Yep. You read that correctly. This is possibly the most embarrassing post I will ever write. Some might even accuse me of over-sharing. But it’s too good an anecdote to keep to myself and sharing is caring right? So, for your delectation and delight here is the true story of the day I shat all over myself…
When our daughter was 2 months old and just a very tiny dot, we noticed a hernia in her groin about the size of a golf ball. Our GP at the time explained that it would need operating on and we had a date through for early December. However, one week before that date she became poorly, projectile vomiting, very high temperature and crying as though in pain. We were worried. It was Sunday so we visited our local walk in centre and the doctor there said we would need to get her to hospital as he suspected that her hernia may be strangulated.
The nearest hospital that could accommodate us was 62 miles away in Lewisham. Our local hospitals had no beds for us and the Dr did not want us to wait around.
As you can imagine, my anxiety levels at this point were off. the. scale.
But this story isn’t really about my daughter’s hernia operation which by the way, went well and it all turned out ok.
No, this post turns sour for a very different reason.
My husband and I stayed with my daughter that night at the hospital, the hernia wasn’t strangulated but the plan was for our daughter to have the operation as soon as a slot became free, but nobody could say when this would be, so we just had to wait.
The next day we waited all day, our daughter had stopped vomiting but was pale and sad looking and not at all well. My husband and I were both feeling rough but at some point during the early evening I started to feel very sick. The kind of sick that comes on quite suddenly. There was no build up, no warning, just bam! I was going to puke. I had about 15 seconds to get to a toilet. Now if we slow mo this part, I can remember thinking, in those 15 seconds, that this sickness must be ‘because I’m so stressed’, ‘It’s the anxiety, i’m literally worried sick’. ‘I’ll be ok’, I thought as I slid the heavy toilet door closed. ‘I just need to…’
As I lifted the bog lid my mouth sprang open without my permission and all of the muscles in my exhausted, stressed and sleep deprived body, involuntarily went in to spasm and a torrent of vomit violently shot out of my face.
And in a beautifully synchronised (and totally unexpected) display of filth, a river of shit simultaneously and equally violently, shot out of my arse and filled up my skinny jeans. (My favourite pre-preggo ones which I had just ‘got back in to’)
Several after shocks followed the initial tsunami and as I continued to wretch and spew, so the disgrace continued deep in to my trouser legs.
My toilet performance finally came to an end after a grand finale and it was then that the full horror of what I had just experienced dawned on me. This was epic. I stood, blinking and quivering in the fluorescent light, staring down at the carnage. There was sick in my hair and shit in my socks yet I still wracked my brains as to how I could style this one out.
There would be no styling this one out.
I decided that I needed to somehow clean myself up a bit, so I began, with shaky hands to unbutton and peel off my jeans. If you can imagine trying to unwrap a Topic bar that has been left out in the sun then you might come close to appreciating the messiness of the job in hand (all over my hands in fact).
Skinny Jeans don’t lend themselves to being ‘whipped off’ easily and as I hopped around on one foot whilst trying to get the other trouser leg over my heel, poo was literally being trodden, spread, wiped and smeared all over the cubicle like a dirty protest. The eye watering stench was a putrid mix of sour fruit and liquorice which I had no doubt could be detected from outside the toilet door.
Realising that no part of my clothing had escaped the blast of bodily fluids, I decided to take everything off in order to begin the clean up operation.
By now I was naked and whimpering, still feeling deathly poorly with a raging headache, the shakes and a fever. I begin to wipe down the floor, the walls, the toilet and my body with hospital grade toilet paper.
My clothes were piled in the corner covered in the devils own work and I was clean-ish but nude. My husband was with our daughter on the ward and I was in a toilet cubicle in a hospital corridor wondering what the hell had just happened and what the hell I was going to do.
Should I make a mad dash for it and hope nobody notices? Or do I boldly slide back the toilet door and saunter confidently down the corridor like a catwalk model? Or do I just hang myself on the emergency cord above the toilet so I never have to face the humiliation and embarrassment? Number 3 was looking most likely until I finally gathered my wits and decided to just pull the emergency cord. What was this if not a major fucking emergency?
15 minutes later a kindly nurse tapped on the door (apparently poorly babies take priority over grown ups who’ve crapped themselves). I slid back the door just enough so that only one eye and my nose was visible to her, the rest of my body cowered behind the door like Mrs Overall without her overall.
‘I’m in a bit of bother’ I mumbled.
Thankfully, the utterly obnoxious tang hit her full force in the face and she required no further explanation, which saved me the indignity of having to say the words out loud.
‘Oh dear’ she said. She was doing her best to be professional but I saw her nose recoil from the stink. ‘Hang on, I’ll get you a gown’.
A short while later my husband tapped on the door.
‘Lou, it’s me. Are you ok?’
I’ve been ill..
Can you get me a carrier bag?’
‘Er..ok, I’ll try.’
The nurse returned with a hospital gown for me to wear. And shortly after that my husband returned with a carrier bag.
I put the abominable clothes in to the carrier bag and tied it up as tight as my weak little muscles would allow and I put on the gown.
Now, anyone who has ever worn a hospital gown will know that they fasten at the back with a little tie around the neck and another just between the shoulder blades and that’s it. The remainder of the gown gapes open and one’s arse is left open to the elements.
This is a strong look for anyone, let alone someone in my state. Considering what had just happened, my backside wasn’t really the part of my body I wanted on display. However, turning the gown round was unthinkable and I really had no other choice.
So I finally emerged, carrier bag of clothes in one hand and the other hand clutching the back of the gown across my bum cheeks in a feeble attempt to retain what was left of my dignity.
Back on the ward the nurse informed us that I would no longer be allowed to stay with our daughter as I could spread whatever I had to the other poorly babies.
I was absolutely gutted. My tiny baby was going to have an operation and I wouldn’t be able to be there for her. We phoned my father in law and he came to pick me up (in his brand new car with cream leather seats!! – That was a tense journey for both of us) and my husband stayed with our daughter. He was surviving on curly sandwiches and zero sleep. I was being carted away in a backless tabard. Dark times.
As I took the walk of shame away from my husband and our baby, through the hospital corridor, I glanced back just in time to see the kindly nurse sealing up the toilet door with a giant X of yellow tape, on the tape were the words CAUTION DO NOT ENTER.