The Floodgates to Fifty.

Trigger warning: By “floodgates,” I mean butthole. This is the story of my official welcome party to the over fifty set… Why write about something so personal? Because if you are over fifty, you should also be doing this. Do not be one of the many caught down the road with a scare or a non-scare or actual cancer because you were too embarrassed to go see a doctor who went to school specifically to help you not get caught down the road. None of us want any kind of cancer ever. Period. Prevention requires participation. And the other reason I’m writing about something so personal is because it’s hilarious.

Thursday, 11am: Yes. Yes. I realize that it’s stupid that, after 11 hours of fasting, I am starting to question whether or not I really, really, really need to earn that colonoscopy badge that became available upon turning fifty two months ago. I mean, it’s quite possible I’m not going to survive this day, let alone get my trophy. There is a trophy, right? The stomach growling started at 3:00 am, when I woke up, six hours into my fast, STARVING. I never wake up starving at 3:00 am. Cleary, my body was panicking with a not so subtle message of Hey, the story down below is that you are fasting. We do not support this venture.

This is a tiny tightrope we’re walking across in the McGillicutty house today. As I struggle to type, fingers weak for lack of both caffeine and nourishment, I am begging for time to move more quickly. At least get me to that blessed hour this evening during which I can start drinking some prescribed (and expensive) sludge that will enable me to spend the following hours firmly planted in one of our bathrooms. Surely that will give my stomach reason to a) feel full or b) never want to see food again. At this point, I’ll take either. And I’ll take it via a beer funnel if I can just dig it out of that things to save from college box. Wouldn’t that be the quickest way to fill the void? The void to make me void?

Does it make any sense at all to write about my experience colonoscopizing? Probably not. Probably well over the line of TMI. But, today is Thursday and Thursday is rough draft day for the blog and the only thing I can think of right now is how hungry I am. I know it’s stupid. Really. Having driven the morning taxi at 8:30am, I’ve only been awake for a few hours. I know that is not enough time to go into any kind of reduction in food shock.

It’s a tightrope we’re crossing. I am notorious for hangry outbursts. I already have a headache. I have had one cup of pretty gross chicken broth, a popsicle with no color (and therefore, flavor), a black coffee (missing my beloved Hazelnut creamer), and a lot of water. I’m resisting the urge to go tell my husband all the things that are wrong with him, our children, our house, the cars, and – oh, just give me a topic, I’m happy to freestyle a list of ways in which I could do it better.

He saw me coming. He stopped me at the pass. He told me to do something to keep busy.

I decided to clean the kitchen cabinets and mop the floor. The kitchen is next to his office and throughout the mopping, I heard snippets of his Zoom. He said the words pizza box no less than fourteen times. Really? I thought it was some stupid joke he was failing to land with this co-working (hence the repetition, surely they’ll find it funny eventually, right?). Turns out it’s a nickname for a product our company sells. I found that out when he finally hung up and I blasted him for saying pizza box so often when he knew I was in the next room losing my eyesight. Now,I can’t stop thinking of pizza. Is it 6:00pm yet? Can I have the loose juice now? Can I add tequila to it? That’s a clear liquid, right?

Thursday, 2pm: Moved from leggings to jeans. I think they are loser than I remember. I think I’ve lost weight already. I had to run an errand to the Hanover Zoning Office where, today of all days, they had a food truck parked out front. Rude? Yes. Not my favorite restaurant? Also, yes. Did I make a pit stop for jello on the way home hoping it would quench my new urge for subpar pulled pork? Yes again. I’ve been instructed that jello is on the okay to include in your fast list as long as it isn’t red or purple. If you’re wondering what the colors are available pre-made jello, it’s red or purple. I’ve just put a bowl of homemade yellow jello in the fridge and am drinking my seventy-fifth mug of broth while I wait for it to set.

Thursday, 3:44pm: I shit you not – Door Dash just tried to deliver a bag from Taco Bell to our house. It was for our neighbors. Why does god hate me?

Thursday, 4:30pm: Sometimes I over-schedule. In today’s episode, I thought nothing of today being my road to starvation when scheduling our fattest cat’s teeth cleaning. I dropped him off this morning with plans to pick him up “after 4:30.” Because god hates me (see above), our smallest cat suffered some kind of wound – likely because she was being a dick to some other animal. I don’t actually know when the wound occurred, but I noticed it this morning. Rich and I took a vote and determined that she did need a trip to the vet to confirm that the quarter size chunk out of her armpit deserved an antibiotic. The vet suggested a 6:00 pm appointment, at which point we could also pick up Gunter. Of course, 6:00 pm was also the designated time to start drinking whatever type of liquid was designated to take my dirty bowels to a point of visual cleanliness. I was not going to miss this moment – Rich would have to make the trip to the vet. Now, I’m not saying he’s not qualified – but in the laying out of timing (ie…what time should we lasso the tiny terrorist into a travel box), he mentioned dropping her off, stopping for dinner, and a few other statements that have made me wonder if any of our cats would actually make it home.

