10 May 2007

Does your poopoo float?

I do like Gregory House. If I were a patient of his, I would be far more interested in his ability to have me cruising down the freeway to recovery and less about his bedside manner. Believe me being critically ill in the hospital hooked up to all sorts of gadgets with your organs crashing with every breath you draw (as is the case with all his patients) it wouldn’t matter that your doctor was polite it would matter that he is able to pull u back from the white light. I am watching House as is my custom on Tuesday evenings after Idol and he had to attend to this couple who had come in because the guy was producing ‘floaters’ not ‘sinkers’. According to his vegan girlfriend who was also a nutritionist, he shouldn’t produce floaters. House agreed with her, since he wasn’t eating meat, fatty or lean his poop shouldn’t float. ‘Floaters’ are caused by a diet rich in fat. House declared.

Hmmm … could this be the answer to the puzzle that I have been pondering ever since I heard Frank Olize ask the following question on NTA’s Newsline – ‘Does your poopoo float?’ Does anyone remember that particular episode? He had Quincy Ayodele on when she was just starting out and he opened the show by asking that question. I recall we all watched in my house in Ikeja like the rest of the nation wide eyed as this woman analyzed the state of peoples health based on their excrement and I have been fascinated ever since. Apparently floaters meant a person was healthy while sinkers were an indication of something gone/going awry. As a toilet worker in form 4, I was conditioned to hate floaters especially when there was water scarcity. You could flush with a hundred buckets of water and after all the commotion, and dodging of splashing toilet water the damn thing would just bob back up defying all your efforts like some sick jack-in-the-box. With time I perfected my technique and I must admit a floater was much more desirable than the ol’ padlock or used sanitary pad in the toilet bowl! A couple of years ago I noticed I was consistently producing sinkers and asked Princess about it. ‘Don’t you have something better to do with all your spare time?’ She asked. She did say as long as I am going regularly, I am not constipated and it’s not black like charcoal or bloody I am fine. I kept meaning to get online and read up about floaters vs sinkers but I guess I was ‘afraid’ of what I was going to learn coming from my Quincy Ayodele/Newsline background.

This morning, drawing ‘hope’ from the Tuesday episode of ‘House’ I got on Google. I found this article online which put everything in perspective. Vegetarians think the floater is king and apparently strive to produce them. In a healthy person floaters are caused by air and gas. The more air and gas in your poop, the less dense it will be and the more likely it is to float. So what causes the air and gas situation? Dietary changes for one. The inability to digest fat as a result of a dysfunction in the GI tract can also cause floaters. Also gastrointestinal infections cause increased gas content in the intestines which will also cause floaters. So I have finally laid the whole floater/sinker controversy in my mind to rest. The final nail in the coffin will be to ask my doctor about it at my next physical.

I also stumbled upon
this article which is just hilarious. I can really relate though. For those who know me, I must have regaled you of my eventul trip from Lagos to Ibadan in '92


Akin said...

Gosh! Spare my blushes, if I now have to check the Plimsoll line of my defecations.

A most interesting read, quite interesting.

Anonymous said...

This is the second "floater" blog post I have read recently. The other, which is one of the funniest posts on any subject I have ever read, is here.