IBS, Childbirth and the Recliner

I figure that after working eight hours a day, sleeping eight hours a night, (yeah, I know in reality that isn’t what happens, but these are MY statistics) and the most of the other eight hours either driving the kids somewhere, running errands, cooking, cleaning, watching TV, or being on the computer, the average person spends little time taking care of basic human needs.

And there is a big discrepancy between women and men. I am talking about using the bathroom and I am going to use medical terms so as not to offend anyone or gross anyone out.

When a woman goes to the bathroom to TAC (medical acronym for takes/ing a crap) she will be in and out in…10 – 15 minutes tops and if she is in there any longer people begin to worry. I’ve never seen a woman take her mending basket, crochet bag, knitting bag, laundry to sort, baby to diaper or even a book into the bathroom with her while she TsAC.

There once was a time when a man’s home was his castle and he was King of the Castle. With the vast changes in society, his “castle” has been reduced to the bathroom, hence the toilet being referred to as the “throne”. And man, any man, is certainly king of that. That is not even debatable. I have never seen a man not walk into the Throne Room without reading material or have some already in there. I have no idea nor do I care to know how long it actually takes for them to TAC. But they stay in there long enough to read the entire works of Louis L’Amour. I just thank God we have two bathrooms.

I have IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome). IBS comes in several varieties. The varieties are The Apple Butter Trots, The Prescription for Dynamite, and the Flash Flood Moving Boulders. Personally, I tend to be of the Prescription for Dynamite but once used I switch to the Flash Flood Moving Boulders. Also, sometimes I switch to the Apple Butter Trots without warning. Yeah, try being at the longest distance from the bathroom at Wally World when THAT happens.

There are many disadvantages to IBS. After 10 ½ months of pregnancy and 39 hours of hard labor I finally gave birth to my daughter. Which is the ALMOST equivalent of an attack of IBS, except that the IBS is worse. At least with childbirth you get to have pain DRUGS. Someone is there to feed you ice chips, wipe the sweat off your brow, encouraging you to “Push”, holding your hands and helping you “bear down”, telling you they love you and everything is going to be alright. You even get those wonderful stirrups that you can put your feet in for leverage. And once the baby is born you can rest, exhausted, but happy with the knowledge that you can stop this from ever happening again or at least for another nine months. But, honey, with IBS you are on your own. An attack can come any time any where and the attack can last for days. TIP: In the situation where the attack is longer than one day, sleep on bathroom floor. Trust me, you will appreciate this tip unless you like laundering bedding at 3 a.m.

Now I spend more time on the toilet than my husband. However, I am not reading. I am writhing in pain and screaming obscenities as fast as I can think them up along with intermittent prayers. I don’t have the side rails of a birthing bed or a kind hand to hold onto while I “push”. I don’t have those stirrups for leverage. Ice chips????? My husband isn’t coming anywhere near that bathroom. Pain meds???? Damn! I left my epidural in my night stand. I’m exhausted, weak, sick and my legs are almost numb. I’m covered in sweat and I look and feel exactly like a woman giving birth. Only, here is the really ironic part. THERE’S NO BABY!!!!!!!!! THERE’S NO PAYOFF!!!

I mentioned the different TAC habits of men and women. Ladies, I think men have the right idea. It’s their alone time. Their time to relax. Does it not get them out of our hair for a while? But I see possibilities for medical reasons. I saw an episode of Home Improvement where “Tim, the Toolman Taylor” designed the perfect bathroom for a man. The toilet was designed as a recliner. It was basically a recliner built around a toilet. I WANT one!!!!! I NEED one! I need to be able to relax and recline and recuperate in between “contractions”. I NEED to be able to put my feet up, (although personally I’d add the stirrups for leverage). The arms of the chair would have to be industrial strength as I’d rip them off the first time out, but other than that it should work well. Except for one small problem. I’d never get to use it. My husband would add a TV, small refrigerator, microwave, his lap top and the entire works of Louis L’Amour to the bathroom.

Oh, well, women have been giving birth since the dawn of time. I guess I can handle a “little” IBS now and then.