you can’t mail THAT… can you?

My new BFF, Dr. McFriendly, and I nearly had our first lovers quarrel the other day. As we were wrapping up my full physical, he began to prep the requisitions for the various tests he wanted me to complete.


Dr. McF: When was your last mammogram? 

me: I’ve never had one. My previous doc told me I wouldn’t need one until age 50. 

Dr. McF: Yeah, I agree with that, age 50 unless immediately family history. Cool, so here’s that requisition. 

me: [perplexed… didn’t he just agree we would wait until I hit 50?…]

Dr. McF: When was your last bone density test? 

me: Never had one. 

Dr. McF: Okay, cool, we’ll get you lined up for that, too. 

me: …okay

Dr. McF: Have you ever done the colorectal cancer screening

me: Nope, I don’t think so. What is it? 

Dr. McF: Well, it’s actually a fecal test. Here is the package [shows me an envelope]. The instructions inside explain everything, and then you just mail it in. 

Stop the presses.

Just mail it in???







me: What. In. The. Actual. Fuck????? 

Dr. McF: We do it for everyone past the age of 50.

me: Okay, SERIOUSLY, I’m SO confused right now. Why do you keep giving me tests for people over 50? I am only 48! 

Dr. McF: Wait, what??? [moves to his computer] Oh my! I’m so sorry! The secretary had your birth date wrong! 

me: Well THAT’S a relief! [then pausing to reflect] Wait a minute, how old did you THINK I was?? 

Dr. McF: Well the system was showing you as being born in 1956 instead of 1966… 


Dr. McF: It’s Kai’s fault!!! 

me: Kai got the date wrong, but YOU’RE the one who actually thought it was possible that I might be 58! 

Dr. McF: I thought you looked really great for your age!

me: Grrrrrrr

Dr. McF: Okay, but on the bright side, you don’t have to do the poop test! 



Such is the power of hearing the news that you don’t have to poo on a stick 3 days in a row, then smear that poo on some special lab paper and then MAIL IT to some lab for analysis.

Not having to do that unspeakable thing made me completely look past the fact that my doctor thought it was possible I was 58 years old.

What I haven’t moved past though are the following thoughts:

  • So apparently people mail their poo. It’s a real thing. But then those packages get transported and handled alongside packages of food. Like grandma’s cookies, which she sends to you on your birthday. [cue massive gag reflex]
  • It’s somebody’s job to be the recipient of the poo mail. This may be the worst job ever. Is there a worse job than this? [which kicks off an endless loop of imaginary jobs that might be more disgusting]
  • What happens if the package gets incorrectly routed, or returned to sender for insufficient postage? Would I be the recipient of my own poo? How would I get rid of it???

These thoughts haunt me.

They torture me.

And now the counter is on. The deadline is looming.

T-minus 18 months until Mail-My-Poo day arrives.  [shudder]

Keep moving,

xoxo nancy

93 thoughts on “you can’t mail THAT… can you?

    • After the ERCP to remove the stent June 10th, it’s nothing but good old fashioned blood tests. Well, until I turn 50, and then the fun stuff starts. [shudder]

  1. O_O I did not know this was a thing!
    it should not be a thing…there should be some sort of other thing they can do…like a divination or something O_o

    also…I don’t think you look 58…i have met you so I know!

    mind you, people seem to just believe you whatever age you tell them you are…I told someone I was 32 the other day and they believed me…

    he knew me too :-/

    • When I told my son and his girlfriend at dinner the other night, Amanda (girlfriend) blurted out, “Are you kidding me?? You don’t look anywhere close to 48! That guys is on drugs!”
      I knew I liked that girl! 😉

  2. We already in the 50 club have already…mailed. That. You can relax. It has not come back. And yes, I’m sure he was on drugs 😀

  3. 1) I WAS born in 1956 and I’ve had all those tests for years going back to my mid-40s
    2) I’ve never had to mail-in my poop. Really? That’s done?
    3) I’d cut Dr McFriendly some slack. He’s likely seen 40-year-old who look 60 and vice versa … which is why they never make assumptions on someone’s age based on how they look.

