28 April, 2016

We Been Pooping All Wrong

Not that we've been using the wrong orifice or anything like that, it's our position on the throne that's the problem. We tend to sit like we're at the dining room table. Not our natural position to expel poop.

Many years ago, our ancestors (and a lot of folks still do) used a squat position to accomplish the act. It's a simple act that relaxes or tightens a muscle (puborectalis muscle) in your lower intestinal area. This muscle forms a sort of sling round the intestine, that in a sitting position, tends to restrict the body's ability to send poop on its way. When you stand or squat, that sling is relaxed and helps provide a direct path for poop to make its way out.

If you're like me, for years, when the urge hit me, I'd sit on the throne, do my business, and get up, flush, and go on about my other business - except, that often, it felt like I should sit right back down and continue where I left off.

That feeling is caused by the puborectalis preventing a smooth flow out of the system, because of the way you were sitting on the throne. When you stood up, the puborectalis relaxed and that's why you felt the urge to continue.

I either didn't have that problem as a kid, or it developed slowly as an adult. Either way it became a fact of life for most of my visits to the throne room for the past many years. That is until I saw an advert on TV for a contraption called the Squatty Potty (http://www.squattypotty.com/). At first, I thought it was a typical 'as seen on TV' kind of thing. But, the more I thought about it (and after a few more visits to the throne room, no doubt), I began to think that there might be something to it.

So, being somewhat inquisitive, I looked the 'Squatty Potty' up on the intertubes, I read all the stuff they had on their site, and before I knew it, I was completing the order form and hitting the 'send' button.

A few weeks later, Easy Shipping to Belize showed up at our door with our usual selection of stuff that we just couldn't resist ordering over the past month or so. Included in the shipment was a box containing our brand new 'Squatty Potty.'
Our Very Own Squatty Potty
You might say it could be my imagination, but I say, it works. Sure, maybe not a hundred percent of the time, but certainly enough that I'm a convert and a believer. I can't say is was akin to a religious experience, but it was certainly a satisfying one. The first time I used our new Squatty Potty, things passed through with a satisfying completeness that I haven't felt in years.

I probably cheat a little on the proper stance when using the Squatty Potty. My bod just isn't as flexible as it once was, so, when I hoist my feet up on the Potty, I don't try and sit upright as the cute young model on their website does. I just relax and lean back against the throne cover, and enjoy the go (oh, wait. That's for another, related product, isn't it?).

Like I said, it's not one hundred percent effective, but even if it hits sixty-five to seventy-five percent of the time, hey, it's a worthwhile purchase in my book.

If you frequently have that lingering feeling that something didn't quite continue to completion the next time you pay a visit to your throne room, might I suggest you look up the Squatty Potty. Ordering it is really a breeze. Using it is even easier, and, oh, so satisfying.

I just checked their website. They now offer a few more options than when we bought ours a few months ago, including an inflatable travel potty. There are also multiple purchase discounts. Such a deal.

17 April, 2016

What Have We Been Up To, You Might Ask

Note: Sorry for the text color when I first posted this. I did it on my iPad, as I couldn't access the blog from my PC for a time due to security issues. All is mo betta now.

Hi Everyone,

My most sincere apologies for taking so long to reply, and for having neglected the blog for so long.

This post originally was a reply to an email from Julian, wondering if we had fallen off the edge of the world or what. I'm reposting it here as a quick way to let you all know what we've been up to. It's very condensed. I will expand some parts in other posts later on because some things just need a more in-depth reportage.

Anyway, here goes.

You wouldn't believe what's happened over the past few weeks. Construction finished on the house, roughly at the end of February, and we moved in. About a week to the day after that, things went topsy-turvy.

Wednesday afternoon, about 1PM or so, Dianna got up from the couch in the living room, intending to head to the bathroom. She never made it. Her legs refused to cooperate and she fell. Hard. On her left hip. Snap! The femur broke right at the ball joint.

I was just waking up from a nap, and I heard her call me. I thought she wanted me to come move a picture or a chair or something. Her voice sounded calm and normal. Such wasn't the case, however. No, she was in excruciating pain with a broken hip.

I called 9-1-1, and got Corozal Police, who told me to hang up and call the hospital. At least they offered to give me the number. I already had it in my phone, so I quickly called and gave our address and very brief instructions on how to find us in the real world.

I next called Vivien, across the street. She came over right away and told me I had done the right thing by not moving her and calling the ambulance.

I secured the dogs and opened the gate.

