For three days after my doctor’s second failed attempt to forcibly remove the IUD that had embedded itself in my uterine wall, I stuffed my feelings with food and hardly moved. I knew by the cramps and bleeding that a significant amount of scraping had been inflicted upon my insides. Between that and the sudden realization that my husband’s hopes of a third baby had just shriveled up and died, I felt it appropriate to use those three days the doctor had given me before I could “resume normal activities” to rest and pout like a small child.
In retrospect, it might have been wise to inform my doctor that I was a runner. At the time, “normal” activities for me consisted of running four to five miles most days. So on the fourth day, that is what I decided to do. I also thought it would be reasonable to run in the middle of the afternoon in hundred-degree heat (another thing that was “normal” for me). Though a logical inner voice warned, “Maybe wait ’til later when it’s cooler, dumbass, and perhaps only run one or two miles,” I soldiered on.
The first three miles were fine, if slow. But as I began mile four, I began cramping. I tried to run through the cramps but soon broke out in goose bumps. Something’s not right, I thought, if I have goose bumps in hundred-degree heat. I slowed to a walk and crossed to the shady side of the road. When my cramps subsided, I tried to run again, but after only a half mile I knew I was in deep doo-doo . . . so to speak.
The cramps, which stemmed from my uterine region, had managed to wreak havoc on my entire abdominal cavity, but most especially the part in charge of “evacuation,” as the polite nurses like to call it. If you’ve ever had the I-MUST-GO-NOW-OR-I-WILL-DIE feeling of impending doom, you won’t be surprised that I was weighing the following options:
1.) Pooping in the bushes. People would definitely see me and there would be no hiding what I was doing. But at least it wouldn’t be . . .
2.) Pooping in my pants. Because maybe, just maybe, I could make it home before any leaked down my leg, forever marking me as a social pariah in my idyllic gated community where people keep their flower beds weeded and their sidewalks edged and bleached. (Read: We would have had to move.)
3.) Knocking on one of my neighbor’s doors and explaining that I had recently had a “procedure” done (because then maybe they’d feel sorry for me) and I was having an “emergency” and could I please use their bathroom?
4.) Trying like hell to make it home before any of the first three options became unavoidable.
I went with number four. If you had seen me walking those last few steps to my house, there would have been no question in your mind as to my predicament. No one waddles like that for any other reason besides squeezing their ass-cheeks together in a desperate attempt to prevent an impending eruption.
It was a dangerously close call, but I made it home just in time. That’s right; I miraculously did NOT shit my pants or worse, turn my street into The Brown Mile. But I did learn an important life-lesson: not everyone’s definition of “normal” is the same as mine. The next time I undergo a medical procedure, I’ll give my body a little more recovery time before I “resume normal activities.”