Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Now She Knows the Truth

I’ve never been to the support group but I’ve sure thought about it. I did spend some time in the chat room a few years ago and it was rather embarrassing. I would enter the chat room and very timidly type these words: “Hello my name is Bruce and I suffer from IBS.” Several people would immediately type the familiar response: “Hello Bruce.”

Let me make one thing perfectly clear just in case you are offended by this blog tonight. Irritable Bowel Syndrome is NOT a sin. It is a disease. In fact it is a very humbling disease. You never know when the symptoms will appear. But it doesn’t matter if you are having dinner with the Queen of England, you get no warning. When that particular phone starts ringing you have to answer it on the first couple of rings if you know what I mean. You certainly don’t inconspicuously ask to be excused like normal folk. You jump up and dash for the nearest restroom. And you just pray that you make it.

There have been many times when I didn’t make it. That’s where the humbling part of the disease comes in.

I remember one afternoon many years ago I was on the way to pick up a family for a funeral. I was feeling just fine and looked at my watch as I crossed the railroad tracks in Reynolds knowing I was right on time. I was headed to a house to line up the cars to lead the family to the funeral that was being held at a church out in the country. As I was heading out of town it hit me with absolutely no warning. Since I was going to drive almost right past our house on the way I figured my best shot was to try to make it to our house which was only a couple of miles away. I wheeled in the driveway, ran in the house and sprinted down the hall. Just as I was entering the restroom I lost it. I was wearing a brand new suit. I ruined it. I even ruined my shoes. Afterwards I jumped in the shower and then put on a new set of clothes. I told my wife to just leave the door to the bathroom shut and I would clean it up when I got back later in the afternoon after the funeral. I was thinking I would need more than normal bathroom supplies to do the cleaning. I was thinking a shovel may be appropriate.

I don’t think I had ever seen my wife quite as adamant about anything as she was that day. Her loud response and I quote, “I don’t care how many funerals you have or how many people you have waiting on you, there is no way you are going to leave this house without cleaning that up.”

I cleaned it up.

I remember another funeral when I was driving the family car behind the hearse in a long procession in route to the cemetery. One of the family members in the back seat told me to stop the car. I recognized the urgency in his voice so I stopped the car. The hearse kept going. There was a long line of cars behind me. Everybody had to wait as this poor family member made a dash for the woods. Believe me I understood. And it was not a short wait.

Saturday afternoon I walked in the house with two boxes of fresh strawberries. My wife couldn’t believe how thoughtful I was to bring fresh strawberries home when she hadn’t even asked me to buy them.

I never told her the real story but I will here. The truth is I was driving from Fort Valley to Warner Robins and my phone started ringing really loud. It hit me hard. I figured my best bet was to try to make it to Lane Packing Shed. I wheeled in their parking lot and ran in the building and made a dash for the men’s room. Thankfully I made it.

When I came out of the restroom I noticed a couple of workers who saw me when I ran in. I figured the least I could do was act as though I stopped there to buy something. No different than you do when you stop at a service station to use the restroom and you buy a pack of gum to make the clerk thing you stopped there to buy something. You know what I’m talking about.

I can tell you we had the best Strawberry Cake I have ever put in my mouth on Sunday afternoon. And my wife thought I was so thoughtful for bringing her fresh strawberries.

Now she knows the truth.


Judy said...

I too feel your pain. More people have this problem than want to admitt. When you got to go, you got to go. God Bless everyone with IBS.

Anonymous said...


How funny, your disease is challenging but as my mother always said "It could be worse".

Anonymous said...


Okay, I know it's not funny but I just read this blog and I wet my pants, literally. I won't name the two siblings I have that suffer from IBS but some of their stories about "receiving the calling" is hilarious and yours reminded me of them. One of my siblings is going to put an outhouse under her garage because she can't make it from Warner Robins to her house without getting the call of IBS. She has christened her flower beds, if you get my drift. I have another sibling that suffers also but I've said enough--I just hope the Lord blesses me and I don't get the scourge of IBS.
Hugs & Blessings, Sue

Nicole said...

Ahhh, very familiar story. :)


Anonymous said...

I think of you every time I see chocolate covered strawberries.

Bruce Goddard said...

From these comments and the emails, looks like there are alot of IBS'ers out there. As all the members of that club do, I have many many stories... and as Sue said, will have the potential to make one wet their pants hearing them. Nicole, I checked your website and although I haven't had time to read your articles, I will. I can tell you I laughed as I scanned the first few. Thnks to al for your comments... and encouragement... :-)