"Hmmmn", thought i, "Maybe she's got a point. Maybe i'm just fixating too much on the days when i don't go. Maybe i just need to chillax and get on with life."
Somehow it didn't seem tenable though but i couldn't pinpoint why. I knew also that my mum wasn't being unhearing when she challenged me: she's read my book on shy bowel and it saddened her to hear what i've been through with it.
A few days later - on the kazi as it happened - i was reading a book called "the second brain" (by michael gershon - highly recommended reading) about the gut brain. He was talking about functional bowel disorders (functional is a misnomer if you ask me.) Anyway, he's talking about irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), and talking about the criteria that have been established to diagnose it. One of the main criteria is this: "relief of pain after defecation". "Bingo!" thought I, this explains it (for i have IBS "This is why shy bowel syndrome can be such a pain in the gut let alone the ass."
Essentially, if you've got IBS AND shy bowel, then you have the following nasty scenario:
you have one condition where you get gut pain that is relieved by defecation... and another syndrome where you find it impossible to defecate under some/many circumstances (including other people being nearby and time pressure for starters). Result? You spend large chunks of time feeling crabby and out of sorts because of this unholy alliance of conditions. Worst part is nobody knows why IBS occurs. To quote Gershon in his book, "IBS is a riddle wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma."
One person describing the feeling of needing a crap and not being able to go described it as "that tummy yuk feeling". And it reminds me of some years back when i worked as a care assistant in a nursing home for the elderly. One of the nurses confided to me in a jocular way that you could tell which of the residents was going to be crabby and out of sorts on a day you worked by checking their bowel movement chart (BM chart). According to her, if a client hadn't had a BM in the morning, odds were they would be moody all day long. This, she said, was especially true in the case of the male residents.
Any of this ring true for other shy bowel sufferers?