Life's Path

Saturday, April 16, 2011

The thing about bathrooms...

It has taken me awhile to write this last entry as I had to form my thoughts and figure out how I would say what needs to be said.  Cause let's face it, when it comes to bathrooms and talk of that matter, it's not the most pleasant of topics to talk about.  But it has to be said.  It is an integral part of my journey and one that has offered stressful situations, laughs and more concern than I care to remember.  So, here it goes...

I know that I have mentioned over and over that I have been struggling with the diarrhea.  It is a daily thing.  Some days it is manageable, other days it can send our whole world into complete chaos.  And all with little to no warning at all.

I will share a few stories to put it into perspective for you.  Ever since getting the parasite in Japan, trips to the bathroom could be an event for me.  A couple of years ago we went skiing in Jasper at Marmot Basin.  It was a good day of skiing but I did manage to have a minor spill that ended up breaking my thumb.  But that is just a side note.  After a day of skiing and looking forward to getting back to the hotel room to relax and clean up for the evening we had the long wait in the parking lot to get out of the ski hill.  As we were in line, I had one of my "attacks".  I have about a minute and then I will need a bathroom.  We are on the mountain, in a line of traffic and no where near a bathroom.  Panic sets in.  What do you do??

Well, you do what you have to do.  You jump out of the car, jump over a snowbank, land waist deep in snow, shift yourself around a bit dig out a hole and then you do your thing.  Yup.  That's what you do.  What else are you going to do?  The other options are worse.  You clean yourself up the best that you can with snow, you then dig yourself out of where you are (remember, I am in waist deep snow so it is not easy to get out), cover up the hole with snow and then try to climb back up out and over the snow bank.  You learn to always carry wipes in the car so that you can continue to keep your hands clean and then hope that the traffic will move soon so that you can get to a real bathroom.  We have a good laugh about it now (Glenn tells it as seeing his wife go over a cliff and disappear) but at the time it is extremely stressful to have to go through that.

Another thing that was common is we would have plans to go to something and shortly after leaving home I would be screaming at Glenn that he needs to find me a bathroom in less than 60 seconds.  Sometimes you are no where near a bathroom in 60 seconds.  One instant was we were going to see a friend of ours who was unfortunately dying of cancer.  While driving on the Groat Road towards the University area, I had another attack.  Poor Glenn has to gun it to get me to the Jubilee Auditorium and we pray that it is open.  Thank goodness it is and I run like a mad woman through the lobby of the Jubilee, through nicely dressed people heading to the Opera or something like that and I make it to the bathroom with mere seconds to spare.  Unfortunately, because when I have an ordeal like this, I am usually dripping with sweat afterwards and come down with chills and shakes so Glenn has to take me back home and then he goes on to visit our friend without me.  I never did get to say my last goodbyes to our friend.

I will tell you about one more driving incident when I had an attack.  We were driving on a freeway and I did my scream about needing a bathroom now.  Glenn took the nearest exit and we couldn't find anything with a bathroom in the near vicinity.  I was completely panicked.  I am going to crap my pants, literally.  We pull into someones drive way and they are not home.  I run into the back yard and try to conceal myself from the neighbours and do my thing.  Glenn can't believe that I am actually doing this.  But what else am I supposed to do?  We clean up and once again, I am thankful for keeping wipes in the car.  These stories are not easy for me to tell, but I think they have to be told.  It is a part of what I went through. 

Panic can also settle in when you are at home.  We only have one bathroom in our place and if someone else is in there, you have to kick them out.  That can be awkward at times, trust me.  My stepson has sometimes had to shower at our place after a sporting event when he is over on a Saturday.  There are times when he has been in the shower and I have had an attack.  Poor kid, I am pounding on the bathroom door and screaming at him in desperation to get out of the shower RIGHT NOW so that I can use the bathroom.  Thank goodness he is an understanding kid and was incredible through the whole thing but I hated doing that to him when he was in the shower.  It happened more than once to the poor kid.  But he handled it with grace and we avoided any disasters from happening.

It is now instinct to know where every bathroom is in any building.  It has become habit for me now.  Go to the mall and the first thing I do is locate where the nearest bathrooms are.  I never know when I will have my next attack.  You have to always be on the defense, more or less speaking.  And even after all the tests that they have done with my intestines and colon and such (and yes, they did continue to check for every parasite under the sun), they don't know why this is happening to me.  At one time I was just told to take Immodium every day to see if that helps me.  But that doesn't work.  That only tries to mask the situation.  It doesn't tell me why this is happening to me.  I won't take no for an answer.  I know that there is a reason for this.  I don't just jump over snowbanks, go to someones backyard, tell my stepson to get out of the shower for nothing.  I have to find the solution as to what is causing this symptom for me.

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