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TMI Thursday: The Sashimi Strikes Back

May 14, 2009

In case you aren't aware of the goings-on of my internal organs, I've been down one since the fall of 2006. You can read my five-part recounting of the Ordeal, if you'd like. Just know that it involves a lot of sweat and lusting after blond nurses:

Part One, Part Two, Part Three, Part Four, Part Five

While there are many advantages to not having a gall bladder anymore (not being racked with pain sits right at the top of the list), there are also a few drawbacks. This is a story of one of them.

The gall bladder is a little sac hanging off the liver that stores bile. Bile is used in the processing, handling, and digesting of fatty foods. When fatty foods are ingested, the liver starts kicking out lots of bile in order to help with the digestion of said foods. Normally, excess bile is stored in the gall bladder and released as needed into the gut. However, when there is no gall bladder present, all the bile just gets shunted into the intestines and the body does with it what it will.

Now, the thing about bile is that it, too, is awfully greasy. It has a lot of cholesterol and such in it. So, one thing that you're not supposed to do when you've had your gall bladder removed is eat any particularly greasy, fatty meals. If you do, make sure a toilet is nearby because about 20 minutes after you've finished, you're going to feel the Apocalypse breaking out in your bowels. Once you find the toilet, Armageddon is played out, and then you're relatively fine. Hungry. But fine, nonetheless.

The problem is, I wasn't told all the things that one shouldn't eat. I mean, there are obvious ones, like meatball sandwiches or double-bacon cheeseburgers and fries or shots of olive oil. Apparently, one of the things you shouldn't eat is sushi. I learned this the hard way. Or should I say, "The soft, squishy, brown and redolent way"?

We went to lunch one day at a local sushi joint where a curvy redhead had poured herself in a dress three sizes too small and served as the seating hostess for the day. We ordered our lunch, which was brought to the table in a respectable amount of time and we proceeded to eat what turned out to be a fairly good lunch. I had the "sushi platter", but I don't remember what was on it, so please don't ask. It was very tasty and I thought, "Oh, I should come here more often. The food is good, the price is acceptable, and, well, the hostess doesn't know how to dress."

We finished up our lunch and departed for work. At the time, I worked in the off-the-main-site-facility, so I had ridden over to the restaurant with my friend. About halfway back to the lab, Christ opened the sixth seal, and the tell-tale rumbling began in my lower GI tract, warning me of impending doom.

Now, a couple of weeks ago, you all learned about the tensile strength and uncanny coordination of my rectum; I need not repeat it now. It was, however, a good thing, as I sat there in the passenger seat, clenching so tightly that I was sure diamonds would fall out of my ass when I let go. North Carolina roads happen to be shitty, so I'm sitting there, in misery, clenching, feeling the cauldron of my guts bubble bubble toil and trouble away, and on top of all that, we're riding over a stretch of highway that I could have sworn was shelled by the enemy the night before, given the size, frequency and depth of the potholes.

Drive faster, Joe! I screamed in my mind. I don't want to ruin your upholstery!

Finally, we arrive back at work. I slowly make my way across the parking lot--I'm already sweating bullets, but the high heat and humidity and the roasting asphalt of the parking lot are not helping. Finally, I make it into the building and I try--as delicately as possible--to climb the stairs to the second floor where the labs are. I excuse myself and timidly make my way to the restroom. There, I settle into my stall, sitting down, finally unclenching and letting nature run its course.

I unleashed the fury.

Did I mention bile stinks? It does. Badly. Not only that, but it burns. Oh, does it burn. As I unleashed the fury, I'm fairly certain that a plume of flame erupted forth from my ass, burning brightly in the sky for all to see like the triumphant return of Comet Kohoutek. Finally, as my innards disgorged that most unpleasant shit monsoon, I heaved a sigh of relief. Sushi was definitely off the menu.