  4. Yep. People mail poo. Be thankful your doc backed off. Mine said I was close enough and ordered the works minus the mammogram. When he suggested a second colonoscopy about a year ago I told him he would be required to go along too. No new test.

  5. I remember when (nearly 20 years ago. My how time flies) when the eye doctor asked how old I was. 40, I said. Oh, he said. You’ll be needing glasses. I thought he was being a smart ass and said, don’t be a smart ass. He was serious. Turn 40 and you need glasses.
    Turn 50 and you need to sh!t on a stick.
    Turn 60 and you stand in line for a new doctor.

    But yeah, I wonder how many posties know what they are handling and if they “accidentally” misplace those particular envelopes.

    Gag, indeed.

  6. Does anyone grow up thinking . . . “I want to be a Fecal Test Technician”?
    Probably not.
    Instead they arrive at work one day, put on a pristine white lab coat, and get sent to the post office to pick up the poo!


  7. Ha,ha! Thank you for making your ‘eventful’ medical issues a source of comedy for the rest of us. Enjoy NOT being 50 yet, girl. It does go downhill from there (I won’t lie) so keep on partying. I guess I would prefer to mail my poo than to have another colonoscopy, but EW!

    • See, that’s where we differ. I would rather do another 10 colonoscopies, knowing I’ll be knocked out and blissfully unaware of what they’re doing and seeing back there. So much easier to deal with mentally than the idea of scraping my own poo onto a paper and mailing it off. BAH! So gross!

  8. Hilarious, Nance. Not looking forward to any of these tests either. But since I love getting a clean bill of heath, I guess when I turn 50 those tests will come as a relief to me. I must work around this stuff or something…lol

    • I’m a total hypochondriac, so I know I will actually feel relief when I get to do the tests and (hopefully) receive a passing grade in all areas.

      Still, I’ll need to spend the next 18 months mentally prepping for the trauma of the poo test.

  9. ok…this was so funny…and can I tell you that I hope they make me do the poo test and mail it in? yes..and you know why?!??!!? It will be payback time for the evil Italian postal workers that have caused me so much grief over the years! The idea of handing them a poop package they are forced to process makes my heart sing – – – I admit it!

    And the mix up with the age thing?!?! It has happened to me too…..under similar circumstances. 😦

    on a side note….we are doing some of those tests at 40 over here…..

  10. So I once had to pick up horse semen at the post office (long story) but it was clearly labeled “Live Biological Specimen.” Personally, I would’ve put on a hazmat suit before touching it, but the postal workers handed it to me like it was nothing. Not even a rubber glove, God bless them.

    p.s. I got a cramp laughing at this post.

  11. Ha ha ha ha!!! I do so love your writing 🙂 I’m not even going to think about poo-mail though. Nope. Not even thinking about it a tiny bit. Is it even legal to mail your own poo?!?

  12. Groan… I can’t stop laughing! I mean seriously – the guy doesn’t have eyes???

    But I’m also reminded that I’m two years overdue doing a battery of tests. Should really do all of them before the next round of travels commence. And just yuck on mailing poo…

    Good luck kicking the crap outta all your health shit!! 😉

  13. lol!! Nancy, I am going to tell you a very disgusting story now. I was having GI issues…thinking maybe some kind of gluten allergy like the rest of the world. So I went to a GI doc and had to do bloodwork and stool analysis. I wasn’t sure what this meant because the doc didn’t go over it…I was under some illusion that this could be done via blood. So, I get to the lab to give blood and she hands me a bag with all the stuff to do the analysis. I just stared at her for a minute before it clicked…oh, you really want me to poo in that bowl and then transfer it to those containers and THEN freeze it????? wtf??
    I almost decided just not to do it but then I really wanted to figure out what was going on. So I did it. It seriously just about did me in…I try not to think about it. So, into my freezer it went. No joke! and I dropped that shit off as fast as I could to get rid of it. And here is the rub, though its probably a good thing…NOTHING is wrong!! All of that for no quick little easy diagnosis. Next step is colonscopy but I think I’m gonna pass and just make some dietary changes. Anyway, yeah, so I did your worst nightmare and I have no comforting advice, its awful. lol! love ya!

