Pooping has become a pretty normal topic of conversation in my household. Why shouldn’t it be? It’s something we all do. Pooping is something we often take for granted, and we shouldn’t. It’s completely natural and normal, yet people are still embarrassed to talk about it.
It’s part of our daily routine. People ask how was your day / dinner / workout / break / commute /etc? Nobody ever asks how was your poop? Would there be anything wrong in adding “did you have a good bowel movement?” to our daily niceties and vernacular? It doesn’t need to be awkward. These days I often ask Mikey when he gets back from his pretty regular morning or evening bathroom visit whether he had a good poop. These things are important!
For many, at the first sign of IBD or anything slightly bowel related, it can be difficult to start the conversation. People are ashamed and scared to even talk to their family or doctors when it concerns the “p” word.
So in the spirit of sharing is caring, I’m going to openly talk about poop and in this case, places I’ve pooped. I’ll look at this from the IBD perspective as well as ostomate perspective.
I hope this creates some understanding for those who are fortunate enough to have functioning working bowels what it can be like for those with IBD. For those with IBD, this is a shout out to know you are not alone. We all have poop 💩 stories, why not share them and #stoppoobeingtaboo
Places I’ve pooped with IBD…
Anyone with IBD knows that at times, when you’ve got to go, you’ve got to go. When that urgency comes on sometimes you literally have seconds to get to a toilet, and sometimes you don’t always make it. It’s embarrassing and awful when it happens, but it happens. Here are some of many places I’ve pooped since having Crohn’s disease.
1. In a bucket beside my bed
2. In bed while trying to hold an enema
3. Squatting by the side of the road
4. Sitting in the car (as the driver and passenger)
5. In my pants in multiple places
6. In the shower
7. Public toilets OF ALL KINDS and cleanliness
These times I remember as being some of the lowest in my life. Of course I was upset at the time. Sometimes in tears and inconsolable. Yet each time I would eventually clean myself up and carry on. You have to.
After years of sussing out the nearest toilet being my #1 priority wherever I went, I have a nose for sniffing out where toilets are nowadays! My sixth sense can pretty easily navigate me to the closest restroom in most situations! I consider this quite a skill!
Places I’ve pooped with a stoma…
Since having ileostomy surgery, I fortunately no longer have that urgent need to rush to the toilet. I now poop into an ostomy bag that is adhered to my belly to catch the poo flowing from my small intestine. One great thing about an Ostomy is you can poop anywhere!! Literally, I have no control of when or where I’m pooping, but it doesn’t matter!! I poop in the shower, in bed, at work, at the dinner table, at the supermarket, mid conversation, whilst being intimate, exercising, walking the dog. You name an activity and I’ve probably pooped during it! And no one (not even me) is any the wiser!
Places I’ve emptied my poop…
As an ostomate, the top priority now is being able to empty our ostomy bags once they’re full. This can be done basically anywhere, on any kind of toilet. There is a bit of an art to it and we all have our own techniques. I sit on the toilet (as I would have prior to surgery) and empty the bag into the toilet between my legs. I’ve travelled the world and emptied my bag in all kinds of places from public toilets of all kinds, to planes, trains, and ferries, and even on porta-loos and squat toilets. Some require a little less skill and flexibility than others, but the bottom line is, it can be done!
Read more about my world travel ostomy poop emptying stories here: https://stomalicious.wordpress.com/2015/06/01/global-toilet-trotting/
Poo may not be fun, especially for someone with IBD, and yes it can be awkward, but I find it helps to add a bit of humour, and just be open about it. So next time someone comes back from a toilet break or trip to the loo at home, why not check in with them? Let’s make poop okay to talk about in more situations than just awful ones with the doctor.