Thank You for My Being Able to Go to the Bathroom

Awhile back, I asked everyone who reads my blog to find something every day to be thankful for.  I let everyone know that there has to be at least a dozen things they could pinpoint off the top of their head, and today I have one that hardly anyone thinks about until they can’t — and that’s go poopy.

As the old addage goes:  You never know what you have until it’s gone, and that was the case with my digestion.  As I swiftly approach “middle age,” things aren’t as easy as they once were.  Some of those things include jogging, hiking, biking, stooping, sitting like a pretzel, and, yes, digesting.   I never imagined that one day my bowels would just say, “No, we’re not gonna!”  Who knew that women in their middle aged years often face this issue?  No one warned me — not that that would have made a difference one way or another.  But now that I know, I’m passing it on.  Ladies, beware.  We are three times more likely to have this problem than men. 

So what are we to do?  Well, the answer differs from one person to the next, but for me, I thought it was going to be impossible to follow, being that I don’t want to live on stool softeners and laxatives for the rest of my life.  What I had to do to get everything back in synch required a complete overhaul of my eating habits.

It seems that my bowels, which previously hated all things gluten, now also hate most gluten-free carb replacement products, and cannot process them.  What does this mean?  It means I must forever stay away from all things gluten, as well as all things gluten-replacement, unless I want to down a laxative or stool softener alongside whatever I’ve decided to eat that I know I can’t process on my own. 

At first glance this seems like a terrible way to live out the rest of my life — on what seems to be a forever Atkins diet; but now that I’ve been doing it for three months, my bowels are starting to behave again.  I am digesting my food daily without supplements, and managing to maintain my weight by eating goat cheese and nut products.  There’s a blessing we say in Judaiism for the ability to go to the bathroom.  It’s actually an ancient blessing contained in the Talmud, and it is: Blessed is He who has formed (wo)man in wisdom and created in him/her many orifices and many cavities. It is obvious and known before Your throne of glory that if one of them were to be ruptured or one of them blocked, it would be impossible for a (wo)man to survive and stand before You. Blessed are You that heals all flesh and does wonders.”  I want you to know that this is my newest favorite blessing, and you don’t have to be Jewish to recite it.  It reminds all of us how fragile we are, and how thankful we should be for plumbing that works. 

So as you arise tomorrow, be thankful that your plumbing works; and when you sit on your throne, do not take it for granted.


About Gelbart-Jaffe Coaching

Hospice Chaplain and Life Coach Associate Clinical Chaplaincy Certification February 2015. Proficient Life Coach Certification December 2010.
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