When you’re talking about something personal, it’s hard not to wonder at what point you may have said or shared too much. When bearing your soul to people there is a fine line between sharing and exposing.
This week I had someone insinuate, in a joking manner, that I was very forthcoming in regards to my Crohn’s experience.
At first I laughed, flipped my hair over my shoulder with just the right amount of sass, altered my voice channelling my inner bogan and said ‘bitch please, you haven’t even heard the half of it.
My encounter ended and I went about my day. But later I got to thinking. That thinking turned to stewing. Stewing turned to annoyance. And then I skipped all other emotions and went straight to pissed off!
Let me set the scene.
For those that have seen Game of Thrones you know there are certain scenes that just stay with you. The one that fits my level of pissed off goes like this…
The mother of dragons heads down into a dark dungeon… at the beginning we don’t know why. As she approaches a figure comes into the light and we realize it’s one of her baby dragons. He’s huge and pissed off. You see, he went a little rogue and started eating things and setting stuff on fire and like all good mothers Kahleesi had no choice but to do the right thing and lock him away in the dungeon. She can’t have her baby dragon flying around, eating shit and setting towns on fire, right?
Now big baby dragon clearly doesn’t enjoy being locked away in the dungeon (let’s be real, if he had been a good dragon he won’t be there) so he opens his mouth and breathes fire all over the joint and you just know he is PISSED OFF.
This is where I was at by the time I had taken that simple comment and processed it. A total fire breathing dragon, mentally screaming;
HAVE I SAID TOO MUCH?!?
Hell-to-the-fucking-NO! I was furious and I will tell you why.
People don’t say enough. We walk around so censored or scared of ridicule, we tend to say less than half of the things we really want to.
When people bump into me on the train and don’t apologize I say nothing or just politely smile – what I want to say is ‘watch it dickhead’ or ‘oh no, don’t apologize fucktard’. I acknowledge that if I said everything I wanted at any given time I probably wouldn’t have many friends and may end up with a couple of black eyes, but still, I think it’s time we started saying more of the things that matter.
Ask yourself, would you know what the signs of Crohn’s, IBD or Ulcerative Colitis were? Or better yet, what the diseases even are?
Let’s be honest, poo is not a great topic – anything poo related is generally steered away from. Nobody really wants to discuss the inner workings of their digestive system.
I have even considered changing the name of my blog as I questioned if it was too forward. It’s not attractive in the least and potentially stops people from embracing the important messages and words I put forth as the name turns my audience off – but you know what? It’s time to start talking about our bums.
I am declaring it – it’s time to start talking too much.
Poo, shit, bog, number 2’s, torpedo’s, Teflon non-sticks, faeces, logs – whatever you call it – it’s a natural part of life.
Parents celebrate when their child takes the critical first step of doing number 2’s in the potty – they celebrate the achievement like it’s a gold medal event at the Olympics. They post celebratory pictures on social media and award them gold stars (sticker) on the potty achievement score board. The heavens rejoice as their young child finally, finally reaches such a critical milestone. And then that’s it. The fan fair dies and the illustrious poo situation is very rarely brought up again.
Our bums and everything associated with it, is then very rarely talked about.
Did you know that a change in your poo situation that lasts longer than 3 weeks is considered a cause of concern? Yep, only 3 weeks.
I have gone from not even glancing a look at my offerings to the porcelain throne to studying the contents in great detail. I give myself a mental high-five when I do what I consider a good poo. My work wife now asks me daily if I have poo’d. And she genuinely wants to know the answer. You see now I have another problem, I am at risk of not pooing enough and getting an obstruction. If I get an obstruction I will likely need surgery. To avoid this, every night I have to drink a gentle laxative that makes sure my intestines and bowels are well hydrated so everything slips through – easy peasy lemon squeezy!
I recently discovered there is a poo appreciation Facebook page where you can share your happy snaps to show off the perfect poos – when I mentioned this to my fellow peeps they all cringed. Don’t get me wrong, I am not so delusional that I want to share my poo pics, but I love the freedom the poo appreciation follower feel that they can do that.
Prior to Crohn’s I would rarely consider what my body needs to go through each day to transfer my food from my stomach, through my system until the time the stuff I don’t need is expelled.
Even in hospital they use words to desensitise the situation, like ‘evacuation’ – I remember the first time I heard the term and was genuinely confused.
Amanda have you evacuated today?
Um, no – did I miss the warning alarm? Was something on fire or was it just a drill?
No dear, have you gone to the bathroom?
I am in a place where people are dealing with much more serious issues than whether or not they have gone to the bathroom and even the nurses are using words to ‘sugar coat’ what they mean to say. What hope do the rest of us have?
I now face things that I never considered before, every twinge means something and like an archaeologists on a historic dig, it is my job to dig deeper and figure out what it means – is it a trip to the hospital, can it be solved with medication or does it require a call to the big guns.
After my epic mental meltdown I have decided that not saying enough far outweighs saying too much.
I want people to be informed.
I want people to know what to look for.
I want people to discuss the uncomfortable issues – bums, boobs, tums – without embarrassment.
And I want people to know that they don’t even know the half of it. There is so much that goes on internally and externally that I don’t share. I can’t – because I am embarrassed. I admit this seems hypocritical, but some things are best left unsaid and maybe in a year’s time I won’t feel them same – but right now there are some cards that I CHOOSE to keep close to my chest. One day I may want to talk about those things and if I felt it would benefit someone then I would.
In the meantime, I ask that you stop and take notice of what is going on with your body. We only get one and may not be lucky enough to treat something if you ignore the signs. But more than that, I encourage you to talk about things that are going on… If not with your loved ones, then your doctor.
And if you come across someone that doesn’t want to listen or you’re afraid of broaching an embarrassing situation then come to me! Call, text, write, Skype, Snapchat, Facebook, carrier pigeon the damn words if you need too – but be assured that you can talk to me about it.
And whatever you do, don’t stop saying too much!