14 October 2013

Chronicles Of An Anxious Pooper

Ladies and gentlemen, I am an anxious pooper. I don't feel at home anywhere except my own home, and in consequence, I get backed up for all the days of a vacation. This is not a problem when a vacation is only a weekend away--how much does one person have to poop anyway?--but when you travel for two weeks like I did recently, then you're in a whole *ahem* shitstorm of trouble,

Here's what it looks like to be a person who cannot use the bathroom for two weeks: a big bloated stomach, a feeling of constant, uncomfortable fullness, and, in consequence, a person who can't fully enjoy the simple things that make time away so nice: a good meal, good sex, sleeping without your clothes on. I say "fully", because in my limited capacity, I enjoy all the above--sex, and food, and naked sleeping (and really, is there any sleeping that's better than getting showered and getting all clean under fresh sheets, and feeling the breeze of the ceiling fan against bare shoulder or exposed thigh?)

This is a common problem, I believe. I meet a lot of people with pooping troubles. Some have irritable bowels, so they have to go a few times a day. Some, like me, can't shit for a few days in a row, so they need to take dietary supplements. If you can't poop, you don't ever, truly feel at home. That's the problem. Your body is always waiting, always ready to go home. Which, when you're trying to be a person who lives everywhere and does everything, can be a problem.

It began, ironically enough, because of the Good Thing. Actually, that's not fair. Let's not blame him. It began back in the day, when some activities were ladylike and some weren't. Eating in front of boys = not ladylike. You could brush your hair, or reapply your lip gloss though. There was the boy I dated when I was 19, and spent all evening with, and by dinner time, I'd be starving, like literally, let me chew my arm off and apply salt and pepper starving, but when he asked what I wanted, "I'm ordering in some butter chicken and naan, you want anything?" I'd say, weakly, "I'll have a Coke, I'm not really hungry." Occasionally, I'd allow myself french fries. Peeing is ladylike, pooping isn't. I don't know who made the rules, I just conditioned myself to follow them. This is fine when you're 19, and you go home eventually, but when you're closing in on 32 and the love of your life is in your house and you're at his, and this is your life partner, the one you want to grow old with and all that, it gets damn incovenient to not be able to shit at all when he's there.  In my own home, it takes a few days after he visits for my bowels to stop crossing their legs. At his home? Maybe the last day I'm there, if I'm lucky.

So, for the first time in my life, I began to talk about poop. I told him I couldn't go in his house, and we tried to work out a solution: he'd leave the room, when possible, and when not, he'd play music or put in his headphones or something. Just enough so any untoward bathroom noises would be masked and I could go in peace. Still nothing,

We visited friends who live in Goa. It was closing in on a week for me without going to the bathroom.  I laid it bare before my friends. "I can't shit," I told them, and everyone got involved. Someone recommended Isabgol, I dissolved it in water and drank a whole glass, gagging. No poop, but agonising stomach cramps the whole night. "Just go sit on the pot for a while and play a game on your phone," they suggested. I did. It was boring--it was half an hour, with nothing. "Nope," said my body, "We're not doing that. This isn't ladylike." I feel like I had the same conversation with my body re: the female orgasm. I finally got over not doing that. "Why won't you work with me?" I begged in private. I stopped wearing a bikini.


Finally, right before we left for a wedding and a hotel, I bought a strip of laxatives. I placed it in my bag. Threatened, my bowels complied. It was glorious, but not as glorious as when I got home and two weeks worth decided to leave my system in two days. I've never looked so skinny.

"I can't poop," I told my friend. She recommended a FabIndia drug, Triphala. It's a herbal laxative. I'm going to travel again for a bit this week. It's going in my suitcase, next to the chemical laxatives. Just in case.

I'm reconditioning my body. I'm reconditioning my mind just by discussing this, the least ladylike of subjects, on the internet.

We will poop, fellow anxious poopers. We will have a normal day.