I got up to clean up, and, because I'm a guy, I checked out my handiwork. Being that I've seen my own shit countless times, I wasn't surprised by that part of what huddled in the bowl. No, it was the oily sheen on the surface of the water that bothered me most. There it was, a rainbow of fish oil, shimmering in the light, misplaced over the bog monster lurking in the depths below. Despite the iridescent glow cloaking the surface of the water, I was certain beyond the shadow of a doubt that there was not a pot of gold at the end of it.

For the first time in my life, I nearly caused myself to vomit with my own poo. Fortunately, I had just shit the contents of my stomach into the bowl, so nothing came up. Unfortunately, the dry heave was powerful enough that it caused me to double over, placing my face within a very uncomfortable proximity to the gleaming surface of the bowl. This is how I am quite certain that bile carries with it a very unpleasant aroma.

Why bring this up now? Well, funny you should ask. Tomorrow, one of my co-workers is leaving the company to go back to graduate school, and she has requested to go to lunch at the very same restaurant where this unsightly and liquid brown adventure began. So, tomorrow, when I set out for lunch, I'll be sure to hitch a ride with whichever one of my friends has the fastest car.


LiLu said...

I know this is probably a weird comment, but...

That was beautifully written. I can see the shimmer in the toilet bowl in my mind's eye perfectly.

Happy TMIT!

the iNDefatigable mjenks said...

Thanks, LiLu. I figured that, if I'm going to subject Blogtopia to the wonders of my lower GI tract, I should at least make it a colorful spectacle for the imagination.

Fancy Schmancy said...

Wow, maybe you should ask for a seaweed salad instead...

Nej said...

Have you done any research to find something you CAN eat at this place, without you innards going on strike?

Because no matter how much you want to oblige the almost ex co-worker...I'm thinking it's not worth burning *ss

I've heard people get this same "bodily response" when taking the weight loss drug Alli. Ugh!

Chemgeek said...

Man, I love me a good story about taurocholate and glycocholate. Good show!!!

As I write this, my bowels have given me the "two minute warning." If you know what I mean. I shall now gather up my C&EN, head down the hall to the facility, and have me a good poop knowing it will be much less dramatic than your experience.

coolred38 said...

Ewww!! Just imagine if u had upchucked with ur face mere inches over the rainbow pool of liquid magma...dont even want to think of it.

btw my dress was not 3 sizes to small...I just had a big lunch that day. thank you very much

Gwen said...

Knowing that you delayed this very graphic poo post to participate in the 600 business at my place makes me feel special.

Moooooog35 said...


No photo?!?!?

Moooooog35 said...

By the way...'the sixth seal' part?


(you can add that to your business cards, now)

Cora said...

Might I suggest wearing Depends just in case?

Sass said...

This post makes me squirm.

And now I have a funny taste in my mouth.


Scope said...

I thought for sure, you were going to enter the bathroom to find:

1) "No room at the inn"

2) "A paperless office."

Sassy Britches said...

I was completely fine until the dry heaving started. Then, I almost lost MY dinner.

Joe said...

1- So I guess no one talked to you that day in the bathroom.

2- Thanks for not soiling my passenger's seat.

3- Before you ask, I will not be driving to lunch tomorrow.

~E said...

I knew I could count on you to take TMI thursdays into a whole new other dimension.

Sure it wasn't a dimension I ever needed or wanted to go to...but thanks just the same.

Jess said...

I'd go with Mr. T.

Pearl said...

Very well written.

And I still have my gall bladder, but that's exactly what happens to me when I eat sushi (and prime rib and ribeye). I know exactly of what you speak...


Mary@Holy Mackerel said...

Hey!! It's like we're twins or something!! I had my gb removed about 10 years ago, and man, it ain't been fun. And no, they don't tell you what to avoid, what life will be like, etc. Very nice of them, no?

I'm going to go read the past posts now, just so I'm as up to date as possible on your gb issues...

Margo said...

You had me at "bile".