Nay and I both felt quite rough when we woke up this morning. I’m told it’s very common on day 3 of the juice fasting to feel crap on day 3 but I think my crap feelings were down to a) not getting to sleep until gone 2am because I still can’t sleep without Andre and Teddy and b) my fuddy bladder waking me up at about 4:30am. But Nay was also feeling dog tired and flat so when I suggested that I would rather have an extra hour in bed than the 8am yoga, she was in total agreement.
At 9am, I pottered down for my green juice and liquid ‘shots’ of wheatgrass, mineral blend and aloe. Bumping into a very smart and beautiful lady called Janelle who is either a nutritionist or a naturopath or something by trade (I will have to check which), I told her that Nay was a bit concerned about me not having pooped for 3 days. Let’s be absolutely clear here: Besides psyllium husks and the sweet foamy ‘scum’ that floats on the top of my carrot juice each lunchtime, I haven’t consumed anything to form a poo with in days. But other people ARE pooing. I defended my bowels by explaining how much of a clean eater I am these days, but Janelle said maybe I was dehydrated and I was a bit blocked up. I said I didn’t feel that way at all, and said I’d been drinking more water here than any time in my life. I assured her that my pee here has become crystal clear like mountain spring water. And then she said something rather life changing for me. She asked if water just goes through me really fast. And I said yes. I may not poo for Britain like Nay but I have been peeing for Britain my entire life. My fuddy bladder is very familiar to my family members who know I can’t cope with long journeys or traveling far from where I can be sure of a toilet because from the moment I drink I literally want to pee within 15 minutes and about the most I can hold it without severe pain is an hour. I’ve had hospital tests – blood works, cameras up my bladder, x-rays and ultrasounds. We expected them to discover I had a bladder the size of a peanut, as everyone had joked about for years, but nothing in the tests made sense of why liquid goes through me so fast. As a child I wet the bed a lot. Sometimes several times a night, much to my poor parents’ discontent. So I developed a coping strategy in my youth which was simply not to drink unless I was desperate. Over the years I lost the ability to even recognise I was thirsty and I’ve spent the last few years slowly retraining my body by making myself drink more water even when not thirsty and re-learning the signs from scratch. It helps that I work from home and am 30 seconds from my own toilet, but I still find when I’m away from home I tend to automatically stop drinking if I’m not within safe running distance of a reasonably clean loo.
So when Janelle said that I might actually not be properly absorbing the water I’m drinking I was somewhat taken aback. I asked her what the solution was and she said that all I had to do was add a small amount of pink Himalayan salt which is full of minerals which will help my cells absorb the water they need. She went over to the water cooler and got a glass and put 3/4 of a spoonful of the salt in and stirred – offering it to me, saying ‘You’ll love me and hate me for this.’ I took one sip and nearly spat the whole mouthful in her beautiful serene face. Janelle smiled. She’s done this before, LOTS, and she quickly tipped some out of the glass, topped up with more water and made me try again. This time, tolerable. Just. Less like sea water and more like…hmmm. Ok so I then asked if I could add some lemon slices, seeing as there were a jar of them next to the water. She said these were great – more electrolytes to help me absorb the water better. So I squeezed some in to take away the salty taste and did as I was told.
LIFE CHANGING STUFF. Within 2 hours my pee was the pale straw colour it is MEANT to be, and also…it took me 2 hours to need a pee, not 15 minutes! This continued throughout the day as I noticed I could go even longer without needing the loo, but felt better in myself and had proper coloured pee all day! This might seem like nothing to other people, but needing to pee so often including through the night (sometimes repeatedly) has really hindered my life – made me reticent to go certain places, made it hard sometimes to even sit through a film or show without having to choose between bladder discomfort or missing some of the action. It’s been tough having a fuddy bladder. Doctors aplenty have shrugged their shoulders and just said ‘You must just have a sensitive bladder’. But with quarter a teaspoon of (mineral rich) salt and a squeeze of fresh lemon my life is already changed completely.
What’s really really REALLY weird is that I get a daily mailshot from this thing called ‘Notes from the Universe’. For those who aren’t familiar, it is worth looking up – you fill out a form with a few simple questions and every day you get a lovely short email with something profound or uplifting that’s like a little message for you from ‘the powers that be’. It’s nice. And today’s email that arrived after I had started drinking my new mineral water blend said :-
‘Super-incredibly FAST is the general order of the Universe, CJ, often with a splash of lemon, a dash of salt, and a shot of tomato juice. And just knowing this, makes stuff happen super-incredibly FASTER, while puckering one’s lips.
