Tag Archives: poop story

Guest Blog Post: Traveling with IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome) by Christina Ruotolo

29 Nov

Christina Ruotolo is a published poet and prose writer and owner The Ruotolo Agency: PR & Literary Consulting.  She also suffers from IBS and is a confessed Imodium addict.

Last fall, my boyfriend, Craig, got stuck without a ride in Myrtle Beach. I had just enjoyed a dinner of greasy food and a large iced tea and was gearing up for a night of watching movies and enjoying a nice evening alone, when the phone rang at 9pm.

Craig needed me to pick him up. Myrtle Beach was close to four hours away. I’m not sure why I didn’t just make him take the bus (probably because that thought didn’t cross my mind). I put on my comfy driving clothes, grabbed our dog for safety, put gas in the car, grabbed a roll of TP (just in case) and headed down the lonely stretch of country road toward the beach.

About forty-five minutes into my journey, just me and the dog, my stomach started rumbling and doing its usual IBS flip-flop. I thought it was just nerves because I don’t enjoy driving at night, and if you saw some of the areas you have to go on the way to Myrtle Beach, visions of any scary movie would come to mind.

A few moments later the urge to vomit came over me. I had to lurch the car onto the side of the road and wretch for ten minutes while the dog looked at me in horror. Whatever greasy meal I had eaten was now out of me, or so I thought. I pulled myself together and made it another thirty minutes into a tiny town where I threw up again—this time in a park with barely enough time to open the car door.  Another thirty minutes down the road, I threw up in a church parking lot.

I was a hot mess and crying, but I was already half-way to the beach—there was no way I was leaving Craig without a ride. I had come this far; I just had to keep going. I started downing Pepto pills and praying that I would not throw up anymore. The dog kept giving me funny looks; I think he was worried about me.

It was already midnight, and I was driving down a two-lane road in the middle of freaking nowhere when my urge to go to the bathroom grew so severe, I wasn’t sure what I was going to do.  Once again, I pulled the car over to the shoulder of the road, turned the headlights off, pushed the dog in the back seat and jumped in the passenger seat, barely getting my butt out the car door before all hell broke loose.

While I relieved myself, I spotted a truck coming down the road.  First I was scared he would see me with my ass hanging out the car door, but then I was scared he would think I needed help and stop. I cleaned up as fast as I could and headed over to the driver side of the car, but when I went to pull the door handle to get in my side of the car, it was locked.

To make matters worse, the car was running with my cell phone and dog inside. How the hell did I manage to get myself into this predicament? Ahh, yes I remember now, I have freaking IBS, and today it was beating the shit out of me, from both ends. I just broke down and cried while my dog pressed his face up to the window, looking at me like I was insane.

Then I began to think of all the horror movies that I had watched, and I thought about all the Jethro-looking men in trucks that would come kidnap me, leaving behind my running car and a barking dog with a pile of shit next to it. Maybe the police would come and think that I had run away from embarrassment alone.  But when the cops deduced what had taken place, I would be the laughing stock of Hicksville.

I looked up to the heavens, put my hands in the air and yelled, “REALLY?!”

Then I prayed that there was a rock somewhere because I was not going to let IBS win this time. I would find a way to get in that car if I had to use my damn shoe to break the window. I walked over to the other side of the car, avoiding you know what and HAIL MARY.  The passenger door was not shut all the way.  I jumped for joy, jumped over my shit and jumped back in my car and cried even harder.  I was so happy to be back in my car. I had forgotten that I could still be kidnapped, but the stench of my shit was probably both a killer and bear deterrent.

One hour and thirty minutes later, I hugged my boyfriend and told him my incredible story.  Four hours after that, we finally made it back home.

I told Craig if he ever got stuck again, he better learn to hitchhike, cause this ass ain’t going to pick him up no matter what.


For more info on Christina check out her blog here: http://www.confesssionsofanimodiumaddict.blogspot.com/ and her agency here: http://www.theruotoloagency.com/ And more info on a book Christina worked on that benefits Haiti: http://www.wix.com/haitibook/thedaytheearthmovedhaiti

Blowin’ in the Wind

9 Aug

This woman hasn't taken a shit without the help of laxatives in over 20 years.

My car needed servicing the other day; my husband had a class to attend and needed his car.  At first it looked like my four-year-old and I would have to forgo our weekly story time at the library, but then I suggested my husband just drop us off at the library early.  Phoebe and I could enjoy the woods and picnic area on the library’s property and pass the mere thirty-five minutes before the doors opened.

