Violation Of The Exit Only Rule

Warning, this post is about sticking things up your butt. Yep, you read that correctly. If you continue reading, you will read about sticking things up your butt. Specifically, things being stuck up my butt. Now, before you get all excited (if that’s your thing) or grossed out (if that’s not your thing), this is NOT an x-rated post you Nasty McNastersons.  This is a post about a test called an EMG (electromyography) test. Specifically, this post is about my experience using a EMG test as a participant in the Mayo Clinic’s Pelvic Floor Dysfunction Program.

I shared a few posts ago that in addition to Crohn’s and my other goodies, I was diagnosed with an evacuation disorder. Well, because of this disorder I am unable to shit. Yep, no matter how much food, laxatives, colonosocpy preps and etc I pack in, virtually nothing comes out. As you can imagine, this is quite painful…and potentially dangerous. In December I found out that my inability to shit caused pressure ulcers in my colon, a severe impaction, and a very serious complication called ischemic colitis.  Well, after a trip to the world renowned Mayo Clinic in Rochester Minnesota, I was given a name for my issue and a solution.

A wise man once told me that you should never say what you will never do, because you never know what you will ever do until you find yourself in a situation that you never thought you would be in. I know, I know. You’re thinking “if the person was so wise surely they could’ve used fewer words.” Well, I said the person was wise…not brief! But, friends, the words of this wise man rang true for me this week. 

All my life I have had a policy that the butt is an exit only. Yep, exit only…unless an insertion is being done by a medical professional.  Now, no disrespect to those that enjoy putting things in your anal cavity…just kinda not my thing. Well, I recently had to abandon that policy…more times that I cared to actually. Candidly, that rule has been violated 17 times and counting. So far, the only insertions have been the equipment pictured above. But, by the time all is done, it will be the equipment above, a balloon, and some sort of vaginal insertion that I will never speak of.

I arrived to the 14th floor of the Mayo Clinic for my 8am appointment on March 6 around 7:30. We have already discussed my type A tendencies so no one reading this should be surprised that I was early. Despite being early, before I could take my seat after checking in, I was greeted by a VERY chipper nurse named Nurse Boggio. Nurse Boggio (who is ABSOLUTELY amazing by the way) and I walked down a short hallway and entered a room numbered 64. This room (pictured below) was my home 3 times a day.


Each room is equipped with a bed, a table with a computer and chair, two sitting chairs, a dressing area that you use to privately change into a hospital gown, drawers to house your personal equipment that is assigned to you for the duration of the program, and a commode on wheels. I have placed a picture below.

Once inside the room, Nurse Boggio and I sat down at the table for a lengthy discussion. We covered my history in great detail, what I could expect from the program, and she answered all questions I had about the program. Nurse Boggio also showed me a box with my name on it that contained all my equipment in individual plastic packs. As she described each piece of equipment she opened each pack in my presence. Once she was confident that all my concerns had been addressed, she pointed me to the dressing area in the room and asked me to undress from the waist down and put on a hospital gown.

Once I was undressed from the waste down and in the hospital gown, I slowely walked over to the table near the commode. Unsure what to expect, I timidly crawled into the bed. Nurse Boggio could definitely sense my nervousness so she softly said “don’t worry, I will tell you everything before I do it.” She then asked me to lay on my side in the fetal position. Now, everyone knows that any adult asked to get into the fetal position is about to be violated…and when I heard her open the packet of KY Jelly I knew this was about to be serioius. 

Deeply disturbed by what I knew was about to happen (I mean she had just described it in great detail so I knew what was coming), I began to squeeze my booty cheeks as tight as I could. I then heard Nurse Boggio softly say “ok, cold fingers on your booty”. Without thinking, I immediately put my fingers on my booty. Nurse Boggio chuckled and said “oh no, MY cold fingers on your booty.” I laugh and softly said “ok”. Nurse Boggio then replied, “ok, I need you to breathe out and try to relax. I am going to now insert the equipment.” I tried with everything in me to relax, but let’s face it how exactly does one relax with a stranger sticking something cold and hard up your butt…and they haven’t even taken you to dinner?

