Don’t have a piece of cake

This week I found the ultimate Christmas gift for the busy older woman. Fancy a day or two away from the mania of all that damn, pre-Christmas, ho ho ho enthusiasm?

Want to drop a couple of kilos for a Christmas party? Have you considered a colonoscopy? It’s not too late. If you have health insurance, white bread, iced tea and lanolin, “do we have a deal for you”.

OK, I might be overstating. But December brings desperate times for the mature working woman. A colonoscopy is like the older working woman’s mini-maternity leave – without the stretch marks and with a faster turnaround.

I started to write this column two hours after I took the magic, white Mexican marching powder that promised to cleanse me south of the border.

A colonoscopy is like the older working woman’s mini-maternity leave.

I sat reading, writing and listening to the ominous rumble in my anatomical jungle … waiting ...

Downstairs, my husband was watching an award-winning music doco … Clive Davis … Google it … eating chips, chicken and salad with dark chocolate bullets for dessert.

It had been four days since I started my gastro cleansing diet. Four days since I ate any salad, fruit, veg, nuts and my fave, dirty dark rye and grain bread. And four days where I had to do my least favourite thing, that is, follow someone else’s rules.

Day one of my colon odyssey, last Friday, was 31 degrees.

I returned from the supermarket with a loaf of Wonder White, two boxes of crackers, one packet of Teddy Bear biscuits, two roast chickens and close to 10-litres of iced jasmine tea and apple juice.

Before I caused any trouble, I let my husband know I was tired and hungry and could only eat white, processed food for the weekend.

As quick as a flash came his response: “Can you still eat white men?” What’s not to love? Fortunately we had air-conditioning and the Test cricket.

By Sunday, I was grumpy until a friend arrived with a bloody marvellous little fruit cake, totally unaware I was “preparing” and suffering day-three of them white-bread blues. Dilemma: Break the number-one rule of bowel prep; no fruit and nuts? Or crack open the fruit cake and have a cup of tea with hubby and bestie? 

It took me all of a minute to open, smell and cut the fruit cake.

Two hours later, still at the kitchen table, her fruit cake had worked it’s magic and my mood was lifted.

My mood stayed lifted until I told a mate at work the next day.

“If you ate fruit cake,  they’ll give you an enema,” he said.

They’ll do what? I went three days on bloody white bread, cold chicken, Salada biscuits and litre after litre of iced green tea.

Surely one slice of fruit cake wouldn’t ... couldn’t end up with an enema? Helpful, another colleague: “Remember, what goes in, has to come out.” Here’s what I learned:

1. By the time you get to 59, everyone’s had a colonoscopy.

2. Yes, the magic bowel marching powder has improved markedly since 2007, especially if you follow the rules.

3. By day four, cold roast chicken tastes better with lots of salt and pepper.

4. Get cranky. Get mad … but whatever you do, don’t eat the “bloody fabulous” fruit cake.

On another matter: kindness is a gracious thing. To the beautiful little woman/patient from Wynyard who offered to help tie my hospital gown and told me I walked like a dancer … thank you for your humanity.