Dignity

The state or quality of being worthy of honour or respect.

I have never given much thought to dignity, or it’s meaning for that matter. I guess that is because I have never really been in a position where I feel like my dignity has been questioned. I pondered this thought on the way home yesterday. In between bouts of mental anguish.

I can’t believe what I am being asked to do.
This one takes the cake.
No, no – I am okay, I can do this.
God, where is the fucking dignity in this.

And that is when it hit me. My dignity when it comes to Crohn’s is non-existent.

There is nothing dignified about this disease. My quality of life is not being respected. My body is not being honoured and my mental health is being tested on the daily. So what brought me to my knees this time? Two simple words…

Stool sample.

A new all-time low. Is it not enough that I am facing the preparation for my 4th colonoscopy in a year. Is it not enough that I am approaching the one year anniversary of the flare that brought me to my knees and threw me onto this path I now travel. Is it not enough that my body and soul have been subjected to endless tests and probing (not the good kind).

Put simply. No.

Everytime I think ‘okay, I have this’ something else is thrown into the mix and I land on my arse again. Mentally, I don’t have this. I don’t want to do a stool sample – I may write a blog with the word poo in it, but I don’t want to deal with my own damn poo. Who does?

I didn’t expect this to throw me off my axis so much, but come on! This takes the cake. In the space of two weeks I will have handled my own shit and then be sent to dream land for 20 minutes so I can have my arse plundered in the name of medically required exploration. You’re taking the piss right?

I can handle the pain – walk in the park. I can handle the ebb and flow of being constipated one minute and sprinting to the loo the next – walk in the park. I can handle the guilt and sadness I face when I have to bail out of events because my Crohn’s has beat me down – walk in the park. What I can’t handle is handling my poo. NOT WALKING IN ANY DAMN PARK.

I don’t want to (I am whining when I say this). I want to stomp my feet and scream no. I want to keep what little dignity I have left intact. And I don’t think there is a dignified way to handled one’s own brown log.

In fact, I love hitting the silver button and watching that sucker get flushed away every damn time. I get a sick satisfaction in saying ‘see you’ to the one thing that causes me so many issues. If I’m not experiencing some level of pain from the food that goes in my body, it’s from the food working through my body or the food trying the escape my body. So when it happens, I give it a good old army salute into a middle finger F U.

And now I am being asked to fish the sucker out and keep it? No.nope.not going to happen. And why in this day and age has the medical profession not come up with a better way to find out what is going on than analysing poo? Honestly. There has to be a better way.

Now when I started to write this post I hadn’t really discussed what I was being asked to do with anyone – but after a few coffee catch ups and phone calls with some of my nearest and dearest, I discovered that a lot didn’t even bat an eyelash at this request. I was shocked.

My sister told me that she was about to fish a poo out of the bath that my darling niece had left behind. My girlfriend advised me she regularly sifts through her dog’s poo to reclaim the numerous baubles that he ate and shouldn’t have and a couple professed that they have done the poo collection for medical research a number of times.

This forced me to pause and consider my reaction to this request. How can these people be so blaze about this heinous task? I feel like my dignity is being stripped away and they are all shrugging and being like ‘whatevs’.

Then I realised – my whole mindset towards my digestive system and anything to do with it, is not great. I have become super sensitive to all things poo and poo related. I can’t help but feel like everything related to my digestive system is now a sensitive topic.

If I had been asked to deliver a poo to the doctor before this I probably would have been a bit ‘icked’ out by it, but I would have gotten on with the task and moved on fairly quickly. Just a step towards whatever the end goal was. But because this is another step in a very long and emotionally draining ‘personal’ project, I am a total girl about it.

This is personal to me. It falls into the ‘unfair’ basket. This on its own would be fine, but this coupled with the colonoscopies, needles, injections, numerous doctor’s visits, pain management, food I can’t eat, laxatives I have to take, sore butt I often get, pain, pain oh and did I mention pain? it’s like another nail in my Crohn’s coffin.

My girlfriend has advised me to be kind to the poo sample. She wants me to address the poo when it’s in it’s bag and tell it that I am sending it off to the lab to be smeared and poked and prodded so it can give me the answers I need so I can give my body want it needs to get better. Granted when she said this I thought ‘someone’s clearly been afternoon drinking again’, but after some thought I think she is right.

I need to remove the emotion I attach to the task. This is nothing to do with having my dignity stripped, this is simply about getting some answers that may help get me closer to a positive result.

There is very little dignity when it comes to having a chronic illness, but there is a fuck load of dignity in doing what you have to, in a great positive respectful way to get a good outcome. And that, well that is something I can totally do.

*adjusts crown and gets the fuck on with it*

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