Sunday, January 27, 2008

Airy Tale

After returning from my year-end trip, I was having a nasty gout attack and mentioned to people that the one of the triggers may have been dehydration. I had been visiting Maine and was doing a lot of snow shovelling and may not have been drinking enough water. I did have bottled water with me, but I will not drink tap water at my sister's—it's well water.

The obvious question was why won't I drink the well water.

I grew up in coastal New England north of Boston. In my youth, I traveled around New England, but never ventured further. Later I went in the Marines and initially was on the east coast and the conditions were pretty similar.

Then, the first sign of problems.

I was stationed at Andrews Air Force Base and late in the summer we went to Yuma, Arizona—my first travel away from the coast. The Yuma flight line was hot—well, maybe hell is a better description. It took a lot of water to stay hydrated. I soon realized, along with everyone around me, that I was getting pretty gassy. I started producing commercial quantities of gas (I don't know about the quality.) After returning to D.C. things returned to normal and after some consideration I realized what the problem was—the water. The Yuma water was exceptionally soft and my poor body couldn't handle it (and can't today.)

Years later my sister, her husband and the dogs moved to Maine. On my first visit to their new house I realized that I wouldn't be drinking the water—conditioned well water that was soft to the touch. I visited from Southern California, and one of the dogs was a California native. One day my sister was telling me about the dog's gas problem that started after the move, so I told my Yuma story.

Reducing soft water consumption = reduced gas production. It works in dogs, too. On a later trip she told me that she told the story to the vet and she started recommending the water treatment to people experiencing airy tails.


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