Why haven’t I had a stranger stick a tube up my arse? I don’t think we really need to spend much time going through this one. It’s not the first thing you think of doing when you wake up in the morning: I know, I’ll get a colonic today. That said, straight men don’t half spend a lot of time talking about how disgusting something going the wrong direction up that one way street is – almost as much as they spend trying to persuade their girlfriends to try the ‘forbidden love’. The idea of getting a good pipe cleaning did appeal due to my farmer’s diet of meat and bread (topped with as many takeaways as I can sneak past my girlfriend). God only know what’s festering in there. I guess I’m about to find out. Shudder.
Right up until the night before the treatment I was completely at ease with the whole idea. Then it suddenly hit me that I was going to share an intimate room and an even more intimate position with someone looking at my poo. What on earth was I thinking? Luckily Lucy approached the whole thing with a medical air, talking through the science of the whole digestive system and how the colonic irrigation was going to help make the big ol’ tube work better. It was so interesting that by the time it was time to “just take off your trousers, pants and shoes and pop onto the bench” I was actually pretty relaxed. As she left the room to protect my dignity Lucy suggested I keep my socks on, which seemed strange considering how intimate she was about to get.
When she returned, I lay on my side and she lifted the towel to expose my arse, which she proceeded to push a finger into. Admittedly she warned me, lubricated it well and didn’t go deep, but it’s quite an unusual thing to sign up for with someone you don’t know. But any woman who has had a smear test – or any man who has popped into the sexual health clinic and had an old doctor push a cotton bud down the hole in his penis, shouldn’t find it too upsetting. Lucy certainly wasn’t fazed by it in the slightest. Anyway, that was just foreplay for the main event: the tube. The first thing to note is that the pipe only goes in about an inch, so anyone scared of walking like John Wayne for the rest of the day has an overactive imagination. I must confess, I didn’t look at it first so I don’t know how wide it was. It wasn’t uncomfortable in itself. But there was 15 – 15! – litres of water to contend with before I could shuffle out of there.
There were a couple of thermostats on the tank to make sure the water was the right temperature but I was hugely relieved when I felt a slightly cold sensation at my back passage – no one wants their arsehole burning on the inside. So, what did it feel like? It wasn’t easy to tell what was coming and going, but I think my bottom was filled with water, which was then filtered out. In the main it wasn’t in the least bit unpleasant. In base terms it felt like going for a poo in really slow motion – so slow that it lasted for an hour. As any man who likes to settle onto the loo with a good book will tell you, that’s no bad thing. It is a bit odd having to relax and just let things flow out but I tried to keep Lucy talking so I didn’t have to think about it too much. As a world-class music snob, the new age soundtrack kept my mind off the oddness.
While part of me wanted to see what treasure was being dredged up from the deep, I’m not sure I could have coped with the shared experience. Luckily I had my back to the examination pipe. Occasionally I would get some feedback from Lucy. “Oh, it looks like we’ve hit some fermented gas that’s got stuck,” she said at one point. “It looks like the head of a pint of Guinness. Do you drink a lot of lager?” I said it was more likely cider and she agreed. I hadn’t thought about gas getting trapped in my colon for weeks, months or years and gave thanks that it wouldn’t get dislodged naturally in a social situation. As interesting as the gas was, the most unusual items to escape my body were hard pellets that looked like green Maltesers. Now that I’d have like to have seen.
And then it was over, bar a slightly undignified dash for the loo, clutching a towel. Lucy told me we’d made good progress and emptied out about two-fifths or five-and-a-half feet of colon, more than most. I was pathetically proud.
Was it worth the wait?
I’m not sure I could have handled the embarrassment a few years ago, so yes, I’m pleased I did it now, not when I was a shy 18 year old. But would I do it again? I’m not sure. In the days after I’m not sure exactly how different I feel. Most people feel lighter and a bit thinner on the tummy and I guess I can attest to that. Another session would have me properly emptied out, so perhaps that will feel different then. If I ever do wake up thinking, I know, I’ll get a colonic today.
Is there anything you haven’t got round to doing? Never listened to The Beatles? Never watched porn?