An Embarrassing Coincidence

Lately, I’ve been writing a lot about gas and how painful it can be for a person with IBS, especially severe IBS. And since I’ve been writing and thinking a lot about gas lately, I started to reminisce about a funny experience that happened to me recently. Now before I go into the story, I want to set up the scenario in a sort of subjective way. As a child, have you ever been in a silent classroom with your friends and out of nowhere you hear someone fart? Suddenly, the class erupts with laughter and one of the students (could have been you) gets falsely accused of the flatulent act and turns bright red with embarrassment?  “IT WASN’T ME, I SWEAR!”, they exclaim. Better yet, have you ever been in a work-meeting and all of a sudden you get a whiff of the nastiest sewer smell ever? You clearly know someone just let some monstrous air escape from their anus to wreak havoc on the noses of their innocent co-workers. Not cool, dude. And you know what’s worse about that situation? Your co-workers are all staring at you smirking while shaking their heads. Definitely, not cool. Now you understand the context and I can begin my story.

An atrocious smell

I attended a conference a few months ago, and boy did I have a humbling experience getting to know other people with different illnesses on a personal level. Nonetheless, on the last day a situation happened where I was in a room filled with at least over sixty people and someone clearly let one loose. As it was happening, I was talking amongst a group of people who knew I have IBS, and literally, at that moment, had mentioned how bad my stomach felt right before an atrocious smell hit our noses. Let me tell you, the timing was so impeccable that everyone had to have noticed. Oh man, did they think that was me? I thought while trying to remain engaged in conversation. That was such an embarrassing but funny coincidence. I’m literally laughing hysterically as I write this because it’s one of those situations you just have to laugh at and keep for the books (this being the page of that said book).

It’s kind of hard to convince people that random disgusting smell in the air was not you, especially when you just finished saying how bad your stomach hurts. Who knows, maybe I was the only one in my group who noticed the smell. Or maybe my paranoia made me feel like my group thought it was me. Either way, my insecurity quickly and falsely blamed me for the smell, mainly because of the pain I had just broadcasted to the world, and therefore I just assumed other people thought it was me also. (I literally cannot stop chuckling as I reminisce.)

I’m honestly and obviously writing about this for a couple of reasons. 1.) Because I know many people with or without IBS can relate to my experience – where one gets falsely accused for letting out gas. And 2.) I’m hoping those people that were there will read this one day and know that smelly situation was not me. Is this petty of me to care that much? Maybe. Is it still a funny story to tell? Definitely.

Making light of the situation

There’s no running away from a deadly fart. When it is ready to come out, best believe it will come out, and with no mercy. That bean burrito you probably ate last night doesn’t help with the smell either. Nonetheless, I have IBS, so I know how painful a gas bubble can feel and the sudden urge can make you feel like you’re about to poop your pants. However, I also know when and where it is appropriate to release gas and a room full of people is definitely not the place.

Regardless, I am sympathetic and empathetic towards the person who could not hold it in for he/she probably has issues with incontinence. I’d never make fun of the person who let out the gas though, especially if it couldn’t have been helped due to their condition. However, I can still laugh and make light of a situation that happened to me just so I can stay positive about life.

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