Diagnosis: Dead Butt

A few weeks ago, I found out my butt has forgotten it’s a butt. After I told a massage therapist that the backs of my legs are always tight, he led me through a series of leg lifts, then declared, “You can stretch your legs all day long, but it won’t help. What you’re dealing with is gluteal amnesia.”

Although the phrase pretty much spoke for itself, when I got home I googled gluteal amnesia and learned the condition is also known as “dead butt.” So that’s fun. My butt is dead and has no memory. Hopefully that means it’s unaware of its passing.

When faced with stupid things like gluteal amnesia, I’m reminded of why I write fantasy. As the dragons in my books age, they just get bigger and more awesome. They don’t get dead butt and have to incorporate a million squats and donkey kicks into their already-lengthy daily exercise routines.

I suppose I should do some research to find out if there are other body parts that can forget themselves and expire without warning. It would really suck if my ears suddenly decided they were feet, set out on a hike, and died on the trail. Or my spleen decided it was a pancreas, and…like…bad things happened. 🤷‍♀️ [Note to self: Find out what spleens and pancreases do.]

This situation has been added to my ever-growing life list titled: Things I Never Knew Were Possible And I Guess I’m Kind of Glad About That. Also on the list:

  • I can pinch a nerve in my back just by turning my head.
  • At some point, the date on a penny becomes nothing but a blur.
  • Hairs can grow in the most unexpected places.

The good news is: there are ways to combat gluteal amnesia. Whew. And while I focus on resurrecting my butt, to maintain a general sense of sanity, I’ll trust all my other body parts to remain alive, self-aware, and secure in their identities. Seriously, is that so much to ask?

The Joy of Aging

This morning, I pooped in a box and mailed it to Madison, Wisconsin.

If you’d like to know why, read on. If you’re thinking, Ew, she said poop, I suggest you click away now.

I felt pretty confident going into my physical last month. I knew I’d be referred for a mammogram, but I got my first one last year and learned it wasn’t as big a deal as I’d feared. The next unpleasant scan I’d have to face – the dreaded colonoscopy – wouldn’t be an issue until I hit 50. Or so I believed.

My doctor ran through the regular rigamarole while I sat on the table in a stiff paper gown, swinging my legs without a care in the world. Then, to my horror, I heard the words: “Colon screenings are now recommended beginning at age 45.”

Wah.

All was not lost, however, as she went on to describe a possible alternative to the traditional colonoscopy: independently collecting a stool sample and sending it to a lab. Since that sounded way better than giving myself a bunch of enemas, then having a camera shoved up my butt (that is what happens, right?), I asked her to sign me up for the stool sample option.

The box arrived at my home yesterday. Inside, I found a few pieces of equipment and a 30-page booklet that should have been titled: “Poop Collection For Dummies.” The instructions included helpful hints like: “If you cannot remove the stick from the tube, pull harder,” and: “Do not drink the preservative liquid.” One page featured this lovely drawing and reassuring tip:

As I read the endless instructions, all I could think of was the fact that actual people doing actual things had led to the creation of this booklet. Someone made the decision to drink a bottle of preservative fluid that arrived in a box from a medical lab. Someone looked at their poop and thought, What the hell just came out of me?? It’s obviously not poop! It looks nothing like that drawing!

Somehow, I managed to get through the complicated set of tasks, sealed up the box, and drove on over to UPS to send it on its way. Happily, I was not asked what was in the box when I dropped it off, although I had an answer at the ready: “It is literally full of crap.”

Getting older is a mixed bag. I appreciate the increased sense of calm, awareness, and understanding. I’m far less stoked about getting my boobs squished into a machine by a stranger and having to poop in a box. But I suppose I should count my lucky stars. At least I’m not employed as a box opener at that lab in Wisconsin.