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Friday, August 07, 2020


Okay, kids, it's Serious Illness Story time!!!

One of the many, many fun things that I am discovering on my Stage 3 kidney failure journey is that the condition adversely affects one's bathroom functions...

You can guess where this story is going from that sentence, so feel free to stop here. You have been given fair warning.

For the past few days I have been semi-constipated but thought littler of it, as I had been eating light meals consisting mostly of Special K Red Berries cereal, until last night's Indian curry takeout meat, upon which I gorged shamelessly. I figured the fiber of the cereal and the assorted aspects of Indian cuisine would eventually team-up and open the sluices, so it was only a matter of time. Thus it was that I put it out of my mind.

Fast-forward to an hour ago, when I decided to finally drop off a massive month's worth of laundry at my local laundromat, so, I wrestled my overloaded granny cart down the stairs from my second floor apartment, a task that tested muscles that had lain fallow since the start of the pandemic and the closure of my gym. I wheeled the beast to the laundromat and hefted it out of the cart, which was basically a deadlift exercise with an improvised 60-pound kettlebell. That task also worked my muscles, particularly my core, and I felt the effect. I also wheeled the now-empty cart to the pharmacy and picked up my long-overdue meds. (While there I could not resist chatting up the always super-cute Latina who's been my favorite staffer there for years. She's utterly lovely and a total bombshell — who knows it — so I had to let her know that the jeans she was wearing today were absolutely her best friend. She smiled and simply said, "Hey, as long as I look good in them!")

I then made my way back toward home, but first I had to hit the Associated for a handful of items needed to facilitate tomorrow's kitchen endeavors. Nothing major, just some cooking oil, a couple of disposable aluminum pans, and some containers for fridge storage.

It was during my shopping that I suddenly felt the unmistakable sense of urgency, that signal that screamed "It's almost time for "BOMBS AWAY!!!", so as I paid for my items I debated whether to use the store's restroom or wait until I got home, which was just around the corner, not far at all. Common sense won out, as I could feel the contents of my arse cannon fighting a losing battle to remain within me. (At one point I could swear I felt fudge began to emerge, but, fortunately, I was just being presumptive due to my gastric anguish.) I asked the cashier, who has known me for years, if I could use the restroom. She gave me the green light, so I ran to the back, through the hanging partition and into where the loading into the basement took place, and attempted to enter the lavatory.

It's knob was broken and thus it was quite solidly locked.

I tight-arsed it back to the cashier, in agony, and explained the situation, so I was directed to ask the manager if I could use the can in the basement. I Found him and got approval (he too has known me for the past 23 years), so I flew down the stairs into the active basement, where loading and unloading of stock was going on, and made a beeline to the restroom.

I made it inside with not a moment to spare. In fact, it was so close, I swore I had a torpedo emerging from the firing bay before I had my pants down.

The resulting defecation was of such a tremendous, torturous scale, I felt like I was a priest committing a sacrifice to Sterculius, the Roman god of feces. If such were the case, the deity would be most pleased, as my offering was indeed mighty. A veritable edifice of of stored-up dooky that sat in the secret, underworld space's once-innocent porcelain receptacle in the supermarket that has served me so well in other ways for so many years. So impressive was this effort, that I thought I might have to battle it down the bowl with the nearby plunger as the water overflowed, but I thankfully did not have to endure such an indignity and the newly-minted temple of excremental wonder was accepted into Sterculius's hall of fecal fame with eagerness.

After an effort that was a profane parody of childbirth, I sat on the bowl in a genuine state of physical exhaustion. Is this what I can expect from Stage 3 kidney failure? If so, I need to be more aware and time such happenings with care. I was so drained (literally), I almost fell off of the seat.

I finally collected myself and felt much better, only to find that the only available toilet paper was two rolls, both of which had reached nearly their ass-end. I had the absolute bare minimum  of paper with which to finish the ceremony, but at least I had just enough.

Upon making my way back above ground and out of the rear of the store, I earnestly thanked the manager and the cashier and made my way home. where I collapsed for a while and reflected. The ride is for free, but is it worth it?

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