The best thing about our local library is the children’s librarian who genuinely loves kids, which is not the case with all librarians.  Unfortunately, there is one such crotchety blue-haired lady who works the circulation desk.  She rarely speaks except to complain, and when the kiddos pour into the juvenile section on Monday mornings for story time, she can barely contain her fits of eye-rolling and throat clearing. So when my daughter announced at 9:55, in front of the library doors that wouldn’t be opened until 10:00, that she had to poop NOW, I was more than a little disappointed to see Blue Hair at the helm.  She was tidying up the circulation desk when I knocked gingerly on the glass.

“We’re closed until 10:00,” her muffled voice seeped through the glass.

“I know, but she really has to use the restroom.  Could you please let us in?” And then I placed my hands palm to palm in the universal begging posture of ‘pretty please.’

“Sorry.  I can’t hear you.  Come back at ten.” Then Blue Hair disappeared into the back office.

“Mommy.  It’s happening,” my daughter warned.

“Phoebe, is there any way you could hold it for just four minutes?”  I knew the question was pointless.  We’ve all been there.  The shit levee had been breached.  Like she said, it was ‘happening.’

“I think we’re going to have to find a place to hide,” Phoebe announced, matter-of-fact.  This was not her first rodeo.  We have frequented many public parks and playgrounds that lacked facilities and had become experts in hiding behind trees, industrial air-conditioning units, dumpsters, etc.

Thankfully our library grounds are graced with a stand of trees and thick underbrush that would provide adequate cover.  For the poison-ivy-paranoid, there is even a winding path and patches of pine straw that offer just enough space to pop a squat without foliage conducting unwanted reconnaissance where the sun don’t shine.  I only had one tissue in my pocket, thanks to an earlier booger situation, but I was confident that I could use it strategically barring some unforeseen ‘consistency’ issues.  I reviewed what Phoebe had eaten over the past twenty-four hours and breathed easy.  One tissue could do this job.

Phoebe pulled her pants down while I adopted the posture of support which ensures, most of the time, that nothing will soil her clothing or shoes as she marks her territory.  And I noticed something odd; something was missing from this all too familiar scene.  Maybe it was familiarity that had vanquished the emotion that used to accompany these moments.  Mortification.  That was it.  The mortification I used to feel during these episodes was gone.  Sure, I was pissed off at Blue Hair for not letting us in, but even that indignation was leaving me.

People have been relieving themselves in the great outdoors for millennia without remorse.  It’s only our sheer numbers and proximity to one another that causes those pesky inconveniences like plagues and cholera.  But as long as my little one isn’t dropping a deuce in an open city sewer or peeing directly into the town’s water supply, I’m going to tell her to enjoy the breeze on her butt.  And if ol’ Blue Hair ever gets wind of what transpired, well… she can just kiss what was blowing in the wind and lighten up.

Toilet Zen

27 Apr

I get so nervous waiting in line to board a roller coaster that I will lose all feeling in my cheeks.  This has happened on many occasions in three different states.  But as the coaster creaks its way up that first massive hill, my nerves calm, I breathe deeply, Yogi-like, keeping my eyes and mouth shut until I feel we’ve reached the crest.  Then I open my eyes in that split second before plummeting into that first trough of zero-G bliss.  I call this my “Roller Coaster Moment of Zen.”  I have other moments of Zen in my life.  Some of them involve Jon Stewart.  Others do not.  One of my most favorite moments of Zen has eluded me for the past four years, but I am hereby launching a campaign to reclaim it:  My Toilet Moment of Zen.

For those of you with children, you understand the loss of bathroom privacy that is almost inevitable with the arrival of offspring.  Actually, let me qualify that statement.  To the women out there (and perhaps to the rare male single parent), YOU understand this loss of bathroom privacy.  Why is it that the mother accepts this loss while the dad still gets to lock the door and do God-knows-what behind that locked door while the mother comes to the defense of his privacy?  

It may sound strange for me, a Queen of TMI, to be advocating for privacy in this arena, but it’s the equivalent of telling someone how much you enjoyed your quiet morning of meditation only after you’ve enjoyed it.  You don’t want someone talking to you while you’re trying to attain Zen.  Likewise, I’m tired of my three-year-old tagging along on my trips to the potty.  Sometimes she brings a book to read to me while I’m taking a dump.  This is kind of sweet, until she starts commenting on the change in the room’s air quality.  Then leave kiddo!  No one invited you! Potty training is long gone.  The girl knows what she’s doing (with a few exceptions that involve arms that are a little too short for cleaning her bum properly, but that’s another story altogether).  My point is, she doesn’t need to learn from my example anymore, so why is she still determined to follow me to the bathroom all the time? 

