clicking on the following safe link:

10 Crazy Things Christian Fundamentalists Want

What do you think of the items on this list? Why do Christian fundamentalists and conservative evangelicals want these 10 things so desperately? How are these things related to residence in a small town or rural environment—as opposed to residence in a big city?  How many of you think some or all of the items on this list are just plain crazy like the snake crawling out of the Bible in the American flag image that heads this article? Comments are open.

Image Credit: Snapzu News

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Suffocation and the Coming Storm

by Charles S. Garabedian

Over the past few weeks, I have had an appalling disinclination to do writing here at the Flee from Christian Fundamentalism blog. Reader visitation has dropped to very low levels.

I don’t know about you, but I have felt physically, mentally, and emotionally exhausted since the 2018 mid-term election returns were tallied. Maybe a lot of it was fallout from watching each daily episode of the three-year TV tragicomedy/reality series I call The Donald Trump Show. This show is presented each day on ABC, NBC, CBS, CNN, MSNBC, FOX News, etc., and it is also the only TV series to ever be shown in The New York Times, The Washington Post, and local newspapers all over the United States. I am still trying to figure out how that TV transmission registers in newspapers—but it at least seems to do it. To the best of my knowledge, it is the only TV show that has been on 24 hours per day, 7 days per week, throughout every year since 2016. I am so weary of watching that awful show that my soul, mind, and body feel completely hollowed out—like a solid steel rod with its middle drilled out to create a length of open pipe.

And the worst thing of all—the very worst thing—is the impossibility of escaping from it. I can refuse to turn on my TV. I can refuse the Internet. I can avoid buying a newspaper—and maybe just go out to a quiet little restaurant for lunch—just me, the waitress, and the food. But still, The Donald Trump Show is there, driving the conversation in the booth behind me or in front of me—or at the table on my right side. Any day now, I am expecting some truck-driving Bubba to sit down near me and start a conversation with his friends:

Aint’ that Trump sumpin’?  He’s got them wetbacks on the run this mornin’. He started a Putin, and the awful smell of that gut gas drove’em clean back to Honduras!!!! Guffaw!!!  Guffaw!!! Guffaw!!!

Even if I flee from my favorite restaurant, the star of The Donald Trump Show is in conversations on the sidewalks, on book covers and newspapers in my local bookstore, and even on the ass ends of the cars in front of me as I take my flight by V-6 engine down some highway. It is nearly impossible to escape from The Donald Trump Show. Even if I take a good, long nap, there is always the risk that something Trumpian will float into a dream.

We Americans have always had strong feelings about our presidents. However, for the first time in American history, we have a President who craves incessant media attention—an invasive President who might aspire to calling the play-by-play as we attempt our first kiss with our first girlfriend under the moonlight at Lover’s Leap. Whatever it takes to get attention! For the first time since President Lyndon B. Johnson, we have a president who will not be happy unless we go to the restroom with him (in our minds and hearts) to do our business—and of course—his face is on the magazine next to the toilet—watching us do our business.

President George H.W. Bush died on Friday night. Now comes a full week of national mourning. Even now, I am sitting here at my keyboard wondering—in dread—what clever plan the star of The Donald Trump Show has formulated to draw national attention away from the late president and his grieving family—-and entirely toward his Trumpian self so he can continue basking in the daily spotlight.

We are now in the Christmas season, but it does not feel like Christmas to me. The high temperature in my area topped 70 degrees yesterday. The honest love of Jesus Christ and his ways in human hearts have been greatly diminished by The Donald Trump Show over the past three years. “The Grinch” is no longer a suburban, mountain-top inhabitant that looks down upon Whoville inside Dr. Seuss books. He is real now. He is alive. He has orange hair, and he resides in the White House. He is present with us wherever we go, and he may succeed in stealing Christmas 2018. Why?

It is not just his suffocating Trumpian presence in our lives. An extremely dark and vicious winter storm is forming on the American horizon right now. The Donald Trump Show is in the direct path of that storm—and just two days after New Year’s Day—that storm will hit with unimaginable fury.

