Vanity, thy name is Laurie.
As much as I hate to admit it, it’s true.
Like so many women, I’ve spent a lifetime trying to get thinner, taller, blonder……happier. Why? Because magazines like Cosmo, Redbook, Glamour and Bovine Quarterly all told me that I wasn’t good enough. Not as I was anyway and sadly, pathetically, I bought into it. I would have to go to great lengths to make myself acceptable in my eyes…or as how Elle Magazine told me to view myself.
So, I went on diets; worked out. I even had a little “work done”, but that wasn’t enough. So, when I learned of this new drug just introduced by Roche, I thought to myself, “Hot dog!! I gotta gimme some Xenical!”
You don’t hear that much about the drug these days but about 11 years ago, Orlistat (as they white coats call it) was deemed a miracle weight loss drug. At one time it was prescription only but that was so 1999. An over the counter version of the stuff called “Alli” is and has been available at grocery stores and pharmacies behind locked plexi-glass shelves, next to certain sinus medications that help make kick ass meth, in your better pharmacies or grocery stores.
Here’s how Xenical works. It has does something to with something called lipasis and enzymes in the lower GI tract. This pill has the uncanny ability to prevent the body from absorbing as much as 30-percent of the fat as consumed through food.
And it eliminates the excess, undigested fat the way the body normally eliminates waste. Via the excretory system and fecal matter.
Small price to pay for a smaller butt, right?
Well, fecal matter isn’t exactly correct. I would call this a Vesuvian-like eruption of a substance so vile, so caustic that it defies description.
And I would imagine it could remove paint.
I know for a fact it removed my dignity!
Permit me to explain.
A few years ago, I was on one of my many diets and was prescribed Xenical. Tried it for a few weeks. Now, don’t get me wrong, I know this is a great drug that’s safe and effective and I would venture that it has some amazing success stories . I lost weight. However, I had a nasty experience while on it. It was my fault. I’m sure it was something I did on my end.
As a matter of fact, I KNOW it was something on my “end”..
From my end…
This is an explanation of side effects from a related website:
“gas with oily discharge, an increased number of oily bowel movements–possibly very loose in texture with the urgent need to have them, and an inability to control them, particularly after meals containing higher amounts of fat”
Remember this, OK?
So, I was working at a radio station in downtown Houston, but lived in a suburb which was about an 18 mile drive—45 minutes in duration in typical Houston off-hour traffic. On this particular day, I had to attend a morning show luncheon at a lovely Italian restaurant not far from the station.
We were served Fettucini Alfredo, Sausage and Peppers, Garlic Bread and pizza was also there for the taking.
And I took it all.
The problem was the fat content in everything. The food was so good–I’d been doing quite well on my diet–what would one meal hurt? Besides, I LOVE Italian, so I ate with abandon, forgetting about the Xenical I was taking. Now, mind you, I’d read all the literature. So, I knew the risks.
I just didn’t know their extent.
Anyway, we ate. We took care of a little business and we left two hours later. I prepared for my 18 mile drive home in mid-afternoon Houston traffic…..on a Friday…..in the rain.
I hit Mile Marker 3—a mere 15 miles to go:
Then, I felt “the cramp” in my abdomen.
Actually cramp isn’t entirely accurate. THINK: Paul Reiser or whoever at the table in that now infamous lunch scene in the movie, “Alien”. You know the one…when the little alien/monster fella jumps out of the guy’s stomach in a balletic ciseaux rivaling Baryshnikov, then runs across the table, hops off then hides in the bowels of the space ship called “The Nostromo”, only to emerge to battle with Sigourney Weaver 53-cinematic minutes later.
Now, that was extreme birthing.
And so was what I was feeling. Because as each second passed, it was becoming abundantly clear that WHATEVER was in me, wanted out. And here’s the worst part— I have an annoying phobia of allowing only certain bodily functions to play out in public restrooms, so stopping at a service station or fast food restaurant was out of the question.
The cramping was incredible. I didn’t know what to do. I figured I needed to get my mind off that fact that it felt as though Napoleon and Custer were assembling their troops in my G.I. tract.
I turned on my car radio. Country music….press button. Opera…..hit scan. Ah, news and talk. That’ll work. I tuned in just in time to hear a time and temperature check before going to break. Thank God the station was in commercials— mind numbing commercials that would take my mind off my troubles.
“The Las Vegas Convention and Visitors’ Bureau invites you to come play in Vegas…Our crap tables…”
NOPE! Change stations.
