Dr. Imodium, or How I Learned to Stop Shitting and Hate my Life
Just over a year ago, I was summoned to Montreal to attend a seminar for work. I deeply enjoy Montreal (and most of Quebec, for that matter), so the trip is always entertaining. During the wee hours of the night before my trip I was stricken with absolutely abysmal diarrhea -- the kind that makes you truly wonder what manner of sorcery is being conjured deep within the bastion of your colon. I awoke early on the morning of my departure anticipating an unpleasant bus ride and an even worse flight.
Realizing that in a few short hours I had at least five hours of driving followed by three hours of flying, I desperately rushed to the nearest druggist to procure some chemical butt-pluggery. The chemist recommended Imodium, which he assured me would cease the never-ending onslaught of firehose-like acid spray that was being ever expunged from my now sore and bleeding anus. As an alternative, the store's homeopathic advisor also recommended everything ranging from St. John's Wort to strawberry seed extract. Trusting in the powers of medicine more than the powers of magic and fairy dust, I took the advice of the chemist and purchased the rather expensive Imodium to sandbag the flood from the south.
All seemed to be well, as within an hour the violent monsoon of acidic spray ceased, and I was able to catch a morning nap on the extremely uncomfortable bus. I felt great relief about not having to perch upon a stainless steel petri dish of human ass hair, excrement, and a curious blue chemical solution that is reminiscent of floor cleaner, all while being tossed and turned around every corner of this particularly windy highway. Aside from the constant stare of the Lesser Cave Trolls riding the bus with me, my mind was at ease, although I suppose the unwholesome look of satisfaction on my face may have prompted them to think I would soon be raving about the Rapture or trying to bring them to my religion.
I arrived at the airport some four hours early for my flight's departure, so I checked out news on my PDA while tolerating a sandwich of meat composed primarily of raccoon feet and hippopotamus stomach, dotted with lettuce that looked like it had been around for the Reagan administration. I had procured it from a Vietnamese man running a small shop in the terminal, and he seemed insulted when I legitimately could not identify the substance that I was about to consume. As I was hungry, I made short work of the sandwich, and was soon back at the store looking for something on which I could snack while passing time in the terminal. Resorting to food with which I am familiar, I paid the $2,942.41, or other ridiculously inflated price for a sugary energy drink and some potato crisps. Finishing these, I felt the familiar tickle of the sandman's oddly inappropriate touching on the nape of my neck and realized I had nowhere to sleep but on some benches amongst drifters, "skweejee kids," and airport security -- the sentinels protecting my kidneys from being taken as I dreamt of cherries and puppies. I remembered the torrential diarrhea from the morning, and took one more Imodium lest I unleash a tidal wave of mostly-clear-acidic-airborne-feces as I slept.
Awaking to the familiar "Passagers qui voyag..." I realized that the flights to French Quebec were boarding, and approached the security checkpoint. I clasped my laptop bag in my hand, along with the box of Imodium, which had fallen from my pocket as I slept. The guard looked at me with a somewhat disgusted expression upon seeing the chemical butt-plug that I was holding for dear life, and I made a somewhat inappropriate joke.
"Trust me," I said, "this would be a very bad time to give me a cavity search."
Instead of laughing, he inspected my bag with some manner of swabbing equipment and told me to remove my shoes. Finally, he begrudgingly allowed me to board the aircraft.
The flight was uneventful, but notable to the story is the fourteen-month-old chicken cacciatore, composed of a lump of material resembling chicken, reddish sauce, and tinfoil. I ate it coupled with a glass of scotch to ease the unbearable pressure swelling in my cranium from the altitude (and because I was desperately searching for an excuse to drink scotch).
As the story climbs, recall that I have now eaten breakfast, lunch, supper, and snacked several times, and have yet to have a bowel movement. For this I am thankful, as I am deeply sure that my stomach is replenishing the supplies lost from the great diarrhea clash of '06.
Arriving at the conference in Montreal, I was greeted with a buffet of every food one could possibly imagine -- and it was all so good I crammed down meal after meal, making quite a characteristic pig of myself. Following the conference, I had some drinks with co-workers, and retired to my hotel room.
The following morning I awoke to a free continental breakfast, and all was well. Until I arrived at the conference hall, when the unthinkable happened: a sheer, unbearable stabbing pain let loose in my guts, rendering me unable to walk.
I hobbled for the nearest public toilet (which was uncharacteristically clean). I sat down and prayed for sweet release from the agony within. Fearing that a snake, orc, or other vile nether-creature was going to emerge from my button, I sat and braced myself for the coming quake.
Frustrated, and wondering what had happened, I arose from the toilet. The pain had subsided without any matter actually vacating my rear. Moving on, I had another day's worth of meal and drinks and returned to the hotel room yet again.
