More "I'm 40" Drama - The Poop Test

Well. I really don't know where to begin. I guess I should start with a warning. If you're reading this post over breakfast or during your lunch hour, you may want to return at a later time. That's because we're going to be talking about some stinky, unpleasant business.

I'll just put it out there: I have to take a poop test. Why? Because apparently that's what they make you do when you turn 40. 

"They" is my ob-gyn office. I went in yesterday for my annual exam. Before you see the doctor, you sit with a nurse and they weigh and measure you, take your blood pressure (90/60 - yea running!), test your iron, make you pee in a cup, etc. Then comes "the chat."

"Any problems or concerns?"


Flip, flip, flip--she reviews my chart. 

"Have you ever had a colonoscopy?"


"You're forty?"


Flip-flip-flip. She pulls an envelope out of a drawer. 

"We're going to ask you to do a stool test."

 I do not like the direction this conversation is heading. The nurse hands me a card labelled "First Bowel Movement," "Second Bowel Movement" and "Third Bowel Movement."

"Now, what you do, is whenever you have a bowel movement, you drop the card in the toilet bowl. The first thing you want do is to make sure this section here (she uses her pen to draw an "X" on the card) turns a blue-green. That tells you the card is working. Then you want to look at this point on the card (she points to a new section). That should not turn blue or green. If it does, you need to record it on this postcard that you'll mail back to us."

I said the only thing I could say, which was, "Are you serious?"

She nods. "Now, after you observe it, you just flush the card. You don't need to take it out."

Thank the heavens for small mercies. 

"Record all your observations on this postcard and send it to this address."

I finally find my voice. "What happens if the card turns blue-green in this second section?"

"That means there's blood in your stool and we'll schedule you for a colonoscopy."

I'll be honest. Knowing this is only going to encourage me to lie, should the cards actually turn blue-green. I can see me standing over the bowl, rationalizing that, really, that color is more of a yellow-ish turquoise and not worth reporting.

Oh wait - it gets better. I'm reading the instructions. This is a direct quote: "Be sure there is ample lighting in the toilet area. If you are color blind or visually impaired, have someone help you read the test."

That, folks, is a good friend. 

Also, you can't eat red meat for two days before and during the testing period. YES! Being a vegetarian finally pays off. 

Blair was less than helpful. Last night he asked me how my doctor's appointment went.

"I have to take a poop test."

The snickering continued late into the night.

I miss my thirties...