I am not alone in this annoying and unwanted “buddy system.”  My friends with young children have also tried to reclaim their privacy, but have been met with screaming kid poundings on the other side of the door, begging to be a part of the bathroom scene.  I don’t get it.  I don’t find it cute.  And I am done.  Let me announce proudly: the weaning has begun!  

This morning I excused myself from the breakfast table and my little Phoebe came running on my heels.

“Mommy, I’m coming with you!”

My husband tried.  “No, Phoebe.  Let Mommy go poopy in peace.”  I love this man.  He was trying to be my champion.

I closed the door.  And LOCKED it.  This is what mothers need to do.  No guilt.  No negotiating with the potty-crasher throwing a separation-anxiety fit nearby.  Just do it.  Reclaim what’s yours.  You have the right to shit in peace.  It’s in the Constitution.  Okay.  It’s not in the Constitution, but it should be.  If Congress weren’t so busy getting relatively nothing accomplished, I’d start my own special interest group that would lobby for an amendment to the Constitution about one’s inalienable right to an uninterrupted ‘constitution.’ But since I barely can find the time for said ‘constitution,’ I don’t think I’ll be lobbying for anything other than the right to lock a door in my own house. 

So how did that lobbying turn out?  Phoebe banged on the locked door a couple of times.  My husband encouraged her to return to the breakfast table.  She eventually retreated, and there were a few tears involved.  But then… it got quiet.  I was alone with my thoughts.

I sat on my throne, relaxed, breathed deeply and reclaimed my Toilet Moment of Zen.   

Now….go get yours!

Poop Magnet

24 Feb

Stepping on poopMy husband is a kind and gentle man.  Most of the time.  Perhaps because he can be so patient, he is entitled to his quarterly meltdowns. 

The walls of our house bear the scars of my husband’s past tantrums.  A scratch in the hallway commemorates the Cracked-Vacuum-Attachment-Incident of 2005, which prompted him to bang said attachment on the floor, sending yet another cracked piece of the attachment flying into the wall.  A dark smudge ten inches up from the floor in the bedroom marks the fight he had with a roller duffle that busted a wheel after only three uses. 

Without a doubt, the king of all tantrums was triggered by our dog, Gretzky.  When the mutt decided to take off for the neighboring woods one sunny afternoon, my husband lost his ever-lovin’ mind. 

“You know what?” he shrieked in the middle of the street with his fists pumping in the air like he was at a rally. 

I didn’t want to ask what.  I waited in silence for the inevitable freak-out promised by my husband’s wild-eyed look reminiscent of Chevy Chase’s infamous “Merry Christmas!  Holy shit!”

And I wasn’t disappointed.

“F#*k him! We just don’t have a dog anymore!”

I looked around the neighborhood to see if there were children present.  Thankfully there were not.

“Now, Brendon, honey.  I know you’re pissed, but we have to go look for him.  He might get hit by a car.”

“No!”  Brendon flailed around like his was winding up to pitch with both arms.  “He ran away!  He doesn’t know how good he has it.  We feed him.  We take him for walks.  And this is how he repays us?”  And with that, Brendon turned on his heel and marched home.

Five minutes later, however, he returned with the car and we looked for our dog together until we found him. 

In addition to broken appliances and runaway canines, the thing that pisses my husband off more than anything else, is stepping in dog shit.  Unfortunately, the universe has gotten this memo, and in an effort to provide him ample situations in which to practice more acceptance and patience….. well let’s just say he is a poop magnet.  As you know, I find poop hilarious.  Additionally, knowing that it is inappropriate and unproductive to laugh, only makes me want to laugh more.  It is an incredible exercise in restraint every time I see Brendon step in yet another steaming fresh pile of crap.

The poop finds him wherever we are.  Parking lots, rest areas, parks, beaches, even our own backyard.  When it happens, I stifle my laughter and offer sticks, pocketknives, bleach wipes, napkins and other shit-removal devices.  Brendon’s over-the-top reactions to these incidents force me to adopt the veneer of zen-like composure.  Underneath, I’m on the verge of erupting into hysterics. But I do what I can.

On a car trip up to New York last summer, Brendon stepped in dog crap while stretching at a gas station.  The ensuing meltdown was epic.  And hilarious. 

