Iron gut

I always had a cast iron gut. Eat a heavy meal right before bed, no problem. Pickles and licorice? Yum. Habanero sauce, plenty of it? Curry, be it rich northern style or even spicier but less rich southern style, bring it to me. Buffets with 300 different items, oh, yes. Kimchi by the bowlful? And coleslaw wrapped in a kale leaf, oh, yeah, bring on the raw veggies, a full plate of them, please.

But stress, I assume, has taken its toll. Now I’m burping all the time, and farting, and worse. Not even a shart, but just, “Oh, did something happen there? It feels wet.” WTF mucus? Diarrhea 10 or even more times a day. Google, google, well, this is called IBS, irritable bowel syndrome. Me, really?

So, the last time my former sweetheart came over here, about a month ago, we were looking at some stuff on his laptop, and I got up and a fart escaped. He got a foul look on his face. Whoops, sorry, I farted. He expressed his disgust, very different from how we used to laugh about how farts weren’t a big deal. He would often say something about in Japan, farting with someone means true love. Well, we aren’t in love and he got nasty.

“It is disgusting that you did that, when it is perfectly controllable.” Okay, well, I’m actually a lot older than him and I’m not shit-phobic like him. Like I do actually look in the toilet for health reasons, to see how it’s going. He craps once a week and would never look at it.

“Maybe in your culture it’s okay to just fart around other people.” Well, actually, in OUR culture, in the past, it was no big deal. I felt hurt by his harsh words, tones, and facial expressions, but the thought running through my mind was, “Just be glad it wasn’t a shart.” I didn’t tell him I know what those are from personal experience, though.  He doesn’t have any compassion for me, anyway, from what I can tell.

Today I chewed my food very carefully and lengthily, because I learned it can help with IBS type symptoms. I also made a point of sipping drinks more slowly – I’ve always been a gulper – so as not to swallow air. This is supposed to help with the dyspepsia. If you have a lot of burps, supposedly it’s most likely from swallowing air. I noticed after my three big cups of coffee this morning, about one litre, I felt very gassy and bloated. Will have to slow down with the coffee tomorrow, too! At least now I’m connected to my body, not like the first 50 years of my life.

Lately, I feel imprisoned in my body, but at least I’m aware of that, instead of just being numb. My life has been mostly oscillation between numbness and turmoil. I need more joy, peace, and satisfaction. At least today my guts functioned much better.

And a PS from yesterday, with all that sun my garden seeds finally came up. Planted them two weeks ago, and the radish and arugula are finally up in bunches. The other veggies should be straggling along any day now.

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Glorious sunny days

I’m not getting work done, because the sun is out. The first shirt-sleeve warm and pleasant day after an unusually long and cold winter. We had numerous snowfalls, into March, even. Usually we get maybe one significant snowfall where the one or two inches of snow brings traffic to a standstill. Summer tires.

I walked out to my errands, luxuriating in the warmth on my skin. Even now, I used the heavy-duty sunscreen on my hands and face. Even in winter I’ll often use it. But my arms and all can afford exposure, and I love it. Popped into several dollar stores and eventually found some red lettuce seeds at the new Walmart. No other place had red lettuce, and it seems crazy to drive half an hour each way to go to the good garden shop for just a few seeds. I wanted to plant in the warmth, and threw in some lettuce as well as onion sets for green onions. Tastes so much better than any store product.

I live in an apartment, and I’m lucky to have a garden plot freely given by the building manager. There are only three plots. How did I get one? I’m not even sure. I didn’t pay. I guess it’s just that I’m a good gardener, and very responsible. Not with crying, but with weeding and cleaning up so the plot isn’t unsightly. (Unlike crying. Clearly unsightly. Lost a friend over it, even.)

I’m lucky to have this garden plot because it is a place to be in the sun. It’s not as good as my own yard, not as likely to be smoke-free, but it’s better than public parks and seating areas. “But aren’t New Westminster parks smoke free? They are in Vancouver,” asked my friend from Vancouver last week. Well, yeah, there are “This area is smoke free” signs all over the time, but 80 percent of the time those signs lie. So I infer 80 percent of smokers are jerks, give or take.

And even if there is no sight of any smoker, quite often the litter of butts is enough to ruin the seating area. There’s a lovely sunny one right outside our library. I’ve never sat there. I gag, just walking by. Reminds me of Paul McCartney in an ashtray, in the movie, “Help!” Help, indeed! When I saw that movie as a kid, it was funny the way he started scrubbing and bathing once some liquid flew into the ashtray, but of course that wasn’t Smell-o-vision, unlike when I worked as a busser after highschool. Big trays full of food, spilled coffee, and cigarette butts. Not somewhere I want to sit, even on a sunny day. It’s foul.