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That Time I Tried to Fix Postpartum Constipation With a Groupon

After my recent C-section (constipation), postpartum D&C (constipation) and iron pills to cure anemia (constipation), I decided it would be a good idea to get my first colonic. In an attempt to be helpful, my husband sent me a Groupon to the Gohar Carole Franck Spa in Glendale, California. The discounted price was $45 for a session with the Angel of Water Surround, which they advertise on their website as the "premier colon hydrotherapy system. Its advanced design now brings elegance, simplicity, and dignity to colon irrigation.” Aside from wanting to eliminate waste, the temptation to jumpstart my postpartum weight loss was right up my proverbial back alley, so I immediately bought the Groupon and booked my appointment.

Here's a tip: When you sense that something isn’t right while you're still in the parking lot—especially when you are about to get a colonic—you should really trust your, ahem, gut.

Here's a tip: When you sense that something isn’t right while you're still in the parking lot—especially when you are about to get a colonic—you should really trust your, ahem, gut. Hit the gas. Keep driving. It’s only $45. But I’m thrifty and I hate wasting money. So I parked my car behind the paint-chipped building next to the open dumpster and ventured through the rusted gate into the spa.

The spa was located inside a small converted house that looked like a place someone would try to hide hostages. I'm not kidding. Peeling gold wallpaper adorned the walls. And yet I still didn't leave.

I was greeted by a stick thin woman in her early 60s who looked like that overly tan woman from the film "Something About Mary." If you are looking for Magda, she's here in Glendale. It was 10 A.M. and she was wearing jagged liquid eyeliner, skintight clothes and 7-inch red patent leather stilettos. She handed me a clipboard with some waiver forms to sign and told me, "You gonna love this.”

Magda led me into the room where they kept the Angel of Water Surround. The room didn't look much better than a Target bathroom—but remember, I was constipated and desperate. Anyone who knows those two things, KNOWS. Also, the day before my appointment, I called the spa and told Magda I was menstruating. I asked her if I should reschedule. “No problem,” she said. “You come anyway.”

So there I was, being introduced to the Angel of Water Surround—a spa chair similar to the kind you sit in for a pedicure but in the basin was a long canal that led to an invisible drain. Magda explained to me that I would insert a six-inch curved tube attached to the water source in the chair into my rectum. “Insert it until the curve,” she told me. “It’s easiest if you squat over the tube and then carefully lean back into the seat.” I looked at the tube. I looked at her 7-inch spiked heels. I envisioned trying to shove her shoe up my ass. Clearly I looked confused because then she offered to help me insert it. I declined and sent Magda out of the room.

She asked me if I want to re-insert the tube and finish the session. Well, duh, obviously. I need to get my $45 dollars' worth.

After much finagling, I finally managed to get the tube inserted. I eased myself uncomfortably into the reclining position of the chair. It occurred to me that I hadn’t had sex since my second trimester and now I was sitting there being double penetrated by a tampon and my new boyfriend Angel—I didn’t even make him take me out to dinner first. I rang the bell for Magda to re-enter.

“OK, now I want you to squeeze your butt cheeks like you have to poop but can’t find a toilet,” Magda told me. “This will make the warm water go inside you. Then when you can’t hold it anymore, push out.”

I did what Magda said. I squeezed my butt cheeks until I thought I was going to explode. Then I pushed. But apparently I didn’t do it with enough gusto. Only a little trickle exited.

“Push harder!” Magda said. “PUUUUUUSH! Push like you’re having the baby!”

So I did as she commanded and I bore down and pushed like I was trying to give birth to a shit baby. And then, with extreme velocity, the tampon shot out of my vagina and the tube shot out of my butt.

“Um, I think there is a problem,” I meekly said. “The tampon and the tube just came out.”

“Boss gonna kill me,” Magda murmured as she found a long metal rod with a hook on the end and handed it to me. “Can you get tampon out of drain? None of the other girls have this problem.”

So I started fishing for my tampon in the drain. Angel’s promise to bring me elegance and simplicity were broken. Just when I thought I had it, the little cotton son of a bitch slid all the way down the drain. And if that wasn’t bad enough, I now suddenly felt like I was going to have the most explosive diarrhea of my entire life.

“I need to go now, please can I go to the bathroom?”

“Oh great! Now push!”

“What? Here? No, I really think I should go to the bathroom.”

I realized I didn’t have a second to spare. I broke into a cold sweat, my palms got clammy and my toes clenched tight enough to turn coal into diamonds. There would be no running to the bathroom across the hall. This shit baby was coming NOW.

“Please leave.”

“Oh, it’s OK! This is good! Push, push!”


“OK, if that’s what you want.”

Finally alone, I bore down and pushed with all my might and a glorious flood of warm water and impurities made their dramatic rear exit. And I pushed again and again and I felt everything I’d been holding onto finally begin to depart my body.

After I didn’t think there was anything left, I summoned Magda to return. She asked me if I wanted to re-insert the tube and finish the session. Well, duh, obviously. I needed to get my $45 dollars' worth.

I put Angel back in place and for the next 20 minutes, I pushed my heart, my guts and any self-respect I might have left down the drain.

I finished, wiped myself down, got dressed and said goodbye to Angel. It felt like I was fleeing the scene of a one-night stand in Las Vegas. I felt cheap and violated and yet oddly satisfied. It’s definitely best if Angel and I never see each other again.

I returned to the lobby where Magda was waiting for me.

“Well, that was an experience,” I said to her.

“Yeah,” Magda said. “You never gonna forget that!”


Prior to visiting Angel, the author weighed 134.5 pounds.

After her visit, the author weighed 134 pounds and is fairly sure the half-pound she lost is the full weight of her dignity.

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