Passengers

I hate the word Journey. People used to say it to me all the time in regards to losing weight… well, my ‘weight loss journey’.

I wasn’t fat because I purchased a ticket to fatville with multiple stops at donut ave, Cobber court and M&M central. I was fat cause I made a series of shitty choices and those choices produced a result. Similarly I then made another series of better choices and the result was I lost weight.

So when people talk about my ‘Crohn’s journey’ I’m thrust back to that point of time and it just pisses me off. Having Crohn’s isn’t a choice.

I’m calling it a ride.

I’m literally on a health rollercoaster – one I didn’t ask to be on and can’t get off. The conductor has strapped me in, adjusted the safety harness and locked it up. I have no choice, this is it. I’m on this ride until I’m not.

Here’s the thing, despite the absolute shit storm I’m going through and the horrendous week I have had, the people I feel bad for is not myself, it’s the people who are on the ride with me, my life passengers.

The poor sods that have stepped up and voluntarily chosen to board this train to bum-fuck nowhere because they want to be there. With me.

I may be the one in pain, but the looks in the eyes of my nearest and dearest who have a front row seat to this disaster is what hurts me the most. It’s hurts my soul.

The look that says they want to help, to fix it, to understand, to simply do something.

My sister and brother, who arrive at my house at the drop of a hat, within moments of each other, tuck themselves in bed beside me and spend hours making me laugh. They ask questions, they make me comfortable and then they do everything in their power to make me forget for a few small moments. To forget that I’m in pain, to forget that I’m sad, to forget why I was crying when they arrive.

The best friends, who rally. They call, they text, they Snapchat. They offer to blow off work and come to my aid. They organized husbands to take care of kids and drive 45 minutes to see me, entering with smiths chips cause they know that when I can eat again, that’s what I will want and they want me to have what I want. They sit and spend hours with me doing wedding craft to take my mind off everything.

My mother, who despite wanting to be there for me to fix it and pick up the pieces, stays away because the chest infection she has could cripple my already weakened immune system. The meanings hidden in our chat – her telling me it’s killing her to stay away, without saying the words.

Me recounting my week, fighting to keep my emotions in check saying the words ‘I feel defeated’ only to look over at my beautiful father, the strongest man I know and see the tears in his eyes. To know that although he doesn’t fully understand what Crohn’s is, he knows it’s wearing me down and I know he can’t stand to see it.

The beautiful women I work with at both jobs, who ask how I am and when I can’t answer and simply shake my head, they cry for me. They hug me, and in that hug they try and tell me everything their feeling and everything they want me to feel – I’m not alone and they love me.

The cold hands that snake their way around my body and the familiar voice that whispers I’m home. And when I realize that it’s not a hallucination brought on by the endone and turn to find those beautiful green eyes smiling at me, I break. Completely. He’s here, he’ll make it better and he’ll do whatever he can to make sure I don’t have to fight another day without him.

These people watch as I get pushed to my physical and mental limits. They sit there, helpless to stop the momentum that builds and throws us up and down on this rollercoaster. And still they stay.

They are on the ride. They hear the sounds my body makes, they see the pain on my face, they feel what I feel – in different ways, they live with Crohn’s as much as I do.

And still they stay.

They can get off anytime they want and some people have, some have disappaeared from my life and others have come in. But the every dayers are the stayers! They fight this battle with me.

This week I lost. Crohn’s brought me to my knees. It crushed my spirit in a way I never expected and it hurt. It didn’t just hurt me, it hurt them too. I lost the battle this week and I promised I would keep this blog honest, I know this is a bit of a sad-sally one, but honestly I would have given anything to get off the ride on Friday. Well almost anything. I wont give it all of me. I won’t give it my life. It gets what it got this week, but it won’t get anything more from me.

I’m here, ready to fight another battle, fight another week and I’m not sure what will happen but I know it’s possible, because my life passengers will be right there with me.

This one is for you.

Mx

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The Fairness Scale

I once attended a training session where the presenter rabbited on about the fairness scale and how people think and respond when faced with decisions and problems which all links back to their perspective on what is just and fair.

At the time I half listened while I drew flowers and big nosed faces on my note pad, I regret that I didn’t give the old guy with the annoying nose hair the attention he deserved, because all I can think about at the moment is fairness.