Nurse Boggio could definitely feel the tension in my butt, because she let out a hearty laugh and said “ok, I can definitely say the diagnosis was correct. You have Arnold Schwarzenegger muscles back here. We will just take our time and work this equipment in.” Well, after after 12 minutes the equipment FINALLY went in. Relieved, I rolled on to my back and Nurse Boogie handed me a beige controller that contained letters. She explained that the controller captured anal sphincter muscle activity using the electrode she had just inserted. She explained that the letters on the keypad correspond to a numerical chart, and that a normal/desired reading is a 1.0 or less (D or less). Well, never to be one to disappoint, my numbers registered a 9.0 (N). Unwilling to accept this reading, we turned the machine off multiple times, but each time we turned it on the reading was the same. In fact, it took over 30 minutes for it to move even a little from the highest setting. Nurse Boogio actually thought my numbers registered higher…but N is where the machine stops.

Disappointed by my reading, I jokingly said “who knew having a tight ass could be a horrible thing.” Nurse Boggio laughed and said, “well, I can definitely say this is probably the worst reading I have seen in the 20 years I have been doing this, BUT I am confident we can fix this. I can also tell you if there was ever any doubt that you had a evacuation disorder, this reading just cleared that right up. Honey, nothing is coming out of you.” Excited that someone finally understood my pain, I loudly exclaimed “THAT’S RIGHT, THAT’S RIGHT!!”

After we were over the initial weirdness of sticking the equipment up my butt, we were able to get down to business. We spent the remainder of the session teaching me how to appropriately breathe from my diaphragm in an effort to relax my pelvic floor muscles. I am happy report that after 15 sessions (3 visits a day for 45 minutes 5 days a week), my baseline reading has dropped to 2.1…reaching as low as 0.9 in some sessions. So, the short version is the program is definitely working. Without the use of laxatives I have had successful bowel movements each day after the program. For me, that is unheard of. Historically I routinely go up to 4 weeks without movement…and somehow I thought that was normal.

While I am not yet done with the program, I have already seen a big improvement in my condition. I have a better sense of my body and what certain muscle should and should not do. I also understand how to work to relax those muscles and the importance of doing it. Lastly, I am learning to control those muscles and feel when they need my attention to relax. I can say without hestiation that this program was a great decision, and you DEFINITELY get everything you pay for! If you battle with chronic constipation (which for Chronies is not typical but can happen) you should definitely check out this program. It is VERY intense, but thorough…and IT WORKS!

23 thoughts

  1. Well, I hate to say that almost a year later I beat you at 11.0 microvolts. Luckily, Nurse Boggio was AS amazing and more as you described, and I was not only better two weeks later, but feeling good enough to write a song about it. Check if out on her facebook page if you get a chance 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Just wanted to drop you a small line to say I miss you and your posts! I was relieved that there was one I hadn’t read BUTT we need you back! I hope your disappearance is a sign of being so well, you don’t want to bother with your blog because you’re out living it up. If it’s the opposite of that, know that your readers’ hearts are with you.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much! I wish was my absence was for a good thing. I have been feeling great, but my family suffered a devastating and sudden loss which made me press pause. I am finding my bearings now and coming up for air.


  3. I agree exit only lol… But in some cases it is a must like medical field as I come from so either I have seen so much of nakkie bodies or sad to say it has been done to me (not this test) I also full of shitt most of the time lol every since I was a baby so I know as my family has told Drs that think it is due to my pain medication well I know that does not help but that is not the cause… I also got into trouble once with what they thought was a bowl impacted but really this Dr got me in the hospital and just took me off everything all at once and almost killed me going cold turkey but anyways I love your blog you are very open and honest and I just love that about you… I thank you for sharing your story and hope you keep on getting better or have more better days…I still have not forgot about the award just not feeling very well but I promise I will get to it and it is my first one and so fucking excited : ) I have never got one of these or any so I look forward to doing this I just want to be focused and honest like I always am (honest) focused not so much lol Once I clear my mind and feel a bit better I will get this done and have fun.. Yea something fun in my life…
    Well hugggs to you and as always please keep in touch as I will do the same… Still reading around your blog as I have time..(LOVE IT)