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Today Is Election Day in Mississippi

by Charles S. Garabedian

Mississippi 1925

The last few elections in the 2018 Mid-Term Elections are close to being resolved. The following article from CNN indicates that the only two remaining U.S. House of Representatives races show Democrats in the lead by a narrow margin:

CNN Report on Last Two House Races

If they stay in the lead and win, the Trump Resistance forces will have won 40 seats in the U.S. House of Representatives.  This means the Blue Wave will be even higher. However, the hot tamale election that has gained sweeping attention is the U.S. Senate run-off election in Mississippi. That election is being held today, and the election returns will be coming in tonight on the various cable news networks.

This election pits temporary incumbent Republican Cindy Hyde-Smith (the pure, lily-white flower of traditional, ole-time southern womanhood) against Democrat Mike Espy (who just happens to be a bright, experienced, and capable African-American man). Historically speaking, Mississippi has a long reputation for being the most racist of all the 50 American states. Therefore, at some point along the line—at least in the news media—race and racism became the central issue in this election. Mississippi has a very high population of African-American citizens, but they are still significantly outnumbered by white citizens.

The old adage says: “All elections are local.”  This election has become far more than just one local set of Republican issues pitted against one local set of Democrat issues. It has become a high-drama election that will draw both national and international attention tonight as the votes are counted.  The central issue at stake is whether the white voters of Mississippi will finally turn the corner on their traditional racism, thereby joining with the 21st century, or whether they will choose to continue living as vile Jim Crow racists who think the current year is 1925? Will African-American voters come out in record high numbers that will far exceed their normal levels of vote casting to overcome the white majority voters? Will white Mississippi voters show up in record numbers to demonstrate to the world—once again—how Mississippi citizens can lynch an African-American man—this time at the voting booth–rather than on a tall shade tree?

We should know the answers to those questions by midnight. If Cindy Hyde-Smith wins, the whole world will know that the white people of Mississippi have chosen to continue their traditional racism by living in the mindset of 1925. If Mike Espy wins, white Mississippians and black Mississippians will lock arms as brothers and sisters—and take a bold new step into the 21st century.

Make no mistake.  Mississippi and its white citizens are on trial in today’s election—and the world is watching.

(Update on November 28, 2018. Cindy Hyde-Smith won the election last night by a wide margin. White Mississippians appear to still be comfortable living in the racist ideology of 1925. We can all depend on Cindy Hyde-Smith to be a rubber stamp for anything President Donald J. Trump wants to do—no matter how crazy it might be. The delicate flower of pure, white, southern, fundie womanhood almost always follows the direction of Tammy “Whinenette.” She stands by her man—no matter what—as long as he is a white man.)

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An Unresolved 2018 U.S. Senate Race and News Media Accusations of Voter Suppression and Racism

by Charles S. Garabedian

ppp

How Some Christians Viewed African-American Civil Rights in 1964

The recent issues highlighted by the news media are voter suppression and racism. The subject is Ms. Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-Miss), who is in a still-unresolved race for the U.S. Senate in Mississippi. You may read about it in the article below, and while you are at it, be sure to play the short video clip embedded in the article—just to reassure yourself that her behavior is a matter of recorded fact rather than election year propaganda. Just click on the following safe link:

Voter Suppression in Mississippi

According to her U.S. Senate campaign website, Ms. Hyde-Smith and her family are active members of Macedonia Baptist Church in Brookhaven, Mississippi. It is a Christian fundamentalist or conservative evangelical church. You can check out its website here:

Macedonia Baptist Church

Personally, I think the right to vote is a precious thing given to us by our founding fathers in the U.S. Constitution. My position is that every American citizen, even people I do not particularly like, should have the right to vote. It should be free, open, and easy. No one should be suppressing or impeding any citizen’s right to vote.

What is it with Ms. Hyde-Smith and her apparent racist comments about being willing to take a front row seat at a public hanging in Mississippi? She claims it was just a passing joke—but was it? Historically, Mississippi is first among our 50 states in total lynchings of African-American people, and her opponent in the U.S. Senate is an African-American gentlemen.

The way I read the Holy Bible, we are all brothers and sisters on this Earth, regardless of race, ethnicity, or whatever else. For those of us who are professed Christians, we are all one and the same—and equal in Christ Jesus (Galatians 3:27-29).

What is it with some Christians and racism? Why do they claim to be followers of Jesus while behaving in manners that look racist in nature. Take a look at the political cartoon above, which was published in the Christian Beacon newspaper in 1964. It was drawn by Vic Lockman, a well-known Christian cartoonist-for-hire. He was also known for a 1985 pro-apartheid cartoon strip entitled Who’s Behind the South African Crisis?