Pre-Crohn’s the statement ‘it’s so unfair’ would normally be met with a subtle eye-roll from me. I am the eldest child of three. Fair hasn’t ever factored in to my world.

Was it fair that I had to wait until 16 to get a mobile phone when my brother got one at 12? No! Did I whinge about it? Hell no! Michelle Lanati would have pinned me with her stare and stated ‘life isn’t fair, you grew up before them and therefore you set the path’. Great I did such a stella job of being the perfect child that my siblings got away with murder! Little shits!

But I have to say, fairness isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. Think of Snow White.

Her evil step mother would stand in the mirror and ask who’s the fairest of them all? That mirror would state Snow White and next thing, the bitch is locking her in dungeons poisoning her with apples and trying to neck her.

Thank god for those little minions and Thor with his massive hammer, sweeping in and saving the day, while wearing deliciously tight pants. Without his magic kiss, snowie would be doomed and all our childhood fairy tales would be ruined!

When faced with something that alters your life, it’s hard not to have your perspective altered as well. And I find myself, sometimes, thinking ‘hmm, this seems a little unfair’.

I have often stated that the biggest part of this fight is actually mental. Pain you can dim with medication but thoughts are much harder to reign in and get under control.

The self pity is like tiny bugs crawling on your skin. It makes me uneasy, because on the fairness scale of 1 to 10, what I am dealing with sometimes feel very unfair so I’d say a 9, then other days it doesn’t seem all that bad so I’d say a 3.

Am I starving? No. Children in third world countries don’t have water to drink and I am, for the most part, well fed and watered.

Am I in agony? No. And if my pain levels spike I have readily available medicine to help me.

Have I faced any real, cruel injustices? No. I had a great childhood, wonderful parents, anything I really needed, some things I didn’t. Loving partner, awesome friends, good job, great wardrobe, money, security and generally – good health.

So how can I sit here and feel like I am being treated unfairly?

I have a great mother and even better, I am one of the lucky few that has a great mother-in-law (shocking I know!). Neither one of these women are trying to poison me with dodgy apples.

I have my own knight in shining armor. He doesn’t wear tight pants and carry a massive hammer, but he rocks those Ray Ban’s and beard like a total bad arse. His gallant stallion is an ISUZU and his side kick is a four legged fur ball, but he sweeps in and saves the day when ever I need it.

And yet despite all this, there are days when I want to stand at the highest peak and scream;

“FUCK YOU, THIS IS SO DAMN UNFAIR!”

I can’t help but wonder was it something I did? But that’s stupid. I think about children that are born with cancer and life threatening diseases and these perfect angels come into the world fighting – now that’s unfair. They haven’t lived yet, so it’s not like you can say they did something to deserve this life. Neither did I.

If I base my diagnosis on things that may or may not have happened, then I need to apply that same theory to everything in life and when I think about the above example, it doesn’t add up.

So I have decided to draw my own fairness scale. Fairness is about perspective. And I am choosing to ditch the notion that having Crohn’s is a consequence of something I did or didn’t do. It’s simply a medical condition that I have unfortunately got.

Simple.

It has nothing to do with what is fair or not, it’s just life. Not a reaction, not a consequence. It just is. To give myself the mental freedom I need to be able to live, I have to draw a line in the sand at some point and just suck it up and move on.

It’s part of my story – snowie got her HEA and I will get mine too. The knights may be different, she had 7 little people on her team, I have three. Her step mum was certified crazy nuts, my ‘mums’ are borderline but have huge hearts and all my supporting actors and actresses are bloody brilliant.

I know there will be days I can’t help but be a bit ‘why me’ and I will do what I always do, call my editor in chief and have a bitch – she will set me straight and remind me it could be worse (I could have her mother-in-law, YIKES!) and all will be right again.

So moving forward, my only thoughts on fairness will be this;

“You cannot be fair to others without first being fair to yourself” – Vera Nazarian

 

 

 

Happy Anniversary

Happy Anniversary to me!

Okay, so maybe this is a little pretentious, but come on, it’s my bloody anniversary and I deserve to celebrate!

It’s been a month. A month since I was checked out of Chateau Norwest armed with a bunch of drugs and the knowledge that my life had been altered forever.

