Subourbon Mom


Poop in a Box – It’s More Than You Think
January 15, 2023, 8:19 pm
Filed under: Middle Age, Misc. Humor | Tags: , , , , , ,

I’m not a big fan of New Year’s resolutions, mostly because I don’t stick to them. Now that I’m in my 50’s, there are a couple of things that probably should go on the resolutions list:

  • Stop cussing so much, even though social media says you’re smarter if you do
  • Try Dry January
  • Learn how to do the backhanded Southern compliment thing (“You are so brave to stop drinking – people won’t recognize you!”)
  • Say no to the good so you can say yes to the great!
  • Do the Colonoscopy Thing*

When I had my latest physical in December, my doctor and I agreed that I’m a good candidate for ColoGuard…you know, the commercial you see on the TV where they deliver the box to your door, you poop in it and send it back. I’m a 70-percenter, meaning there are a lot of things that are “good enough” for me. I’ve accepted it, my family and friends have accepted it. So, being a 70-percenter, doing the ColoGuard screening makes sense – why go 100% with a free, covered-by-insurance colonoscopy when you can take the also-free shortcut, and then possibly pay for the full colonoscopy if the results come back positive?

Anyway, I was excited to not be put under and go through the prep of a colonoscopy.  Pooping in a box sounded way easier.

(WARNING! This is somewhat descriptive, so don’t read on if you’re not into talking about stuff like this.)

Turns out, there’s a little more to it than that.

You don’t just poop in a box, seal it up and mail it. There’s a wand you have to swoosh around in your poop and stick in a tube like a Covid test, and preservative to pour into the poop container. It’s a pretty gross process and takes a little locked-door private time in the bathroom if you ever want to have sex again, or if you have children who barge into the bathroom with you and you don’t want to scar them for life. 

The instructions are lengthy and explicit…as in an entire booklet. Then there’s a separate booklet for how to pack it up and mail it. There are even diagrams showing people sitting on the toilet doing their thing, and step-by-step instructions on how to untwist the top of the poop container, in case you’ve never opened anything in your life.

Instructions aside, there are also several warnings throughout the booklet telling you not to drink the preservative. Several warnings…as if this has been a large problem in the past and now, they have to spell it out for folks. As in…Don’t drink the bottle of stuff that was made to keep your poop fresh. Who is doing that? You are literally in a bathroom next to a sink with water, but no…some people are reaching for the sketchy bottle from the poop company and drinking that instead.

They also tell you not to fill the poop catcher up any higher than the preservative will cover.

I actually paused when I read that and thought, Let me get this straight. You’re supposed to poop into a container that is under you, where you can’t see it, and try to judge how much is too much? I’m willing to bet there’s a lot of containers shipping with a little bit of extra baggage. I’ve got a pretty strong stomach, but unless they give me a spoon and a gas mask, I’m not measuring it out like I’m baking poop cookies.

Then there are the warnings not to get any urine in with the poop.

So they’re telling 50-year-old women not to accidentally pee on something? While sitting on the toilet? Have they met any 50-year-old women? We can’t do anything without accidentally peeing.  So, yeah…good luck ladies.

Long story short, I got it all accomplished and took my very identifiable box to the local UPS store, who I use for all my shipping needs. They know me. To their credit they didn’t even flinch as they gave me the tracking receipt (which I promptly lost). Oh, and word to the wise: keep your tracking receipt. Those boxes do occasionally go astray, as I learned from a friend. Apparently, her box never reached its destination and is still traveling. Now she has to do it all again.

I never received confirmation that my sample was received, and since I lost the tracking receipt I had no way of knowing if there was a box of my leftovers floating around some warehouse or lying on the side of the road. Thankfully, a couple of days ago I received a text with my results: all negative.   

In the end, it was a weird, kind of gross experience, but thank goodness for the advances of science that make this process possible, and for the discoveries that lead to early detection.

So here’s my PSA – do whatever test is right for you, check your insurance policies, and for God’s, sake don’t drink the preservative!

*It is extremely important that you get tested. While I chose ColoGuard, it is not for everyone. Ask your doctor what test is best for you and get it done!



Live Music – Live a Life Les Ordinary
December 21, 2021, 5:00 pm
Filed under: Food/Drink, Middle Age | Tags: , , , , , ,

Last weekend I was lucky enough to go see one of my favorite bands, Carbon Leaf.  Not only are they talented musicians and great performers, they also went to college with Hubby and I.  So, shout out to Carbon Leaf for still living the dream, even though we have kids, wear readers and pay mortgages.

When the time came to get ready, I was paralyzed with uncertainty.  What does one wear to a concert when you’re 50, and the band is 50, and its 35 degrees outside but you know its going to be 80 inside? I texted my helpful friends and these are the answers I got:

  • Slippers
  • Leg warmers
  • A banana clip
  • Esprit or Benneton sweater

But the most helpful was “Jeans, boots, cute long-sleeved shirt over tank top with a jacket you don’t care gets beer spilled on it so you can tie it around your waist when you have a hot flash.”

