Everyone Poops

I would like to dedicate this post to my friend.  She isn’t embarrassed by her poop, and really has a strange fascination with it.  Because of this weird trait, we are all a little fascinated by her.

Why is it embarrassing when we talk about something so natural as poop?  I mean, we all know that everyone does it.  But why did a Japanese author actually have to write a book about it?  A book, which interesting enough, has been translated into many different languages–In England titled, Everyone Poos.

Everyone but me.

I, on the other hand, have been taking antibiotics for the last month.  Imagine what that is doing for my bowel system.  Actually, don’t.  I will tell you:  Apparently, when you take antibiotics, it kills good bacteria in your intestine.  Good bacteria have the job of keeping things smooth and on the go.  Without good bacteria, rotten things happen.  Take my word for it.  I am getting to know my body in a very intimate way.  I know my Dr. Brother is thinking of a billion other things that could be making me constipated.

The thing is, I have always been a little proud of my very regular bowel movements.  I used to be able to time them.  I actually never kept track of them, because it was never an issue for me.  I knew that as soon as I would go for a run, it would happen.  Not long after my coffee, it would happen.  I eat my vegetables.  And when other people talk about being constipated, I always think, “Dang, just eat some veggies!”

Oh, sigh.

I think part of the answer though is that I have been invalid.  I’ve been laying around, and it is really hard to move–so I don’t.  Today I went to work, and that helped loosen me up.  My kids were amazing, and were so sweet to act like they’ve missed me.  I even rewarded them with our Friday song, Ice Cream and Cake.  This includes a bit of dancing.  Entonces, walking, dancing, and moving have helped me out.

Surprise!  Everyone poops.  Even me.

   My favorite part of this picture is that the man is smoking and reading the paper.   We see his pants and his houseshoes as well.  Where are the pants of the little kid?  Are we to believe that he runs around without pants?  Because that would make me think that he is my nephew, in which case, he should be screaming his head off because he has to sit on the commode…

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Embarrassing Ya-ya (Embarazada)

I live in Baby World.

Don’t get me wrong, I do love babies as much as the next Blakley (it seemed more powerful to say “Blakley” and not “girl…”).  It just seems that 1) everyone is having a baby 2) everyone THINKS I am having a baby 3) if you’re close to 30 and live in Mexico, a baby is the natural suspicion.

It all starts with the kidney pain.  Apparently, kidney pain is a normal thing to have when you’re pregnant.  So, yesterday I went for my ultrasound.  I know.  Right?  If you’re wanting to convince people who you aren’t carrying child, going for an ultrasound is not the way to do it.  I am sitting there (early, because Victor insists on leaving early to go anywhere) waiting for my appointment (which, by the way, was still an hour away), and a parade of soon-to-be-mamas walked in the door.  They lowered themselves with great difficulty into their seats, and rested their hands on their oh-so-large baby bellies.

And there I sat.  The pink elephant in the room.

Not only do I stand out already, but here I am surrounded by rotund glowing women.  Add the fact that standing up and sitting down is also difficult for me (and the fact that my doctor told me I needed to lose 30 kilos), and you have yourself one embarrassed american…

My friend says she always remembers the word for pregnant because it sounds like embarrassing.  Why, yes, it does.  Thank you for the mnemonic device for remembering embarazada.  I’ve since learned that prenada (for animals), cargada (like cargo), and esperanda (waiting)  all mean the same thing.  Four things I am not.

Not By The Hair Of My Chinny-Chin-Chin

I did it today.  I plucked the hair in my chinny-chin-chin.

This is how you know that you’re getting old.  You have chin hair.  I remember when I was younger Mamaw had this mole on the side of her chin.  She would clip the hairs that grew there occasionally.  I, on the other hand, remember playing with them.  I find myself doing the same thing–and that is when I know that I need to pluck.