I read alot. I love a good book. But I have this terrible habit that when I reach the 60-70% mark I go and read the reviews to get a hint of how the book will end. I don’t want to know what happens in the last 40% of the book, I just want to know that it ends well. I’m a fucking princess at heart and I want the happily-ever-after, god damn it.

This need bleeds into all aspects of my life. I am a self-diagnosed control freak. I like things to be ordered and structured – I consider myself malleable, quick to adapt but rigid when required.

So Crohn’s a swift kick in the lady bits that has my head spinning and my neurotic tendencies working overdrive trying to figure out exactly how much Valium it would take to stabilize this shit show I call my life!

The thing that blows my mind is, it’s been 1 month.

31 days.
744 hours.
44,460 minutes.
2,678,400 seconds.
To be precise.

And in that time I feel like I have run a marathon. I have actually run a half marathon and I thought that was the most grueling task I had ever undertaken. My running partner, Chris, and I now talk about the struggle of running a couple of kms, we laugh. And then reminisce about the time we used to say stuff like “we will just do a short one tonight, 12kms will do” – now 12kms might as well be 41. And the last 31 days might as well have been 365.

I honestly feel like I have lived a whole life in the last 31 days.

I have changed how and what I eat, eliminating food and eating (even) smaller meals more often.

I can’t drink alcohol, never really drank much before the C-bomb, but now I feel like an addict in an AA meeting. I want it, I want it so bad I can almost taste it. But the second that sweet elixir passes my lips, Fred sticks his middle finger right in my gut and reminds me why alcohol is now a mirage. So close, but so untouchable.

The last month has given me lessons. I feel like a student being schooled in life all over again. Just when I thought I had it all under control, it flipped on a dime and now I’m like a kid attending their first swimming lesson. Trying to keep my head above water and praying that my Elsa and Anna frozen floaties don’t have a blow out and send me to my watery grave.

I never gave irony much thought before. But now it’s all I think about. Why? well, let me explain.

Irony.

Described as: a state of affairs or an event that seems deliberately contrary to what one expects and is often wryly amusing as a result.

Crohn’s is caused by your body thinking it has an illness and doing it’s job to attack it. What it is actually attacking is the good stuff and therefore causes you to be ill. Ironic.

I need food to live, I have a disease where the food I eat can make me feel like I am dying. Ironic.

I take a steroid to control the symptoms of my Crohn’s. This steroid is known to be one of the worst drugs you can take. It makes some people crazy (I already was), causes mood swings (I can go from 0 to BRITNEY bitch in 0.01 seconds), it causes weight gain (oh, fuck off) and zaps the calcium out of your bones.

Oh, okay so I take the steroids to control the Crohn’s but I have to take the calcium tablet to stop early osteoporosis? Great no worries! Oh the irony!

I take another drug to suppress my immune system in turn stopping my body from attacking itself. The biggest concern then is that I will get sick – even a common cold can quickly escalate into a stay in hospital because my immune system is so suppressed it can’t do its job and fight the cold off. Ironic.

Oh and did I mention I have to avoid exposure to the sun because this same drug increases the risk of skin cancer, because again, the drug is stopping my body from fighting off any dodgy skin cells. You know the same drug that is fixing my first problem, Crohn’s.

Do you believe in irony yet?

I can’t help but laugh and think that at any moment Ashton Kutcher is going to bust out of the bushes and yell ‘PRANKED’! Just kidding, your totally fine. No really Ashton, any minute now. I’m waiting. Come at me. No. Okay?

So what’s a girl to do. Well in my case, I’m choosing to control the shit that I can. Not the actual shit that gives my butt clenching muscles a real work out, but the other shit.

I’m taking my meds, downing those suckers like they’re m&m’s and not vile tasting artificial gunk.

I’m avoiding the sun, and wondering if a birkini is the way to go for my morning walks and general life.

I’m fighting off this cold in a battle that resembles the last round of Rocky and Apollo’s boxing match. (I’m Rocky, of course). And doing everything in my power to stay ‘healthy’.

I’m gaining control. Slowly, but surely. But I am also learning that not having it can be okay too. Nice even – okay that’s a total lie, but I hope to think like that one day!

So to celebrate my anniversary, I am going to make a tea, treat myself to a good book and think about the cake I’d love to eat – but will avoid along with the inevitable pain in the gut it will cause while chuckling to myself and thinking, I am totally in control.