One fit slim body and glowing self esteem is on its way,
A splash of lemon and a dash of salt?! Today of all days. Wooooh! (spooky voice)
Anyway, I know you just want to hear about the enema so I’m going to have to pile through the day quickly. But remember I’m writing this so I don’t forget it with my fluff brain and not just to overshare with you. So bear with me a bit.
So, having missed morning yoga, I felt I needed to get in a bit of physical exercise and took to the gorgeous pool (which again, I had completely to myself) and swam in circles until I’d done about 3/4 of a mile. Not only was I wearing my ultra cool Easybreath all in one face mask from Decathlon, that enables me to swim face down with my spine in perfect alignment (at least I thought it was cool until Nay pointed out, with the other guests agreeing with her, that when I’m in the water it looks like I’m swimming around wearing pair of ladies knickers on my head) but I also had my new underwater MP3 player to serenade me with tunes while I paddled about. OH MY GOODNESS! Swimming with music is a whole different experience. Did I say this yesterday when I tested it? Best sports purchase I have ever made. Nothing takes the boredom out of long training swims more than doing it to William Shatner reciting ‘Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds’ or front crawling along to the Benny Hill theme tune. When Stevie Wonder’s ‘Superstition’ came on, I found myself varying my stroke to fit the rhythm – wiggling my bottom as I swam, which would have looked hilarious to anyone watching (thankfully I don’t think they were).
Feeling saintly I went back to base to see how Nay was doing. She was still feeling a bit delicate so we decided to spoil ourselves a little and go for a jacuzzi. No one else was in the garden (it was a bit windy today and a lot of people chose to hide away during the day). The jacuzzi here at Amchara is THE BEST one I have ever been in.
Not just warm and powerful but SO powerful and with little things you can swivel to make the jets change their jettiness. Nay let me try ‘the best seat in the house’ which is basically a bed built into the jacuzzi where you can control little jets to massage up and down your body from below as well as the sides – like a full body massage. After a swim and a shaky start to my morning this was just bliss. We took turns and chatted merrily for ages, until we realised we were late for ‘lunch’ and a talk about to start on hydration, no less, by the beautiful Janelle! How perfectly appropriate I thought – water is the theme of the day for sure.
Janelle carefully explained all the biology of water intake and the importance of it for so many many things, and how her obsession with hydration first came about from observing people within her clinic when she was training and looking for what separated those clients who were thriving from those who were just surviving. I can’t begin to explain how much I am learning here. And how good all the therapists are when I bombard them with questions and even admit to them when I’m skeptical about stuff. These guys are good. One of the other guests here is a nutritional therapist herself, of some caliber, and even she has been really impressed with everything.
The afternoon was a bit of a surprise. Two of the therapists are training up on some new equipment for a very recent ‘thing’ that they’ve been studying/training for. It’s complex to explain and I did bring away notes but it’s late and I can’t be arsed to tonight and we all know you just want to know about the enema anyway, so I will fill in more about this later. But basically they asked if they could practise on Nay and I so they could get feedback from the point of view of a client. I got hooked up to a computer by electrodes on either hand and my earlobe which were measuring the relationship between my breaths and my heartbeat and how my body copes with different types of stress. It was painless and interesting and backed up with a physical reading on a spidergraph things that I’ve known in my head but not realised were affecting my physical being about how I cope with stress. A lot of it was good news, but the graph gave me a clear area to work on in particular, along with tips and pointers to improve all areas.
I spent so long asking questions and talking to them that I was late for my mid afternoon beetroot juice, but necked it down quickly and hot footed it back to the bedroom to try and fit in the promised enema before I missed anything else important.
Nay was brilliant – helping explain it all and setting it up for me. It looks like a sort of blue narrow plastic baggy on a hook, with a tube that comes down and a small nozzle that fits inside your bumhole. The nozzle looked like it had grown to twice the size of the one they showed me in the clinic when they’d given me the kit. I checked in the box to see if there was a smaller size, but there wasn’t. For a basic enema you use filtered water (tomorrow they may advance me to coffee but I may save that particular joy for my last day). It needs to be around body temperature so it’s comfortable. Too hot and you scald your inner sanctum. Too cold and your bum falls off…or something.
