I Was At Work For Half An Hour…

It’s Monday. I got out out of bed at 5 am., maybe, around that time, and started the coffee pot. I have changed my eating habits, since, well…


I have been enduring a bout of unexplained diarrhea, which had lasted a little over a month, and was me making crazy and a little depressed. It came out of nowhere and nothing could stop it, not Imodium, not Kaopectate, not the BRAT die (bananas, rice, apple sauce, toast), nothing. It was affecting my work performance, too. I was coming to work late, two, sometimes three times in one week because I got an urgent case of the runs just as I should be leaving for work. And, this was happening all the time.

The first time this happened was in 2001, maybe a month and a half before 9/11. But, it was much worse then. There were piercing stomachs pains so bad I could sometimes barely walk to the bathroom, or home, or to work. And, everything upset my stomach then. If I drank a glass of water, I had diarrhea ten minutes later. If I walked too much I had diarrhea. I live a ten-minute walk to my job, and I would have to time going to work, precisely. Thirty minutes before I was due at work, I would drink a glass of water. I would have diarrhea ten minutes later. As soon as I was off the toilet, I would walk to work: not too fast, because that would irritate my bowels and well, I had a few accidents before I even made it to work; not to slowly or I wouldn’t get there in ten minutes, and I would have an accident, anyway. I would get to work in ten minutes or a little less and head straight for the bathroom closest to the front door. If I timed it right, I would have almost a minute to ne firmly seated on the toilet before the diarrhea started again.

That went on for two years. I was diagnosed with maybe having IBS, which was maybe caused by stress. or being activated by it. I was taking seven Imodium at a time, three and four times a day, trying to control it.

And, then it just stopped.

This is taking longer than I intended, so…

The diarrhea started up again, two months ago, or a little bit more, out of nowhere, without any stomach pain, but with similar characteristics: I had diarrhea after I ate or drank anything, but it took twenty to thirty minutes instead of ten. And I kept forgetting and eating breakfast then finding myself headed for the toilet instead of running for the bus. If I ate a piece of toast, and especially if I drank coffee.

Note: coffee may overstimulate your digestive system, which in some people, leads to diarrhea, in case you were wondering why that happens.

So, I changed my eating habit or schedule and took my breakfast and coffee to work, so I would be on time.

Then, I stopped eating milk products (in my case, yogurt and cheese), to see if lactose intolerance was responsible, and…the diarrhea stopped, over a period of ten or eleven days.

And, I had my life back.

End of Storytime.

So, I ate breakfast this morning, had two cups of coffee in this glass coffee mug I had searched for all over the internet before finding one at the dollar store. I left my apartment and caught the bus two minutes later. I got off the bus five blocks later, just as my next bus was arriving, and I was at work five minutes later, barely ten minutes after I left home.

I was on autopilot. that’s what I am trying to say. I was on Monday Morning Autopilot.

I tried to clock in at 7:25 am. The time clock wasn’t working. I went up one floor to fill my water bottle, went to mailroom, and said hi to Craig, the assistant manager, and checked to see if any packages had arrived over the weekend. Then I went back to the time clock. No, I went to the elevator and Ann, one of my coworkers, saw me from the door of the room where we time in.

I walked in she said:

“I thought you were off today.”

“I was?”

“John told me on Friday that you would be off today.”

I was on autopilot. I was supposed to be off today and I came in to work, anyway, on autopilot.

I checked the time. 7:55 am. I was at work thirty minutes.

I turned around, got my backpack, and went to the bus stop, where I waited for almost thirty minutes. I missed the other transfer, went to McDonald’s, bought an apple fritter and orange juice, medium, and walked home, another ten minutes. I got back home at 9:05 am.

Unbelievable. Now, I have to go to work tomorrow and hear it from everybody.


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