P.s. Happy Anniversary Fred, you dodgy fucker. I didn’t get you a gift cause lets be honest, your a real pain in the arse.

 

 

My Fred

Ladies and Gentleman I would like to officially introduce you to Fred.

My Fred.

Fred is like the naughty cousin you keep locked away in the spare room when you have a family event (no, just us? Okay then). Fred is ugly, has a shitty attitude, makes a heap of noise, contributes nothing of substance or value to your interaction and is an all-round pain in the arse.

Fred is my small intestine gremlin. Now, stay with me, it will all make sense in a minute.

Keep in mind that I went through quite an extensive ‘journey’ (I fucking hate this word) to reach my Crohn’s diagnosis. At first the team that looked after me thought I had a perforated appendix. It turned out that the infection in my small intestine, had actually created a cystic mass around the area where my appendix is, they treated me with antibiotics whilst they went on their fact finding mission to reach my inevitable C-bomb!

So here I am, mid way through my second hospital stay a couple of weeks from my Crohn’s diagnosis, being treated for appendicitis. Now anyone with Crohn’s will know the only really great part of having this disease is the drugs – well kind of. Not the 10 million I have to swallow daily, giving my poor gag reflex a bigger workout than a porn star – more specifically, the hospital drugs.

I am not a huge fan of taking anything, I would wait out a headache instead of taking Panadol, much to the annoyance of the Hubby. He gets a headache and starts popping pills like they’re  tic-tac’s, so you can imagine that it takes a fair whack of pain to get me to the point where I am asking for drugs.

Let me tell you, when your in hospital and in pain with Crohn’s and a nice nurse comes in and asks you your pain score, you look her straight in the eye and you go high or you go home! In my case it happened to be an accurate reflection of what I was feeling.

Eight. I’m an eight. Give me whatever you have. I’ll take anything. Shoot it in my damn veins, pop it in my mouth, I will even take it rectally if I have to – JUST. GIVE. ME. THE. DAMN. DRUGS.

Sufficiently stoned and slightly incoherent, my small intestine starts to grumble and I am struck with the great idea to give it, it’s own entity. Like why the hell not. At times it feel’s like your not in control of your body and someone is steering your titanic sized arse right for the iceberg, so why not create a persona, give it a name and blame it for everything.

BRILLIANCE SHINE BRIGHT!

Had I not been so stoned, I may have come up with a better name, but Fred Flintstone popped in my head and I thought he was a cute, bare-foot bastard and perfectly fitting of the grumbling mess that is my Crohn’s.

Fred was born.

It was an accidental stoke of brilliance. See, it’s kind of difficult to have a discussion about Crohn’s at times. Your talking about the internal system that is not attractive and sometimes icky to talk about – weak stomach friends beware. So instead of saying;

“How’s the whole poo situation?”

or

“Was that noise a fart or actually something in your stomach?”

People now ask “How’s Fred?” and I respond accordingly. It’s a nice way to reference that not nice entity that is auditioning to join the Lady Gaga monster tribe.

And if I am being honest, I have come to appreciate Fred and his wicked ways. I get worried now if I don’t hear from him, when all is quiet I wonder what he’s up to – if he had thumbs and could text I might send him an ‘accidental’ message and pretend I didn’t mean it just to see if he’d respond. Then when I do hear from him I get the shits and mentally send thunder bolts down stairs telling him to sod off and leave me alone.

Mine and Fred’s relationship is a complicated one. And I fully acknowledge that again, I sound a little cuckoo and I expect the straight jackets to be prepared for the moment I fully tip over into insane-ville. But this is the crazy shit that get’s me through.

So this is my dedication to Fred, and although today your tap dancing on my last nerve like your not so ugly alter ego Fred Astaire, I have to say you have busted into my life in the most unexpected way and you teach me something everyday.

I still sweat the small stuff, but not as much.
I still worry about my weight, but not in the same way.
I appreciate a good meal, but more the ability to eat it and not suffer any repercussions.
I still think hard work is important, but having the guts to say I need a rest doesn’t make you weak.
I embrace the challenges you throw my way, but no longer doubt my ability to handle them. I have this.

