2005 Oct 25

Few people know what diverticulitis is.  Even among those who do, only a few know the
etymology of the word.   It comes from a small group of South Pacific islands in the Pearl
Sea where it is quite common.  Do you know where the Coral Sea is?  The Pearl Sea is
right next door.  The Coral Sea has coral; the Pearl Sea has pearls.  It also has a strange
breed of octopi, O. oculess, that are hard of seeing.  The only way they can procreate is by
tickling.  It is a little known fact that mature female octopi giggle when tickled.  So when a
male oculess encounters something, the first thing he does is tickle it to see if it giggles.  If
it does, then he knows it is a nubile female octopus.  He then proceeds to inseminate her
by inserting a sperm packet into an orifice between two of her legs.  They then both swim
away happy as can be.

It didn't take long for the local pearl divers to discover this mating ritual.  And that’s why
they never giggle.  No matter how hard they are tickled.  They practice long and hard to not
giggle when tickled.  It involves a lot of straining and grunting, which sometimes leads to a
debilitating lower bowel disorder that the locals call diver tickleitis.  QED.

So, if you have diverticulitis (di-ver-tic-ul-i-tis) (sic), you might not want to go to the Pearl
Sea islands, but if you do go, stay out of the water.  And giggle a lot.  At least never try to
suppress a giggle.  Avoid straining and grunting.  Also, a judicious selection of high fiber
fruits, nuts, vegetables, and grains in your diet should be efficacious.
The Etymology of Diverticulitis
by Nick Kluznick
So What Is Diverticulitis?

It is a SELF-INFLICTED intestinal ailment.  What you do is:
  1. Get yourself constipated by choosing to eat a low fiber diet lacking of a variety of fruits
    and vegetables.  
  2. Then try to force a bowel movement by grunting and straining, until you cause a blow-
    out(s) in your intestinal wall.  This little bubble or pocket is called a diverticulosis.  
  3. Wait around several days, weeks or months until a food particle lodges in a
    diverticulosis pocket and then gets infected.  Now you have diverticulitis.  Stomach
    pain.  Fever.  
  4. See your doctor.  Take antibiotics.  Go on a 2 stage diverticulitis diet.  Yuck.
  5. Now you are ready to repeat the infection process.  

What you should do is:
  1. Eat a well balanced diet high in fiber - a variety of fruits and vegetables.  Meat is OK
    but not too much.  I also take a fiber capsule (with a full glass of water) daily just to
    make sure.   
  2. Drink lots of water - 8 full glasses a day.  (Your whole body likes water.)
  3. NEVER grunt and strain to cause a bowel movement.  What I do is do a Sudoku puzzle
    while potentating (sitting on the throne).  20 minutes later the puzzle is done and the
    bowel movement is done.  No grunting and no straining.  (I read somewhere that the
    best time to have a BM is 20 minutes after eating breakfast.  Something about Mother
    Nature wanting it that way.)  
  4. If you screw up and get constipated, do not grunt and strain.  Just drink lots of water  
    throughout the day and take one 8.6 mg Senna pill that night, and wake up the next
    morning to a normal bowel movement with your Sudoku.

How bad can it get?  Very.  In the worst case you will have to have a tube bypass your
intestines and direct all waste matter into a plastic bag strapped to your side.  Yuck.