So there’s that.  Now I have to factor hot flashes into my wardrobe choices as well.

In the past, we would have forgone food and just pre-gamed at somebody’s house. That usually ended with someone holding someone else’s hair and running eye makeup.  As grown-ups, after a dinner and a couple of bourbons later we arrived at the concert walking straight and smelling like fried food.

Once inside, I was relieved to see we were age appropriate. See, the thing about being 50 and going to bands and other places is we either tend to be the creepy old people who get side-eyes from the youngsters, or we’re the youngest by 20 years getting side-eyes from the Q-tips. This time, there were two generations present – us, and our children. Carbon Leaf plays music both sets can enjoy. In fact, the younger crowd knew more of the sings than we did.

So, we danced and sang along, and I was secretly smug that I was getting my steps in, when I noticed something glinting on the floor. I picked it up – it was a pair of readers.

Omg.  That’s who I am now.

I used to find money on the floor at concerts, or maybe even a tiny bag of weed. Now it’s readers, and the woman in front of me was just as grateful I found those as she would have been back in the day if I’d picked up her bag of weed.

When the encore was over, my jeans were covered in spilt beer and bourbon, and I had in fact stripped off my jacket because of a hot flash or two. We headed out to get our requisite CD (yes, we still listen to them) and t-shirts to support the band.  Unfortunately, all I was concerned about when I selected my t-shirt was that it was soft, gray and had the band’s name on it.  I didn’t really pay attention to the actual design.

Once you see it, you can’t unsee it.  If you don’t see it, you are a better person than me.

Because I am super immature and have a 12-year-old sense of humor, this will forever be a sleep shirt, not for public.

The bottom line is, going to that concert reminded me of how much we need connection to our friends, our past, and our sense of fun and adventure. Stomping my feet not only got my steps in, it also reminded me of how much I love live music and, like the band members who are still living the dream, sometimes you just have “live a life less ordinary.”

Enjoy some Carbon Leaf – The War Was In Color (possibly their best song):

And “Life Less Ordinary”



Fuckitol – May Cause Leakage and a Third Eyeball
October 21, 2021, 8:00 am
Filed under: Misc. Humor, shopping | Tags: , , , , ,

We’ve all heard about how big data algorithms use everything you do to determine what ads you’ll see, from the kind of toothpaste you use to the kind of toothpaste your friends use. The purpose is to drive how you shop, travel and communicate. And yes, I turned off the tracker stuff on my phone.

So, if big data can target so specifically, can someone please explain to me why I have to sit through so many commercials for prescription drugs that don’t apply to me? How have mass communications platforms not embraced these algorithms? I don’t have psoriasis, I don’t have diabetes type 1 or 2, or any kind of cancer (knock on wood).  

But here are my real issues with these commercials:

First, they’re depressing and anxiety-inducing, reminding me of all the shitty diseases that I could get, while also preparing me for an amazing list of side effects that I could get from taking these drugs.  

Second, these are PRESCRIPTION drugs – who is the target audience?  If it is consumers so they can go to their doctor and say, “Hey, ugh, I was watching football last night and saw a commercial for Fuckitol – should I be taking that?” Um…if doctors didn’t originally prescribe these meds, but then are prescribing them because their patients are asking for them,  based on a commercial they saw, that is a very large ethical problem. Patients are now marketing to doctors on behalf of the drug industry. 

fuckitol

Also, if I was a doctor and doctors are in fact the target audience, I’d be pissed, seeing that stuff on my TV at night. There’s nothing I would want less than to come home from treating people and then be bombarded by commercials telling my patients to ask me about a drug I didn’t prescribe for them on purpose because it isn’t the right fit.

Third, these commercials contain a lot of Doctor-Speak and acronyms like “if your PGFD546 Cells are less than 40,” and other phrases that don’t mean anything to me because I haven’t recently been to an oncologist for that very specific, rare throat cancer they’re talking about. I suppose if you are the target audience you know what these mean, but for the rest of us it’s like being left out of a conversation, and now we have to go back to WebMD to do some research and lose an hour that we’ll never get back.    

And finally, who was dumb enough to take a prescription drug they know they are allergic to, so these commercials have to say OUT LOUD, “Do not take Fuckitol if you are allergic to Fuckitol or its ingredients?” These people are the reason we need to stop labeling paint cans with “Do Not Eat.”

Now my fingers are tired, I’m anxious and annoyed.  I’m think I’m going to ask my doctor for that Fuckitol prescription I just saw.



Waiting Room Wonderland
August 18, 2021, 5:30 pm
Filed under: Misc. Humor | Tags: , , ,

I thought you should know that I have a new favorite place to people-watch: the walk-in clinic waiting room.

This is so much better than the airport. People aren’t happy or sad – they’re mostly embarrassed, which is WAY more fun to watch.

When I went in the other day to get my special assistant Prednisone, the waiting room was pretty full, mostly with older people.  While I was waiting to go back into the examination room, I got to listen to everyone who came in have to explain why they were there. I don’t know what HIPPA laws cover, but we could all hear everything.