I hit “search” and I landed on a Top 40 format and another commercial:
“At the Jamaican airport, you can shop duty free…”
All I heard was “doodie”.
Again, change; another station. This time, I stopped on a cooking show:
“You sear the steak in the pan with a little olive oil, then add the mushrooms. We recommend shitake….”
Oh sweet misery of life, I threw in a CD.
Music was working, but so was my sphincter.
I didn’t think I could control it any longer. Ouch! Pain!! Pain! I couldn’t keep this fecal juggernaut in…IT WANTED OUT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! IT WANTED…..
And it was out.
Eight miles to go before I arrived in the privacy of my home with it’s convenient attached garage. I sat there….sitting in a car seat devastatingly soiled….a seething cauldron of relief…but that was short lived. You see, I’d eaten a fat laden lunch and Xenical was in fact, doing just as it’s maker said it would.
I was grossed out and trying to be as careful as possible. Now was NOT the time to speed and risk getting pulled over by one of Houston’s finest. My God!! What would I do if that happened?? I’d step out of the car and then try to explain to the Officer why I had a Rorschach inkblot of Wayne Brady on my ass??????
And I’m a Wayne Brady fan!!!
I was closer to home now. Five miles to go. I’m focused, trying not to look down. And you can imagine, breathing through my mouth.
And then another cramp. This one far worst than the first. It was absolute torturous pain. Why hold it? I’m already past the point of no return. So, I relaxed and let it go, let it flow. But flowing wasn’t exactly a part of this equation. Something was different about this round. This was far more..well, solid. And it had force behind it.
My body/mind connection dissipated. Something else had taken over and at this point, my body was crapping for distance.
Because this one felt “pressurized”.
Torque would apply as well.
Suddenly, I felt something warm moving up spine and whatever this was, it also had mass because it was spanning the entire width of my back. Oh no! This CANNOT be happening. But It was and It stopped at my neck. I felt It at my shoulders.
Now mind you, I was wearing a sleeveless dress with a round neck collar. The “mass” introduced itself to my neckline and arm slits. Introduced itself, then kept moving.
Upward and outward.
By this time, I was crying and laughing. This was preposterous. It could only happen to me. I was thanking every God from every religious pantheon I could think of, that I had limousine tint on my car windows.
I was now one proverbial Mogadishu mile from home. The most dangerous.
Then, two blocks from home…..one block.
I was in my driveway. “Come on Genie Automatic Garage Door Opener. Now is NOT the time to act a BITCH!!”
It worked and I was in my garage. Big door down, little car door open. I took inventory of myself and my situation.
I had It coming out of from the back of my collar and around a part of my neck. I had to move my hair from being stuck in the thick of it. Too late. Hair enveloped.
It was also protruding out of from the sleeveless shoulders. What’s odd about this is that my dress bodice was rather fitted as were the shoulders and when the “substance” oozed out, It OOZED OUT in the exact shape of my shoulders. It was “cupping” my upper arms.
Picture an inverted capital “U”.
I looked like a stinky, dirty, nasty, human Play-Doh Fun Factory.
I stepped out of my car and looked back at the car seat.
“Hhhh’mmm”, I thought to myself. “When did I eat broccoli???”
I began walking towards the kitchen door.
I looked behind me; I was leaving a trail of “remnants”; the nastiest DNA.
I just took off all my clothes and used my dress to remove the excess. That was a waste of time because there were no unsoiled spots on the dress. I was just smearing things and making matters worse. I wadded up my clothes–everything—and tossed it all in the trash. Shoes too. Trust, me they no longer went WITH anything in my wardrobe.
That particular shade of brown doesn’t exist in nature.
I had huge smear streaks over most of my body. I walk into the kitchen where my boyfriend is toiling away at something. He looked at me and just stared; expressionless and silent. Then, after maybe 20 seconds, he asked me, “Uh..Baby? Please tell me you’ve just participated in a fraternity initiation!!”
I ignored him.
He yelled after me, laughing. “Hey Doo Doo girl, should I call Reverend Al Sharpton and get him on this? What do you say, Tawana Kendrick??”
I walked passed him, a hand raised–maybe even a finger, too.
My dog who took one whiff of me, then ran outside to his dog house.
My cat hissed at me.
My parakeet uttered, “Polly wants some Lysol”.
I was depressed…dejected…defeated.
I got in my shower and emerged two hours later.
As for my car?
Hell, I just bought a new one.
© Laurie Kendrick (Parts of this post have been previously published)