Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Uh-Oh: Not A Poop Post

A few weeks ago I took a trip to Uh-Oh World. Uh-Oh World is where everything is upside down and nothing is as it should be. In Uh-Oh world, W.C. Fields strolls through Disneyland with a sarsaparilla. Michele Bachmann takes up paleontology. The Pope gets caught in public without his homilies. And I don't take a dump for three days.

Not three consecutive days, but still. It's so wrong. This is not the sort of thing that is supposed to happen to me. No matter what I put in the top end, it is supposed to motor on through on schedule. I could eat a sofa and pass it in neat little pillows. Sewer rats set their tiny watches by me.

The first day I didn't drop a deuce was annoying but not, to tell the truth, entirely unprecedented. Sure enough things seemed to be back to rights the next morning, including what we will call the backlog. But something was amiss. There was a sensation of holding back. Specifically, there was an area of tenderness on the west coast of my GI tract in which I suspected some unauthorized malingering material. There was also a fever.

I got Dr. Google right on the line. Dr. Google suggested that I might have developed a diverticulum. A diverticulum is a little pouch in your intestine where you can store shit in case you need it later. This is the sort of idea that seems thrifty and sensible at first, but you follow that line you will end up with nothing but tiny aisles running through your whole house, as it were, and your relatives will be talking about an intervention. It's not good.

The whole beauty of shit is wasted if it doesn't come out where it can be appreciated properly. Without that, it is a noble thought unexpressed, a greeting card lost in the mail.

When I delivered mail, speaking of mail, I was particularly taken with the advertising flyers put out by some outfit hawking probiotics that warned against the dangers of a sluggish digestive tract. It was illustrated. "What does it mean if you have small, round poops?" it queried, showing a drawing of small, round poops. (My friend Carl knew that one. "It means you're a deer," he said.) Other drawings depicted a cross-section of the intestine after proper use of their recommended pill. It was not only pink and shiny but actually spangled with little star-gleams. In contrast, there was another illustration of a man holding what appeared to be the blackened, gnarly skin of a massive python on a stick. This, we were informed, was the actual content removed from a deceased gentleman's intestinal tract. Possibly with the stick. It was alarming. We were further informed that John Wayne was discovered, upon his death, to have been harboring thirty-five pounds of fecal matter, neatly explaining both his peculiar gait and the downside of fame.

Well, when I die, I am hoping for a better legacy than that. I immediately phoned the advice nurse at Kaiser and advised her of my turgid condition, demanding treatment. She was not unsympathetic, but suggested I might wait a few days to see if things resolved. The fever did go away, but it was another two days before the train came rumbling through, car after car after car. The morning commute is back on track, but I am not interested in being a person with diverticulitis, which Dr. Google told me all about. It's not my thing. Except for the possibility of flatulence in the urine. That part sounds sort of interesting.


  1. I nearly busted a gut reading this, your posts should come with a health warning...who can I sue?

  2. Oh, those pictures are really gross! Especially that top one... :-)

    Since I started following you, this is my FIRST bonafide poop post, which I almost enjoyed except for the illustrations. Glad things are flowing again.

  3. Roxie sez
    I was home, sick on the sofa with a high fever, and decided to watch Oprah, never having seen the show before. Dr. Oz was on and they were talking about colon health. How the poo ideally should be a single, pliable log about as big in diameter as a quarter and forming an s-shape in the bowl. (Oprah shared how pleased she was when hers achieved the desired form.) Then the doctor brought in actual human colons. One was smooth and healthy, and one was covered in pale little flabby pouches. With my fever of 103, that thing looked alien and nightmarish, and I turned the TV off so never saw the end of the show. But I did learn that lots of water and fiber is our friend and bananas are a natural stool softener. So eat your bananas and oatmeal!

  4. I was going to say this was a really sh*tty post, but then thought better of the idea. All's well that ends well; and all good things come to an end.
    Happy your condition is improved.

  5. I don't know what to say...really...Have you had a colonoscopy? Try one out; you will really appreciate the joys of regularity.

  6. I love your posts but this one was waaaay tooo close to the bone. The smaller portion developed diverticulitis. He/we didn't know. Until his bowel ruptured. Regularity is very, very good.

  7. A really great bowel movement is underrated. I could share stories but, fortunately, they are not mine to tell. Just let me know if you ever need a good Metamucil chaser.

  8. Oh Crap, uh, disregard that..... ;} Hope it is not diverticulitis, may just be a case of irritable bowel crud. I had it. It's ug;y, but not permanant. From now on when I see the gas commercial I will pay homage to you and your poor over worked system. (Graduated top of your GAS. Flatulant in five languages. Your son TOOT is on line GAS) *sigh* Hope you feel better.

  9. This brought back memories of my first youthful experience with summer camp. I was mortified by the concept of a communal bathroom and far too shy to "poop in a group." So I held it all in for an entire week. By the end of my first week at summer camp I was a time bomb about to explode - which I did, as soon as I reached the safety of home.

  10. I once went through a similar bout of digestive cessation while on a trip to Mexico. Yes, that's right... MEXICO! They had since solved the "don't drink the water" issue so Montezuma's legacy would be of no relief.

    Eventually a dose of questionable taco helped move things along.

  11. I wouldn't recommend "questionable taco" as a sound treatment cause I've been there too many times during our life in Mexico. As to Bill and dogs, I was the camp nurse for a similar young man complaining of a stomach ache one morning. Afraid to use the communal johns because of several cases of impetigo among the campers on their tushes, he was holding back. We heroically allowed him the use of our facilities in the infirmary and his tummy ache was all better in a couple minutes.

    Good gawd, woman, I thought I was going to wrench something having such a fit reading this. Round poop and unidentifiable nonsense in a commode, what the hell is that stuff. Not poop, I assure you. Glad you're feeling a better now. Drink your metamucil.

  12. Your are as funny as me only much more sophisticated as evinced by this poop blog. I will be reading every inch of this blog as time allows. Read some of mine, usually if I can't make you laugh it means we're married.

  13. "A diverticulum is a little pouch in your intestine where you can store sh*t in case you need it later."

    Oh, like a fanny pack! Except it's inside your fanny.

    Flatulence in the urine sounds ... interesting. I suspect it adds a whole new musical dimension to peeing.

    If I may pry, do you get a lot of fiber in your diet? As cliche as it sounds, I'm wondering if fiber might help the situation.

  14. Thanks Ahab, and yes. Oatmeal and yogurt every single day and gobs of vegetables. That's why everything usually runs smooth and this is an anomaly. Is there fiber in beer?

  15. Lots of fibre in beer!
    I'm taking my small girl for an 'anal dilation' on Friday -does that sound like the most fun ever or what?