“Oh just great!  It’s going to take all freakin’ day to scoop this shit out of my shoes!  I’ve had these shoes for what?  A month?  This ALWAYS happens to me! Now we’re going to end up spending money on a hotel room because it’s going to take forever to get this shit out!”

Needless to say, it only took fifteen minutes to clean out the shoe, and we did not incur the cost of a hotel room. 

Our daughter, Phoebe, has been sheltered from these shit-storms, as I offer the cleaning implements to my husband and then take Phoebe for a nice long walk while, “Daddy cleans up the poopy.” 

Last week, on a perfect spring day that I wanted to bottle, my daughter and I walked around a lake and discussed the glorious weather.  We headed back to the car through an open field.  Acres stretched in front of us.  In her brand new white sneakers she was wearing for the first time, in all that open space, my daughter found the one lone pile of dog shit.  What were the odds?  I decided then and there, that being a poop magnet must be a genetic trait.  The oddest proclivities creep their way into our DNA like little time bombs. I waited to see if my little darling would also suffer from the “shit-happens-to-me-meltdown.” 

“Mommy, I think I stepped in dog poop.  Why didn’t the owner clean up the poop like you do for Gretzky?” 

Thank the Lord!  We were going to have a calm and rational discussion.  Don’t get me wrong, I wasn’t excited about cleaning the crap out of my daughter’s new shoes.  But I’ll take shit over a shit-storm any day.

You Down with O.P.P.?

25 Jan

“OPP, how can I explain it
I’ll take you frame by frame it…
O is for Other, P is for People…
The last P…well…that’s not that simple…”

Blast from the past.  It’s 1991 (how the hell is that twenty years ago?) and Naughty by Nature graces the charts with their little ditty about infidelity.  But the last “P” in my “O.P.P.”  remake is “Poop.”  And I have discovered, much to my surprise, that I am NOT down with O.P.P.  Not by a long shot.  This comes as a great surprise, as I spend a good deal of time thinking about, writing about, and even producing my own, poop.  Apparently if the poop did not originate from someone exceptionally close to me, I am completely skeeved by its physical presence or pictorial representation.  I have found the limits of my poop tolerance.

A brief aside here about the difference between reading and seeing.  I am a wuss when it comes to horror films.  I went to see The Ring in the theater and I had to stay with relatives for a week because I feared, irrationally I know, that a half-decomposed girl with long stringy hair was going to crawl out of my television set and kill me.  I was twenty-eight when I saw the film; there was no excuse for my delusion.  During that same year I read a string of Stephen King and vampire novels that boasted a cast of characters every bit as menacing as the dead chic who liked to attack via TV.  So why can I sleep soundly after reading horror, but never after viewing it?  I have a theory. Reading is a very private and cerebral act that requires direct interaction.  The reader has to be an accomplice in the world-building or the illusion doesn’t work.  The reader therefore has some control over how powerfully the images become imprinted in her head.  A novel is also something digested over a longer stretch of time.  Movies are in your face, and the viewer has no control over the sharpness of the images.  Although you can diminish the psychological impact by watching images through the spaces of fingers cupped over your face.  This method prevented me from crapping my pants during The Ring.  Which brings me back to the point of this comparison: crap. 

I enjoy a good poop.  I enjoy a good poop story.  Tell me about something questionable you ate that made your turd electric green, and I will howl with laughter and share some of my own tales from the gastrointestinal trenches.  Your dog crapped the floor and you puked as you cleaned it up?  Hilarious!  Tell me more.  But… show me a picture of your electric green turd?  Now I can’t eat.  If I walk into a bathroom stall in a public restroom and encounter a stranger’s deposit simmering in the bowl?  Gag reflex.  Big time. 

The biggest O.P.P. challenge I’ve faced to date came last week while I was searching for other blogs about poop to see how other writers were “talking shit.”  (Yes.  They exist, and in larger numbers than you’d think.)  One man’s blog transformed me immediately into the proverbial old fogey; I even uttered an astonished “Oh My.”  If you’re brave and curious about your own gross out ceiling, check it out: http://thepoopblog.com/.  The man posts pictures of his shit and discusses them briefly.  I was completely disgusted.  Me, the woman who writes about my ass dilating to release a poop bomb with the girth of a soda can; me, the woman who gets up in public and relates poop stories to crowds at comedy clubs!

So, no.  I am not down with O.P.P. in the broadest sense.  I am Naughty by Naughty when it comes to a good story, but don’t make me see the movie.  And under NO circumstances do I ever want to see that shit live!


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