I’ll have the Colonic Inertia, with a side of Incontinence, please.

If you’re dealing with a chronic illness…there WILL be times…that you MUST have a sense of HUMOR…because if you don’t…you’ll go crazy. Trust me.  Hello…straight jacket!  And just because you make light of your situation every once in a while, it doesn’t mean that things aren’t serious or you’re not really sick. It just means you’re giving yourself a much-needed break from reality…for just a second or two…I mean, even Martha Stewart would say “It’s a GOOD thing” when it comes to taking a break.  Since my diagnosis, I realize that while my “initial” condition does suck, some of the side effects that accompany it…suck even more. Chronic Illness-ers (Yup, I just made that word up!) never have just one thing going on with them. We get “This” because of “That” or because we have “That” we get “This.”  I mean how ironic is it…that I can’t poop at ALL…even with laxatives and super-duper enemas…but CAN totally pee…just by giggling when I watch the freakin Golden Girls.  Yup.  I mean…is it not enough to have Gastroparesis, a total Gastrectomy, Colonic Inertia, Pelvic Floor Dysfunction AND Chronic Anemia?  Nope.  I totally get to pee on myself too!  Yay!  I get…Incontinence too?!  Wow, really?!  Yup.  Anyway, when I start to explain all my conditions to others, I usually get this look.

Hello? Did I just grow another head? Or a tail?  Wait, did I grow both?  That look totally says…Hmm, right now, I feel so awkward and I’ve no idea what to say or think.  Don’t worry, I completely understand.  People usually feel uncomfortable when they’ve never heard of something or don’t have a lot of information on it.  Seriously, I didn’t even know how to spell Gastroparesis before 2008 and I have it!  Anyway, because I’m a nice person, I try to make it easier for people to “digest” me by making it a little more comfortable for them with a smile or a laugh.  Take yesterday for instance, when I hiccuped and totally pee’d on myself in front of everyone (fyi- they know my medical history) in my exercise class…so I said “Crap happens…oh wait, it doesn’t…oops, I mean PEE happens.”  People chuckled WITH me and NOT at me…which makes a big difference.  Humor made a very awkward situation…livable; it allowed me to walk into the locker room confident and not totally  embarrassed.  Humor will give you strength.  It will allow you to laugh at yourself before they can laugh at you.  So…what is my lil nugget of wisdom for you?  Learn to smile.  Learn to laugh at yourself.  Learn to PEE on yourself.  Learn to realize that you need to tell your story….even if it embarrasses you because…it needs to be told!

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4 thoughts on “I’ll have the Colonic Inertia, with a side of Incontinence, please.

  1. You know, I haven’t laughed out loud like when I was reading this in such a long time. You have a skill with both writing and dealing with your condition that I can only hope to aspire too 😉
    From someone who has constant issues wit his bowel movements, I found no other way to deal with it in public other than to be brutally honest and sprinkle it with jokes. People tend to shy away from talking about poop, but now its a common conversation in my office. And sometimes we all laugh and joke about my problems, and it definitely makes me feel so much better. Sometimes you get wrapped up in the whole ‘seriousness’ of your condition that even the funny side becomes occluded.
    I was in hospital last year, and learnt a hard lesson. With UC during a flare, if you feel like you need to break wind, best do it in a toilet. I was on a shared ward, and basically made a whole mess right infront of everyone. At first I was embarrassed, but after ‘trying to hide the evidence’ … lol … I just laughed. When my ex turned up, I just told her straight up, and we laughed so hard. And suddenly it didn’t feel so serious. Thinking about it now makes me smile.
    Its nice to find someone who can be so inviting in their writing, and you should be proud of both your achievements with your health, and the insight you give to others.

  2. So true!!! My frequent nausea and dry heaves will sometimes occur without warning and in the most inconvenient places (like there is any place that it is convenient to dry heave). I was standing in the line at a store when I started dry heaving. People turned to watch and after the wave passed, I simply said “Hairball.” and shrugged. Most people gave me that weak oh-you-poor-thing-you look but a couple people will burst into laughter. I love the ones who will quip something like “Put a bit of butter on the tip of your nose and lick it off….works for my cat.”

  3. Pingback: too funny not to share « Life After Total Gastrectomy for Stomach Cancer (My Journey to find a New Normal)

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