I haven’t written a probably *too* personal essay in a while and what screams “holiday season” quite like some buhhole talk? As I’ve divulged before in blogs here and there, I’ve had stomach problems my entire life. Self-diagnosed as IBS, I’m either going an alarming amount of time without pooping or I’m having an emergency mad dash before you crap your pants situation. There is no in between. Hence, why I’ve pooped my pants 3 times as an adult. After years and years of trying different pills and powders and probiotics. Eating more fruit, drinking more water…you’ll recall what a big pile of nothing that did for me. Keeping a food diary. Wearing a diaper. Just kidding. It hasn’t gone that far although I have seriously considered it on days when my cheeks never leave the seat. Oh how nice it would be to just be able to go while I lay on the couch or run errands. And then I’m hit with the cold harsh realization that festering in your own poop as an adult is not something to daydream about. So after 30 years I finally decided my PCP telling me to “try to work more fiber into my diet” wasn’t cutting it and scheduled my very first appointment with a gastroenterologist. I was excited and hopeful to find a solution that didn’t involve removing cheese from my daily intake. As a firm believer that life without cheese is not a life worth living, I was prepared to tell any doctor that suggested that right where they could stick that suggestion.
I scheduled my appointment with a female GI (sure, I’ll share my poop stories with the whole world, but talk to a male doctor about them face to face? YUCK.) and made a detailed list of the years of trials and tribs that I wanted to share with this specialist to be thorough and make sure she knew my butthole inside and out to give me a proper diagnosis. Within 2 minutes she had diagnosed me with IBS-C (for constipation), told me she didn’t need to hear all of the things that I’ve tried as this is very common, touched my tummy for about 45 seconds like I was the Pillsbury dough boy and slid over a prescription for Linzess. Big Pharma, baby! Why get to know your patients when you can just push the latest expensive drug that you’re getting a kickback on? I asked if it made sense to maybe do a colonoscopy to rule anything more serious out and was met with a hard no because I’m not shitting blood. Mmmk, doc. Drugs it is. I was warned that these pills could cause cramping and diarrhea “at first.” Not knowing what the scientific definition of “at first” is, I went an entire week spewing out of my blowhole. 7 days and 7 nights of explosive diarrhea. For anyone who’s opinion is “better out than in”, you obviously have never almost busted down your bathroom door Kool Aid Man style to make it to the toilet in time once, let alone every damn night. When I finally got ahold of the nurse (several days of phone tag later), I was told to take a lower dose of the drug. Guess what the lower dose did? The same damn thing. Order up! One more week of Hersey Squirts, coming right atcha! I kept a note in my phone of the happenin’s of my bowels. Here it is for your entertainment. If you laugh out loud at the word diarrhea like my sister and I do, you’ll enjoy. If you’re a grown up who doesn’t enjoy potty humor…what are you even doing reading this blog?
As someone who’s never desired to have a remote office from the commode, it was time to lay down the law. No more Ms. Nice Butthole. (How many times can I insert butthole into this story? The limit does not exist.) I ditched this doc who clearly didn’t give a shit about me and went for a recommended GI. Unfortunately, this one was a man and I was forced to face my fear of letting a male doctor all up in my biz. Obviously I was really desperate for solutions other than taking expensive laxatives on the daily. The good news is this doctor actually did care, the bad news is caring also means a full examination with a side of casj butthole fingering. After some light getting-to-know-you conversation, my new doc showered me with compliments about how I’m too young to be having these sorts of problems. He also added in that I’m beautiful and look just like Sophia Loren. I would’ve preferred a movie star from this decade but who am I to split hairs when I’m being complimented for my youth and natural beauty? And then he told me to pull my pants down just enough so he could have access to my “sphincter” and jammed his digits right up in there. WHAT A TACTIC! Lubricate the patient with a healthy dose of flattery before literally lubricating your gloved fingers and diving right in. So now I’ve got a new life motto: if you’re going to wedge your fingers in my asshole, at least tell me I’m pretty first. Stick THAT on a t-shirt. The downside is that after ole poop fingers finished the exam, he announced “you’ve been pooping wrong.” Ex-squeeze me? Is there a wrong way to poop? Jury’s still out on that. His reply was inconclusive but he did recommend using my Squatty Potty more, which has become a real chore in such a tiny bathroom. Hopefully by my 32nd year I’ll have learned how to poop. He also pressed on my stomach and goes, “hmm, full of gas.” DON’T I KNOW IT, DOC. I’ve had a slow gas leak since ’91. My work from home days are scored by a steady symphony of toots that my dog has learned to sleep through. But I digress…the Doc then shoved me a paper towel and told me I wouldn’t want to go to the grocery store after this and have everyone see it all over my pants. I don’t know what “it” was but mopping up my backside with a Brawny post-plunder while he watched was truly a humbling moment for us all. I was forced to overcome my fear of male doctors and butt stuff all in one appointment. Baby’s first rectal poke was almost as traumatizing as the time my gynecologist gave me a pap smear with my jean skirt still on. ALMOST.