Amazingly, about five minutes later, the ambulance showed up. The ambulance ride to Corozal Hospital was the ride from Hell, for Dianna. A combination of our road being so rough and the ambulance driver, going like a mad man. Vivien rode with Dianna. I followed behind after locking everything and turning the dogs loose in the yard.

Some time later, another ambulance ride, this one to Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital, in Belize City. Again, Vivien rode with Dianna. I followed again, a bit later. I had to collect some stuff for Dianna and myself, and get some money as well as gas for the Sporttrac.

By this time, it's 5PM - night drive to Belize City. Worst drive of my life. The closer I got to Belize City, the crazier things became.

Let me back up a second. I packed some things for us... What to take? Who knows? I obviously wasn't thinking to clearly, as in a panic. I packed 3-teeshirts and my toothbrush, one of my prescription pill bottles, and managed to pack Dianna's toothbrush, toothpaste, and her PJs.

After giving the house keys to Denis, Vivien's husband, I gassed up the Sport Trac and hit the road to Belize City.
New Arrival - KHMH Emergency/Trauma Center
I'm sure I was thinking we'd be back in Corozal the following day. Wrong. Two weeks later we came back. Dianna, sporting a new hip, and a walker, me - a lot better knowledge of navigating Belize City than when I first got there.

Amazing how much running around there was that I had to do. Even just leading up to her surgery, which took place the following Monday morning. In the interim, I had to run essentially, a nationwide blood drive for her blood type (O-). KHMH required her to have two pints of O- blood on hand at KHMH before the surgery could commence, which meant the nationwide blood drive. I spent hours on the phone and on my iPad beating the bushes to get people to donate.

That's a thing in and of itself. Belize is much more restrictive than the US or Canada on who can give blood. Finally, by Sunday, it looked like we might make it for surgery on Monday. We did - just. At 8:30 AM, I got the certification for blood from the Belize Blood bank. The surgery was scheduled for 9:00AM. I'll do some detailed blog postings about all this, soon, I promise.

We came into the house, and it was still so new, it felt like it was someone else's house, no lie. We hadn't been in the new place long enough to bond with it at all.

So, from then till now, our days have been filled with physical therapy for Dianna. She's recovering quite well, but it does take some time

I'm also gearing up to try to start an ongoing drive to encourage younger Expats to donate blood and to do it regularly. With an aging Expat population, we're our own worst enemies when it comes to blood.

So, that's what we've been up to, in a nutshelll. And, you thought I was living the retired life of luxury, just lazin' on a Sunday afternoon, in the summer time (I have the Kinks on my mind, if you were wondering).

All for right now. More later. I think I'll copy this over to the blog and expand it as needed.

Again, apologies for being tardy. But, I have a good excuse.


27 February, 2016

More Pre-Move-In Stuff

We are making strides on moving in. It just doesn't seem that it is necessarily in a forward motion all the time.

This bit is. Carl, our contractor, had told me that the little Guatamalan store downtown on 4th Avenue, the one across from Corozal Virtual Office... You know, the store with all the plastic stuff outside. It's pretty hard to miss really. Anyway, he told me they had hammocks like the style we were looking for.

So, yesterday, I went down and looked for myself. As you can see, we got two of them. Very nice, and a very nice price too. A little hagling paid off. I think we got a pretty good deal. Of course, we probably still paid too much, but I was happy. And that's all that matters, right? If both sides are happy, what's the problem?

They work too. I spent some time in mine - the far one. I'm looking forward to some serious napping.
Our New Hammocks In Place
 We've started getting ready to move the Armoir. I emptied out all my clothes - that's them below. All the foldable stuff, anyway. Dianna needs to empty her side, then I can take the doors off and we'll be ready to move that behemoth.
All My Foldables From the Armoir
You know those closet bars I put up the other day? I epoxied the side screw shields in place, but neglected to epoxy the center bracket shields. Guess what gave way?

Easy to tell where the backward step in the moving process occurred.
One Step Forward, Two Steps Backward
 As you can readily see, the plastic shield came right out and of course, brought down the whole works. Well, nothing but an hour or two of picking up all the clothing, re-installing the brackets and rods, with epoxy on the bracket shields, and waiting an hour for that to cure completely, then rehanging all the clothing.
Ripped Out Screw Shield
 As you can see, I've rehung my stuff. Dianna took a bit more time to do hers. Anyway, it's back up, with everything hung and staying hung this time. We're back on track.
A Nicely Organized and Epoxied Closet
 The bathroom linen closet is becoming populated. It looks so neat and tidy. The cats discovered they can jump up there too, if someone leaves a door ajar for them.
Bathroom Linen Closet Looking Good