Digestion, Gut Health, and Me: Undergrad (Part II)

In undergrad, my friend, Los and I spent many a day (and night) drinking all manner of liquors. We were in undergrad, so it was allowed, excused, and even possibly expected. Drinking was our pastime.

One night, he invited me to happy hour at Waldo’s. We walked to the campus bar, excited to eat twenty-five cent wings and two-dollar well drinks. We sat there for at least an hour talking and devouring food as if we’d never eat again.

On our walk back to the dorms, I had the sudden urge to poop. Luckily, we’d walked through the Student Union.

“I’ll be right back,” I told Los, while concealing how serious the situation was.

“You can’t wait til we get back?” he asked.

“No!” I almost shouted.

When I got to the stall, feces exploded everywhere—my underwear, pants, toilet seat. I was mortified. How was I going to clean all this up? How was I going to get home?

I guess the Fates were on my side. When I peeked out the bathroom door, I didn’t see Los or anyone else, so I found the nearest exit and bolted back to my room.

At the time, I thought it was an odd incident. But that’s all it was…an oddity. I chalked it up to Waldo’s cheap wings and jungle juice. Nothing like that had happened before, and nothing like that happened again…until my thirties.

I’ll spare the details, primarily because they’re repetitive and gross. The same exact thing happened a few more times, minus the wings and rum. There was even a time when I didn’t make it to the bathroom. That was a long ride home.

I know what you’re thinking. By the time I was over thirty, certainly I must have known that not being able to hold my bowels was not normal. Yes. Yes, I did. But I didn’t seek treatment because these occurrences didn’t happen frequently enough for me to personally deem them an issue. Over the course of ten years, I’d say this happened five times.

I also never sought a doctor’s opinion because shortly after I finished my doctoral program, everything stopped. I want to say, “like magic,” but I know that’s not the truth. It was probably akin to my senior-year tummy—stress. Once my stress levels significantly decreased, then loose, uncontrollable bowels disappeared.

And so, I continued living life as if everything was all good.

Digestion: First Day of Senior Year (Part I)

Digestion: Adulthood (Part III)

Digestion: Healing (Part IV)


39 thoughts on “Digestion, Gut Health, and Me: Undergrad (Part II)

  1. So, I was in 3rd grade, summer school. The teacher had us up there singing Ray Charles “Hit the Road Jack” for some strange reason, which was funny because I really did need to “hit the road.” I don’t know why, but I waited until the last minute to say I had to boo-boo. 😬 Long gross story short, my twin and brother had to sneak me out of the school, through that loong walk in front of Beethoven Elementary on 47th Street, to our building, and then eight flights of stairs to our apartment cause people were standing by the elevator. Lol 💩🤣

    Liked by 1 person

    1. First of all, CPS had some wild curriculum. I remember learning all the words to “La Bamba” in Spanish…in Spanish class. I wish we would’ve actually learned how to read and write in Spanish well enough for me to hold a conversation, but I digress lol

      This story is craaaazy! I can’t imagine this happening in the third grade. Talk about traumatized. At least you had back up and a bit of security on your side lol

      Liked by 1 person

  2. That’s a bad story, Katherin. I mean, bad as in a terrible thing to have happen. But look how many people have already read this and proverbially nodded in recognition. You’re gradually unfolding and shedding light on something that torments millions of people but is too embarrassing to talk about, good on you. I mean, it’s just bodily functions, after all (and I say this as your tale is still unfolding, a story which many can identify with but which is complex across the spectrum….so don’t want you to think I’ve already guessed the conclusion, or something)

    Did WMU have a bowling alley in its student union?

    Liked by 2 people

    1. EXACTLY, Jason! It’s just bodily functions. I wish I could singlehandedly undo all of this shame we’ve put on everything.

      I am happy to see that people understand what I’m saying, though.

      Thanks for reading this, too. I appreciate it.


  3. Wow, your honesty Katherin is unbelievable. I have gone through these things, too. Once again – our parallels are uncanny. Unfortunately, knowing that stress upsets my stomach isn’t something that I can easily adjust, even with that awareness.
    It wasn’t even long ago when I had a performance and soiled my pants 5 minutes before show time.
    But our stomach is a barometer for us and definitely something to pay attention to. I appreciate your writing this series very much.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks, Judy! I decided about ten years ago that I was tired of hiding all of the things. I mean, we’re all just human beings, and I think somewhere along the way, we made all these cultural rules about what should/shouldn’t be discussed, while creating a sort of silent suffering situation.

      Sharing my writing taught me that at least one person is going to say, “me, too” if I’m authentic. And that makes everything feel much better for me and the other person, I think.

      With that said, EEK! Five minutes before a show sounds awful! The stress thing is MOSTLY controllable for me. The older I get, the more I realize just how much I’ve lived with anxiety my whole life…I just didn’t know it 😦

      Does the meditation music you create help?

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Yes, Katherin, I agree. The older I get, I see clearly how stress impacted my stomach throughout my life. Occasionally I get flareups (that’s when I had my problem before performing.) Thankfully, it’s become more and more rare.
        What helps me personally is knowing that I am doing the things I enjoy. I love working on my meditation music, and my artwork. I have let go of pressure to make money doing those things. I’m thankful I can manage okay, which is a blessing.
        I agree that being authentic is what it’s all about!

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Your comment made me laugh. So, no that doesn’t happen anymore. It hasn’t happened in a long time. And it’s not so much nervousness as it was stress. But stress does still affect my belly quite a bit, just not with the poop everywhere lol


      1. Yeah! Stress does affect lot of people because most people when they are stressed or nervous they can’t think straight so just imagine if that happens every time you go to work or meeting new people but I think you just learn to live with that and find a way around…

        Liked by 1 person

  4. I was thinking to myself as I was reading, “This has got to be brought on my stress.”

    “Once my stress levels significantly decreased, then loose, uncontrollable bowels disappeared.

    And so, I continued living life as if everything was all good.”

    I see you. I hear you. *Pats my tummy in respect*

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Been there. It’s awful! Most doctors don’t know how to treat this problem. After 10 years of suffering, I finally got 2 diagnoses and treatment, and I am doing so much better, although I have to stay on a restricted diet.

    Liked by 1 person

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