New doc told me to start from scratch with over-the-counter remedies for 2 weeks and report back. So every day I was taking 2 stool softeners, fiber powder 2x a day and Miralax 2x a day. My insides probably looked like this:
True to my Type A personality, I created another list to keep track. This one didn’t have as many “diarrhea” notes but after a few dicey days in my office with a plumbing system created by the original settlers of New Jersey and an incident where I was driving to meet my friend for brunch and dared to sneeze and nearly had a real messy poopsie daisy, it was safe to say the concoction of powders weren’t helping matters either. I’m genuinely shocked I didn’t shart once during this two month period of GI experimental diagnoses. When I went back in for my follow-up, it was clear that the next logical step was to do a colon invasion and rule anything major out. AKA the thing I suggested on the very first day of seeing a specialist. But what do I know. On the spot, my doc suggested the day before Thanksgiving for my colonoscopy. I was weary but he assured me that this was the BEST time to do it as I’ll go into the holiday empty and ready to fill up on turkey. Since he’s the expert, I agreed, mostly just wanting to get it over with. My plan to pregame turkey day with a colon cleanse went sideways when I realized that I didn’t have one soul on this earth to drive me to said colonoscopy and also I would have to make the 4.5 hour trek home for the holidays in the same day. For someone who feels the effects of NyQuil a full 12 hours after taking it, I assumed the hard stuff they give you to go lights out would probably render me disabled. Unfortunately, I didn’t come to this realization until I was halfway through the prep day of fasting. With a belly full of chicken broth, STARVING, and sobbing on the couch because I’m 31 and don’t have a huz to take care of me and my b-hole, I had to reschedule the procedure for a time when my parents could come into town and take me. #RockBottom. I obviously coped by driving straight to McD’s and shoving a mcchicken, cheesburger and medium fry down my gullet as fast as my body would allow. If I could have injected it right into my veins, I would have.
Finally, the day had arrived for the real deal with my dad traveling in to be my escort to this very special occasion. I knew the hell that I was in for as fasting from 8AM to 1PM the last time nearly sent me to my grave. Everyone told me my insides vacating my body would be the worst part of the process. Joke’s on them because that shit’s a walk in the park for me, literally. I’m prepped for a probing on a regular Wednesday by the amount I’m rushing to the potty. The ACTUAL hard part is the liquid diet. As a big believer in three full meals a day and snacks every hour, fasting is very much not for me. I am a shell of a human when I skip my mid-morning snack and have been known to get the shakes or even pass out in the shower when my blood sugar is low. I used to bring snacks into gym class with me in high school. Needless to say, by lunch time I was in DESPAIR. My dad was on his way into town and when I told him not to call me again on his drive as I’ll be putting myself down for a nap because I can’t bear to be awake and not be eating, he reminded me that there’s people who feel like this every day and to put it into perspective. Dear ole dad always knows just what to say to comfort me. Because as I’m considering what Charlee’s dog chow would taste like, my stomach growling ferociously, thinking of starving homeless people really gave me the reality check that I needed. NAHT. I was able to snooze through the afternoon dreaming of hot dogs and cheese fries and woke up at dinner time to begin the real treat, my toxic sludge that would stir up quite the poopstorm. Always looking for a way to make laughs out of a grim sitch, I made a video of me mixing it like a cocktail.
