I was at lake Atitlan, Guatemala to recuperate from my chicken bus cannonball run from the north. Sadly, the recovery was too late. Muna, our traveling OCD ambassador, broke her bouts of being bed ridden by dashing to our shared bathroom for digestive exercise. I had decided to celebrate dodging the diarrhea bullet with some pleasant tea in a local cafe.
"Yes, I'll take a refreshing mint tea, please," I proudly announced.
"Would you like--"
I didn't hear the rest of what the waiter said as, immediately in that very instant, everything changed.
I was experiencing the rapid onset of diarrhea-seizures of the bowels. A clammy wave of goosebumps rippled down my back. My pants felt humid. It was obvious that the barometric pressure in my manties was abruptly changing.
I interrupted the waiter, "Sorry. Better hold on that order. I'm not going to make it. I better leave before I soil my stool."
And with that I hopped down, leaving the confused waiter with a pretty decent pun as I made a mad rush for the the front door as a Guatemalan mudslide was rushing for my back door. I went left; my digestive system went right. For the love of God, pucker, Craig, pucker!
I was experiencing a high-velocity, category-5 digestive hurricane. Bolting down the street back to my hotel, I was caboose clenching so hard I was sure I was going to give myself scoliosis. Ah, rump cramp! I'd over done it.
To stall the digestive exorcism, I pressed my rump against a wall for some needed extra back pressure. I could see the hotel. Breath, Craig, breath. I gave myself a wedgie for insurance and just ran for it.
For some reason, I tried thinking about circular breathing. And, in that crisis moment I am pretty sure that I invented un-Lamaze. Craig--not here. Containment!
While almost bloating my pants, I burst through the hotel room door.
"Craig did you find any latex gloves or--"
"No time, Muna!"
I then made a mental note that my belt was not diarrhea friendly. I would patent the quickest-release, diarrhea-friendly belt. No, not here, not this close. I was fumbling with my belt like a starlet fumbles with door keys while being pursued by her killer. Come on! Come on! I was manically prancing and jumping to get my pants go down faster and then...
Porcelain. I had made it. My toes stretched then curled into knots, my lower lip unattractively quivered, and the backs of my knees released a never-experienced glandular sweat as I appreciated full excretal Nirvana.
"Impressive," mumbled bed-ridden Muna while trying to breath from inside her pillow case.
My rear fanny faucet wouldn't stop.
"What was that?" Muna hollered.
I responded over the high dB levels of BM flow, "I'm a little worried that if this doesn't stop, I'll die of dehydration."
"Can you at least shift your flow to the bathtub. My booty brakes just gave out too."
We spent the next three days tethered to our bathroom. Though, we found ways to keep ourselves entertained. For example, we timed the duration of our fecal leaks, dutch oven-ed the entire hotel, and we tried to get high off lethal levels of methane.
Our symptoms were ever changing. Sometimes we had the chills. Then we had moist fevers. Then there were times when our legs would have the chills but our arms would have a fever.
From our beds, we asked each other for updates.
"Nope, still soup."
Watching the light change through the window, we counted the days. By day four, we were tired of being diarrhea prisoners. We were willing to risk a quick field trip. First we tried five steps in front of our hotel door.
Then ten steps more.
"I'm feeling lucky."
"I'm good--wait...false alarm--just a methane fairy. I'm dry. Let's keep going."
Our ambitious goal was to make it to the dock for a quick jaunt to the other side of the lake. Our idea was that if we pretended we weren't dying from diarrhea, we would recover faster. It was a little thing I like to call mind over fecal matter.
We shuffled our way to the docks.
"My ballasts are empty. Let's do this."
We'd come so far that regardless of our hemorrhaging bowels, we were determined to get pictures of this panoramic paradise.
During our quick photo shoot, Muna found a convincing I-don't-have-diarrhea face and stuck with it.
I tried but couldn't stay focused.
"Muna, I'm sensing some seismic activity. We better get back to home base."
So, the diarrhea duo took the next boat back across the lake. Oh, heavens, you think yourself so very funny. I know, I know.
"Muna, why is the boat slowing down? Seriously."
And here, exhausted from sphincter stress, I kid you not, our boat runs out of gas. In the middle of the lake, we were equal-distant from any available bathroom.
"Muna this is bad." I stated the obvious.
Like good Guatemalans, everyone else on the boat was just going to patiently wait for the non-existent lake tide to take us to the shore as I was struggling to hold back a digestive tsunami. I had to take action.
I leaned over to the boat captain and quietly informed him that my friend there had an unholy case of diarrhea. I went on to share that Muna could easily produce a certain quantity not unlike the volume of this very boat to which we would all sink and die.
"En serio." I confirmed.
As everyone blatantly scooted away from her, Muna explained, in better Spanish than me, that I was lying and was suffering from delusional diarrhea. But everyone was too busy mad-dialing the diarrhea Make-A-Wish Foundation to get us some emergency boat fuel.
Three speed boats scrambled to our aid.
When we arrived at the dock, everyone insisted we both disembark first. We thanked everyone for their understanding. I then promptly took both of my hands and held my rear flanks pressed together as Muna and I shuffled back to our diarrhea dungeon.