So, I had emergency surgery this last weekend, and I’ve come away from it with a very important insight I wanted to share with everyone.
Based on my current experience, I’m gonna be really honest and tell you something that possibly no one told you, which you should apply to your own life and also teach your kids:
Don’t be ashamed of pooping.
Honestly. We all do it, it’s just waste product, maybe a little smelly. But it’s nothing to be ashamed of.
I think a lot of us are in danger of developing shitty habits (pun intended) and they can cause us problems later in life, because there’s this overrriding cloud of shame and “ew, don’t talk about THAT” about pooping.
Heck, stereotypically, a lot of us dudes have terrible cleanliness habits because, well, it’s awkward to talk about so they never really learned any better. We’re just expected to figure it out ourselves.
And, of course, the media is all over us with jokes and routines and BS about how it’s funny and embarrassing and gross and all that has a silencing effect.
So here’s some guidance, based on my own experience:
Whenever possible, defecate naturally. Don’t strain.
Don’t hold it for ridiculously long periods. When you need to go, find an opportunity and go.
Don’t be a dick about other people’s butts either. We all fart and we all poop. Don’t shame anyone (including yourself) for being human.
AND DON’T STRAIN.
Straining, for point of reference, is how you develop hemorrhoids that complicate into perirectal abscesses, which is why I’m recovering after a stay in the goddamn hospital with a gauze-stuffed hole in my butt. (Go read about it if you want. It’s WILD.)
Yeah I’ll be fine, but it was a LOT of pain and discomfort that led me here. Oh, and during recovery we have to change my gauze plug periodically, and that is HORRIFIC. So.
TAKE THE BENEFIT OF MY EXPERIENCE.
As a kid, I was an anxious eliminator—a shy passer of the log, if you will.
I didn’t want to do it in public restrooms—I would only go in my home toilet, no matter how long I had to hold it or how hard I had to strain to get it out. I never talked about it with anyone because, well, movies told me it was gross and shameful, and I was embarrassed.
Over the years, I developed intestinal problems, irritable bowel syndrome, a requirement to read and eventually watch Youtube videos while on the John in order to actually go, and going number 2 became even more fraught until, well, I strained myself into the hospital.
Right now, I’d rather I was a little embarrassed than having to fix it with surgery.
(You wanna talk about embarrassing? Try learning to poop correctly after 37 years of developing bad habits. Oh, and having other people stick gauze up the extra hole in your butt. Which, did I mention, is also VERY painful.)
Don’t be a grumpy, gurgling doofus like me. Relax. Take it easy.
It’s ok to poop, and it’s best to poop naturally and without effort.
- Eat lots of fiber: the primary tool to fix your stool, including vegetables, oatmeal, etc.
- Hydrate: good for your health and good for your cycle of waste management.
- Talk with your family and doctor: don’t let this fester. Have an open, honest, awkward conversation now, and it’ll lead to much less suffering over the long term.
Good luck, and remember: Eliminate excellently, my friends.