Then I took my first sip of the 64 oz I was supposed to consume over the next hour and the joke was very much over. Opting out of the additional lemon flavor so as not to feel like I was downing Pine Sol for an entire evening, this cocktail tasted like metal and oOoh baby she was thicc. I was not expecting that consistency and almost projectiled it straight across the room. Things started moving almost immediately and I was shocked at how easy breezy this process seemed. That was until the taste of this bevvy clung to my mouth for the rest of the evening and made me the most nauseous I’ve ever been. When it came time to finish that MF’er, I would’ve rather drank actual poop than saddle up for another half gallon of this poison spritz. I gagged down the first few sips of round two and ran to the can at lightning speed. From 10pm until 1am, I was the queen ogre of my swamp, sitting atop the porcelain throne, taking gulps, feeling those gulps immediately blast through me like hot lava and dry heaving into the sink whenever I reached the last sip of the cup. It’s important to note that I’ve never been the gal who could just toss a shot down the hatch without tasting it. Everything takes a spin on my taste buds before cruising on down my throat and I hated it when I was doing shots of warm Svedka in high school and I hated it even more on this particular night. By some cruel twist of fate, the second half of the gallon was like a bottomless mimosa pitcher…if mimosas tasted like lighter fluid. Every time I thought I was pouring the last glass, by pure magic there were 3 more glasses still left. After tossing the last few drops down the drain because I physically couldn’t do it, I crawled into bed, wrapped my shivering body in flannel sheets, only to have to bolt back to the bathroom several more times throughout the night and again as soon as I woke up. And twice more after I showered. And again when I got to the doctor the next morning, clenching the whole car ride there. I THINK THE GALLON PLUS 4 LAXATIVES WAS OVERKILL, DOC.
The next morning I dressed to impress in my most festive sweatsuit. Just because I was about to be violated doesn’t mean I couldn’t stunt on em with a lewk. I requested my father take a before and after pic. It took three tries for him to get my sick ‘fit AND my head in the same shot. It’s important to note that my dad is not here for the nonsense. He’s here to call me a baby bitch and roast me for how long it took me to choke down that half gallon and remind me of my privilege when I tell him I might die of hunger.
Lucky for me, the Home Alone jumpsuit was much appreciated and complimented at the doc’s office. More importantly, it added quite a sassy accent to the paper shorts they told me to hop into pre-procedure. What a fashion statement those bad boys are and tearing a hole in the crack for easy access was the cherry on top.
After the exorcism of my bowels and gag reflex for 12 + hours the night prior, the probing itself was really just a solid nap where ripping farts immediately afterward was not frowned upon. As I recounted the tale later that day to my mom, I told her how embarrassing it was for me when they walked me in my ripped paps shorts through the open waiting area to get to the room where I could eat my little snackie. My dad quickly interjected to share that under no circumstances did they walk me out with my buhhole flapping in the breeze but rather wheeled me out with my eyes half shut. I guess that was some good shit they gave me. Not as good as the paper shorts, tall red buffalo check socks and white high-top sneaks combo that I was rocking. Woo baby, I looked HOT. Again, I demanded Den document this peak babe moment for me so I could immediately upload it to Hinge to lure a lifetime mate and natch dear ole dad left the footwear completely out of frame. Maybe one day he’ll learn that my life is merely lived for others to laugh at me and HOW CAN OTHERS LAUGH AT ME IF IT’S NOT DOCUMENTED PROPERLY?!
So I survived my first butthole invasion and I’m here to share the gory deets for any fellow ladies who also have IBS and have been avoiding getting this procedure done like the plague. If I can do it, so can you. To all you regular poopers, I envy you and your ability to just shit on command. But your time shall come…it might not be for another 20 years, but everyone must succumb to the anal plundering (of the medical variety, I’m not here to kink shame) at some point. As for me, my colon was clean as a whistle and therefore I face the cold hard truth that since there’s nothing “wrong”, I’ll just have to continue with the alternating belly full of rocks and surprise trots when I least expect it forever and ever until I DIE. So the butthole saga continues. And remember, Gentlemen, I am available. 😉 I may not know how to poop, but at least I’ve got jokes!
PS Special shout out to my dad for driving 5 hours through the snow and the rain to put up with my dramatics. And also for picking up the tab on this juicy life-changing steak that I mowed through at record speed. I told you, girls gotta eat!