19 comments:

  1. You will thank me forever: chia seeds. I'm the same, except I'd NEVER TELL ANYBODY (which is why I'm anonymous) but I have now done two trips going every.damn.day. Buy a baggie of these little black seeds (Defence Colony shop next to Aka Saka, The Kirana Shop in Meherchand both have them), soak one teaspoon overnight in water and knock back like a shot morning and evening. Look vile but completely tasteless and they slip down your throat easily (unlike Isabgol, which backs me up, mysteriously) and voila! Flat tummy, great boyfriend-friendly nudity ahoy!

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  2. Ah, the joys of a long running relationship. "Honey, I can't crap." "Don't worry, Darling, you're still beautiful."

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  3. Oh jeez you need to get a life. Not LADYLIKE to poop?! What century is this?!

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  4. What's with your blog and internet explorer - It just won't open. Have to switch to chrome everytime I want to read it - which isn't really so bad for normal people but for people with OCDs not so great lol

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  5. More of a mental feeling than the actual issue. Maybe some circumstances where there is no way but to poop wud make you drop this feeling.

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  6. Hi, my first comment here. But I'm glad that it would help you (poop). Drink lots of water soon after you get up in the morning. Besides, a hot cup of tea and a tad anxiety might help you more. Initially you might have difficulty bcoz you'll have to pee a lot within few hours of drinking water. Now I'm a happy, regular and punctual pooper after following this simple trick.

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  7. LOL
    Same here!
    Relieved to know that there are people like me... At last! ^^

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  8. Glad you could finally poop. Never knew it is so important before I met my husband... he has similar issues. Have a good trip.

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  9. Same as some other anon. ladylike which century r u in? I didnt expect this from you em!

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  10. Ha ha happy to know I'm not alone in my misery! ;)

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  11. God I so get this. I am so uncomfortable and fidgety if I can't take a dump in the morning. Doesn't smoking help? If I don't poop in the morning, first smoke of the day and wooooossshhhh it comes.

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  12. just take the damn (chemical) laxatives. as long as you dont use them for extended periods of time, they are safe. getting blocked up with poop for 2 weeks on the other hand, is not very good or safe for your insides.

    best of luck having a normal poo for your coming trip!

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  13. I used to have a problem but less severe, usually I'd go a couple of days on a trip without pooping and then my body would adjust. But I discovered that there was an exception to the few days rule too. If I went to a reasonably "nice" place e.g upscale shopping center, hotel where I could expect clean loos and privacy through anonymity I'd be able to go immediately. For some reason my body was fine being in a strange place as long as I was around people I didn't know. And most upscale places are usually not that crowded. Other solutions, lots of walking, lots of fruit and as someone else mentioned lots of liquids. Basically then your body doesn't have a choice. It has to "go"

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  15. Heh. I get the anxious-about-pooping deal. The noises and what not. Usually I try and mask it by opening the tap on at a high speed so it masks the noise, and while I pride myself on being a feminist and loving my body I still can't come to terms with the ugh..noises. Which said, one has made progress and pees minus water wastage. The bit I did find disturbing however was the part about you not eating in front of boys when 19 : /

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  16. EWWW!!! but so true !!!

    Am really glad to know that I am not the only one. I open the tap to highest speed possible to mask the noises. Its really difficult to 'go' when staying at my in-laws' place and as I have to eat a lot of "special menu" for us the next day, it becomes more stressful. Am glad you are able to talk to ur partner about it. I still find it difficult. Married life is difficult

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  17. I'm compelled to present to you PooPourri - it might ease your mind :)

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZKLnhuzh9uY

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  18. I'm a guy and struggle with this. It sucks.

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  19. As I was reading this, I thought this is a biography of my own life! Haha. I started taking a probiotic in the morning, which helped me become regular (especially important when I was competing in a fitness show). Dandelion root tea, as well as magnesium citrate has literally forced my body to the washroom. Glad i'm not the only one, thank you!

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