I read once that a guy was so constipated that he took a hot shower, bent over and tried to spoon himself out. It was a success and that spoon is supposedly still in circulation today. A true hero’s journey.
Why do I mention this?
Because I too once thought the idea of removing a shit with a spoon was beneath me, that is until five days after having my son, I found myself hunkered over a hospital toilet, toothbrush in hand, contemplating a similar fate.
Here’s the thing. No one tells you that your first shit after having a baby is going to quite possibly be a worse pain than actually birthing said baby. No one says you become so consumed by the painful and never ending reluctant evacuation that you can barely focus on your new child, let alone name them. No one tells you that the downside of being pumped so full of painkillers is the cementing of your intestinal tract, much like that of a heroin addict.
And absolutely no one tells you that you might end up squatted over a toilet, crying, staring at sign warning against ‘anal strain’ and considering, just considering…
‘JK – are you there?’ I shouted out through the slightly ajar toilet door, into my hospital suite.
‘Yeah, babe. Any movement at the station?’ he asked kindly.
Yep, this is what our relationship had now come to. With the intimacy of childbirth a distant memory, our joint focus had turned to whether or not I would ever be able to provide a stool sample again.
‘No’ I whimpered. ‘The trains still delayed.’
‘Oh, babe. Sorry.’
‘Is there anything I can do to help?’
Pause. I looked at my toothbrush.
Dare I ask?
Could I ask?
Should I ask?
I mean he had just seen a human ripped out my intestinal lining (did I mention I failed biology in high school?) and that had, I was in no doubt, brought us closer together, so I mean surely a request to bend me over and scoop poo out of me would only bring even more intimacy and meaning to our relationship?
There was always the possibility that it would destroy our relationship.
But here’s the thing – for a fleeting moment, as I saw my strained reflection in the mirror (yep, great place to put a mirror btw) I thought that it might be actually worth ruining my marriage for. I mean I could always meet someone else…
‘Lou, everything alright in there?’
He’d picked up on my silence. My contemplation.
‘Um…is there a spoon out there?’
‘Um…I don’t think so. Why? Do you want me to ask the nurse for one?’
‘Are you going to ask me to scoop you out?’
We had reached this point. If I said yes, that could be the end of us. If he said no it could be the end of us.
I took a deep breath, ready to give me answer –
The door flew open.
‘And how are we going today?! Still no movement at the station I see!’
A nurse beamed down at me.
‘Nup’ I replied. A sudden wave of relief washing over me.
‘Best we get you some laxatives.’
‘To help move things along. Can’t have you doing all the hard work on ya own.’
Fuck! That was right! Laxatives! Other drugs! How had I not thought of that?
‘That would be great’ I said, beaming like an idiot, as JK cried tears of joy in the other room.
‘No worries, I’ll go grab some right now.’
She paused. Turned back.
‘What’s with the toothbrush?’