Warning: This post is highly graphic, deeply embarrassing, totally gross and possibly offensive. If you’re squeamish then go to this post here. You have been warned.
I really didn’t want to share this experience. It’s gross, its humiliating and you won’t look at me the same. But here it is. I hope this post helps even just one person.
5.50am. Woke up, bounded out of bed excited about the day.
7.00am Completed my early morning affirmations, visualizations, reading, meditation and exercise.
7.30am My first coaching call went and I eye the clock as the rest of the house starts to stir with movement
7.45am Somewhere deep inside me a darkness stirs and twists into shape.
7.50am 5 minute later the darkness introduces itself. My legs buckle and and my body rocks back and forth in pain.
It says ‘Hello, my name is Pain. I’ve also brought my friends: Stabby, Twister and Wrencher. Lets gets acquainted.’
8.00am Alone in my study there is no where to hide.
I’m a hostage as a deep, rhythmic anguished throb intensifies, deep inside me. Every couple of minutes a pain squeals and explodes at the base of my anus and darts up twisting a blunt knife into the walls of my bowels.
It comes in waves. My knees buckle again. It rips through my body then it’s gone. I gasp for breathe and search for something to hold onto. A teddy would have sufficed.
I have an intense urge to go to the toilet and stiff legged get to the bathroom ensuite, sit down and push but nothing.
Nothing but more pain.
I google my symptoms ‘deep pain in my anus no poo’ –
And come across an article, scanning the different conditions I see something that fits the bill:
Proctalgia fugaxProctalgia fugax is a severe, cramp-like pain, deep in the anal canal. It usually lasts for a few seconds or minutes, but can sometimes last for up to half an hour. Between attacks there is no pain at all. Most sufferers have only 5 or 6 attacks a year. You may feel a need to defecate urgently, but nothing happens. It may even make you feel dizzy, or give you a headache. It occurs in both men and women. The pain often wakes sufferers at night, and men may have an erection at the same time. Some men experience it after sex. It is a mysterious condition; no one knows what causes it, but it is probably a spasm of the rectal or pelvic floor muscles and does not mean that you have anything seriously wrong. There are various methods of relieving the pain.
- Try putting pressure on the perineum (the area between the back passage and the vagina or base of the penis) by sitting on the edge of your bath or on a tennis ball.
- Sit in hot water or, alternatively, apply some ice.
- Two paracetamol (acetaminophen) tablets and a hot drink may give some relief.The problem with medications for proctalgia fugax is that the episode is likely to be over before the drugs become active, but medication might be worth trying if your attacks last a long time. The usual treatment is the asthma drug salbutamol, inhaled from a puffer at the start of the attack (Gastroenterology 2006;130:1510–8). This is only available on prescription, for which you would need to see your doctor.
Yep that sounded about right.
I believe I’ve had this before? A few months ago I remember spending an hour bowled over in pain. And nothing.
Something to look forward to.
I sit on the toilet for another 30 mins while my family gets busy around me with their morning routine. Evrytime I get up the pain returns. I shuffle to my computer and ask my VA to cancel all my appointments for today citing that I was feeling unwell.
I move to our second toilet for some privacy and bring something to read.
But Pain wasn’t happy playing second fiddle.
It reminds what it’s favorite subject is.
The pain rips through my arse, and continues again and again lasting 15-20 seconds and pausing for 10-15.
It’s harder and faster and it intensifies – Angry and hot like an animal.
I’m crying now and delirious.
And then the words form in my head – ‘FUCK YOU’.
I’m not one to normally swear, but I got angry back, I got angry that something inside me was playing ‘Stab and Punch Sam from the Insides’
And as the pain burst inside me, I said FUCK YOU again and again, trying to breath with it and with some remaining strength got up from the toilet weak and sore.
I calmly told my wife ‘Darling, I think I may need to go to the hospital…’
My wife instantly answers back and comes to me concerned. I explain the situation. I get onto kitchen stool. I hold my head in my hands.
And then just like that it subsides. Pain’s left the party.
We wait for a 15 mins. Nothing. Iris implores me to still go to the hospital or see the doctor but I refuse. What for? These things last for an hour and it was about an hour. And I’d be waiting at the hospital for 3 hours like an idiot.
I promise to call her if anything changes as I wave my wife and daughter goodbye heading for morning Playgroup.
As they are leaving a voice from behind calmly says, ‘Did you miss me?’
Pain. Explosion of light. I crash to the ground.
Pain wakes me up again.
I drag myself back to the main toilet.
I decide to do something good with my time and watch an inspiring Ted talk with Nadine Champion and 10 Seconds of Courage . I get choked up watching her break the board on stage and her courage inspires me.
But all the while it’s building, and I’m keeling over with the torment.
This is torture and I have no idea what Pain wants from me. If anything at all. I’m a ragdoll to it’s torment.
I’m bolted to the toilet trying to push nothing out. I’m sweating, and I take off all my clothes in the bathroom. I must looked a pathetical sight, a brown man writhing with body clenched in the throws of an agonizing dance, my face, grimaced and pale but defiant.
I close my eyes and count.
And then I remembered Nadines words,
[tweetthis]’It Doesn’t Hurt Less If You Close Your Eyes’ – Nadine Champion[/tweetthis]
Meaning you can’t hide from the pain in your life. Better to open your eyes and lean into the problem.
I decide to try and rule out whether it’s stool related. I’ve been constipated before and it’s an ordeal.
I take a cotton bud dipped in moisturizer and insert it into my anus. I obviously was desperate.
The tip comes out dark brown – ok so my bowels aren’t empty. They’re full.
