Just now in the office, while I took off my in-room slippers and crossed my legs on my cushion twistable chair comfortably, I smelled “something” shitty. Let me fast backward, today since morning, it had been rainy. Maybe, the low temperature of my air-conditioned room. Maybe, I forgot my sweater (My colleague, Sun then sent me a warm sweater). Maybe, I drank too much water in the morning. I made countless trips to the restroom to get myself comfortable after diarrhea and also peeing.
I am aware that I have this minor problem of body odour all this while. I say that it is “minor” as so far there has been only one or twice when people voiced the problem out indirectly. Maybe, Malaysia is a more collectivist country so I am blessed indeed for the fact that people have been very considerate and respectful in terms of this.
Sometimes, I get close to people’s pet. Either dogs or cats, the home buddies always love to snuggle up to the source of that shitty smell. If the pet master looks at me eye-to-eye, seemingly unintentionally provoking my embarrassed feeling, I usually just flash a quick smile as if this is the home buddy’s normal behaviour in greeting its master’s friend.
I did try perfume but it was left unfinished at a corner when I started to feel “uneasy” with the new, unfamiliar fragrance. The self-conscious feeling of carrying the fragrance everywhere I go to meet people just made me feel like not being me. So, I said bye-bye to perfume.
I remember during the first trimester when I was the tutor for Introduction to Linguistics, I accidentally leaked my “gas” in front of my students. It was kind of loud and they were burst into laughter. The game of accusing each other to be the “owner” then started in a playful manner. Nobody “pleaded guilty.” But, it was a good warm-up for the lesson.
Another time, while counting down to the New Year, I was watching movie with my buddies using a mini-laptop. Three of us crammed together in front of the laptop. Due to a lot of home-cooked food and drink prior to the New Year celebration, I couldn’t control the gas from leaking again. Two of them just acted deaf to kill my embarrassment.
There are certainly other many occasions similar to these. Sometimes when I purposely leak my gas, it can be deafeningly loud and persistent for a few seconds. Most of the time, my main concern about IBS is not the pain but access to a clean, sanitary, vacant restroom. It is better if vacant as most restrooms have only shields as compartments and my shitty smell easily spreads “arrogantly” to the whole air space. There were countless times when I purposely stayed in my unit till I heard that all footsteps had left before coming out. I just do not want to be caught red-handed for the smell emitter. (Shhhh….Keep this a secret.) The good news is that my office restroom is just at the end of the corridor. My neighbors never bother to complain about the noise that I make while keep locking and unlocking my office door.
I remember that during my internship, I became very nervous when my supervisor mentioned about our toilet roll that finished its supply really soon once replaced. Years later, I kicked off the habit of using toilet paper and just use water and bath/hand soap. It is more environmentally friendly too.
Once in a long while, I would have rashes due to damp panties. And, I would just go about my days without any panties. If IBS attacks coincidentally during my menses, I will experience tearing pain due to broken skin resulting from continuous flow of fluid.
This post is just meant to raise awareness about irritable bowel syndrome. Talking about shitty smell and fragrance, I have my story about flowers. 12 May was Mother’s Day and also my birthday. I received a flower bouquet from a delivery lady once I got back to the office on 14 May. The florist must be very artistic as seen from the choices of flower colours, types and number. Mysteriously, the flower card has no name on it.
So, who are you? My student? My blog fan? My secret admirer? No matter who you are, I will only accept the bouquet whole-heartedly and happily if I really need this love expression of yours. If not, I will return the flower bouquet instantly. Sorry to say… for now, I am officially unavailable! 😀