    • Wait…yours had to be frozen??? Poopsicles??? Why???
      This mail-poo-test (I think) only involves a thin scraping of poo onto that special paper. Not sure what’s worse, freezing your poo or spreading your poo, the way you would jam on toast. *shudder*

      I went straight to gastroscope + colonoscopy several years ago when I was having GI issues. They completely bypassed the poo test. 🙂

      • It was a GI specialist that did the scopes. I guess they don’t mess around. This family doctor is brand new, so he’s doing things by the book, which is why I get to face all these super fun tests in 18 months. 🙂

  14. National Post Your Poo day. That is going to be one we should petition to have put on the calendar. Or just Poo Awareness Day in general. There is so much we can learn about ourselves, right? (okay, I can hear your incessant gag reflex kicking back in–sorry). But the whole thing is really funny.
    Regardless, I’m SO glad to hear you’ve got yourself a kickass doctor. One who’s clearly interested in your bones and butt and boobs. 😛

    • Eager beaver, he is. Better than the complacent types I’ve been used to, I suppose.

      National Post Your Poo day could be a big thing. Hallmark could design some kick ass greeting cards. 😀

  15. This was so funny, Nancy! Sorry you are being subjected to all these indignities…but hopefully it will all be routine and normal test results and the trauma will stop for you. Then we can go back to reading about your torturous workouts, instead of torturous medical issues!

    Oh and poopsicles? ROFL

    • The bloodwork came back all-good, so I’m in the clear there! Pap results weren’t in last week, so I’m still waiting on those. As for those other tests *shudder*, those will have to wait until Oct 2016 or later. 🙂

      Are you around this week? I’m flying back to ATL tonight – and am there until Friday. I’ve got two new employees in tow, but I’m sure I could break away for dinner one night without offending them. 🙂

  16. ha ha ha! Actually my doc is easy going so despite being over 50 for over 5 years now, he JUST gave me the poop test package. I haven’t dared open it yet to see how it’s done. I shall get my Beloved Bangalan to read and tell me the best way to complete the test. She wanted to be a doctor once upon a time so this is her chance to channel some of that inclination 🙂 🙂 Besides, she’s good at working out optimum process solutions…

    Think of the compliment – he thought you were a very fit and young looking 58!

    • Bahahahaha… You made me snort in my business meeting!

      …p.s. I know exactly what you mean about deciding whether to keep blogging. I’ve been facing down a similar decision. So much else to do (stuff I actually GET PAID to do…) and feeling at a loss for content (writer’s block), combined with a decrease in engagement (or at least that’s my perception) with readers.

  17. There’s something fundamentally wrong with poo mail. I would imagine that would be something that you sent to someone that you didn’t particularly care for. Do you have to put a return address on it, in case it gets lost? What if it gets delivered to the wrong location. The mind boggles!

  18. I think there should be a Poo Mailing List. I wonder if you could get arrested for sending poo to a Congressman, like ricin. Would that be a threat or an expression of free speech?

    • No way! It took me 5 months to find a family doctor (see the post by clicking through the link in Dr. McFriendly at the beginning of the post to read how farked up our current system is in Toronto). No chance I’m risking pissing him off. 🙂

  19. When I still worked as a Nutritional Therapist, we used to ask people to mail their poo in all the time. To the lab for analysis, you understand, not to us personally. All we used to get was a nice clean report…

    I’ve never seen you in person, but you don’t type like a 58-year-old at all 😉

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