And so my dear friend, I will keep you – not because I want to, but because now that your here your not going anywhere. So we will do this together, I will try and keep the white coats at bay and you work on pushing my digested food through my closed over intestine and together I think we will reach a happy place.

One where we don’t have to talk much, but we can lean on each other if needed.

And as always, if you do decide to arch up and cause me issues, I will take us back to the white walls of chateau Northwest and when asked the magic question on arrival I will simply reply… Eight, I’m an eight.

You look okay?

So here is the thing that pisses me off the most about Crohn’s – I look just fine. To the naked eye you wouldn’t have a clue that there is a war raging in my body.

I read an article on Crohn’s where the person described it as similar to seeing a duck on a pond. Perfectly calm on the surface, but underneath the water their legs are flapping away at a million miles an hour to keep them sailing along.

I like to think of it a bit like Spider Man. When Peter gets bitten by the spider he gets a heap of cool super-hero type powers like shooting webs from his hands. He looks like a normal person, but he is now super cool and can swing from buildings and catch bad guys easy-peasy, lemon-squeezy. Now, I can’t shoot webs out of my hands, but I can shoot some other things south of the board with the same power and lighting speed as spidey. Not as effective, but if any bad guy got hit with my spidey-sludge, they would sure as shit stop (and probably vomit and wish they had died)!

Normally when someone is sick, they look sick or sound sick or have something to indicate they are in fact, sick. I look fine. Even great at times. It’s totally fucked.

Pre-diagnosis, I confided in a friend that I thought I had Munchausen syndrome – you know, the mental illness where someone fakes being ill. It was the only explanation I had for the fact that I would be perfectly fine one minute and a crippled mess the next.

After my first flare on Boxing Day I was sent for an emergency ultrasound, where I was asked to tell them what was going on. I rambled like an incoherent nut bag:

“I was in so much pain I thought for sure I had been shot, then I had the sweats and I couldn’t eat, and I was cold, now I am hot and it hurts, but then it doesn’t, I’m going insane, aren’t I? It’s okay, I can handle it, just tell me AM I CRAZY?!?’…”

The poor technician looked at me with the same eyes you look at a puppy you want to take home but you know you just can’t, then she left the room.

I was like a stunned mullet, just lying there, gut hanging out, alone. What was she doing? Oh god, she’s calling security, she doesn’t want to be left alone with me, the technician is afraid for her life and has gone for back up. Door swings open and in she walks with another guy. He sit’s and grabs the probe-thingy and starts pushing around on my stomach. I can’t help my verbal diarrhoea and give him the same rant as technician 1. After what feels like forever, he calmly turns and says ‘you’re not crazy, there is indeed something very wrong going on in your abdomen’.

Harp music played, the angels sang and I thanked the lord that I was in fact, NOT CRAZY! Whoo hoo!

The thing I struggle with the most is that unless you have seen me in a flare, or anyone suffering Crohn’s being consumed by the death grip (what I like to call the gut clenching pain that your body inflicts) then you could not possibly understand how fucked up this whole disease is.

I have come into contact with people who don’t think I am sick. The genuine shock when someone sees you and they say “you look good”, said with a hint of accusation, like – how dare I look so put together. What I want to respond with is – hand me a piece of cucumber and I will show you my new party trick – but I just smile and say ‘I’m okay’.

It’s a lie.
Physically: I am mostly okay.
Mentally: Level 100, total bat shit crazy, but still mostly okay.

It hard to explain to someone what you’re going through, and all joking aside, sometimes it’s so gross you really don’t want to go into it. It’s also difficult when people treat you differently – the sympathy and pity is actually harder to handle than the pain. I want you to know I have this thing going on, but I don’t want to be treated like a sick person, or any different than before. Ironic, I know.

So right now, I am a duck on a pond.
Calm up here, mental down there.
The bruises on my arms from my latest stay in hospital are fading.
The gremlin in my gut is there and like the cute internal terrorist he is, peeks his head out every couple of hours, grumbling away to let me know he’s still here – like I’d forget.

Alas, I keep flapping my legs around under the water. Each day I still slap on the war paint and handle whatever the MOFO has for me and I will continue to pull my shit together day after day, because I may technically be sick, but overall –  I am just fine.

Food Glorious Food

I love food!

I have dreamed about swimming in a bath of spaghetti, owning my own chocolate factory and skinny dipping in mint-choc chip ice-cream.

