All Pooped Out!

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You know you are old when conversation with your girlfriends includes the working condition of your bowels. It’s true! I use to cringe when my mom and her friends would discuss their bowel movements or lack there of.  Did they have no sense of privacy? However, it has recently come to my attention that my girls and I are now doing the same thing. As my mom would say, “We all go, so what’s the secret?”

Queue outside lady's toilets: 'Please wait to be seated'.
Queue outside lady’s toilets: ‘Please wait to be seated’.

It seems that the older we get, we are in a constant state of trying to alleviate constipation or diarrhea. More fiber, fewer carbs, drink water, take probiotics, try Metamucil or maybe Pepto Bismol. Pharmacies have entire aisles dedicated to our poop. Natural Medicine practitioners say we need to really look at our stools. Does it float or sink, is it loose or formed, is the color brown or black? Apparently, a gently curved, brown, floating sample is ideal. Please do not post Instagram photos like people do with their meals.  toilet

Bathroom habits are definitely a crucial part of the planning when we travel, even if it is only for a day or two. Some people cannot use any other facilities, but their own. They simply cannot poop in public places! Some people have very regular bowels, and they operate like clock work; while others hope and pray they will be close to a washroom when nature calls. This is a very stressful situation especially if you are traveling and sharing a room with one or more friends. You can only hope your routines compliment each other. I mention this because on my last trip to Amsterdam four of us stayed on the houseboat. We chose this particular boat because it had two bathrooms; however, the ad did not explain that one of the toilets was located at the far end of the boat away from the living area. You needed to be a sure-footed mountain goat to maneuver the narrow walkway and hop over ropes to access these facilities. We decided it would only be used in desperation. Needless to say, it was barely used. By the end of our stay we were very in tune with each others habits.

Traveling in non-western countries is not without its bathroom challenges. My biggest washroom feat to date was trying to straddle a hole on a moving train in China. It is definitely a test of balance, aim, and agility, especially as you get older.

chinese-squat-toilet

We can all agree that our digestive system, including our bowels, is critical to good health. I mention this because I am fully aware that I should be looking after my colon as I age. Every one of my friends keep reminding me that I need to schedule a colonoscopy. The whole idea simply freaks me out! The preparation alone sounds terrible. That being said, I have promised myself that I will make it a priority in 2019.

So, look after your poop, and it will look after you!

Thanks for reading,

Penny xo

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