I can also tell I am getting old other ways:

  • Today I watched this kid on the Ellen Show who is a skateboarder.  I actually felt sick at my stomach watching him flying in the air.  Being aware that I can and will die if I do something stupid makes me old.  I ALMOST had that in high school when we decided to roll down the hill in the huge metal pipe.  I though, “Hmmm, this will not turn out well…” a minute too late.
  • I am getting wrinkly.  They are on my forehead–and I blame that totally on my students.  I have to give them that “mom” look.  They are also all around my eyes and mouth.  I blame that on my students too.  Those suckers can really make me laugh.
  • I get indigestion.  And I know what causes it.  We used to make fun of one of our friends (and still do), because she would complain about indigestion.  Now, I know what foods I should avoid.  I know that when my tummy aches and I have gas, I ate something that really “didn’t agree with me.”
  • I use phrases like “that didn’t agree with me.”
  • I am dreadfully aware that everyone is having babies.  But for the first time in fifteen years, it actually is a little scary to think of having a baby.  Yet again, I know what can go wrong.  Plus, I live in Mexico, and I saw what that hospital looked like the other day.  I have been told that the baby-having hospital is better off.
  • I sometimes have to make people unhappy.  This is usually because I WANT to spend time with my family.  That’s right, you heard me.  I want to spend time with my family.  If that isn’t a sign of aging, I don’t know what is.  The thing is, my friends are getting old too.  They understand that because I haven’t been in town for a while, I might want to spend time with my family.  Weird.  Wonder if they realize it?

I sometimes have aches and pains when I wake up.  My knees creak.  I forget things.  I want to eat vegetables.  I haven’t played at the park across the street yet, and I’ve lived here a week.  I found a gray hair the other day.  I like antiques.  I wear sunscreen.  I take vitamins by choice.  I think about the future.  I lock the door when I go to bed.  I turn out the lights to save electricity.  I save random things that I think I might use again.

I have chin hair.

Watermelon Yellin’

Uuuuuggghhh! Aaaarrrrggghh! I just don’t want you to miss out on the fun here. That is what I do every couple minutes as my muscles spasm in my side. Victor is sounding like Mom, as every-time I yell in pain he says, “I don’t want you to hurt!” “I don’t like seeing you like this.” The only thing missing is, “I wish it was me and not you.” I don’t wish this on my worst enemy–much less anyone I love.

I felt kinda bad when he told me that while walking to the hospital a mango fell and hit him on the head. I felt bad because I laughed. Then I moaned because it hurts when I laugh.

I did take the time between yells to get a photo of this… Watermelon in April?! Yes, please! It’s so delicious and sweet! He started to cut my piece again, and I said, “No, I’ll eat all of that…”

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A Taste of Home (Kinda…)

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I woke up feeling so great this morning! I had gotten up in the middle of the night to use the bathroom and take my medicine. I lay there relishing in slight pain (which is so much better than the severe pain I have felt for days…), and I knew what I wanted to do. It is after all, what every good southern woman does on Saturday morning…

BISCUITS AND GRAVY!

It is interesting, for three years I have ranted about the woes of flour. I need my White Lily. Nothing works like White Lily. And for three years my biscuits turn out like hockey pucks. Turns out a little All Purpose Flour and baking powder makes a pretty good biscuit. I certainly have NOTHING on my Mama. She makes the world’s BEST biscuits. If you want to make some delcious biscuits like her, you can study her method via this Youtube video I made last Thanksgiving. (Mama’s Biscuit Video)

I used my mexican flour, the baking powder, salt, butter, and my homemade buttermilk (apple cider vinegar in regular milk). I am able to buy bacon here, but I can’t find breakfast sausage. So, today’s gravy was bacon gravy. Add some delicious tomatoes and scrambled eggs–you’ve got yourself a southern breakfast.

I was channeling my Mamaw again, so a little later I sent Victor to the store for lemons. Is there anything more delicious than lemonade on a hot day? yum!

Why A Mexican Man Is A Good Accessary Part Two: The Hospital

Because when you cry from kidney pain, he pets you and says, “I am sorry.”

Because when the pain doesn’t go away, he tells you that you need a doctor.

Because when you’re stubborn, and ask to move your entire bed downstairs, he doesn’t complain.  He helps you down to the couch, and lays on the floor without complaining.

Because when you continue to cry, and your knees become so painful, he tells you that you need to go to the hospital.

When you need help dressing and putting on your shoes, he doesn’t say a word.  He just helps you out.  Even when you don’t want to wear what he brings you, and you demand something else.

Because he will help you out the door and into a cab.  He will tell the cab driver to drive carefully everytime you cry out in pain over the bumps.

When you get to the hospital, he will help you into the emergency room telling everyone in sight, “This is an emergency!  Where do we go for an emergency!?”