Food is my heroin (I imagine – calm down mum, I haven’t done heroin) – the high’s are euphoric;  the lows take you to the lowest pit of guilt for over-indulging and being a glutinous-gluts! My relationship with food has always been a complicated one.

I think the first time I realised I had an unhealthy eating pattern was when my high school boyfriend broke up with me. I thought I was in love and going to spend the rest of my life with this person – despite the fact the relationship was totally shit I was devastated. I turned to food and spent a solid year emotionally eating my way through the Cadbury’s catalogue. Multiple times. It was glorious.

Not only did I start to look like a sumo wrestler, I started to treat food like a challenger. How many of these M&M’s can I eat before my body starts to reject the sugary poison and fight back? Apparently it was ALOT!

I guzzled coke like a cheap hooker, ate with the determination of a Russian gymnast and planned meals with precision likened to a heart surgeon.

And one day I found myself stuck in a size 40 pair of jeans. Men’s jeans. Women’s jeans hadn’t touched my thunder thighs in years and here I was standing in a change room; hot, sweaty and quite literally STUCK in the jeans. Those fuckers weren’t coming off. The zipper was stuck, my heart rate was through the roof and I was having an actual anxiety attack. How the fuck was I going to get out of them? I contorted my body in ways an obese person shouldn’t, I heaved with all my mite, threw my back into it, pulled a muscle in my arm and finally RIPPED them off… I actually ripped them.

I was panicked and wasn’t sure what to do with the destroyed denim. Eventually I decided to be like any other normal, sane person. I stashed the jeans under a pile of clothes on the change room floor, sat down on the seat and cried. Like a total girl.

That was the moment my life changed. I went home, ate a heap of crap that night, got up the next morning and joined a gym.

I didn’t look back.

For 10 years I have committed myself to eating well and exercising. I cherished the feeling of waking up without a sore stomach, my skin cleared up and I generally felt better.

So how fitting is it, that all these years later I would be diagnosed with a disease where food plays such an integral part in how things will go from one day to the next.

Simple things like cucumber can send me hurling towards the floor so I can assume the fetal position, clutching my stomach and breathing through the pain.

Seeds feel like sandpaper. I think I can actually feel them moving through my insides until the time they shoot out of me like little tiny bullets. Those bastards deserve their own machine gun sound affect when being expelled from my body.

I have to avoid cauliflower, lettuce is testy and tomatoes are something I don’t like, but because I can’t eat them I of course, want them. How the actual fuck am I allowed to eat tomato sauce but not tomatoes? Are these people for real?

Alanis Morissette sang her hippy heart out about irony. That bitch is so spot on it’s like she knew something I wasn’t aware of. The irony, that again I am faced with a challenge that involves food.

The new challenge is finding food that doesn’t send me sprinting to the bathroom like I am trying to beat Usain Bolt in the 100m sprint at the Olympics. Food that my body will accept, wrap in it’s warmth and push through the inflamed small intestines that is closed tighter than Tom’s wallet at a shoe sale (sorry hunni, you know you hate spending money!).

I will, as always, embrace the cheeky fucker that is my Crohn’s and show it who’s boss. I will give it everything it needs to work and if need be say good-bye to what doesn’t.

I know it won’t be easy, but I also know that once upon a time there was a woman stuck in a pair of jeans in a change room and she felt despair that couldn’t be measured.

She made it through that.
She came out the other side and she is tough as nails.
She will make it through this too.

Mx

The C Word

Even as a 30-something year old woman, I can’t even think of the C-word without turning around to check if my mother is near me. Even thinking it put the fear of god in me and I always expect to turn around and find that fiery red-head staring at me, ready to give me a smack about the head.

The C-word is feared, it’s dreaded and it now sends a chill down the spine. Oh, heck. I am just going to go ahead and say it.

COLONOSCOPY.

Now for the squeamish or those that have an issue with discussing the nether regions: stop reading. It’s about to get really personal and you may not be able to look me in the eye later – proceed at your own peril.
Being advised that I need to have a colonoscopy caused me to consider some rather intimate things.