Thursday 5:50pm: Rich has left for the vet with instructions left for Zack to text him his dinner requests. Sweetly, Zack is opting for foods I don’t typically enjoy, like Arby’s or Popeye’s. The original plan was that they go out to dinner and save me from the smell of delicious foods that I could not touch. With the additional cat-to-the-vet hiccup, that plan was cancelled. He promised to come home with two cats and Popeyes. This seemed like a win as I really didn’t want him to miss whatever explosion occurred out my asshole as a results of

Thursday 6:30pm: THE WORST EFFING THING I’VE EVER TASTED. I had just gotten past the mixed emotions of Zack wanting to keep me company though I was clearly at a level 37 in the land of needing a Snickers (so SWEET!) and Zack picking Beat Bobby Flay (whhyyyyyy?) to keep my mind off things. I stepped away during a commercial to thrown down round one of something called Suprep Bowel Prep. Oh. My. God. How did a human make this? How has no one noticed how terrible it tastes? Why is this even allowed to be a thing? There are likely thousands of people downing this stuff every night and all I want to do is find a Twitter group where we can all chat about what it feels like to be tongue tortured. Throw it down during a commercial break? No chance. 16 ounces does not seem like a lot until the first quarter ounce causes instant dry heaves. Oh. My. God. I cannot believe I have to do this again at 3:00 am? Oh My. God. I think the last bit went down at about 6:23 pm. By then, I was clammy and praying for Covid to take away my sense of taste. I’d yet to chase it with the required thirty-two more ounces of water. Popeye’s sounded delicious. Or at least the ability to stick my tongue directly into Popeye’s fryer to kill off any remaining taste buds.

Thursday 7:15pm: God Bless America. I had an almost hidden gurgle in my belly, began strolling to the bathroom just in case. Then it was like a hose was turned on full blast with its nozzle is pointing directly out of my butthole. One stomach gurgle and the floodgates opened. Like opened. Floodgates. A derriere downpour. Mercifully, the gurgle did not bring with it those horrible fire-in-the-hole cramps. Just a gurgle. Like a light knock on the back door – but research told me that I should absolutely answer that door at all times after drinking the liquid laxative lest I be caught sprinting the last ten feet to the bathroom. At some point in the following forty-five minutes, I heard my husband return with the cats and dinner for two. I went through ten stages of debate deciding whether or not I was going to throw the game and steal a chicken tender, but the sense of terrible accomplishment for getting through round one stopped me.

Thursday 7:30pm: Finally, a break. That was actually quicker than I thought – of course, I’m assuming there will be more to come. I did locate the source of the good smells – a kitchen table laden with biscuits and other bad things (this is what happens on non-mom-cooking nights, don’t judge…) and made a half-hearted mental note to pick something equally as delicious in the weeks ahead when it was his turn for a ride on the steel eel. I asked him where the kids were…Zack’s in on his computer (this is what happens on non-mom-cooking nights as well). No, I responded, Where are the cat kids? I watched as his face went from confused to surprised to oh shit! He did get them to the one yard line – but then forgot to bring the in out of the car. Stop dialing animal control…they were no worse for the wear…although I’m now officially sorry I missed his time with toddlers and the lost opportunities to collect parenting fails that he could never live down.

Thursday 10:00pm: Surprisingly, not much action from the land of the loo. Not bad. By my count, from the first horrifying gulp to the last horrifying exodus, it was about two hours on the dot. This gave me some hope for round two – a watch that I would take solo at in the middle of the night. I set several alarms for a before-the-birds wake up call though I was sure I’d never fall asleep in the first place. Evidently, starvation is a very good motivator as I was out quickly.

Friday 3:17am: And also, 3:00 am arrived quickly. Or, rather, 2:45 am. I laid in bed until 3:00 am debating if another round of cleansing was really necessary. Would anyone even know? What if I just pretended I did it or insisted that I felt so super shiny after round one that I donated the next bottle to the poor? I am not a morning person. Three months ago when I booked this, I took the early appointment because it seemed like “getting it over with” would be ideal. Knock it out early and get back to the day!, I had thought. I did not know that an 8:00 am date with a doctor I’d never met so he can navigate uncharted territory would mean a 3:00am wake up call to create an appealing canvas for his work. I hate early alarms. I hate drinking gross things. I hate not knowing whether or not I’m going to shart.

