Who’s Been Drinking Out Of My Glass? - Where's The Bathroom?

Some thoughts about aging and living in Milan, Ohio by the founder of MilanArea.com who is also the site photographer, the site designer, the site janitor and a disgruntled elderly person.  


"The great secret that all old people share is that you really haven't changed in 70 or 80 years.
Your body changes, but you don't change at all."
Doris Lessing, O Magazine, October 2003


I was talking to a friend of mine the other day and we were commiserating about old age as elderly people tend to do, and I was telling my friend how much I enjoyed walking the local metropark trails during the warm months. My friends said she could never walk the trails because she would be to far from the bathroom. Both my friend and I suffered from high blood pressure and we both took medication for it. And the side effect of that medication is that it gave both of us sudden bowel movements - in other words "diarrhea". OK, this is not a fun topic to discuss but it's really a "quality of life" issue and many elderly people suffer from it on a daily basis. Like my friend said "I know the location of every public restroom in every store I shop".

So many times our doctors prescribe medication that has unfortunate side effects. Diarrhea is a common side effect to high blood pressure medication, arthritis medication and many other medications but we are hesitant to discuss the symptom with the doctor because it's so personal and many times we suffer rather than seek a cure. Generic medication is sometimes more prone to side effects because they doesn't usually have more expensive buffering agents built into the medication. If we're hesitant to leave the house because of loose stools, then we become a prisoner in our own homes and the repercussions of that are equally unpleasant.

I certainly recommend that you discuss this with your doctor. Your doctor may switch you to another medication but if you're taking generic, it may not make a difference. If you're the type of person who prefers to go it alone, then I suggest you consider fiber supplements. One of the best over-the-counter items you can take is fiber. And the beauty of fiber is that it works both ways. For most people, it will stop the diarrhea and if you have the opposite problem, it will soften your stools. What fiber does is keep you bowel movements regular and comfortable. It does not stop you up like some anti-diarrhea medications, it doesn't give you stomach aches and it will not give you the runs. It's actually a practically perfect item for elderly people and yet many people doesn't know about it or don't use it because they think it's for people who are constipated. It's available generically at any drug store by store brand or by advertised brand names such as "Metamucil" and it comes in handy capsules, chewable tablets and pills and it's inexpensive. Don't hesitate to ask your doctor about it the next time you're in for a check-up.

Finally then, everyone's medication affects them differently. In my case, I only take high blood pressure medication and one or two fiber pill a day seems to work for me. You may have to take more depending upon your own system and the amount of medication you are taking. You will need to experiment with the number of capsules you take per day to find the dosage that's right for you.

Senior Moments - Keeping Your Memory

Where's The Bathroom?

Grocery Store Complaints/Suggestions

Grocery Shopping in Norwalk

Senior Citizens Humor Page One - Page Two

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