Mainly, how do I feel about a man I just met getting up close and personal with my brown button? Now, I grew up in a household where people peed with the door open and us girls took pleasure in busting into the bathroom when my brother was showering; his girly screams whilst covering his nuts and bolts was always a crack up! (Soz Ant)

Dinner conversations were always liberal and we even went as far as having to explain to mum what ‘tea bagging’ and ‘rimming’ actually was (I don’t recommend having this conversation with your parents unless you really have to – just saying). Despite this, the A-nus was still something that very rarely came up at the dinner table debauchery.

I consider myself a lady. I have high end taste with a low class hooker vocabulary. Again, you have been warned, and it’s not too late to stop reading and back out.

Fast forward to the day I get told I am booked to have my arse virginity tested. I like my doctor – he’s a kind man; a good man; a gentle soul and the thought of him coming that close to my butt was something I couldn’t get my head around.

Had I considered a bit of arse play in the past – sure! Who hasn’t. But it just didn’t feel right… and now I was being stripped of the choice on whether I wanted anyone to go near my rear. Particularly someone I don’t know that well. A man who isn’t my husband. I get there is nothing sexual in this act and is a medical procedure, but it’s still an area that I have kept private and this all felt so personal.

After a solid pep talk, I decided to be a big girl and just get on with it.
In all my stressing about my butt, I didn’t even consider that the thing I was stressing about the most would actually be a total non-issue.

Why? Because you’re asleep (well I was, anyway). I was walked into the theatre, nervously laughed as they positioned me on the table and cracked a joke that the least Dr. F could have done was ‘buy me a drink first’, then lights out. I woke feeling refreshed and like I had just had the best nap of my life.

So why would my dreaded C-word instil such terror? Because you have to PREPARE for a colonoscopy – and this, my friends, is where shit gets real.

The preparation is the equivalent to something from Black Hawk Down. Let me set the scene for you.

Being a natural planner, I consulted Dr. Google on what I needed to do to get ready. I read my instructions and reverted to a low residual diet as directed.

D-Day.

I mulled about until the required time and then following the instructions again, I tipped the contents of my pico prep into a warm glass of water, stirred it around and hoped for the best. The first offensive incident is the taste. It was a warm, salty, tangy concoction that made my toes curl and had me practicing the deep breathing exercises I’d learnt when my sister was giving birth! The vile, foul liquid assaulted my senses and I was cursing the fact that a damn glass could contain so much liquid. My gag reflex worked overtime and after a couple more gulps I was done. Glass one down!

And I waited, waited a little longer and still nothing. Where was the rushing to the loo that everyone referenced? I got nothing. Surely I had done something wrong. I re-read the instructions and after cross-checking I’d done everything right, I sat down and watched a movie.

Glass #2 – Hubby was home for this one and watched me while I fought my rolling stomach to get the heinous drink down my throat. I was physically shaking, broke out in a sweat and like a champion, he calmly rubbed my back and told me I had it. I know this seems dramatic, but I’d spent so much time worried about the brown button invasion – that I hadn’t prepared for this, it hadn’t entered my mind at all. I was prepared for everything except the prep.

Given my experience after glass one, I washed the last of the drink down with an apple juice chaser and settled in for movie number 2. BIG MISTAKE. That devil juice had lulled me into a false sense of security and slapped me fair and square in the arse. I was on the run. I sprinted to the bathroom performing a turn and backing onto the porcelain throne whilst removing my pants all in one move. If there was an Olympic event for this thing I would mark myself a 10/10 for the synchronization!

And so this continued. All. damn. night.

03:36am- The bargaining began – please sweet baby Jesus, if you could just stop the river from running through my cheeky hills and let me sleep I will be good, go to church, volunteer at a homeless shelter – ANYTHING! I will do it all, just please make it stop.

04:06am – it stopped. Thank the lord.

This delightful adventure only took place 4 weeks ago and over that time I have experienced so much. But nothing sends the fear of god through my soul like the words ‘I want you to have another colonoscopy, and I want it done right away’. I’m sorry – what? You must be out of your ever-loving mind if you think I am doing that again!

Not only am I doing it again, but I am doing it in 3 days. So while the rest of the world will be enjoying their Sunday afternoon, I will be cursing my C-word and swimming in a barrel of self-pity.

Ever one to consider the silver lining, on Monday I plan to have a wonderful 20 minute drug-induced nap and can’t wait for the chicken sandwich when I wake up ! Bring it, bitches.

Mx