Shit. Shit shit shit. Faeces, motions, poo, turds. Whatever you call it we all do it. To this day, shit is an incredibly taboo subject. People get embarrassed or ashamed by something that is a necessity for all life to live. We all need to expel our waste to make sure we don’t poison ourselves. But why be embarrassed?
I obviously learned not to be embarrassed the hard way, mainly because shitting and how I did it had probably the biggest impact on my life. But I still find myself feeling ashamed and mortified because my disability is surrounded by something that modern society does not want to talk about. Sure they’ll talk about all kinds of fucking, animals, groups, transsexuals, the whole shebang (no pun intended) but still shit is something that brings out the Victorian Gentleman/Lady in almost all of us.
My journey with bobo’s started a long time ago. My whole childhood I was plagued by either constipation or diarrhea. Then when I hit 17 things got an awful lot worse. It was incredibly painful and more frequent. There was blood, so much you’d think my bog was an abattoir. It was a horrible existence. Then I had to have several things placed up my wrong’un, a sensation I luckily will never suffer again. Fingers, flexible sigmoidoscopes, colonoscopy, all on several occasions. And only once was it a beautiful woman. Nearly every time I suffered this fate was (literally) at the hands of a middle aged or old man. It also strongly affirmed by heterosexuality, I have no idea how people gain pleasure from it because I (obviously) never could.
I was diagnosed with ulcerative colitis. As I said in my introduction, it’s a disease not dissimilar to Chrone’s Disease, only it is localised to the large intestine. I was immediately placed on a high dose of steroids that carried their own problems, particularly bloating, water rention, stretch marks and severe roid rage. Like I’m talking blinding fucking uncontrollable furious rage. I was popping more pills than Lindsay Lohan, and it was doing fuck all for me. The disease only got worse.
My consultant explained to me that colitis is normally caused by the bodies immune system turning on the affected organ, and this causes most of the damage. He therefore prescribed a drug to me called aziothioprine, a type of immuno-represent. It was a God send. I started shitting 3-4 times a day. AND THEY WERE SOLID!!!!!! NO BLOOD!!!!! I no longer felt each trip to the bathroom was another horror movie waiting to happen. Then one day I got incredibly ill. Indescribable pain and constant vomiting. The motherfuckers had given me one of their rarest side effect, acute pancreatitis, an incredibly serious, often fatal disease. So the only thing that worked fucked me right in my metaphorical ass.
Things deteriorated badly, I tried all this homeopathic shit that is quite frankly all placebo. It worked at first because I thought it would, but once I began to disbelieve I got really sick. My ma kept bringing in Holy relics and putting them on my face (I never want to get that close to Padre Pio’s bloody glove ever again) (Jesus that sound’s like a truly horrible euphemism). She was hiding prayers and St.Martin’s magazines under my bed. I’m a-religious so it pissed me off a bit, but I knew her intentions were true, albeit slightly maniacal. I was shitting day and night. I almost couldn’t leave the house. And I suffered hugely from it. I have to admit, once or twice I had “accidents”. The kind of “accidents” that if it happened in primary school everyone would refer to you as “that kid who shit himself in school”. I was so ashamed and embarrassed because I felt disgusting. Society made me feel as if I couldn’t really express how I was feeling because everything wrong involved shit, and no one (well, hardly anyone) wants to talk about shit.
Then came the surgery. I had a full colectomy, had an ileostomy put in place and things weren’t great. I had anaesthesia problems that increased my pain. Then for years I had so many problems with finding the right “appliance” as they’re known in the ileostomac’s world. My skin is both sensitive and dry, and the bags kept falling off. In public. Shit everywhere. Waking up covered in it. It was not kushdi. But I still felt painfully embarrassed talking about it to anyone. They wouldn’t understand and they’d be disgusted by it. I got asked about support groups but to be honest they’re not my thing. Eventually I thought “fuck it” and became incredibly brazen about it, though truthfully I put a bit of a mask on because deep down I was still really embarrassed about it all. I felt like a freak, and although most people seem understanding, I got some fucked up looks when people found out. And only now Do I realize that it’s all about shit.
People don’t want to talk about it. Most don’t want to acknowledge they do it or even think about it. But why not? WHAT’S THE BIG FUCKING DEAL?! It is something that almost everyone on earth does at least twice a day. It is literally a matter of life and death in some places. Bowel disease is fast becoming the most common type of disease in the Western World. So Stop. All of you. And think, why should I be embarrassed talking about something I, and everyone else I know, does everyday? It’s this mortification that leads people who are genuinely ill to not even tell their GP! Seriously, they won’t tell their fucking Doctor they have the shits, or they can’t shit. Then they get incredibly ill and it’s too late. Do not let yourself end up with an uncontrollable bowel disease or bowel cancer. Just Talk about shit like it ain’t no thang. Cos it ain’t.