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My Comfort Foods Reveal, Post Colonoscopy...

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I successfully avoided having a colonoscopy my entire adult life, until Tuesday, when at age 66, I had my first, in Boston at the Brigham and Women's Endoscopy Center at 7:00 a.m. My wife kept telling me how lucky I was, that everyone wants the first appointment, but I wasn't feeling lucky while checking in at 6:45, fully aware of what was about to take place…

My Medical Oncologist at Dana-Farber ordered the colonoscopy because it's protocol to have one before starting radiation therapy; you can't have one for a full year after radiation. I wasn't excited about having a colonoscopy, no one is, but the stakes were high. Get a colonoscopy, and receive life-saving radiation. It was a no-brainer.

After changing into a loose-fitting hospital robe, opening facing the back, and putting on the cute little grippy socks they gave me, I was taken to a room to have the procedure. First, I had an IV put in my right wrist by one of the nurses, while another nurse asked me a bunch of questions and then explained how the procedure worked. I was told I wouldn't be put out but would receive enough medication to relax me, similar to being in twilight. One of the nurses said the initial bend was sharp and that I may feel some pressure and experience mild discomfort, and if it was too much, they could increase the meds, but they couldn't put me out; that would require an anesthesiologist and rescheduling. After completing the prep, which, without getting too descriptive, produced the desired result; 5 lbs. of nasty shit pouring out of my ass at high velocity and with very little warning, totally destroying my commode and making my bathroom uninhabitable, I did not want to cancel and have to repeat the process.

When the doctor came into the room, he explained exactly what he'd be doing, and then I waited for him to start… The next thing I knew, the nurse was waking me up to tell me I was done, and that there were absolutely no polyps; my colon was clean! Apparently, while I was out, the procedure went well. I just hope I didn't reveal any nuclear codes…

Giphy Images.

On the way back to Norton, I was hungry and thirsty. The day before, I was limited to clear liquids and green Jell-O. The day of, I had nothing, and I'm a breakfast kind of guy who desperately needs his morning coffee too! 

My comfort food wants are simple and have been for years; I know exactly what works for me. Don't think less of me, but one of the things I've enjoyed since I was a little kid, is a McDonald's shake. I know there are better frappes and shakes out there, but I have to give Mickey D's credit; their shakes are damn good! For years I got coffee shakes, but the bean counters must've deemed them unprofitable, and when McDonald's discontinued them, I was devastated. I loved their coffee shakes! I had to make a move to either vanilla, chocolate, or strawberry… I went chocolate and never looked back. Of course, when Shamrock Shakes become available for a limited time, I'm all over it!

We stopped at the McDonald's in Norton on our way home, like we'd done so many times before, and I got a chocolate shake, no whipped cream. Whose idea was it to put whipped cream on a shake anyway? I'm sure a shake with whipped cream looks more enticing, like an ice cream parlor shake, but I'm a purist; give me a fucking shake with a jumbo straw and save the whipped cream for someone else, please.

The shake was great, and well-deserved too. It's not only the flavor or the cooling effect a frozen beverage has while lingering in your mouth pre-swallow, it's that sipping it through a straw is soothing and the entire process is to be savored. A McDonald's shake is definitely a comfort beverage for me, and I feel absolutely no shame admitting it.

After a restful two-hour afternoon nap on the couch, I woke up starving. It was time for some real comfort food, and for me, that's pizza! There are three pizza shops in my area that I frequent, and they all make South Shore-style bar pizza, which is a 10-inch pan pizza with "laced edges". Some people call them "burnt edges", but that's misleading. The smaller pies are cooked in shallow pans, and the sauce and cheese cover the entire pie, and if cooked right, the edge caramelizes. It's fucking delicious and far superior to any other style of pie, IMO. On the other hand, my wife is not a fan. She prefers full-size pizzas with crust. She likes Georgio's in Brockton, and her favorite pie there is called "The Favorite". It's a little bit of a ride to pick it up, but I must admit, their sweet sauce is nothing short of incredible, and I always enjoy it, just not as much as a South Shore-style bar pizza… 

I'm a big fan of Ultimate Pizza in South Easton. I've known the owner, Billy Papadopoulos, for a long time. I did plumbing and heating work for his brother Phil 25 years ago when he owned Sharon House of Pizza and Billy worked there making pies. When he decided to open his own place, he started making South Shore-style bar pizza, and with over 40 years experience in the industry, he makes a great pie, one of the best! His grilled chicken Caesar salad is not only one of my favorites but one of my wife's favorites as well. Nice that we agree on something, right?

When I worked in Brockton 10-12 years ago, I had Caesar salads or pizza at Ultimate 3-4 times a week…

Then there's Bar Pizza and Salad Co. in Mansfield. I interviewed the owners, brother-in-laws Marc O'Brien and Jasson Cohen, for a blog I wrote last year. They make a great pie and offer lots of unique specialty pies not available anywhere else, and they make great salads too. Great guys, great food, great choice!

Here's a specialty pie Marc made for me at Bar Pizza and Salad Co. that was just incredible!

We've lived in Norton for 35 years and we've seen pizza places come and go, but one place that opened in 2004, Pizza Tyme, is here to stay and has become a fam favorite. I'm friendly with the owner, Dave Garfinkle, who has been making pizza for close to 30 years, and the pies being pulled out of his oven are some of the best South Shore-style bar pizzas around. Whenever my son Dylan comes home from Somerville, where he and his fiancé live, all he wants is a Gold Fever pizza from Pizza Tyme, and they never disappoint. They're only a half mile from our house, so the pizza's always hot when we get it home…

That's Dave with my pie fresh out of the oven! Delicious!

For this occasion, Comfort Food Post Colonoscopy, I chose Pizza Tyme! My wife picked up my favorite pie, hamburg, green pepper, and onion with laced edges, and it was so fucking good! I washed it down with my favorite carbonated beverage, Mountain Dew. My wife has recently forced me to start drinking the diet version, and let's just say I'm not happy about it, but I'm coming around…

Everyone has their favorite comfort foods and beverages, and you don't have to go through a colonoscopy to enjoy 'em. In the comments, let me know what your go-to comfort foods and/or beverages are, and where your favorite place to get 'em is.

My colonoscopy is done, and I don't need another one for 10 years! Woo-Hoo!