Yesterday, Bry wrote about breaking a girly-code. That code being: Never Discuss Bodily Functions. Well, if she broke the code, one of my customers shattered it on the phone today.
"Good afternoon, this is Laurie, can I help you?" I chirped into the receiver, unaware of what was about to come my way.
"Hi Laurie, this is Donna. How are you?"
I searched my memory banks for who, exactly, Donna was, but continued the conversation. "Hi, Donna. I'm well, thank you. How are you?"
"Oh, not so good," she groaned. "I just got out of the hospital."
I had managed to picture her face by the time I asked, "Oh no, why?"
"I was so dehydrated they had no choice but to admit me." She didn't tell me why, and I didn't feel it was my place to ask.
"Oh my God."
"Yeah...I had all this diarrhea..." She trailed off.
Oh, my, I thought. Does she really want to be telling me this? In an effort to not talk about her feces, I asked the standard follow-up to anyone's admission that they were in the hospital: "How long were you in?"
"Well, I had to stay in until the diarrhea calmed down. I'm telling you, it was horrible. The nurses kept saying 'Donna, I just don't know where all this is coming from.'"
"Really?" What else does one say when someone is filling you in on their intestinal issues?
"Yeah. I tell you, Laurie, it was awful. I was going fifteen, sixteen times a day."
"Yeah, it was bad. They tried everything to stop it: They tried Amodium, they tried pills, IVs, everything. When nothing worked, I asked my doctor what they were going to try next. He said 'A cork.'" She exploded in laughter. "A cork! Can you believe it?! So I said, 'Well you better hurry up and find one, because I don't know if you'll be able to get one strong enough to stop all of this diarrhea!'"
"So the nurse says that they should try codeine, and I say 'Codeine? What will that do? I mean, sure I'm in pain from all of this diarrhea, but I don't need codeine for it.' And she says, 'Oh, not for pain, Donna. Codeine backs you up. It turns your bowels into a cement mixer! Usually we have to give patients laxatives with codeine, but I think in your case you won't need the laxative.' And I said to her, 'You're darn right I won't need a laxative! With all this diarrhea, I'll be lucky if it just turns all of it solid!'"
She laughed again, and I squirmed uncomfortably in my seat. Does she have to say "diarrhea" so much?
"Well, I'm glad to hear you're better now..." I offered, hoping to switch the conversation to a more pleasant topic.
"Oh yeah, they finally tried the codeine and - Thank God - it worked. I haven't had diarrhea since 3:00 yesterday. I mean, I couldn't leave the house - I couldn't leave the bathroom, even - with all of the diarrhea. So the fact that I haven't gone since three yesterday is wonderful."
"Yeah," I said, a pained expression on my face. Is this why she called, I thought, to talk about her digestive tract problems?
"Now they're just worried that I'm going to go the other way...You know, constipation. But I told them: 'I'm not worried about that! I've had enough diarrhea to last me a lifetime. If I don't go to the bathroom for a few days, it will be a blessing.'"
"I bet," I said, unsure of what else there was to say.
"Yeah, so I'm just glad that my little encounter with the worst diarrhea in the world is over. Anyway...What are your CD rates up to now?" As though we had just spent the last five minutes talking about the weather.
"Well, we have a six month special right now..." I said, trying to get my mind off of her explosive diarrhea.
Unhappy with the rates I gave her, she informed me that she'd be opening up her CD down the street. "But thanks so much for your help. And keep your fingers crossed that my diarrhea doesn't come back!"
"I will," I said.
And I meant it.