You lay down in the bathroom as near to the loo as is practical with the water vessel hooked on something higher up than you so gravity brings the water down the tube and up your butt and round your colon. The idea is that you try and get a pint or 2 in there before shitting yourself. Or rather, you slowly let the water in, rocking a little if it feels uncomfortable, and try and hold it inside yourself for as long as possible (up to 15/20 minutes is ideal) whilst laying on your right hand side. This will a) soften any compacted poop and crud inside your large intestine and b) help you splat it out big style next time you go to the loo…which is imminently, whether you like it or not, and c) helps hydrate you (the water theme again!). When Nay did her first one over a year ago, she said she couldn’t keep the water in for more than 2 minutes and it had taken almost an hour to get the water in in the first place a bit at a time. So I prepared myself for a long ordeal.
Turns out I have a butt like a thirsty camel because when I turned the little tap on after inserting the little nose up by bumhole (not as bad as I thought it would be), my arse literally drank 3/4 of that massive bag of water in one sitting!!! I barely had time to check my email, it went in so fast. I had one thirsty bum! Despite my best attempts to hold it in as long as possible, the urge to crap myself became too hard to resist and I unpopped my cork, leaped over to the loo and let those psyllium husks cascade from my body like the 4th of July. Accompanied by tonnes of water, what had been blocked became instantly unblocked. I had NO idea how much was in there. But out it all came. Seriously…you guys have been asking for this for days, so I hope now I’ve gone through this just to tell you all about it that you are enjoying the vivid visual imagery here. You’ve been telling me all week it’s like you are here with me, experiencing it all by my side. So I want you to really enjoy sharing in my unladylike explosive experience of pebbledashing Nay’s toilet like it was you with your arse cheeks shuddering and not me.
When I felt like it was all out, I turned to look (well..after three days of nothing then the world falls out your bum…wouldn’t you?). And nearly fainted at the sight of a toilet full of blood. Jesus Christ! I thought. My insides are butchered! And then I remembered the beetroot juice I’d had about 3/4 an hour before. Phew. I’m not dying.
Knowing there was only a tiny bit of water left in the bag by comparison to the well I’d already bum-drunk, I wasn’t nearly so afraid of round two. I whacked that baby up my marmite starfish without any hesitation and relaxed. Within moments I had drunk the rest, and, not feeling too full this time, I fannied about on facebook for a full 15 minutes before needing the loo. I did it! (And if you want to know why I didn’t come on and tell you ‘I’ve got a hose up my butt right now’, it’s because reading your mobile phone screen is a lot easier than typing whilst laying on one side with your arm as a pillow whilst clenching your butt and relaxing at the same time and trying not to have explosive diarrhoea all over your sister’s bathroom floor).
So…there you have it. My first enema. Despite not having been aware of the blockage before, I felt much better/lighter/prouder having dislodged it. I felt like I’d climbed a mountain. Or shat one. Either way I deserved a prize.
My prize was to come in the form of an evening meditative walk down to the sea, to stand on the cliffs overlooking one of the islands most beautiful views – the Azure Window ( a rock formation that forms a great arch over the sea) – just as the sun was setting on the horizon. As the great red sun sunk sizzling into the water at the edge of the world, I sat on those cliffs with a warm sea breeze blowing through my hair, the waves of that beautiful ocean crashing into the rocks below with a soothing sound and the beauty of colour and light spread before me like a painting. And the beauty of it all – the joy, the gratitude, the complete brilliance of all of it just lifted me up to a state of bliss that I can’t describe.
You will have to come here and see it for yourselves one day. It is one of the most romantic views I’ve ever seen in my life, and one of my new favourite places on Earth. If I ever get to come back with Andre I will drop down on my knees and propose to him, because this is the place to do that with the one you love. He will say NO of course, as he always does, running away throwing rocks behind him, but I will ask him anyway because this is the place to do it. This is a magical place of such beauty that if I had a religion then I know I would feel as close to God as a person could feel on Earth, or so at one with the Universe that our problems seem at once so insignificant compared to the magnitued of the sea, the Earth, the sky itself, that everything seems brilliant, positive, wonderful. Every personal problem seems solveable. Every doubt feels comforted and every fear soothed. I’ve seen only a few views like this in my lifetime and the beauty has been so intense that for a brief moment I stopped being afraid of death even.
I know what you’re thinking. You all think I’m going to say ‘Namaste’ to you, don’t you? Well I’m not. I’d no more say Namaste than eat a fucking filthsome Bourbon biscuit. But I will say how lucky and blessed I feel to be here, drinking water properly for possibly the first time in my life, swimming in water regraining my strength, cleaning myself with the water and letting go of emotional as well as physical rubbish, and looking out to the water of the ocean, feeling so small and yet so much a part of this world.
Today I shat a fountain and became at one with the Universe. I’m officially a hipster. Order me a beard from Amazon and plait me a friendship bracelet for my return home. I’m bringing peace and love with me on Thursday.