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much! Yes, please take your time and focus on getting better. While it is your first…BELIEVE ME it won’t be your last. SO, take the time you need and whenever you write your response I will be there to read it! Warm hugs your way.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Thank you so much for your understanding : ) I do appreciate it…
        When I am able to do this and I hope I feel up to it very soon maybe even today (I hope) How do I do this??? Do I copy and paste it onto my own blog post ? and just write out my answers??? ..
        Again thank you for your help and I look forward for more to come my way hehe.. I have seen some of these blog post and I do like them I feel like it is a great way to get to know others…Also some are just fun from what I have seen…
        Huggs to you

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Brava!!!! It’s wonderful that you got into this Anal Physical Therapy program. I’m heartened by the fact that such a compassionate approach to obstipation exists.

    As a pediatrician, I became sort of a go-to person in a community where I worked after I wrote an article for the local newspaper on obstipation (Obstinate Constipation). Suddenly my waiting room was flooded with kids who couldn’t go for nothin’, who couldn’t go to school because they leaked stool and got bullied and called “stinky.”

    I knew at that time that there was a reason for withholding, but nobody was talking and the stigma and embarrassment of the whole thing just made everybody clam up.

    I had a strong feeling that abuse was going on at some level, whether physical, psychological, sexual, emotional, or everything. There were no child psychology services in that community, so I felt like my hands were tied.

    So I cleaned them out, using an old but very effective method: high colonic enemas using a special solution, under sedation and got them started on my special “Three Sticks o’ Dynomite Bran Muffins,” which are guaranteed to keep things moving…But always I was left with the uncomfortable feeling that I was treating the symptoms but not addressing the cause.

    What are your feelings about this?


    Liked by 1 person

    • That is ABSOLUTELY amazing. From talking with people in the program here, this issue can definitely happen with abuse. It can also happen due to an injury (like a long and hard labor), or from chronic illness like Crohn’s where you get used to trying to stop yourself from going so that when you are in remission finally, the muscles are too strong to relax on their own. When you are talking about this issue with kids, my mind definitely goes to abuse first…then to some sort of issue like a Crohn’s or IBS or UC. The complicating factor too is that if the issue has gone on for quite some time, even when the muscle issue so to speak is corrected, their may be an underlying motility issue with the intestine. I had no idea having a bowel movement could be so complicated…and the inability to go could be deadly. NO IDEA.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Yes, it can be deadly! When the colon is not healthy, especially in the context of IBD or IBS or Bacterial Overgrowth Syndrome, among others, the problem of having to build up muscles to avoid accidents can result in Toxic Megacolon, where the trapped toxins from abnormal bacteria that would get washed away in a normal bowel pattern just sit there and produce more toxins. At best this will make you sick, and at worst cause peritonitis or even rupture of the colon! Who knew that a person could die of constipation?! A shitty way to pass. I’m glad you’ve got to the bottom of your problem, and hope you keep going, in a healthy way ❤

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Wow, I never knew that your body was not experiencing the relief it needed through having a bowel movement. I am sooo happy you have found a place that has given your ailment a name and that you have experienced relief. Good for you my neice. Also, I appreciate you taking the time to break down the procedure and keeping it 100!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much Auntie for reading and showing support. When I was writing this I went back and forth on how transparent to be…but always said if I write about anything I am going to keep it 100 and tell the real. This is a disorder so common with people with Crohn’s disease and leads to lots of people having a stoma put in place and some of thier colon removed…only to discover that the issue is not fixed. I wanted to get the word out about it but also discuss the Mayo program at length becuase there is currently very little literature out about it too. Hoping to spare someone else the long road I experienced.

      Liked by 1 person

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