A Crappy Day

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Ok, before I launch into this, it’s important that you know that the title of this post is meant to be taken literally. As in, actual crap. Human crap. So if feces and TMI are not your thing, turn back now, because this is going to be a wild and nasty ride.

Also, if you are not yet pregnant but wish to be, this may or may not change your mind.

You’ve been warned.

As you may know, pregnancy tends to make you constipated. As I understand it, because your uterus is composed of smooth muscle (different from the skeletal muscle that you use to walk around and such), and because the body doesn’t want your uterus contracting while putting together a tiny human, it just shuts down smooth muscle contractions on a global level. Unfortunately, your intestines are also composed of smooth muscle – and without regular smooth muscle contractions, everything becomes very sluggish. But you’re still eating (a lot), and it all gets backed up.

Lovely. But I digress.

Do you know what also causes constipation? Cystic Fibrosis. Which, obviously, I have. So pregnancy + CF = major constipation.

My OB and my CF doctor have been becoming increasingly concerned about the fact that I’ve barely been pooping, so a few weeks ago my OB put me on a strict regimen of Colace stool softeners 4x daily. To be honest, not much changed. I was still pooping miserable little rabbit poops once a day (if I was lucky) and feeling pretty backed up. I developed a hemorrhoid and a bad attitude. So, my CF doctor had me switch to MiraLax, which is apparently more effective in the CF gut. She also threatened an enema (possibly coupled with abdominal x-rays, not so good for fetuses) if I couldn’t clear the potential blockage.

So I was highly motivated to poop. I started the MiraLax Thursday, twice daily, and waited.

At first not much happened. Over the weekend I graduated to about two rabbit poops a day, which was a somewhat exciting development. Then, on Monday, the chickens came home to roost.

That morning I felt a sharp, awful abdominal pain. I was pretty confident it wasn’t anything uterus-related (thank god) but I was terrified my bowels were literally tearing themselves apart. It’s not an unfounded fear – bowel perforations are A Thing That Happens to people with CF and it’s ugly. I chugged some more MiraLax and waited.

A few hours later it happened. It was the biggest, hardest, and most awful bowel movement I’ve had in a long, long time. I actually – I kid you not – had to make myself check the toilet bowl to make sure I hadn’t just given birth to an actual human baby. Fortunately the only thing staring back at me was a gigantic brick of a turd that had likely been the cause of my troubles. I felt giddy with relief. No enemas for me!

I flushed and left the bathroom feeling like someone had just given a pardon from death row. Out and about that day, I resisted the urge to share the good news with everyone I saw. I was free!

However, I had no idea of the trouble brewing back at home.

That evening my husband, with a good degree of side-eye, informed me that the toilet wasn’t working. Cautiously lifting the lid, I found a swirling mass of opaque brown water that stubbornly refused to flush. Honestly, this isn’t my first trip down this road. CF poops are often capricious. Usually, letting everything soften up in the water overnight takes care of the problem, so I went to bed and prayed everything would clear on its own.

It did not.

This morning after my husband left for work I was in desperate need of the toilet. We have only one, so I reached for the plunger and gave it my all. I flushed – nothing. I plunged even more enthusiastically and heard some promising gurgling sounds. I flushed again, and all hell broke loose.

Brown sewage spilled out of the toilet and spread across the bathroom floor at an alarming rate. I barely rescued the scale and one of the bathmats; the other bathmat was quickly engulfed and lost for good. I frantically threw down towels to stop the spread, then fled the bathroom and shut the door. And, remember, I still really, really needed a toilet.

It’s some sort of cosmic injustice that it was at this exact moment that the MiraLax really kicked in. Unhindered by The Brick I had passed the day before, the entire remaining contents of my colon were rumbling down the chute. I panicked.

Reader, I pooped myself.

I didn’t mean to. I just couldn’t hold it back any longer. Standing in my kitchen, I peeled off my pants and underwear as my dogs watched solemnly from the doorway. But it wasn’t over. There was more. So, for complete lack of options, I hung my butt over our lovely stainless steel kitchen trash can and let the chips fall where they may.

Finally relieved of my burden, I grabbed for the paper towels and started trying to manage the situation. I managed to clean myself up, then waddled to the bedroom to scrounge for some fresh clothes. Did I mention laundry day is overdue, and the pair of underwear I had just unceremoniously shat was my last clean pair? Yeah.

Once the trash was taken out and the surrounding area disinfected, I turned my attention back to the bathroom. Unsurprisingly that situation had not magically improved while I dealt with unrelated fecal disasters in other areas of my now-defiled home. Defeated, I turned to Yelp, where I searched for the nearest plumber.

Mercifully, the woman in charge of dispatching plumbers was able to have one at my home within the hour. He was polite and professional despite his clear suspicion that I had flushed cat litter down the toilet (repeatedly insisting that I did not, but that the situation had instead been instigated by my unleashing a Poop of Unusual Size and Density, did little to sway his opinion). The clog was eventually cleared and he went on his way with admonitions to throughly clean the bathroom (um, yeah). He also left me with not one, but two promotional pencils bearing his name and phone number. Evidently he predicted this would not be his final summons to my residence.

So, where does this leave us? At present I have carefully avoided entering the bathroom since the plumber’s departure. My poor, kind husband, who missed the entire debacle, has volunteered to disinfect the area since bleach isn’t so good for pregnant ladies (thanks, fetus!).

I don’t feel good about what happened here today, but I consider it a win. There may be feces on my trashcan, my bathroom floor, and myriad other surfaces I would rather not contemplate, but it’s better off there than inside me. My colon is as clean as a whistle.

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6 thoughts on “A Crappy Day

  1. Whoo!!! Yay for pooping! This post is my new favorite. I am one week behind you in pregnancy. I do not have CF. I was backed up all weekend. For the last two days I have been able to finally get some relief. It may not be the same level of drama that you had the pleasure of experiencing but I understand the situation. Thank you for sharing 🙂

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  2. I am sorry but this has to be the funniest thing I have read in a long time. I am sure it wasn’t funny at the time though! Yay for a clean colon! I have only just started with the pregnancy bowel issues but I am super glad we have 2 toilets in our house 🙂

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  3. Great post! I really like how you explained why this is an issue for pregnant women. Everything I have read is similar but not so easy to read or easy to understand. I’m sorry you’re going through this “double whammy” of it though! What an ordeal but here’s to you for being courageous enough to share it with all of us! 😉

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  4. Oh my gosh. Thank you for the greatest laugh. I know this situation was not fun for you… But I felt like it was a hilarious scene in a movie. Hope you are feeling better!!

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