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When it Comes to Constipation…


View from Montserrat

On the rare occasion it is best to leave well enough alone particularly when it comes to constipation.

This is a topic I don’t usually write on because it is an unusual occurrence for me.  There have only been two instances of personal blockage that I can bring to mind.

The first being 25 years ago after the birth of my second son, the one getting married in a few weeks.

Then, in sheer desperation and fully cognisant of my c-section incision, I drew the line at straining and drank water and juice, ate quantities of cantaloupe, grapes and prunes and sat and sat.  Apart from a few gaseous exchanges, between you, me and the bathroom walls, nothing much happened for days.  In the end I went in search of an age old remedy, the cure all enema.  Hoping to slide the discreet box past the checker along with the milk and cookies I nonetheless fielded the question,

“What’s this?”  as she examined my purchase hoping for clues from its exterior about its concealed secrets.  I can’t remember my answer but I am sure I was polite.  I hadn’t yet caught the Texas habit of “telling it like it is!”

The second being just this weekend as I was enjoying silence on the banks of Lake Dallas at Montserrat, the Jesuit Retreat Centre.

Jesuit Retreat Centre

I didn’t notice anything untoward about my private en suite bathroom facilities, except the commode didn’t have a lid. Perhaps they come cheaper that way!?

I did notice Friday came and went with no need to flush the toilet every time I spent a penny in an effort  to save water with the management.

Saturday also came and went without anything to crow about and I began to think…”I wonder?” so I upped my intake of liquids to help move along the three hearty meals I was eating each day.

Physically I felt good; I was walking ten to twelve miles a day but something was not quite happening with my digestive system no matter how many cups of coffee, tea or water I drank, or fruit or salads I ate.

On Sunday morning I decided to linger a little longer during my morning constitutional to let the force of gravity work its magic.  Which it grudgingly did.  I flushed, hopped in the shower and forgot all about the cousins.

It wasn’t until I needed to pee again that I noticed the water in the commode was not draining completely now that there was more than urine in the mix.  I flushed again to check the pressure and was alarmed when water began to creep dangerously close to the top of the bowl bringing floating evidence of a drains malfunction along for the ride.

I shut the door to the bathroom, in the absence of a toilet seat, and reported the problem.

There’s a lot to be said for constipation at a time like this.

I will think twice before forcing the issue again, there’s no knowing what lies within the secret life of plumbing.


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