When  you are misdirected, because, after all, these are Mexicans you’re dealing with, he will become frustrated.  When doctors try to brush you off, he demands that someone sees you.  You will feel bad, because sick people are everywhere–even lining the hallways.

When the jerk doctor tells you that he wants to x-ray your knees, he says, “No.  The problem isn’t her knees, It’s her kidneys!”  You will have to convince him that, yes, you do want a blood test.  He will only listen after he talks to another doctor.

He will demand again and again a wheelchair, because you can’t hardly walk.

He will hold your hand while you give your blood.  He will hold the trash can when you think you will throw up.  He will stand by your side for hours, because there aren’t any chairs.  He will even cheer up the Mexican women all around you who are sick (Women love him).

He will take you to the bathroom when you need to go, because the nurses don’t help with that sort of thing.  He will help with everything including the urine sample.  He will just tease you to make the whole situation seem light.

He will stick with you to translate all the spanish questions people ask.  When they want to know how to spell your name, he will pull out your Mexican Visa and hand it over.  When they try to kick him out, he will tell them he has to stay will you because you don’t speak Spanish.

When it is time to leave, he will listen intently to the doctor.  He will help you walk down the way to the taxi, because Mexican hospitals don’t suscribe to wheeling patients out.

He will get you settled, then he will go to the pharmacy to buy all your medicine.  He will buy extra pillows so that you can prop your knee up.

He will then research online the ailments the doctor said you suffered from.  He will give you factoids about kidney infections and kidney stones (even though you only have dust).

He will bring you a glass of water, and when you break it accidentally, he will tell you that you aren’t allowed to get up because of the glass.

 

Oh, There You Are!

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Victor eating Planter’s Honey Roasted Peanuts.

Remember when I said I needed cocoa powder? I have asked every baker in a twenty mile radius. Okay, that is a lie. I have asked a ton of people though. I always get the same answers. They tell me all about cocoa that you make hot chocolate with. I tell them, “No, cocoa sin azucar (without sugar).” They look at me like I am crazy. Why, after all, would you want something without a ton of sugar? They suggest the market.

Today, I had to head to the pharmacy. My stupid kidney is really not wanting to be my friend. I am waiting for the pain to go away, but that hasn’t happened yet. Luckily, securing another week’s worth of antibiotics wasn’t too difficult. I am also taking this pain medicine. It hasn’t been the miracle I was hoping for. So, now hugs have to be gentle, AND I walk like an old lady! Wow! How lucky you are, dear.

Since paying the water bill was also on the list of must-dos I decided to shop at the nice grocery store. Why didn’t I think of looking in an international section before? You know what they have? So many great things (that really don’t say American Food to me). I didn’t buy the Briann’s Strawberry Vinegrette that I really wanted. I have salad dressing I need to use up already. I didn’t buy the ginger paste from the Thai section. I didn’t buy the sriracha sauce either. I have some delicious habanero sauce I need to use.

I did, however, buy the following items:

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I’ve been having a fit trying to figure out something about the flour. Is it self rising? Do I need leaven? I about cried out with joy when I found baking powder I recognize. One lady told me that is what you use when you’re sick–not for bread. It helps heartburn. Okay, lady. Thanks. I’ll be making some biscuits and gravy Saturday in case you’d like to join… Tonight’s menu includes cornbread and pinto beans. Yum!

South of the Border (Down Mexico Way)

When I was a little girl, there were some songs that I always requested from people I love. I am sure that they must have sang them a thousand times. Mama would always sing “The Playmate Song” (that sounds so naughty now that I actually know what a ‘Playmate’ is). She actually sang to me all the time, which is probably why I love it so much.

Playmate, come out and play with me. And bring your dollies three…

Mamaw, on the other hand, had three go-to songs that we would beg to hear.

  1. The Tennessee Waltz (Click here to view/listen)
  2. Blue Heaven (Click here to listen)
  3. South of the Border (Click here to listen)

I think Mamaw sang #3 for me. Even now, while she doesn’t remember the majority of things, she can hum along and sing a few lines. Everytime I sing, “South of the border, down Mexico way, that’s where they fell in love when stars above came out to play…” I think of Mamaw.

Last time I was home, I was shocked (and not surprised at all) to see that she had declined a bit more in three months. She asked me to sit with her, not on the other couch. She clutched my hand, and we sang a few familiar hymns. I love to hear her say, “That’s beautiful. Yeah.”

