How intimate, TRULY intimate, are you with the significant people in your life?
I’m talking about the stuff that is REALLY INTIMATE. Passing gas. Using the toilet. Discussing bowel movements. Seeing each other in highly unflattering bathroom moments. Because when you really get down to it, the list of people we’d sleep with is way longer than those who we’re willing to let see us naked on the can, bearing down on a particularly hard nugget. Amirite?
So you’ll understand then why it’s hard for me, one who is usually quite open and honest, to talk about my problems. They involve nouns like “stool” and “rectum,” with illustration by adjectives like “watery” and “bloated.” And then there’s the discussion of pain. Everyone has abdominal pain from time to time, just like they have fevers and diarrhea. So how can one explain this pain? I could be dramatic: “like a rolling, roving object, splashing and thrashing in your gut, making a low, gurgling resonance that represents the inner lining of the colon opening up, starting to bleed as it quickly loses layers of protective mucosa…” Or, be self-righteous in the status claim of this being high on the totem pole of pain: “like childbirth, except without the periodic rest periods between contractions.”
I hate myself a little for each of those descriptions above. I mean, can she get over herself already…?
On the upside, writing about colitis offers endless scatological metaphor. Explosive diarrhea, like a rocket ship upon lift-off. Smells that suggest the entire city’s sewer line has been directed to out-gas in your bathroom. Having an illness that is hard to get behind. Feeling like you’ve got shitzopherenia (oh you know, fear of shitting) or worrying how you’ll pass off untimely flatulence.
A sense of humor may be required to appreciate that upside.
This dude gets it, though I advise to stop the video after his song.
Our first foray into this world began less than a month after Paul and I were married. It fast-tracked us into old-married-couple territory. We talk about poo more than Peace Corps volunteers. Luckily, though, my problems were never firmly pinned down to anything specific, and I have spent the last 10 years without treatment and without incident. We felt confident it would never happen again.
Until last Saturday. (Refer to text above for more insight into Saturday.)
So that has been my week. The upside is that insurance is covering this non-specific colitis (after our sizable deductible) and that today’s scope (while still waiting for news about the biopsies) showed a mild presentation that probably will not require treatment. This is a very good thing.
For comparison’s to Magpie’s costs, today’s colonoscopy was $1000, total, including anesthesia. Because this amount is lower than our deductible, we had to pay the whole amount before the procedure. Another $21 was spent on the colon prep. (Which, by-the-way, SUCKS way more than the old phospho- soda and magnesium citrate used just a decade ago and available for pennies over the counter. Also, for those using HalfLyte, the orange flavor, if even detectable, tastes like salty feet.) We paid for the procedure and meds out of our Health Care Savings Account (HSA) — which, in case you don’t have one, is an account with pre-tax dollars to pay for out-of-pocket health expenses. It’s pretty much the greatest thing to medicine since the stethoscope.
My constitution is shaken a bit by the fact that this happened, but the outcome (so far) is so great that I feel nothing but thanks. Also, Paul got in some good fart jokes in the doctor’s office.
I mean this from the bottom of my heart, that I wish you all lovely, gentle, post-coffee Zen moments each and everyday.
So… did I gross you out too much? Can anyone bond with me over bowel issues?