One poor guy about my age shows up and when the intake nurse asks why he’s there, tries to whisper, “I have blood in my stool.” Apparently, she didn’t hear him because a few seconds later he whispered loudly, “I have blood in my stool!” I had to hide a smile. In my house we openly talk about pee and poop and periods and all kinds of bodily functions, because…we’re gross. This poor man was clearly not used to that at all.  All I wanted to say was “Dude, we all heard it…we all heard it. Just relax.”

An elderly woman came in with her husband and sat in the row of chairs behind me.  I couldn’t see her, but I could hear the anxiety in her voice as she asked her husband or companion a lot of questions. Right before I was called back, I heard her say, “What do you think is happening back there?  I see all these people coming in and no one coming out!” Her companion gently reminded her that there is a pandemic going on and that they are trying to limit contact with patients.

I asked myself, why bother? Based on our proximity in the waiting room, I already knew somebody probably has an ulcer and that the lady three seats over has a UTI.  

The next guy called up was an 80-year-old man, his hand wrapped in a bloody towel.  I turned all the way around, openly gawking.  This was going to be good.

“Why are you here, sir?” the nurse asked.

“Well, see, I was in my garage using the power drill and I slipped.  It went right through my finger. I just need somebody to look and see if there’s any metal in there.”

“Does it hurt?” she asked.

“Yeah, it hurts. It hurts a lot.”

“Sir, do you have a hole in your finger?”

“Yeah, but it’ll be all right. My wife said I had to come in and get somebody to check it.”

This, my friends, is what makes the Silent Generation almost as great as the Greatest Generation. I’m not being sarcastic – the man was working with power tools at 80, drilled a hole into his finger and was only at the doctor’s office, not the emergency room, because his wife made him go.

For a moment, I almost got up and left with my little face cut and my vanity, but vanity won. I stayed and, with great humility, shared space with the Clint Eastwood of my town.

Don’t underestimate the power of people watching. I never thought I’d walk out of the doctor’s office that day feeling humble and grateful for my health. Airports are good, too, because people are often at their extremes. You can’t help but feel better about yourself as you smugly sip your nasty Seattle’s Best Coffee and nibble on that $12 bag of Cheeze-Its. People can be fun – sometimes you just have to stop interacting and watch.



PPD – Prednisone Personality Disorder
August 11, 2021, 5:30 pm
Filed under: Middle Age, Misc. Humor | Tags: , , , ,

One of the awesome side effects of aging for me is that my immune system has decided that it can no longer gauge the severity of the threats, especially when it comes to bees and bugs. I now have an epi-pen in case I get stung on my face or I finally push it too far by taking Benedryl so I can eat my sister-in-law’s insanely good crab dip.

So, about 10 days ago I got a welt or hive on my face, right at the corner of my eyebrow.  My body, with it’s amped-up immune system, decided that whatever happened must be the equivalent of a cobra bite and reacted accordingly. I dutifully went to my GP who gave me the usual steroids to ward off the swelling, and off I went, confident I would get better, but also that I would be a horrendous bitch for the next few days.

Five days into the steroids, Hubby was hiding at Lowes. Basically, Prednisone and I decided that everything that had been bugging me for the last 6 months needed to be addressed that day – aggressively and loudly. Prednisone accused him of never finishing any projects (not true – he does amazing stuff around the house), and demanded to know why we still have all our closet stuff on the floor of the bedroom for this latest project and how can anybody live like that?  While Prednisone was having that “conversation” I hid in the background trying to figure out why I was also starting to cry for no reason.

Hubby suggested that I go do some errands.  

At the end of the steroid pack, I went back to the doctor. Now I had a cut on the hive-thing, and it looked angry. Plus, the swelling had started settling into the corner of my eye every morning, so I looked like I’d been in a bar fight…every morning. Not cool when you have to meet with your latest new-hire or talk with, well, anyone.

At the doctor’s office the nurse took my blood pressure, stepped back and snapped, “Why is your blood pressure so high?”

“Because I’m here?” Prednisone said, testily.

“It wasn’t that high last time you were here,” she said.  “Give me your other arm.”

“It’s probably the steroids,” I said, shushing Prednisone.

The nurse finished the other arm. “It’s still high,” she accused, like I was purposefully holding my breath or something.

“It’s still the same body,” Prednisone replied. 

 The doctor sighed when she saw me and my little face cut sitting on the chair. I’m sure this was not what she dreamed about in med school. She listened to me explain that yes, I’m vain, and no, I don’t know how the cut got there or what happened in the first place. Then she dutifully looked at it with the flashlight thingy and told me in a very nice way that I’m being a hypochondriac, that there are people out there with real issues, and could I please stop being a Karen.

(What she actually said was to put some Neosporin on, keep an eye on it and give the swelling a chance to go away.)

It’s now Day 10 or so, and I still look like I’ve been in a bar fight.  The swelling is slowly fading, as is my imaginary side-kick Prednisone. I kind of miss her, even though I don’t like some of her qualities, like making me hungry all the time, her quick temper, and her verbal diarrhea.  But damn, she can be assertive and get some shit done!




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