Evie and Claudia are hosts of "The Poodcast," a podcast about bowel and bladder conditions and people pooing themselves. Although Evie has a gluten intolerance and Claudia has IBS, their courage to talk about poop has resonated with so many in the IBD community and has created a much-needed safe space where individuals with bowel and bladder conditions feel seen and heard.
Their recollections of how their podcast came to be, is a nice reminder that great things can come from sharing your personal experiences, even when it makes you feel vulnerable.
Evie: On New Year’s Eve in 2018, Claudia and I drunkenly regaled stories of when we had pooped ourselves. These shared stories often ended in fits of laughter, followed closely by one friend after the other (including one of our more reserved companions) having the courage to reveal a time when they had done the same. Through this new level of affinity among the best women I know, I felt lighter than I had in months.
I have a gluten intolerance, which by the standard of many chronic bowel and bladder conditions, isn’t much. But living with some of the most unpleasant side effects had worn me down; the crippling embarrassment I felt about some of the situations I had been in, made me feel pathetic, weak and degraded. A particular low was telling a housemate I had been cross-country running (the natural excuse), when I had pooed myself.
The moment I decided to share some of the worst moments (my lack of inhibitions nudged on by Prosecco) allowed me to find out in return that Claudia had IBS. I hadn’t known this before. Why hadn’t I known this? She was a close friend, had I never bothered to ask her how she was? Had she never felt able to talk about it?
That day in 2018 was when the idea for The Poodcast was born, a podcast where we share stories of toilet or medical misdemeanors, drunken accidents and speak about experiences of bladder and bowel conditions. The strength of sufferers within the Bowel and Bladder community never ceases to amaze us and hopefully by us launching this platform, people with conditions or even those without will never feel humiliation or shame. After all, it’s just a body and they are all nothing short of remarkable.
Claudia: New Years Eve 2018 will always be a fond memory for me; a night filled with dirty cackles and the infamous initiation into the ‘Sisterhood of the Pooping Pants Club’. I was relatively comfortable in sharing my poo story, having heard it regaled by my family a million times at any given occasion. Unfortunately, pooping the bed on a family holiday means that it shall never be forgotten, or forgiven. So this story I knew how to tell, but I had shared with very few people that a few years prior my doctor had told me all the digestion problems I had been experiencing were because I have IBS.
I didn’t necessarily feel embarrassed by my diagnosis, it was moreso that I didn’t see how telling others about my bloating or constipation would help me, and when are you supposed to drop it into conversation? Therefore. the only people in my life that knew were people that had to know, like my boyfriend or a handful of friends that had to hurriedly find a toilet for me on occasion.
Similarly to Evie, I was aware of how debilitating other bowel and bladder conditions can be, and felt that I was lucky that mine could be, for the most part, controlled. However, there have certainly been occasions, days at work, or dates to a fancy restaurant where the control, for whatever reason, has been taken away from me, and I am left with horrible cramps, a bloated stomach and the nasty feeling of humiliation when you can’t do your jeans up in public.
So when Evie approached me about joining forces for The Poodcast, I will admit, I was nervous. The idea of reliving humiliating experiences and sharing them on a podcast filled me with a lot of anxiety, which ironically would then cause my IBS symptoms to flare up! But I’m so pleased that I trusted both Evie, and my (unpredictable) gut: hearing people’s stories of the incredible challenges both physically and mentally they have overcome with their conditions, and finding that these stories can coexist with laughter and playfulness, has made for a pretty wholesome series so far. They say a problem shared is a problem halved, but share it with a thousand people and it doesn’t feel like such a problem anymore.
About the Poodcast
The Poodcast is a podcast about bowel and bladder conditions, and people pooing themselves. Hosted by Evie Killip & Claudia Campbell. Episodes are out every Monday and can be heard on Google Play, Spotify and Apple Podcasts.