Embarrassing IBS stories: the funny one about the model restroom

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Funny IBS stories: a pink illustration of a pair of a high heeled shoes, with some toilet paper stuck to the bottom of the heel.

"IBS horror stories: When your restroom adventure becomes a futuristic flush-fail spectacle. I guess even toilets have stage fright!" | PhotoCredit:  Marten Bjork on Unsplash

IBS stories: the funny embarrassing one about the model restroom

I always felt IBS embarrassing, which is why I kept it a secret from my foodie friends. No one of them knew how embarrassing and uncomfortable an irritable bowel attack was, especially with uncontrollable diarrhea.

At any point I could get the sudden urge to run to the restroom, not knowing for sure which end it’s coming out from. I have Irritable Bowel Syndrome and gastroesophageal reflux disease.

I’m also a foodie who gets invited to media events and restaurant openings. As you can imagine, I’ve had my share of diarrhea horror stories, which also often make for funny IBS horror stories.

A small business was hosting a product launch for protein pancakes at a swanky event venue downtown. I wasn’t feeling particularly well that morning, but it had been a few months since seeing my foodie friends, and I was excited to catch up. The whole car ride there, my tummy was gurgling. I was worried, knowing something was about to strike, and it wasn’t going to be pretty. I always felt IBS embarrassing, which is why I kept it a secret from my foodie friends. No one of them knew how embarrassing and uncomfortable an irritable bowel attack was, especially with uncontrollable diarrhea.

As soon as the car arrived at the destination, I knew that tonight was not going to be fun. The IBS stomach cramps had kicked in. Diarrhea would be next. The fiery kind of uncontrollable diarrhea that people with IBS know all too well. I needed a restroom and fast.

Checking in with the doorman, working at a sloth’s pace to find my name on the list of influencers, I couldn’t think straight. I was doing everything thing in my power to stop thinking about my IBS flare-up and the very real possibility of uncontrollable diarrhea happening before I could find a restroom. Of course, the party room was on the top floor of the waterfront condo. The very top floor.

A close up of an Asian woman wearing an Equity Shirt.
Original Equity Shirt by URevolution

In the elevator, I hit PH3 and tried to distract myself from my abdominal pain by reciting the alphabet backward in my mind. Suddenly, the elevator stopped on the fifteenth floor and two beautiful girls I recognized joined me inside. They’re Instagram famous fitness bloggers, who apparently live in the building. Here I am, clenching my butt cheeks as hard as I can to prevent a wave of uncontrollable diarrhea from coming out while they casually chat about the subpar smoothie bowls they just had. Time is running out.

Turns out they’re attending the same event I am and lucky for me they know their way to the venue. Unlucky for me, the tall blonde one has to pee and finds the restroom before me. Sweat drapes my forehead as I anxiously await my turn. 

"I always felt IBS embarrassing, which is why I kept it a secret from my friends."

A futuristic restroom is not the friend of IBS diarrhea

Finally, I enter the futuristic restroom. The finishings, the toilet, almost everything is black. No windows. That’s okay I think, one of these ten buttons must be for the fan. Lights turn on in the shower. The floors begin to heat up. But the fan either doesn’t exist or can only be activated if you speak robot. No more seconds to spare.

After the hurricane of IBS diarrhea passes, I look like I’ve given birth. My hair is matted on my face, I’m pale as a ghost, and more than anything, I wish I were at home. It is in moments like this that I find IBS embarrassing.

Before I can escape, I need to destroy the evidence of my IBS diarrhea. Imagine my absolute shock when I realize there was no way to manually flush the toilet. I start pressing all the buttons on the wall again when someone knocks on the door.

“Just a minute!” I call.

Finally, the futuristic toilet decides to flush, in the weakest, most environmentally friendly way possible, leaving behind far too much evidence. Ah, but I remember seeing a toilet brush! In a sleek all-black container, that won’t budge.

A decorational brush? Really? My angry sighs, most certainly audible to the foodies lined up outside, escalate into groans. I sit on the toilet again and stand up, hoping it decides to flush one more time. It doesn’t.

I frantically open every tiny drawer searching for a solution, but they’re all empty. It’s a model restroom. Just for show, to look good in pictures, so people book this venue for fancy events, most definitely not equipped to handle uncontrollable diarrhea explosions.

I then decided I needed to escape. I gingerly opened the bathroom door, and thankfully, no one was waiting outside. I then walked ever so slowly back to the function area, thinking how was I ever going to complete this assignment.

This was the most embarrassing IBS horror story of my life

I thought to myself it would be rude to leave without at least saying hello to the event organizers and taking a few pictures of the amazingly presented fusion platters.  

I wasn’t able to try any of the food but would later say I loved it on social media? As I moved through the room taking photos I refrained from making eye contact with anyone who went to the restroom after me. All I kept thinking to myself was this was shaping up to be one of the most embarrassing IBS horror stories of my life.

I was too queasy to eat, standing there terrified that at any moment, I would feel the first pangs of IBS stomach cramps. That this IBS horror story would have another chapter about diarrhea and un-flushable toilets. I could not face another embarrassing restroom moment.

I only lasted another ten minutes. On my way out, I heard one of the fitness bloggers from the elevator say, “She probably had the same rancid smoothie bowls we did.”

Take it from me; first impressions are about as reliable as model futuristic restrooms.

"Surviving IBS horror stories: When you discover that futuristic restrooms are more interested in heating floors than flushing toilets. Who needs a sauna when you can have a poop showdown?"

Article by
Sofia Martimianakis

Sofia Martimianakis, the author of "Embarrassing IBS stories: the funny one about the model restroom," attended the University of Toronto while Trinity College still had a secret society. She completed her MA in Literary Studies at the University of Waterloo where geese, not so secretly, rule the campus. | Photo by Marten Bjork on Unsplash