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Jane Bates: Constipation is nothing to be embarrassed about

Dispatched to the pharmacy for medication to ease a friend’s bowel problems, Jane Bates wonders why buying personal items causes such discomfort, even for nurses. 

Dispatched to the pharmacy for medication to ease a friend’s bowel problems, Jane Bates wonders why buying personal items causes such discomfort, even for nurses

‘So you would like tablets that soften the stool?’

“Yes, that’s what SHE would like,’ I said, emphatically. ‘The medication is for SOMEONE ELSE.’

It must have been the third time I had issued that disclaimer. What was the matter with me? Problems in the bowel department are nothing to be sheepish about, so why did I feel ill at ease?

The backstory is that a friend was suffering from constipation. Even prunes, that remedy par excellence, could not shift things along. She needed something akin to dynamite to get her system on track again, but felt too self-conscious to ask her local pharmacist. So I offered to go instead. Nothing embarrassing about constipation, as

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