Saturday, 8 May 2010

Happy Birthday to me!

When my wife asked me what would I like for my 50th Birthday I gave her three criteria. A surprise, a new experience or something I’d never think to buy for myself. I should have remembered the old advice, “Be careful what you wish for.”

A few weeks later I found myself dressed in a backless hospital gown, wearing disposable paper underpants and waiting for a speculum to be inserted into an unmentionable place. I was about to experience the wonders of colonic irrigation.

My knowledge of colonics up to this point was limited to vague memories about Princess Diana being a regular participant. My colonic therapist, Tania, looked slightly long suffering when I mentioned the Diana connection. “Diana was a supporter of colonic therapy,” said Tania, “it id a recognized medical treatment and as in regular use in hospitals until fairly recently. It was only phased out due to the lower costs of purgatives and drugs.”

Before a treatment there are no special preparations, although a few pints and as curry are probably not to be advised. A registered colonic hydrotherapist will expect you to be nervous and will put you at your ease before proceeding with any treatment. As this was my first visit I was asked to complete a fairly detailed medical history questionnaire and a brief rectal exam was carried out.

I specifically requested NOT to see the speculum in advance of the insertion. “Please,” said Tania, “a speculum in introduced to the rectum, NEVER inserted.”

The thought of several inches of stainless steel tube was bring tears of anticipation to my eyes regardless of the difference between and insertion and an introduction. At this point do not attempt to lighten the mood with a joke. I doubt very much if there is anything humorous you could say that has not been said a thousand times before.

“Take a deep breath,” said Tania, and in it went, around 1.5 inches (4cm) was introduced to my rectum to open my sphincter. Uncomfortable? Definitely. Painful? No.

The first stage was a coffee enema. “I only use Fair Trade Coffee,” said Tania. I must admit I found this less than reassuring and was worried that she expected me to drink it afterwards.

The treatment lasted about an hour in total and during this time about 60 liters of filtered water was flushed through my bowel. Tania monitored the water pressure very carefully and it is actually kept lower than that normally generated by an ordinary bowel movement. After about 10 minutes I was allowed to sit up and had the slightly surreal experience of Tania explaining what was being flushed from my system.

“You had fish and chips last night, didn’t you?” was one of Tania’s comments. “Look” she said, “that’s a piece of fish.”

My wife had excelled herself. Her present exceeded every one of my three criteria. It was a definite surprise; an experience I’d never have considered in my wildest dreams and something I would not have chosen for myself in a million years.

Before I left, walking rather gingerly I must admit, Tania arranged my next appointment. My present wasn’t just a one off experience. My wife had booked me in for a course of three visits!

Next year I’m going to ask for a book token!

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