I’M GOING to have to embrace online grocery shopping. Not because I haven’t time to get to the supermarket, but because I can’t go back to Tesco ever again.
I’ve a long history of embarrassing myself in Tesco. I’ve been caught talking to myself more times than I care to remember. I’ve had to dump a basket of shopping and run due to a Crohn’s attack. And when I was pregnant I got sick into my own hand in the cheese aisle.
They kinda know me in there now. And I like to think they understand.
It had actually been a long time since I’d had an ‘incident’ so I was starting to believe that maybe my slate was being wiped clean and that I could go about my shopping like a normal person.
And then last week happened.
It was a warm day. I was wearing a summery dress with thin straps. All was well with the world.
I popped into Tesco for some milk and bread, moseying around the shop with not a care in the world. Everyone seemed in a good mood, smiling and nodding at me. I was delighted with myself.
And then I looked down.
One of the straps on my dress had snapped and the front of it had flopped down.
Exposing my entire right boob. I was wearing a bra, but it was a sheer one so it was diddy central.
There I was walking proudly around Tesco, one boob covered, the other roaming free, bouncing about. No wonder people were smiling at me.
I think they probably thought it was some sort of fashion statement? Something new the young people are doing these days. Like this*:
Maybe they went home to their families and said ‘Did you know it’s the fashion now to cover one boob and leave the other exposed? Kids today, eh?!’ and they’d all laugh and get on with their day.
Or maybe they went home and told their families about the oul wan wandering around the aisles with her tit out.
*You’ll never be able to unsee that now. Sorry.
I SAW this on Twitter earlier today and thought it was hilarious.
It’s a Long Term Illness Bingo Card, made up of the phrases those of us with chronic disease (I have Crohn’s Disease) hear on a regular basis, so often in fact that you could play bingo with them. Hence the name. Clever, no?
But you LOOK fine is probably the main one. Closely followed by my personal favourite: My aunt had that, she died from it. Eh, thanks?
Anyway I was discussing it on Facebook and Twitter, having a bit of banter back and forth with others who co-exist with long term illnesses trying to outdo each other with the worst things people have said to us when we’ve been ill. I felt lighthearted enough, I’m having great difficulties with my Crohn’s at the moment but today was a good day, so I felt able to laugh about it.
I logged off then and went about my business, making lunch for The Beast and I and then packing us both up for a walk in the sunshine followed by a trip to the post office.
It was on the way home from the post office that my day turned from good to bad. Just like that. In an instant I went from looking and feeling well, to being more humiliated than I’ve ever been in my life.
I soiled myself. In my front garden. Desperately rummaging for my keys, trying to get the door open, turn off the alarm, get the buggy in through the door. But it was too late.
I was hit by an instant bout of chronic diarrhea. It destroyed my clothes, my underwear, even my shoes. All my neighbours were out mowing their lawns, playing with their kids, washing their windows. I’m sure some of them saw me stumbling in the door, like a one woman dirty protest.
It was horrific, I’ve never been so embarrassed and so disgusted with myself in all my life. It’s an all-too regular side effect of having Crohn’s Disease, that sudden, urgent need to find a toilet in 30 seconds flat. That familiar, sickening cramping in your stomach. Most people with Crohn’s have experienced it but that doesn’t make it any less humiliating.
It was somewhat prophetic that I played Long Term Illness Bingo with Twitter pals this morning and then suffered at the hands of my disease this afternoon.
This hasn’t been an easy post to write, but perhaps the next time you feel the urge to tell a colleague or a friend or a neighbour that she LOOKS fine, think of me today who, in seconds, went from perfectly fine to in pain and excruciatingly embarrassed.