Another subject besides money that my mother forbade me to discuss with others was anything having to do with bodily functions. In fact, if one wanted to discuss those types of things in our house, one had to physically go into the bathroom in order to do so.
(Visual: My two older brothers and me, all standing inside of the bathroom, our heads out the doorway, singing made-up songs about diarrhea in our adorable southern accents.)
So pick up your laptops, cell phones, iPads, whatever and head to the nearest restroom because my friends, shit is about to get real.
A few weeks ago we were pitching ideas in our editorial meeting and I suggested I get a colonic and write about it. Apparently Jane hears this idea all of the time and to those people I want to say: What the hell is wrong with you?
Because there are many things wrong with me and I’m naïve and silly, I thought getting a colonic would be a great opportunity to write something funny. Girl gets tube stuck up her ass, poop comes out, hilarity ensues! But let me tell you: Nothing about my colonic was humorous. Unless you count running down a hallway to the toilet with your bare ass hanging out of your flimsy, backless, paper gown humorous. Which, ugh, you savages probably do.
(OK, fine: It was funny. But in order to get to that part of the story, we’ve got to start at the very beginning.)
I was starting a 5-day juice cleanse. (I know, everyone at xoJane is obsessed with these over-priced cleanses, but it’s the only way I know how to get myself to take a break from the booze and I pay for mine out of my own pocket, for the record.) Most of these cleanses recommend you get a colonic before and after as a “gentle and safe way to flush out toxic waste.”
GENTLE MY ASS.
So I showed up at the “colon hydrotherapy” clinic at 11 am, having not eaten for the past two hours as instructed, and filled out a bunch of forms seemingly signing my life away. I literally signed fewer forms when I went skydiving. (Coincidentally ALSO a thing that makes you shit your pants!)
I was ushered into a room by a Russian nurse, handed a paper gown, and told to put it on with the open part in the back. Then I was instructed to lie on my back on the table. (Imagining this in the days leading up to it, I thought I was going to be on my stomach because how can you possibly lie on the table when there’s a tube up your ass, but sadly for my ass, on my back it was.)
Once on the table, I proceeded to giggle nervously. Like a lot. I also asked if I could use my phone during the procedure, which I was assured was totally fine.
Let me just be clear. If you’re going in for your first colonic, you’re not going to use your 45-minute session to get through emails, catch up on the latest celebrity gossip, or play at little Words with Friends. Wanna know why? Because if you’re anything like me and your colon is clogged with Sauvignon Blanc and overpriced cheese from Whole Foods, you’re going to be in excruciating pain almost the entire time.
Starting with the moment when the nurse hands you a lubed-up plastic tube and tells you to stick it up your ass. What'chu talkin' 'bout, Willis?! Stick that tube up my ass? Like BY MYSELF? I mean, am I crazy for thinking that was something they’d handle for me?
So yes, I had to put a lubed-up plastic tube in my bum. Up my bum! Luckily, it’s pretty much a “just the tip” type of situation and also the first time in my life I’ve been relieved to play that game.
After the tube got settled in -- Jesus Christ Mother Mary and a bag of Dumbledore Dicks I cannot believe I am sharing this story. You know how sometimes you wake up in the middle of the night in a complete panic about something ridiculous you said earlier in the day? After this post, that is going to be me. Every night. For the rest of my life.
Anyway, after the tube was all up in there (sorry, but there is no delicate way to describe it), my new helper friend turned on the water so that it flowed through the tube and into my colon. The goal is to get as much water in there as possible until you feel like you’re going to poop (kill me) and then you tell her to stop and she flips the switch and the tube starts sucking everything out.
Well, in theory it starts sucking shit out (finally, a case in which “literally” can be used correctly!). In my case however: nothing.
Which is when the massaging started. Hard core, intense, pushing and rubbing and kneading and pressing massaging on my abdomen and kidneys and everywhere else. Still, despite her consistent encouragement, I just couldn't let go.
So...back in with the water. And then more sucking and massaging. (That’s what he said!) And repeat. (Also what he said!)
At first, it was fine, but as more water went in and not much came out, my stomach started cramping. Nothing major, but like mild period cramps. (From what I can remember, since I’m a magical unicorn who never bleeds out of her vagina. I'd ask if that is TMI, but considering what's happening here, there's no way that is TMI.) Mostly you just want to release (I mean, will I ever live this down? Hint: no.), but I was just too tense.
The nurse told me not to push and also not to hold it in, but I just couldn’t get over the idea that if I let go, I’d suddenly be sprawled on a table in a pool of my own poop. Sure, she promised otherwise, but having pooped at least once a day for my entire life, I know for a fact that when poop comes out, it does not do so by sliding neatly down a tube. Sorry Nurse-lady, but I can’t overcome a lifetime of experience based on one person’s empty promise.
This in and out crap (I can’t help it; I wish I could, but it is simply not possible) went on for about 45 minutes during which time the nurse massaged me so hard that my paper gown was in shreds. She didn't just massage though. She also lectured me on tons of fun facts about the colon. For example:
* You're supposed to poop 2-3 times a day. I can’t imagine doing that because as Daniel Tosh wisely says: “If you shit after you shower, you might as well go back to bed and start your day all over again,” but apparently 2-3 times a day is healthy and normal. I know. I KNOW.
* The colon is about 5 feet long. And has the same diameter as a very disappointing penis (2 inches).
* You shouldn’t eat protein and carbs at the same time. (Pretty sure that’s called a cheeseburger and ALSO pretty sure whoever made up that rule should go f*ck himself. Because now is the time to use an asterisk to modify a cuss word.)
* It takes 6-8 colonics to cleanse the colon. (That’s about 29 million too many. Trust.)
* You can get a colonic while you have your period; in fact, they recommend it since your body is already “cleansing.” I thought it was disposing of unwanted eggs, but no, apparently it's cleaning its dirty DIRTY self.
Three hundred facts later and a convincing promise on my part that I was done drinking two bottles of wine on a Friday every night and that I would never combine melons and pineapple again, my colonic was almost over.
During the course of my colon hydrotherapy session, a few “things” (now I get shy?) definitely floated down the tube, but for the most part, my colonic felt like an utter failure. Which is why in the final five minutes, the nurse invited me to tea. Well, not "invited to" so much as injected it up my ass. Seriously, she shot some sort of mint ginger tea concoction up my butt (it was cool and tingly in case you have to know) and then sucked it out of me. God Save the Queen.
At which point, she prepared me for the removal of the tube.
“I’ll take the tube out and then you go to the bathroom.”
“In this?” I asked, motioning toward my shredded, backless paper gown.
“Oh yes,” she nodded and smiled.
And when she removed the tube, her knowing smile made perfect sense. There was no way in hell I would have time to put my clothes back on. I needed the toilet and I needed it --
JUMPED OFF OF THE BED, OPENED THE DOOR, RAN BAREFOOT DOWN THE HALLWAY ASS HANGING OUT --
What happened next was amazing and awful and unlike any other five minutes I've ever experienced. I will spare you the play-by-play and instead leave you with this:
Never once in all of my years on this earth have I used a public restroom and afterward felt like it was my responsibility to clean the toilet.
But when I stood up, looked into the bowl, and saw what had happened...I realized that was all about to change.