I google some more and find an article on impacted stool:
A fecal impaction is a solid, immobile bulk of human feces that can develop in therectum as a result of chronic constipation. A related term is fecal loading which refers to a large volume of stool in the rectum of any consistency
The main way to deal with it is through the gradual removal by hand. Normally you need to go to hospital where a nurse takes one or two fingers and inserts them in your anus and breaks down the stool.
I consider going to hospital or the doctor but decide against it. This is my body, it’s my stool and no one is sticking their fingers in my arse unless its me! (Yes strange logic).
So I start a warm hot shower and it kind of relieves the pain. Since there’s running water I don’t feel so grossed out.
I gingerly put my index finger into my anus, past the few centimeters of tight muscle until I’m into rectal cavity.
And then my fingers touch it. It’s hard, and lumpy. It’s a rock. Not good.
It feels like a large pine cone head hiding in a pipe.
Thats the source of my pain.
My bowels want it out but its not going anywhere.
I recall the last couple of days. I don’t remember going to the toilet the last few days but I do remember having hard pellet like stools. And being disappointed. What was I – a kangaroo?
The hot water is still pouring on me and I start breathing deeply. The pain is still coming in waves but instead of hiding from it I’m swearing like a sailor and breathing out with it.
I reinsert my finger, and scrape backwards. It’s a hard lump alright. Like a miner chipping at coal I use my finger to dig at it and try and loosen it. I wash my fingers afterwards. I’m grossed out but fascinated at the same time.
And then a real urge comes to bear down and I go with it. It’s intense and raw and it feels better to stand up. I’m using all my energy to concentrate on bearing down hard, and not letting up the pressure.
The similarities between this and what pregnancy must feel like did not escape me.
I PUSH DOWN HARD. Hard enough to burst a vessel in my head.
A sad image flashes inside my head: Myself slumped in a running shower. Dead from stroke in a shower with a big turd half way out of my arse.
I stifle back the chuckle otherwise I’d cry.
But its happening now. And at the last minute I grab a red bucket from just outside the shower. I don’t want to poo all over the shower floor!
And it came out with a plop. A small dark, hard and round angry turd.
I get out of the shower, dry off, still in pain, my body angry with me as I was with it. And I took the bucket out, dried off and considered my next move.
Well it was clear. It was do or die. This was about survival.
I reinserted, I poked around more and channeled my best gangster rapper swearing profanities as I bared down hard.
Now I was squatting on the red bucket next to the basin. And with a huge inner heave it came. Another plop.
I was exhausted. I had enough. It took an hour to rid myself of two small turds. I shuddered at how much was backed up inside me.
By now it had been a bit more than an hour. I was still alone in the bathroom. Naked.
My legs trembled from the strain of standing up and light headed from the exertion. I put my head into my hands above the basis. It occured to me that my hands smelt.
But I knew it wasn’t over. This was round 12 of Sam vs Paciano.
I started to think that perhaps success was like this. Please excuse the poor analogies:
Success was like impacted shit.
In the beginning a lot of pain, a lot of pushing for not much. Eventually you get some small hard fought wins.
It was about taking 100% responsibility, and it was about pushing past the fear and the anxiety and just focusing on the task at hand.
But most of all it was about stepping outside of your comfort zone and giving 200%.
Yes thats how my mind works – from images of my own death to images of success.
I washed my hands again. I reinserted and came back to the hard lump and this time attacked the lump with a vengeance. I literally reached in deep in myself and tackled it. Trying to almost hook into its sides and create a wedge into it.
I pushed into the bucket. I bucked and rocked as the pain circling me like a rabid hound.
Nothing much happened.
And then it happened. An overwhelming urge to push and all my lower muscles braced and heaved through.
This was the moment. My body convulsed. The pain seared. I was now squatting, holding onto dear life in front of my basin, a red bucket underneath me.
And I felt my body unifying. I imagined my body moving as one pushing the stool down and out.
I braced and pushed. I gasped for air and pushed again. 5, 6, 9 times.
And I felt my anus widening, I felt it moving through
and it pushed out!
A squelch and a thump. Pain hissed its goodbye.
I sat there, on the bucket, shaking, crying and overjoyed.
I crawled to the toilet and sat there triumphant.
I peered over the rim of the bucket.
And there lay two pieces of the biggest shits I have ever seen in my life. It was like a burnt brown alien organism.
Combined it would have been atleast 30cm in length. The width was a large 5 to 6 centimeters in diameter.
This thing cut it self in two pieces, consisted of a brown, lumpy angry head and neck, and a long smooth body.
I marveled how something so large was kept inside my body. That was inside me!
(the comparisons between child birth continued)
I sat there for a few more minutes, my bowels still delivering more poos.
I sat there relishing in the earthy, rank yet sweet smell of poo and victory wafting through the bathroom and I took a picture of it on my phone (which I won’t share).
And then I finished.
I flushed it down, said goodbye to it and double checked to ensure it was gone.
I had a shower, got dressed and wrote this post.
I don’t know why I’m sharing this with you. It helps neither of us to know this. Especially you.
Or maybe it does.
I learned some powerful lessons from this morning including:
- Drink more water and eat foods with more fibre
- Watch your bowel movements, if you start poo-ing hard pellets, get some laxatives, drink heaps of water and exercise more. Otherwise you will have an ordeal to remember.
- Success is like impacted shit, break it down into manageable parts.
- If you’re not willing to get uncomfortable, and taking 100% responsibility then someone else will end up putting their fingers in your bum. And you still have to go through it all!
- Finally when you’ve done the work, and the goal is near, listen to the universe, listen your body and most of all listen to yourself. If everything is saying GO GO GO! This is the time to go all out and just go with it. Success isn’t to far away!
I really didn’t want to share this experience. It’s gross, it embarrassing, its humiliating and you won’t look at me the same.
But its also a story of triumph, a story of good versus evil. It’s a story not worth sharing that got shared regardless.
Above all its a story about me and my poo.