The Embarrassing Tales section is now closed, no new stories accepted.
Like many others who I have read about here I have had many embarrassing moments, but seeing people being brave enough to tell their story has given me the strength to tell one of my own. I have had IBS since I was 12 and I am 36 now. It was properly diagnosed when I was 17.
This story takes place five years ago. I'd had headed down to Torquay for a quiet break by myself, stopping at a bed and breakfast. On arrival I settled in and then took the short 200m walk down the hill to the seafront. I proceeded to walk up the sea front, and at this point I was feeling no symptoms at all. It was a sunny day and the town was rammed full of people.
I walked about half a mile when I got extreme cramps and the urgent need to go. I was desperately looking for some toilets but there were none in sight, I couldn't see a pub, cafe or toilet anywhere. I tried to make it back to the B and B but I was in agony and I couldn't get there, and right there on the seafront, I had the accident. I could feel it everywhere. Luckily, if you can see any luck in this situation, I had brown trousers on, so it perhaps wasn't so obvious as it could have been.
I took shelter at the side of the small stall while I assessed the situation, obviously embarrassed and dismayed. I was on my own, over a hundred miles from home, and there wasn't anyone I could call. After about 10 minutes I decided there was nothing else for it, I had to try to get back to the B and B. I managed to get there and get inside the B and B while ignoring the owner trying to have a chat with. When I was in my room I jumped straight into the bath to strip, shower and wash my clothes. I felt devastated, as I always do when I have an attack like this. It's not fun.
I am a 39 year-old female and the following IBS trigger points have been with me for 20 years. I need to know if the following trigger points are just me, or if anyone else shares these triggers: early AM car rides, being stuck in traffic, fear of places with no bathrooms, and feeling nervous around people you don't know. These are the main things that seem to trigger bouts of IBS with toilet Olympics. If I am emotionally stressed or excited that can lead to an attack.
Here's my humiliating experience. Driving on the Tobin Bridge in Boston to take my husband to the hospital for lodged gallstones after gallbladder removal surgery. If anyone from the Boston area reads this, then you know how terrible the traffic can be. We had to leave 6am to be at the hospital for a 9am appointment which is usually a 30-minute drive.
I'm not usually a real early riser. But I needed to be supportive and not complain about anything. It was agreed my husband would drive in, and I would drive us home after his appointment.
We are sitting in traffic for an hour and a half. I start feeling very nervous, and then the stomach pains begin. Almost never do I have stomach
issues this early in the day because I never eat food in the early part of the day. I feel the need to go poops. I'm searching for a way out of
traffic, there are no exits, no pulling off to the side. we are suspended on a bridge stuck in traffic.
I tried breathing my way through the pain, just like when you are in labor. I tried to calm myself. Tried to trick myself into thinking I could
take a nap. The pain got worse and worse. I felt myself get dizzy, hands sweating, then full-blown panic.
This is when I looked at my husband and told him I had a stomach ache and needed a bathroom immediately. He looked at me as though I thought he could perform a miracle. I started to squirm in my seat, I clenched my bottom as much as I possibly could.
There was nothing I could do. I had to grab a plastic bag from the back seat. I pulled down my pants in the front passenger side of the car. I aimed for the bag. My poop went the wrong way, and just oozed all over the seat and the back of my jeans. It felt, looked and smelled disgusting. I burst into tears of humiliation. I was in control of everything in my life and this experience left me defeated physically and emotionally.
For the next hour with the windows down during the winter, I grabbed every single napkin from the glove box and tried to clean the mess that was all over me and the seat. My husband never made fun of me, I think he was in shock. Either that he was anesthetized from the stench that fumed in the car.
Two hours later, late for his appointment, we arrive at the entrance of the hospital. I drop him at the front door. I told him I am going to find a store to clean the car and buy myself some new pants. I'm driving in Boston, alone and mortified.
I find a CVS, and I'm sure I filled the aisles with waves of poopy pants aroma, I am horrified if anyone is in my general direction. Running up and down the isles I grab baby wipes, (two containers) with fragrance, Resolve carpet cleaner, and biker shorts. Lucky enough to find a white bin with several out-of-style stretch fabric shorts. I pull into the garage at the hospital and begin my neurotic clean-up session.
Two containers of wipes and a can of carpet cleaner later I'm ready to enter the hospital. I go to the trash can to toss away all the messy cloths, and go the trunk of the car to get my husband's overnight bag, just in case he is admitted. I pull the bag out, and stand up and hit my head on a parking sign, and split my head open. Blood is running down my face and now I'm looking for the emergency room.
Ten stitches and another two hours later, I find my husband's room, meet with the doctors who tell me he now needs major surgery. I am completely fried out. My stomach was a mess for the next four weeks.
I had to do this drive everyday for the next month. For the next year I would not leave home without all my gear: bucket, plastic bags, six-pack of paper towels, wipes and clothes, and traffic updates.
My story begins on a very cold (I live in Michigan USA) very early January morning. My boyfriend and I are at the airport waiting to catch a
flight to Cancun, our first real vacation together, where we are meeting and sharing a two-room villa with his aunt and uncle. I was so excited about the trip but so worried about my bowels!
This was also the beginning of my panic attacks, but at the time I didn't know what was going on with me! So we are at the airport, and I was so hungry but so afraid to eat. I was scared of having to suffer on the plane, or even worse, having to poop in that tiny bathroom on the plane!
I survived the plane. Later that evening we all decide to go to downtown Cancun for dinner - my boyfriend, the aunt and uncle and two of their friends. My first mistake was deciding to take a week-long vacation in what's probably the spicy capital of the world. It's a very beautiful place but it's hard to find good-tasting non-spicy food!
So we go to dinner, and then we were doing some shopping at the mall. Then it hit, the pain, the bloating and so on! I need to poop and now. I thought if I could just get back to the resort, but it was a 15-minute very bumpy bus ride back, then approximately a seven-minute walk. I thought I'd never make it!
I told the boyfriend and he said we could leave, but I didn't want to explain to everyone why we were leaving, but decided I couldn't wait! So we look for a bathroom with no luck. My boyfriend asked his aunt (they had been there before) and she showed me the way and said she would wait for me outside. I thought well you could be waiting a while...
I go in and crap my brains out for a good half hour. Thinking I was done I get off the bowl and as soon as I am ready to walk out of the bathroom another wave of pain hits and I have to go again! Good Lord shoot me I thought! Finally after an hour I was done, I was so embarrassed! Luckily, I was OK for the rest of the trip, constipated yes, in pain a few days yes! But no more pooping problems!
When I have to go, I fear being anywhere but at home. I don't know why, I guess I should just be happy to find a toilet! But I have to have what I call my preparations when I go - I need a bottle of water because my mouth gets dry when I get hot, I need a wash cloth so I can reach to the sink or shower and wet it to put on my face and neck because I get so hot, and a pony tail holder or clip for my hair again because I get so hot!
Currently I work midnights at a hotel. I've been here for about two years. It's nice, because on the night shift I don't see too many people, so
when I need to go I do, and I work alone so I don't have to explain to anyone why I was in the bathroom so long!
I have recently gone back to school, wouldn't you know I had to have a bowel problem the first day! In my first class I had to leave in the middle of an hour and a half class three times to poop, I can only imagine what people thought! Now if I'm in school and have problems I just go home!
I have to say I'm sorry that people are suffering because of this dumb IBS, but it's nice to know I'm not alone in my IBS prison cell!