I arose again, ate breakfast again, and headed for the airport again. By this time I was wondering where all of the food I was consuming was being stored. I was burdened by a constant unpleasant feeling of being full, and by the need to fire torpedoes which were clearly stuck in the tubes despite the captain's repeated orders. Boarding the plane, I felt nauseated and refused the half-cooked beef being passed off as food. I thus spent yet another day, which brought my total to over four with absolutely no bowel movement.
Waking the next morning with about five days worth of food in me, I realized it was time to go to the doctor, as my skin was turning the color of the food I had been eating. My doctor took me immediately, citing my obvious discomfort and pale skin (apparently, my dung has a bleaching quality). This quick attention is rare in Canada, as getting to see the doctor with all of your limbs still intact with less than a fourteen-hour wait is a near miracle.
The doctor quickly reminded me of my mother's allergic history, and stated that likely I had an allergic reaction to the Imodium. It had bound my bowels so tightly they could not be released without a pneumatic hammer. Forgive me, Mr. Doctor, for not asking my mother about the frequency, size, consistency, and allergic nature of her bowel movements -- something tells me she may have been slightly perturbed. In any case, he gave me some manner of allergy medication which he assured me would work quickly, and I headed home.
By the time I got home and finished supper, it had been nearly an hour since I had taken the pill. I was really not enjoying my meal, as I felt there must be no more room within me for food. Then: I felt it. Just as the Japanese knew something bad was coming after Pearl Harbor, I knew that I had awakened a sleeping dragon with fiery breath, and claws bearing the hatred of a thousand worlds.
Before I proceed to tell you, remember that I am now a swollen camel carrying six days' of undigested food in my gullet.
I ran to the bathroom at sub-light speed and perched on the toilet with the accuracy and precision of a brain surgeon. Expecting the "big one," I plugged my ears lest the pop deafen me for life, and prayed that the toilet would withstand the abuse I was about to serve. I felt the swelling of objects moving downward within me, and prayed my organs did not accompany them. As they reached my anus, however, they did not continue out of my now dried up, atrophied, unused exit. I began to grunt -- to grunt and push with such a fury that a normal man would be losing bone mass.
That's when I lost my innocence as a person.
Like a pimple popping on the forehead of a greasy pre-teen, I felt a gastric explosion of gas and shit matter which literally sounded like the blast of a Canadian Forces mortar shell. Following this release came a never-ending torrent of diarrhea and lumpy undigested matter. I felt large chunks expelling out of me with the vigor of mothers fighting one another for the last Tickle-Me-Elmo.
The wave seemed never-ending. My dung piled and fell and splattered and dropped, and my family stood outside the door inquiring as to the status of my health. I wailed like a banshee being circumcised -- a symphony of splats, farts, and loud expulsions blanketed by my endless bloody screaming echoing like a finely orchestrated symphony from my bathroom.
Soon I became horrified by the sheer volume of mass that was continuing to leave me. It was not unlike holding one's urination to see the end of the third hour of a movie at the theatre only to later expel high-powered kidney-sauce for over a minute with a look of horror spreading across your gaping maw. Through the door, my mother begged me in a panic to "PLEASE, FLUSH THE TOILET!"
Although I was being nearly lifted from the seat by the sheer force of the rocket ship, I frantically smashed for the lever and released a torrent of water to combat the hose-spray of dung being hurled into it. I felt the cold and lumpy splatter of crap and water hit all over my lower anal region, covering me in acidy, crappy muck. The resulting splash caused some of the matter to escape and drip out of that little space between the toilet seat and the toilet rim, although the mess was still largely in the toilet bowl.
Finally my colon launched its second and final barrage of crap, which was now pure clear liquid that came out with the force of an exploding fire hydrant. I wailed in pain as though my ass had been literally ripped in two by the sheer volume of shit. Again I flushed the toilet, and the torrent finally subsided.
There I sat, with my insides resembling a torn-up battleground and my ass throbbing. When I wiped, it felt as though I was dragging sandpaper across my eyeballs. Blood soaked the toilet paper, which horrified me to no end, as my family has a history of colon cancer. I pulled my pants up while crying like an infant. I then proceeded to the Emergency Room, citing the blood coming out of my anus as the emergency.
Upon quick examination, it was determined that I had seriously damaged the skin around my anus from the ferocity of the shit. The blood was caused by internal hemorrhoids, which had ruptured. I felt just like a million bucks, I tell you.
As I left the druggists office after filling my prescription of Proctomyxin tablets, sentenced to stuff them into my quam twice daily for two weeks, I looked over at the homeopath and wondered how much more damage a bunch of St. John's Wort really would have done.