Wednesday, September 01, 2004


And you can wear a hat that says so!!

I have been researching colon cleansing. Because before I do something I must know all about it. It’s my nature. I’m not one to just run down to the local holistic healing center for a quick colonic, I want to know all about what I can expect. Unless I’m in some kind of crisis and then I get all knee-jerky and reactive and I'll pretty much do anything, but thankfully my colon is not in crisis. I’m just kind of curious. A curiosity exacerbated by the fact that more than a couple girlfriends have been experiencing hemorrhoids after bouts of constipation which they remedied with laxatives and there you go – ‘roids.

I, like many women have always had issues about pooping. I’m not sure why really. I had a therapist once who would have chalked it up to my “control” issues. Whatever. I just think it’s harder for chicks to poop. Not all, but most of the women I know are challenged in this area. My friend M and I went to Hawaii once, for a week, and by about the third day we weren’t having so much fun because neither one of us could poop. We would get up every morning at 5am – we were still on CA time – and head up to Kapalua because the golf course was the only place open and serving coffee. We would each pound a pot of coffee and then we would rush back to the hotel and pace around hoping that it would work.

And it didn’t.

So on our next to last day on Maui, when we took the road to Hana and then went past the “end of paved road” sign to make a full circuit around the island – not a great idea in a rental car – we were really cranky. And we started getting really pissy with each other to the point where we were on a dirt road in the middle of a cow pasture screaming at each other, “why are you being such a bitch?” In retrospect it’s quite clear that it was because we couldn’t poop!

And lately it seems that every time I put anything in my mouth I blow up. I took a whole bottle of enzymes and they didn’t help. I used to be able to eat anything without repercussions – well, except for the adventures in food poisoning – but now my super healthy, fiber-full eating habits are causing me intestinal distress. I was thinking maybe a nice cleeeeeaaaaaansse to get rid of any bad bacteria would help to alleviate my difficulties. Hence the research.

I have spent the last couple days immersed in the sub-culture of poop! Because with the advent of the internet people who like to talk about their poop and pooping can find each other and swap poop tips. And share photos of their poop that they’ve fished out of the toilet. I think they should include pictures of themselves because I am actually a lot more interested in seeing that. When you go to the colonoscopy sites where they show you actual photos from the inside of the colon it all looks pretty pink and white. You would so totally see anything that looks like what's in those pictures. I'd also like to know what they've been eating!! The poop people regale each other, and lurkers like myself, with stories of their pooping, and the stuff that they’ve pooped, like the truly horrifying descriptions of 24” worms and handfuls of larvae. It’s only later, like when I’m trying to sleep that I find myself wondering, how do they know it’s a handful? Do they just eyeball it, or do they actually scoop out said handful? They debate about colonics vs. enemas. Evening enemas vs. morning enemas. And then there’s the whole question of what kind of enema? Coffee? Water? Tea? And if you use coffee should it be organic?

I have some knowledge about the coffee and tea enemas because years ago I did a whole body cleanse under the supervision of a holistic doctor that my parents both went to see. Dr. LaMont had been diagnosed with non-Hodgkins lymphoma and put himself into remission with this cleanse. My reasons for wanting to cleanse my innerds were a little less life threatening. I had been doing quite a bit of cocaine – kilos of it actually – and when I got down to about 110 pounds spread quite thinly over my 5’9” medium sized frame I realized I didn’t feel so hot so I quit. Dr. LaMont’s cleanse was designed to not only clean the colon but also the liver and the kidneys and the adrenals. Messing with your adrenals is never a good idea – especially if your self medicating has already wreaked havoc on them. But, the doc checked me out and since I was quite young I was in pretty good shape and so he decided I could give it a shot.

The cleansing program involved drinking a glass of juice every morning with a couple of tablespoons of Perfect 7, an herbal bulk fiber source. I could only eat fruits and vegetables – no meat, no dairy, no sugar. Every morning for ten days I was to start the day with a refreshing coffee enema and every evening I would end my day with a calming Goldenseal tea enema. Can I just tell you that a coffee taken in enema form still gives you that little lift in the a.m. and then some.

I made it three days.

I did not much cotton to the idea of enemas and up until that time I had never experienced one. The whole theory behind it was weird to me and seemed unnatural, like some kind of perverse torture committed against helpless mental patients in Victorian mental institutions. An impression most likely gained from reading that book Sybil, about the young woman who had all the personalities, when I was an impressionable adolescent. Her whack job of a mother used to forcibly perform enemas on her very young daughter. And in defense Sybil turned into different people to deal with it. I must have read something else about enemas in relationship to a mental hospital – but anyway I had a really hard time getting my head, much less my butt around the whole idea.

But I did make it three days and I can kind of understand the fascination that the poop people have with examining their “releases." That’s what they call they call their poop - a release. I definitely looked. And one day I just had to call my mom in to come look too, because well, it had to be seen to be believed. And then there was the whole issue of “am I bleeding to death?” which is why I had to stop at day three. My poor beat up body couldn’t handle the rigorousness of this Road to Wellville experience. But I never ever, for one minute thought about pulling on some rubber gloves and fishing my poop out of the toilet so I could photograph it and share it with others.

While I am fascinated by the poop people; their enthusiasm for all things poop related and their willingness to openly discuss it with total strangers, I am not one of them. I can barely deuce in public, though my research tells me that I better get over that because every time I don’t take the opportunity when it arises the peristalsis action of my intestines becomes lazy and will eventually be paralyzed which could cause Diverticulitis and other painful conditions. Some of which can result in an ostomy bag. And I’d actually rather deal with an enema than a bag of poop taped to my abdomen – outside my body.

I haven’t made my decision yet – but I do believe the poop people when they say that death begins in the colon – so I will be doing something to ensure that my insides are as healthy as my outsides.

But, I sure as shit won’t be taking pictures of poop, or sporting apparel trumpeting that poopin' is cool.

Although when you consider the alternative – poopin' is cool.

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