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©May 1997

Carol Jane Remsburg

 

AT WAR WITH ONESELF

 

 

 

 

Here I sit, and gingerly too, reflecting upon one of lifeís more humbling experiences.Iíve just returned from the battleground war weary.Oh come on, weíve all encountered it at one time or another.Yes, itís the diarrhea episodes in our lives.The funny thing is, those memories are always lurking about.Itís one of two ways that our bodies purge themselves.Even blowing grits, will likely gain more sympathy than admitting to the dreaded ďDĒ.

 

When it happens to someone else, it is considered the height of bad taste to find it comical.Yet, many of us cover with that uncomfortable sort of laughter because it does bring back a myriad of close calls or, shamefully, not so close calls.It is our earliest training coming back to haunt us.

 

These brief illnesses can be caused by simply eating the wrong/bad food, or by a virus.The onset is a slow build up of discomfort, the enemy gaining a foothold, that wasnít received as the message it should be until retrieved upon later reflection.The lowly sergeant was later shot.There is a sudden and severe cramp.The body stiffens hoping to make the pain recede as sweat, the foot soldiers, pops from every pore.The missive has not only been received, but it has been processed and about to be acted on.

 

Any thoughts about a quiet retreat to the privacy of a personal bathroom have now fled.The closest repository, any one, will do.All one has to do is get thereófast.Facial muscles tighten transforming into the universal grimace of pain.The normal self-confident stride becomes a stiff, swift, awkward gait.General Brain delivers only one command to the body.It screams, ďHang On.ĒAny former ideas, or skirmishes that the brain may have been engaged with such as an important business meeting, finances, or family matters.Momentous or mundane, those thoughts packed their little bags and hopped a flight to Maui or somewhere far, far away for R&R.

 

When this happens while at home, things arenít too terrible, unless of course, one lives in a one bathroom home and someone else is already in residence.Or, perhaps, there are some plumbing problems.Either situation can be dealt with.In the first scenario, simply and quickly, evict who ever is in the bathroom.Donít worry, they will make way.As for the second, donít worry about it now, thatís what ďlaterĒ is for.

 

Now if the attack catches one away from home, things really get hairy.General Brain is mustering all remaining forces to move the body into the target zone with all due speed.Meanwhile, Second Lieutenant Protocol begins to howl that proper procedures must be followed.A mad shambling dash simply isnít to be tolerated.Friendly fire ensues.Second Lieutenant Protocol was obliterated in a blink, there will be no services for that poor fellow.The mad shambling dash indeed follows as other heads turn to gape.Face them later with the explanation of a terminal disease, thatís the only way to garner any sympathy.

 

If itís only a ďstallĒ type lavatory, then follow the grin and bear it routine.No doors that provide more than a modicum of privacy, certainly the acoustics wonít be any help.However, none of that is vital.Expelling the enemy is.The battle begins as most do with pain, frightening noises, cries, curses, and plenty of noxious fumes.

 

The first engagement over, all the troops are spent.General Brain orders that all resources regroup for a better strategical location to defeat the enemy.An immediate retreat is called and the rush to home base follows.Use any dire excuse possible to exit and flee.A death in the immediate family usually will work, admitting to diarrhea will destroy self-respect and the respect of others.Simply not the military way.

 

Once safely inside the bunker, the siege begins.If possible, remove all other potential victims from the area, preferably for several days until the war is over.If that is impossible, they may have engagements and fall victims of friendly fire themselves.War is hell.

 

 

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