Nobody talks about it except those red bears on the toilet paper commercial. Everybody poops. Or they at least try to.
Older folks often have trouble in this department because the body is less efficient, and everything slows down, especially the digestive system. My days of eating nachos for lunch are over, my friends. French fries, burgers, hot dogs, tacos, yellow curry — the list goes on and on.
It wasn’t until a colonoscopy a few years ago that I learned that I was literally full of s&%t. I ended up in the ER with terrible abdominal pains. They’d shot air into me from both ends for an upper and lower endosopy (the lower being the colon). The air became trapped. My colon was distended. It hurt more than going through labor during childbirth.
A year later, I had a new gastroenterologist and another endoscopy. Afterward, he said I needed to take a daily laxative.
Laxatives have euphemistic names like Miralax, Ex-lax, FiberCon, Milk of Magnesia, Metamucil, Senna, Citrucel, and Colace. A cheaper Costco version is called Laxaclear.
You know you’re old when you buy an industrial-sized two-pack of Laxaclear.
Here’s the thing. If everything doesn’t move through your intestines, you can develop pockets in the intestinal walls. How gross is that? It’s called diverticulosis. All is well unless stuff gets caught in those pockets and then becomes inflamed. Then you get diverticulitis.
A friend had to get part of her colon removed because the diverticulitis was so painful.
So, here I am, wanting to do fun stuff like dancing and possibly dating, but the colon has other ideas.
“I’ll make her pay for all those years that she ignored me,” says the colon.
“I’ll make her super gassy,” says the Laxaclear.
“How gassy?” asks the colon.
“Stinky enough to clear the room,” says Laxaclear.
How do you put that on your dating profile? “Don’t feed me, or I might erupt, and believe me, you don’t want to be there when I do.”
The other thing no one tells you is that when you’re on laxatives, what starts out as a little puff of gas that you discreetly let go may actually be a volcano erupting in your underwear, because, laxative.
Dating profile: “No sailing, swimming or wearing white. No sudden movements on the dance floor. No Mexican, Indian, Thai, or spicy lunches. No chili beans. No watermelon. No picnic food. No picnics unless there’s a working bathroom within fifty feet.”
And here’s the big one: No drinking any kind of carbonated or alcoholic beverages.
What a cheap date I’d be, if I could only eat after 6:00 p.m.
No ball game or fair food for me.
No singing after eating.
But singing is good for loosening up the tight jaw muscles. Just ask what happened during the lockdown, while I watched the people die on the news every night, while I sat at home alone and clenched my jaw. No dancing, no group hikes, no chorus, no nada.
Yes, growing old is great fun – not.
But really, it’s better than the alternative. I’ll muddle through somehow. But if you throw a dinner party, I’m leaving after the salad course.