Good morning colon! How are we today?

This past summer I have experienced some gastrointestinal issues that are new. It’s not life threatening stuff but really annoying. I’ve seen four doctors so far and I got nada. One thinks I’m getting old. Another says I’m not old and this is not normal but she doesn’t know what to suggest. One thinks I may have IBS which is diagnosed by a lack of diagnosis for anything else. Another is suggesting surgery. Really? I think not!

When you don’t die from something, there isn’t a lot of research going on. No point in wasting money unless the masses are affected and there’s money to be made.

For fund-raising, how can you compete with organizations where people die? My issues don’t make me bald or sad-looking so I have to buck up.

I have learned a lot from my friends. There are others in the same boat. In fact, I received more useful information from normal people than from doctors.

My friends tell me what prescription medicines to ask for and surprisingly, the doctors oblige. I have logs to look for trends and triggers. Now I have to work on timing.

There have been some good things that have happened as a result. Over the past several months I have learned a lot about public bathrooms. I know where every bathroom in a 50-mile radius is.

I may write a book about them. I can note who has good toilet tissue (that would be where it doesn’t disintegrate when you look at it) and the really clean places with multiple stalls.

I no longer frequent restaurants with a gross bathroom. Think about it. The food servers use the same restrooms. They handle your food! Do you really think they sing Happy Birthday twice while they wash their hands in a dirty sink with cold water? Yuk!

Pizza places have the worst restrooms. Why? Don’t pizza eaters eliminate? Do they just hold it until they get home or do they go behind a bush in the back? I need to get to the bottom of this!

Corner bars aren’t all that great either. I’m not looking for flowers and cloth towels – just doors that close properly, quality paper, hot water and soap and more than one stall.

Definitely not a unisex room either! Yikes! One time I opened a unisex door only to find a guy peeing in the toilet. Don’t guys lock the door? My retinas were scarred! (Men are definitely not created equal!)

I am working on developing a relationship with my innards. We chat every morning and it goes like this:

Me: Good morning colon, how are we today?

Colon: Yesterday’s hot pepper isn’t doing well here. What a pain in the ass (literally).

Me: (feigning regret) So sorry. It was tasty on the front end.

Colon: It’s creating quite a stir. There will be a rocking goodbye party when it leaves! Also, cut back on the tomatoes! All that acid and skin floating around here. It’s gross.

Me: (trying to act contrite) Ok. Duly noted.

Colon: Also, you have some stressful situations coming up. Don’t dwell on them. You know what that does to me!

Me: (head hanging low) Sigh.

Looks like it may be a good day!

36 thoughts on “Good morning colon! How are we today?

  1. What can you do when your body betrays you? Sigh! You can only laugh. Thanks for providing the chuckles, Kate. I can relate too well. 🙂

    In Paris, we encountered a few bathrooms where the men and women had separate stalls. But they had to share a sink. Thank heaven no one was in the bathroom at the same time I was. I’m not sure how I would have reacted. 🙂

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  2. I believe it is important to keep your sense of humor with any illness or medical condition. Laughter is the best medicine! Seriously, I hope your colon gets better soon. At least you have learned more about bathrooms and appreciate the good ones! Take care!

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  3. If you need someone to collaborate with your book, my mom is your girl. Her knowledge of restrooms extends to the Tri-State area due to her ulcerative colitis. I know from sitting in on her appointments, that you are doing the right thing by recognizing your own triggers. Also, probiotics in pill or food forms do help. Google “Foods that cause inflammation” this may help you as well. Good luck Kate!

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    • Thanks. This again proves that some of the best advice comes from friends. None of the doctors suggested probiotics (they prefer bigger solutions) but I have gotten that recommendation from several here on the blog and outside the blog too. I haven’t tried that yet but I will. Can’t hurt. Also my condolences to your poor mother. I don’t have that but I can’t even imagine managing that when I have issues controlling a lesser condition.

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  4. Oh Kate, I know what you mean and really can relate! I have learned more about my insides than I ever wanted and don’t know what causes some of my stuff either. I just eat Activa and have the occasional probiotic and things are good.

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  5. I’m so sorry to hear that you’re more or less stuck figuring out what works, or doesn’t! That takes so much time while you more or less experiment, but I’m sure you’ll get on to what is best for you, Kate. You have such a wonderful sense of humor, and I don’t think most people can find anything redeeming about IBS. Leave it to you to find the funny in bathroom ratings! I hope you’ll do well and get this under control. It must be very frustrating!

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  6. You’re outrageous. I saw that picture and wondered, goodness who would be posting THAT?

    I should have known…

    In all seriousness; I thought everybody over “a certain age” had IBS issues. Anyway, everybody I know, does (although none of us talks about it with quite the gritty eloquence you muster).

    We’ve found (no, I’m not using the royal we, I’m using the word spousally) that minimizing stress and eating well helps tremendously. (Well, means listening to my own colon–my requirements are different from my mothers and definitely from “his”).

    I’ve always thought of my colon as “it.” If I start thinking of “her” as “she,” she might be nicer to me. Thanks for the implied suggestion.

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    • Stress is a big factor. It seems you get caught in a Catch 22. The more you worry that you will have an episode the more likely you are to have one. The more you have them the more you worry. It doesn’t matter what sex you use for your colon. She is vindictive and controlling either way.

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  7. I once had that problem but have been taking “All Complete Enzymes” by TriMedica for years. I just take one in the morning and I’m good for the day. (I almost said “good to go.”) and Kate, this story is HILARIOUS even though I know it’s not really funny in real life.

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    • Sometimes the information you receive is amazing! I found that a lot of people have these issues. Most are exacerbated by stress but not only that. Thanks for your remedy! I’ll check with my colon to see if she wants to try that.

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  8. I completely understand Kate. I’ve been dealing with the same thing (only a little more specific–IBD) for the past 5 years. I’ve been on Pentasa myself, to control the inflammation and limit my flare ups. Sounds like you’ve got things well in hand with the diary and identifying triggers. I also meditate since stress is my main trigger.

    The only thing I can add that I discovered is that I now carry a pocket-size can of Ozium (an industrial-strength air freshener) in my purse for when I absolutely have to use a public restroom. I found that a lot of car wash/detailing places carry them.

    You’re very right about research and funding for things like this. Plus, the public really doesn’t want to hear about diseases and/or disorders that deal with the processes of pooping (I use the polite term). I certainly don’t see someone like George Clooney heading up a “brown-ribbon” campaign.

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  9. My BFF suffers from gastroparisis (sp). At least that’s what SOME doctors say. Her situation is a result of injuries from an accident, and normally it comes from having diabetes. Since her medical quest for answers stemmed from a lawsuit, she could never get a definitive answer. She has all the symptoms so is doing her best to only eat things that her stomach can digest, otherwise she sees it all again a few days later. . .just doesn’t taste as good the second time. (Sorry).
    I empathize with you watching what she has gone through.
    I hope the meds continue to work for you!

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  10. I thought I was the only one having conversations with my gut. New meds are awesome! I am trying positive affirmations. 😉
    Or: After downing an emergency cup of peppermint tea, “Now, now, everything is OK. You go back to sleep while mommy finishes her work.
    Best of luck! 8)

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