Addendum

The political cartoon that heads this article is 54 years old. To be quite frank with you, I had a bit of trouble figuring it out—probably because I (and you) live at a different time in American history— a time mentally far removed from 1964—that is until 2016 and the presidential campaign of Donald J. Trump. In 1964, I was only 12 years old, but I did remember a few things about 1964. Bearing those things in mind, I brooded over this cartoon for a while—and to my own satisfaction—quite suddenly understood its full meaning. Just in case you had some trouble understanding it in detail, please allow me to offer my best interpretation of it.

The “Bill” is the famous Civil Rights Act of 1964, which provided a bolstering of civil rights for African-American people. The human-like figure with the club is also named “Bill.” He represents the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Notice how Bill’s face is drawn to look partly human (like an ancient cave man) and partly like a chimpanzee. This was done to highlight the old white racist theme that African-American people are all little more than stupid apes whose ancestors originated among the treetops deep in some ancient African jungle. Basically, Bill is the ape-like American black man wearing the clothing of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

The huge club in Bill’s right hand represents the power of the federal government in the realm of American civil rights. This giant head clouter shows how the power of the federal government has been unleashed against American white people—particularly the pure, lily-white flower of American womanhood in the United States. The club symbolizes how the Civil Rights Act of 1964 empowers African-American people with a new weapon that will work against the interests and safety of American white people.

Notice how Bill’s left hand (African-American civil rights are a product of unChrist-like leftist evildoers) is holding a young white woman (likely the recently invented toy doll Barbie) by her long hair—probably white Barbie’s pure Aryan blonde hair. This image taps into the old white racist notion that the male African-American ape’s highest aspiration is to knock a white woman like Barbie in the head with a club and rape her. This young woman is also a symbol of the entire white race in the United States, and it represents how the Civil Rights Act of 1964 would put all white Americans at the mercy of the brutal, ape-like American negro male. The caption beneath the cartoon indicates that the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and all of the “evil” implied in the cartoon are the direct product of Satan—some times called “The Devil.”

When this cartoon was first published, I was living in a small town in the American South. The white people who lived in my county were soon to face desegregation of their public schools. I attended one of those schools. White people in my county were frightened out of their wits by the prospect of it, and being a mere kid, I was frightened too. For many generations, white people in the American South had been enculturated into earnestly believing a huge pack of lies about African-American people. For example, they were all dirty, lazy, and dishonest.

This dishonesty was not a result of how they were raised. According to the oral, white racist folk narrative, human biology had built such amorality into the DNA of the African-American person. As a racist uncle of mine used to put it:

The negro is a member of a naturally immoral race.

From his perspective, constant evil and immoral lusts of all kinds were part of the basic genetic makeup of all African-American people. Even if their brains resolved to do the right thing at 8:00 a.m. on a certain day, their genes would inevitably lead the black man or black woman into doing some form of dastardly evil by 5:00 p.m. on that same day. The American negro was incapable and incorrigible because of this, and white people had to watch them like hawks all day long to prevent them from raping their lily-white wives or stealing their household belongings.

Today it is hard for many of us to understand how a supposedly Christian newspaper could publish a cartoon as outrageous as the one above in 1964—and do it with a very serious, straight face. White Christians were able to do this as a result of many generations of enculturation into the belief that all African-American people are scum bags who:

Just can’t help themselves no matter how hard they might try.

The advent of the Trump campaign of 2016 and the current Trump presidency have churned up all of these hopelessly flawed white racist notions from the past. Moreover, it is sad to see such notions out in the open and used as weapons in a campaign for the U.S. Senate where one white candidate (the pure and lily-white flower of southern Christian womanhood in Mississippi) is pitted against an African-American candidate.

Cartoon Credit: Christian Beacon newspaper on May 7, 1964

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Colonoscopy: An Update for My Readers

by Charles S. Garabedian

1Colonoscoopy

A Colonoscopy Underway

Somewhere on planet Earth, I feel sure there is at least one person named Stephanie Colonoscoppi. For the past several days, I had to go through what many people believe is the grueling ordeal of a colonoscopy. Today I am recovering from the sedation effects of the Profolol medication they use as a general anesthetic. You will no doubt recall that pop artist Michael Jackson died from an overdose of Profolol.