I suppose not having an audience helped round two go down more quickly. Or perhaps it was the teenager’s tip of crushed ice chasers to cleanse my palette after each gulp. Either way, the ingestion was about half the time of the first, which meant a quicker start to the eggression. My husband suggested some good magazines for my “me time,” but I went with bad tv and several TikTok rabbit holes. The dogs did acknowledge my presence for about three seconds – then decided I was not worth hanging out with at that hour nor with that smell following behind me.

Just like the first go, it was a two hour tour – the last of few shots ending with what I’m assuming were ghost poops. Something was definitely coming out – but upon review, I had a clear view of the bottom of the toilet. Was I actually pooping filtered water at this point? Was I performing miracles at this point? How many gallons would I need to expel to get a “Saint” thrown in front of my name? Back to bed.

Friday, 8:15am: Go time. The drive? Nada. I just wanted to get in and out so I could get a dang cup of coffee and some eggs. The facility? Clearly, this is what they do. I’d heard several times that the prep was worse than the actual procedure and, hello, absolutely. This place was run like a well-oiled backside machine – name taken, forms signed, belongings delivered back out to the car where my husband sat waiting (and already eating a breakfast sandwich because, clearly, he thought he’d seen the last of me) and I was summoned to a behind the scenes tour complete with an opened back gown and a whole lot of folks who did not seem to think there was anything odd about approaching my rear with a camera.

In fairness, I never did see the actual camera. The nurses and doctors were so extremely casual that I really just didn’t think twice when I heard the words roll over, please. Well, I didn’t think twice until it became evident that my needle was not quite in the sweet spot to deliver the promised cocktail to erase this memory that was beginning to form. I’m not sure how long I had three faces staring at me, urging me to drift off. So. Yeah. Here we are. Do you feel anything at all? Nope, not at all. Okay, I’m just going to see if I can get enough juice in to re-home the needle. Man down.

Friday, Time? What is time?: That was it? I’m done? I was promised the best sleep ever. I didn’t even have time for a dream that included Brad Pitt and a lot of ice cream. Don’t be weird – we were just going to have girl talk while eating pints, maybe some light snuggling. I was promised a desire not to want to wake up because I was having the best sleep ever. I woke up all by myself, unsure of how to proceed. My clothes were within reach, but I was sure I’d definitely signed something that said I should wait for assistance. Yes, okay. Here comes someone. I hope he has crackers. He does not have crackers. Or pancakes. A soda, yes. I don’t even drink soda. Water just seemed like such an odd choice after my 3:00 am miracles. Will soda give me the shits? I don’t want those again. Ever. Dang. That was easy. I feel great. Being fifty is a breeze. A day off, to eat everything in site – that seems fair. A sure way to follow up a relatively short fast. I can’t believe people fast on purpose. Hard core. That was easy. Just a little blurry and fuzzy. I can’t wait to get my award for most efficient fifty-year-old.

Friday, 2pm: A quick nap – though probably not even necessary. I’m a bit draggy, but not stone cold tired. Just stoned. Not a lot. Just enough to really get caught up in things like why Armorall is called AmorALL if it’s mainly used for cars. Hello? Shouldn’t it be Carmorall? That fifteen minute conversation got me disinvited on a trip to Auto Zone. But really, I feel proud to have that knocked off the to-do list and will now spend the next decade praying that the Bowel Prep flavor is improved before my next round. I did get a lovely report card and some very odd pictures to show my work. Yes, I now have a printout of my asshole sitting on my desk. I’m not really sure what to do with it though. Do I start a butt file? A things I did after fifty scrapbook? Does my Covid card go in there?

Also, where’s my trophy?

*****

Monday, 11:46am, Takeaways:

  • Colonoscopies are easy. If you haven’t had one and should – just go. I will even drive.
  • Get the other stuff too. I’m tired of learning that seemingly healthy people were diagnosed with something terrible that could have been diagnosed when it was not so terrible.
  • Do the bowel prep work alone. This is not a time for sweet gestures of having someone hold back your hair. Get some trashy magazines or download some gossipy programs to you iPad.
  • The prep is awful. I got nothing. It just is.
  • BUY JELLO. You will think what’s one day without food? and then you will find out how long one day is and how water and broth will not sustain you or your bad attitude. I have never had a deeper appreciation for jello in all of my life or how long it takes to set when you are nearing your breaking point.
  • Plan your first post-flush meal with care. Ask me how I know. Reward yourself with a pedicure or a haircut, maybe not with four star Thai food.
  • If you see a cat nearing the road while coming home from Thai, do not scream WATCH OUT!! until you are sure it is an actual cat. Chances are you are still stoned, your husband has just shit himself and the cat is really a silver fire hydrant.
  • There probably is no trophy. At least, I haven’t seen mine yet. Maybe it comes after the Shingle’s shot.

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