I remember when I was the one who wouldn’t let go of her. I sat on the couch at Allie and Paul’s with Mamaw. I would hook my arm through her’s and rub her skin (I have this “thing”about soft skin…) I also loved to pinch the skin and watch it go back down. I don’t remember when I realized that it did this because she was old. Now I get a little nervous to realize that my skin is lifting a bit easier in my old age. (No, really…)

I remember riding to meeting with her Mexican style. That means that I didn’t sit in a car seat–I sat on her lap. She would hook us both into the seat belt. When I got bigger, I still sat with her, only I sat on the seat beside her. She would wrap her arms around me and say, “I’ll be your seatbelt.” I don’t remember when I stopped riding with her. I don’t think Fuva took my place though–I think she just started driving there herself.

Ahh… sweet woman, how did you know that I would end up south of the border down Mexico way? How did you know that I would lose my sweetheart to another woman? How did you know I would long for a blue heaven of my own? What a wise woman.

I’m Back! (Says My Infection…And Me)

I have really been through the ringer this Spring Break.  To make matters worse, when I returned to Mexico, it was to a new home.  I know you’re thinking, “Well, that doesn’t seem bad!  You wanted a new home!” True.  My mexican boyfriend was sweet enough to move all of my stuff while I was gone.  He was also sweet enough to leave things in random places so that I could decide where to put them (Thanks, dear).

In all seriousness, it was rather nice.  I have come home to a new place that is mine.  No roommate.  No frustration because someone isn’t doing their part.  No “sharing” my food (A.K.A.  Finding out it is missing when I go to eat it…)  I slept last night under a cover because my room was actually cold.  I have an air conditioner!

Because of this freak kidney infection that I developed.  I was, however, unable to see my friends at the end of the week.  I was looking forward to a movie date… It turned out to be almost a blessing, as I was forced to stay home and rest!  Rest I did.  I couldn’t do much else!

Unfortunately, today I awoke with an all too familiar pain in my back/side.  It had eased up this weekend, but today it got worse as the day went on.  In addition to the back pain, my body seems to be retaining fluid.  My knee is inflamed and swollen (I have it propped up, Mom.), and I struggled to walk when I left school.   I am so lucky to have caring people at work.  Between some counseling and some complaining, I (with help) formed a plan.  My assistant principal contacted her doctor (whom she raves about) via her Blackberry.  With a bit of sharing questions/answers, he “prescribed” a stronger antibiotic for me to take.  He also assured that it would begin working today, and that I could contact him if I had more complications!  All of that for the low, low price of free!

The meds ended up costing a hefty 310 pesos!  I can totally tell a difference (Mom), and I think I will be okay (Mom).  Don’t worry (Mom).  I am downing coco water and regular water, and I just made some tea (Mom).  I have camped out on the couch, and I am resting (Mom).

The organzing and cleaning of the house can wait until another day…

Ayudame! Help Me!

On Friday I finished my last dose of antibiotics.  That intestinal infection I had was a doozy.  Seriously.  Without sharing too many details, you can just take my word for it.

Well, let me tell you–the pain that I felt, the misery I was in–it was nothing compared to this:

Saturday my back started hurting.  I thought it was these darn American beds–all soft and comfy.  The pain continued to grow.  Monday I asked my brother-in-law’s mom about it.  She is a nurse, and I was trying to avoid the doctor’s office.  She said it was probably irritable bowel syndrome (complicated by whatever parasite climbed into my guts).  The next day it got worse, and that night I lay in bed crying for help from Mama.

The next day I scheduled an appointment.  It would be Friday before they could see me.  Unfortunately, sometime after lunch I panicked.  The pain I felt was extreme!  I couldn’t move without hurting.  When I breathed in it hurt.  When I breathed out it hurt.  When I stayed still it hurt.  My back muscles would twitch and that hurt.  Because I think I can self-diagnose (How crazy does that drive doctors?), I went to my source of medical information: internet.  I was even more convinced that I either had malaria or some spleen complication.

So, my uncle picked me up to take me to the clinic.  An infection.  That is what I have.  A stupid Urinary Tract Infection that went to my kidneys.  Seriously??  So, day two of antibiotics, and I am still walking like an old lady and crying like a baby.