I have had colonoscopies in the past, but this one was especially difficult for me. In years gone by, the Profolol knocked me out immediately, and I felt nothing until the procedure was over. This time around, the Profolol did not take effect immediately, and for at least a portion of the procedure, I could actually feel the television rod up my butt, moving around, and so forth. It was most unpleasant.

In past years, when my colonoscopy was completed, the Profolol wore off very quickly. I was bright, chipper, and ready to walk immediately afterwards. After waking up this time, the Profolol lingered—with bad after effects. It took much longer than usual for it to wear off, and two nurses had to grab hold of me and walk me to the room where the doctor discusses the results of the colonoscopy. I felt terrible. Both of my eyes were oriented straight forward. However, one eye seemed to be looking straight forward, and my other eye seemed to be looking in another direction, all at the same time. I had a headache and felt just awful for a long time. The effects of Profolol normally stay around for 24 hours after administration. I slept far longer than usual last night because of this and had numerous back-to-back dreams that I would describe as quasi-nightmares. Right now, the 24-hour Profolol recovery is up, and I still do not feel 100 percent back to normal.

People always talk about the proverbial Dentist from Hell. Yesterday, I actually had the Colonoscopy from Hell. The normally grueling prep procedure the day before the colonoscopy had been hard for me in years past, but it was fairly easy and not too unpleasant this time. The Profolol anesthetic and the colonoscopy itself were the problems this time.  This really surprised me because in all of my past colonoscopies at the same place, the Profolol knocked me out like turning off a light switch. It was like being totally dead and then coming back to life again. Those colonoscopy experiences were very pleasant because I felt nothing and remembered nothing about the procedure itself.

I had a few benign polyps, which were removed, but no sign of colon cancer was observed. That part was certainly a blessing.  I just hope any future colonoscopies will be as pleasant and painless as the ones I have had in years past.

Why did I write this?  I just wanted to let you know that I have not written anything here in a few days because I was busy doing medical stuff and feeling bad. Have a wonderful Wednesday, and God bless all of you.

Photograph Credit: U.S. Navy

Response to Becky

Hi Becky.  Thanks for your comment. My experience of the past few days is unusual—I think—for colonoscopies.  I doubt seriously that you will have the same experience that I did five years from now.

Actually, to the best of my knowledge, only one person on either side of my extended family has ever had colon cancer. The person who did get it was a first cousin of mine who lived in Indianapolis—before she died from her colon cancer. Because of this extremely low incidence, I was actually thinking about never having a colonoscopy at anytime in my life.  As it turned out, I had polyps many years ago when I had my first colonoscopy at 52 years old, and later learned that I am a regular polyp former. All of mine have been benign so far, and they were removed during the colonoscopies I have had.  The way I look at it, I have managed to cheat death from colon cancer for 14 years now—meaning I have never had colon cancer but almost surely would have had it at some point before now.  Basically, in the otherwise scheme of things, I am supposed to be dead right now.

Based on my own experience, I urge you (Becky) and everyone else to go ahead and get a colonoscopy—before age 50 if you have a family history of colon cancer—and at age 50 if you do not have a history of colon cancer in your family. Because of my family history, I was convinced that I had almost zero risk for colon cancer. As it turned out, I was dead wrong—but not dead.

Response to Jupe77

Weird, huh?  I once had an upper GI endoscopy that was like what you said. However, for all of my colonoscopies—except for two days ago—I was out like a light and had no memory of anything. It was like going dead and coming back to life. It occurs to me that individual anesthesiologists may have different personal philosophies about how much or how little Profolol to give a person. I am sure there is a written procedure they follow, but there is also an art to it—meaning different people have different weights, blood circulation characteristics, body chemistry, ages, disease conditions, etc. The anesthesiologist has to weigh all of that in determining how much Profolol to give a person without killing them.

One of my close friends from childhood (now deceased from bone cancer) was an M.D. anesthesiologist, and I once asked him to describe his job for me in a nutshell. Here is my best paraphrasal of exactly what he said:

There is a long, straight stairway that descends straight down to a closed door with hinges and a doorknob.  Death is on the other side of that door. My job is to take my patients to the bottom of that long stairway and just ever so slightly crack that door open, but make sure that my patient does not die.

That was the best nutshell job description I had ever heard—simple and to the point.

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