Singing that annoying Rihanna song is definitely more fun than actually working, especially when you chronic illnesses. I never wanted anyone to know about my problems because I didn’t want to be viewed differently or for people to pity me. I wanted to pretend that I was a “normal” person, but what is “normal”anyway? No one is normal and I realized that everyone struggles with their own issues and mine just happens to be shitting too much. I’ve been working since I was 16 years old, starting in little restaurant that only had one bathroom! I remember having some “shit attacks” there, but nothing that hindered my working ability. These days I would never be able to work somewhere that only had one restroom, let alone go anywhere! After three years there, I moved on to a senior citizen home, where I was a receptionist. I couldn’t leave the desk without the portable phone, even to go to the bathroom! I would talk to myself like “Amanda you better hurry your shit up…literally!” Answering the phone while going poop is awkward ,but I had to do what I had to do! I remember one time having to put the owner on hold while I finished my business! Almost three years there, I went to my most current job. About four months after starting, I was having a lot of Endo pain, and that’s when my OB/GYN suggest the first surgery. I got set up in FMLA (Family Medical Leave Act) which protected my job and allowed me intermittent leave if needed each month, due to the pain. I was also set up with Short Term Disability during surgery so I would receive financial compensation while missing work. Doing all of this made me feel horrible. I did not want to be on FMLA or Disability. I did not want to be a difficult employee. I did not want to be a statistic. The next year, the whole process repeated as I had my second surgery. I remember bringing a heating pad to work many times hunched over in pain. I remember having Midol thrown on my desk in front of me, as if they thought I was overreacting! And I remember being referred to as a hypochondriac at one point also.
My IBS symptoms started to increase drastically at the beginning on this year. My anxiety was sky rocketing each day, and I couldn’t control it. I worked about a mile from my house, and 2-3 days out of 5 I would have to stop at Albertsons halfway there to poop. The employees grew to know me, and would wave good morning as I waddled with my buttcheeks clenched to the restroom! When I would get to work, I would have to go again and then probably two more times after that until my stomach settled down. Mornings are hell. As some of my co workers started to really understand my problem, they became my go-tos and my support system. Even if they were annoyed at me, they had a good way of hiding their feelings! I often times felt like I was being difficult, annoying and over dramatic. I started to have extreme anxiety while helping patients at my desk. I would often send SOS messages to my co workers telling them I might have to run to the bathroom and ask if they you could take over helping my patient! I was worrying about every aspect of work. I didn’t even want to eat lunch because of the fear of an “attack.” I was missing a lot of work at this point point, arriving late and leaving early. There is not one day I did not have a stomach ache. I decided I needed to take a leave of absence. I took two months off and went to therapy each week, tried a IBS friendly diet, tried different medication and nothing helped. I went back to work and started looking into a position with more flexibility for doctor appointments and no patient interaction. I finally landed a position that provided me just that! The only downfall was that it was at a different office which was further away. I was so nervous for this change. Surpisingly, the first two weeks felt amazing! I didnt have any attacks at all! However, it was too good to be true. The third week, I started to have attacks. I had to stop at Safeway and Walmart many mornings. By the fourth week, I had shit myself in my car three times on the way to work. THREE TIMES! I decided to ask my employer if I could go part time at 30 hours a week. Unfortunately, they could only offer 20 or 40 hours a week, and lets be honest, who can survive on 20 hours a week?! I couldn’t accept that offer, but I knew I couldnt keep working like I was. My doctor wouldn’t sign me off on disability again, and I was out of options! I didnt want to be a nuscence and I knew that I already had annoyed a former supervisor, so I resigned from my job and decided to make a move to Arizona with my mom in search of health and happiness.
Yesterday was a whirlwind of a day. I knew I was going on an airplane, so I couldn’t eat all day. I finished packing and I somehow misplaced my super magic stomach pills and anxiety medicine. I was freaking out. I had taken Imodium on the Friday before to go to a concert, so everything decided to come out yesterday! I went and got a travel size Poo-Pourri spray, which I carry everywhere! I’m totally obsessed with it, and I recommend it to anyone who poops in public! Anyway, thank God I know the employees at the airport because of my mom (she use to work at PDX). They know my issues and always hook me up with an aisle seat in the back close to the shitter, but yesterday there happened to be a first class aisle seat so I said “sure, why not!” When I got on a plane, I noticed a young man was in my seat. I didnt want to be petty, so I just sat in the window seat next to him. The entire time I was freaking out! I didn’t drink or eat anything, what a waste of first class huh?! Anyone who really knows me, knows how big of a deal it is NOT to sit in an aisle! So I’m pretty proud of myself! By the time I landed , I was at 10 hours of no food and I was starving! Finally got to moms house, ate and my anxiety slipped away. The most important thing is that I didn’t shit myself AND had amazing window views!
So, here I am in Arizona waiting to go to this detox healing center in California later this month, where I pray and hope for a miracle! I’ll update as the days go on, and thanks for reading as always!
Ps. Get some Poo-Pourri!!!