My dear sweet mother, whom I just love to pieces, is visiting for a week. She is so concerned about me, always asking if anything has changed…if I had any success with, you know “doing number 2.” She makes poop sound so cute. Aww, that is so sweet. As usual, I tell her, things are pretty much the same, because they are…except when I experienced the Bowel movement from Hell a month ago. She asked me why I couldn’t repeat the process so I could go “again.” It’s hard to explain to someone.. that just because something works sometimes, doesn’t mean that it’s the best solution to a problem. Believe me, I found that out the hard way. When you are on a restrictive diet, you spend a lot of your time trying to find new and tasty things that you can enjoy and more, importantly tolerate. Technically, I am not supposed to drink plain water because it fills me up without giving me any nutrients or calories, but every once in a while, I become a rebel and have a glass. A month ago, I had purchased a fruit punch flavored MiO liquid water enhancer that was endorsed by a good friend of mine. I started off slowly, only using a small squirt, just enough to get a little burst of fruit punch flavor and make the water slightly pink…but soon that wasn’t good enough. I realized I was getting hooked on that little silver bullet of delicious flavor. Day after day, I squirted a little bit more MiO into my water, remembering that the commercial urged you, “To have your drink your way. Add a little or a lot.” Greed can be such an ugly thing. I remember the day so clearly. It was a Monday. The house was quiet. We were alone. Just me and MiO. It started out so innocently, my fingers pressing firmly against the silvery plastic. I squeezed and squeezed until I heard the last sputtering gasp of emptiness. MiO was gone, drained of life by the pressure of my forceful hand. I felt no guilt as I tossed MiO’s vacant remains into the garbage can, we both knew the time would come eventually, when he would have to proudly sacrifice his liquid life. Today was the day. He was gone…but together, we had create Liquid Perfection. I had never seen water so beautiful…or…red. Really really red. I brought it to my lips and drank and drank. I got full quickly, but I kept on drinking. It tasted like Cherry Kool-aid. I was happy. I felt like a kid again. I drank all of it. Life was good. I sat and watched a show on Hulu for an hour.
And then…the good feelings went away. Something was happening. I felt an evil presence around me, and its name was…Sucralose…the artificial sweetener from Hell.
Suddenly, I felt a stab of pain in my abdomen and then another. Panting for breath, I realized, I had failed to remember the most important rule in dealing with my digestive illness. CHECK ALL INGREDIENTS! I clutched my stomach as I stumbled over to the garbage can. There was MiO…just like I left him, face down in a mix of cheesy macaroni and soggy lettuce. I grabbed him and turned him over. I frowned. There it was in black writing. SUCRALOSE. An artificial sweetener. Damn it. I threw MiO down and ran for the bathroom. Painful cramps ripped through my body as I staggered into the bathroom. Please God, let there be toilet paper! Please! I sat down just in time. There was no stopping the horror. It was unnatural what happened to me in that room. They could have made a movie about what happened in there. I had no idea a person could sweat so much just by sitting down. Lamaze breathing came in handy, as I held onto the wall for dear life, as I saw moments of my life flash before my eyes. I cried like a baby…for my life…my soul…my booty. I simply lost track of time as seconds merged into minutes, and minutes blurred into hours. I finally recuperated…and started to breathe slowly. I was back. I was alive…and I had definitely learned my lesson…Just because it tastes good, doesn’t mean it’s good for you…now if I could only convince my Mom…things would be great!