So, friends without large bowels, how are you? What’s new? How’s the plumbing working? Mine’s been so-so lately. I feel like I’ve been on the verge of a pouchitis/Crohn’s flare. It’s not bad enough yet that I have succumbed to my emergency meds. I know I need to, but I’m stubborn like that. I’ve pressed on, living my life, but I’m tired and my tummy hurts. I’m also pooping more than normal. It’s that standard pouchitisy thing where you are all, “OMG, I gotta go. Real bad. NOW! MOVE!” Then you take a seat and disappointment sets in. Once again, guts aren’t cooperating. You can muster up something, but not what your guts and mind had envisioned pre-run.
Your next logical question is, “Why is there am amusing drawing of Thom Yorke (lead of Radiohead) dancing over there? What on earth has this to do with Liz’s bowels?” Here’s your answer: Couple nights ago my hubbs and a group of friends went to see them. It was a great show, and for me, the highlight was watching their front man shake his grove thang. He has some sweet moves. How does this tie into a relevant jpouch.org blog post? Here ya go: I have to shit. A lot. Especially at long events. Something about the standing around, drinking water to stay hydrated means I gotta go a lot. Maybe I notice this because I’m older, or because I moved from uber kind hippie NW to impatient, get-the-fuck-out of my way-Dallas, TX…but probably both. We got there early. Really early to reserve a good spot. Since I have to poo a lot, I was the sacrificial lamb to bring back drinks, you know, “On your way back from the bathroom.” I went probably three times before the actual concert started. I was polite and even explained why I was causing the very minor inconvenience of asking someone to “Excuse me.” “Sorry, sorry, excuse me, going to the bathroom….sorry, pardon me…bathroom.” One woman was so rude to me when I said that. I won’t repeat what she said, but her anger really confused me. I have no idea why asking people to move during a show of any kind (esp. when nothing is happening-no band was playing yet-I call this my pre-emptive poo…) is so infuriating to people. As a good Chronie, I found a friendly security guard to give me the layout of the place (ie, nearest bathroom), explained my predicament, and got a kind response. Why can’t the general populous do the same? I understand that some people are rude, easily annoyed, and just plain mean, but as a person with a legitimate reason to go to the bathroom, I was kind of offended by the rudeness of the crowd. I decided, for any future big event I’m just going to wear a shirt that says, “Excuse me, but I have Crohn’s Disease and I have to Poop. Thanks.” I also realized that it’s probably time for me to take advantage of this whole “disabled” thing when I need to, and I realized that at things like that, I need to. So, I think from now on, instead of making myself (and apparently others) miserable, I’m gonna hang out in the easily bathroom accessible handicapped section.
What do you guys do in situations like this? This question applies both to dealing with bathrooms at large events and the subsequent annoyance of those around you. I kinda wanted to say to the lady, “Actually, I have an incurable disease that took away my childhood, some organs, and still makes me have to shit all the time, but thanks for being a bitch about it.” Instead, I took pity on her bad attitude and gave her a genuine smile as I walked away towards my original intent: finding the toilet.
The moral here: Our trials have made us kinder, wiser, more patient people, especially when dealing with rude assholes, but I have a much shorter fuse when I don’t feel well (like now) and wonder if any of you have really let someone have it before. Do tell…
I should also say that I am proud of myself for taking the high road and doing the yogic thing of being kind in the face of outright ignorance and that I hope all of us do the same. However, the situation at the concert brings out the advocate in me, and I’m still fired up. The next logical step is to solve the problem, which I think I’ve done with my new plan of “hanging out handicapped,” but my overall frustration is still that I couldn’t simply say to the woman, “I have Crohn’s disease” and be done with it. I’m also frustrated by the lack of kindness in our world right now. I shouldn’t have to explain anything, the woman should never have been that rude to me. Obviously, I feel sorry for her, much more so than myself, and maybe that’s the lesson? Maybe there is no lesson, but damnit, I want one! Either way, it motivated me enough to post about it and maybe try to work with venues to make things more accessible. If you have any theories, let ‘um fly. And thanks for reading Now, go do the Thom Yorke.