“You are the only one I can tell this to…”

She called me and said, “You are the only one I can tell this to…..”

I felt honored.  What was it that she could only share with me?  Why me? I impatiently waited for the words to come.

Then she finally let out, “I’m constipated.  I’ve taken stool softeners. What should I do?”

I knew it. I knew it. This was the topic people most often brought up when confiding in me. .  

We all have friends that we seek advice for  Some are friends we know would be great to ask for advice about work and what career path you should take. Some are great at relationship advice and some at fashion advice. If I need fashion advice, I go to my sister.  On her grave one day it will read her classic phrase, “What are you wearing?”  My mother is great at giving advice on how to get un-lost.  I swear she has an internal GPS.   However, few have a friend like me – I am the one you go to when you have embarrassing questions about “regularity and digestion.”

Now I am not sure if I should feel embarrassed or honored that this friend called and that others have called in the past for such advice.  In many ways, I’d rather be the one that gave friends relationship or career advice.  Even if I were the friend people called to ask where to eat or what to wear may be a little less awkward.  But at the same time, there is something quite nice about this.  They are willing to open up to me in a way that they won’t open up to others. I feel lucky even if it is a little awkward at times because it makes me think – do I talk that much about pooping that people seek me out to talk about poop?  And you know the answer is already, “yes.”

But at the same time it’s nice to be trusted with the “inner most” secrets of another person.  Being able to comfortably talk about poop with people can lead to comfortably talking about anything.  Talking about poop can be an opening you can push through to have a deeper relationship especially when it’s an honest talk about poop – not a slapstick crappy Hollywood Adam Sandler type of conversation about poop.  Not a, “Man I just pinched a loaf.” or, “I’m going to go drop a deuce.”  type of conversation, but one with purpose.

Sometimes I think that I should have been a GI doctor – not that I actually could do that with my condition – but I know a lot about how to maintain good digestion such as 1. eat a fair amount of fruits and vegetables; 2. drink plenty of water; 3. exercise 4. take a probiotic  5. take a prebiotic  6. make yogurt a part of your life  7. stay away from excess sugar.

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