Sunday, December 8, 2013

Heating Blankets and Bidet Hunting

When you get sick, it's amazing to see the types of items that you purchase shift from one realm to the next.  Two months ago my Christmas list included things like a python programming book, a Rasperry Pi and some bike stuff.  Those have changed to a heating blanket (received yesterday as an early present) and a bidet seat (going to be ordering after the research period wraps up).  Ah how times change.  A budding young security professional with thoughts on learning a new programming language and a withering old man who is focused on comfort.

Why a heating blanket and bidet?  When your body starts breaking down, certain things don't work as well as they used to.  I used to be a living, breathing, walking heater.  Any time Tami or Myah was cold, they would cuddle up to me.  That usually resulted in Tami falling asleep...almost instantly.  Unfortunately, I've lost so much muscle mass and the meds that I'm on tweak my blood pressure just enough to make it really hard for my body to regulate it's own temperature.   This is an issue in the middle of the night in the winter.  Our thermostats dial down when we sleep (as they should) so it's 65 in the house around 2am.  This is a popular time for my body to wake up and want to cough, hack, spit and pee.  All of which is fine...until I crawl back in bed and uncontrollably shiver for the next 20 minutes.  That stopped last night.  Yesterday, Tami and Myah brought me home a heating blanket.  Now when I have to get up, I set the blanket to be warm when I get back.  Then it's instant sleep.  I slept so well last night that it HAS to be the blanket.  Tami get's a huge win out of this as well.  She used to use me as her night time heat source, a role that I can no longer fulfill.  So our new dual zone blanket lets her get her side of the bed nice and toasty.  She also slept better last night than she has in a while.  Win Win.  :)

(Disclaimer...there will a brief discussion of bodily functions in this section.  If this makes you uncomfortable or queasy, skip down to the part with the picture.)

The bidet is a different story entirely.  In the last week, Sofia has reared her ugly head again and I have developed another pain, this one further to the right side of my liver.  It's so intense that sleeping on anything but my back is very painful, even with meds.  So are other activities up after some action in the bathroom.  I've tried multiple positions, different attack angles and both hands (obviously not at the same time).  Everything I try ranges from extremely uncomfortable to grit-your-teeth painful.  It's just not worth going through that multiple times a day when there is an obvious (although European) way to fix it.  And really, the benefits don't end there.  There will be times when I may have (as a result of illness or the side effect of a drug) uncontrollable diarrhea.  When this happens, people have been known to just soak in baths because there is so much irritation caused by toilet paper.   This solution would address that as well.  It also would be nice to have something that soothes hemorrhoids.  Yes I have them...although that was totally pre-cancer. 

Now, installing an actual bidet in my bathroom would be physically impossible.  So my only option is a bidet seat.  They come in a variety of shapes and sizes with features that range from spartan to ridiculous.  I could go for the $60 seat add-ons that simply take the cold water from the feed line and hit your under under stuff with it.  But that seems a bit barbaric to me.  If I'm going to go to the trouble of getting and installing a bidet seat, then I'm going to want to have some civility in the process.  That means that my requirements include heated water and an adjustable nozzle.  I don't want to be shifting my body around to get things done. 

Anyone who knows how I operate, knows that I over research things.  I've looked at so many different bidet seats in the passed 24 hours that during my spelling review with Myah last night, each sentence for the given word included a bidet seat.  It was pretty challenging, but absolutely hilarious.  So, I think I'm going with the Brondell Swash 900.  Not only does it have heated water and an adjustable nozzle, but it also has a heated seat as a bonus.  Sweet!  Sure the Swash 300 has almost everything that the 900 has and is $150 less expensive...but the adjustable nozzle position and optional "wide angle" spray pattern sealed the deal for me.  Hey...I like my gadgets, and if I have to buy a bidet seat, I want to geek out a little bit.  (Yes, it has a remote.)

So three whole paragraphs about a bidet seat is probably enough most of you.  ;)  Well, I have something ELSE to talk about too!  I'm tired of being a little weakling who just sits and watches his body disappear.  I started purposefully building muscle today.  Resistance bands have never provided enough of a workout for me...until now.  We have a couple sets for Tami and I picked one up today.  Now, you'll notice that I'm using the red/black braided bands (highest resistance) so I don't feel like such an invalid.  I focused mainly on upper body this morning. 

20 bicep curls on each side
15 crossover pulls on each side
15 standing rows

I also sat on the couch and did 15 leg extensions while holding the bands and pushing out with my feet. 

I'm also going to go for a drive this afternoon to see if I can drive my self to work tomorrow.  I'm confident that I can get there.  I just have to leave early enough to get home safely.  So I'll be splitting my days in half.  Half at work and and half at home.

Random observation...right now the mountains are so stunning.  The tops are covered completely in white puffy clouds.  Just the tops though.  I love our view.  :)

Do something good for your body today.



  1. The names of the bidets sound to good to be true. The Brondell Swash 900...I mean, what else could it BE?
    On another note, I happen to have a Python programming book from a class I took. You know, for light reading while you're not building those muscles. I will drop it in the mail.

    1. Thanks for the book! I was vacillating between which version I wanted to start with and this book has BOTH!

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  3. Those have changed to a heating blanket (received yesterday as an early present) and a bidet seat (going to be ordering after the research ...