Sunday, October 22, 2006

Backlog (or: the TMI post)

You don't realize it yet, but the title of this post is a revolting pun.

Yes, I'm here to talk about constipation. Now, I should lead off by saying that, in my normal life, I am blessed with regularity. Enviable regularity. Regularity on long trips across time zones, regularity whether I'm eating All Bran or baguettes and cheese, regularity that comes from having just the right amount of a nervous stomach. I have no problem shitting in the woods or in the stall of a busy restroom at work; it takes no time at all. Usually, I can just think about taking a crap, and that's enough to make it happen.

I realize that this is the digestive equivalent of "My husband just has to look at me and I get pregnant." And having had several friends who suffered from major intestinal slowdowns, I realize that I have been lucky to be such an insouciant crapper.

Clearly, I knew that women are often afflicted with constipation when they're pregnant. And I read the "side effects" on the Z0fran insert (as well as many comments on hyperemesis message boards) and saw that constipation is the most commonly cited one. But I also kind of thought, (a) this won't happen to me, at least not to that extent, since shitting is one of my core competencies and (b) even if it does happen, how bad can it be?

You see, I thought of constipation as maybe feeling pretty stopped up and bloated - not a pleasant state, but one that would be relieved from time to time by a stool softener or twenty. You know, you'd clear out the pipes, then maybe experience some issues again, etc. - it'd end up as a sort of cycle.

Ahem. What I did not realize is that constipation makes it almost impossible to shit, even when you feel the urge to, and that this state is incredibly painful. I can't tell you how much time I am now spending on the toilet, straining with all my might to emit one tiny lump of coal. I only take shits at home now, since I often have to yell out in the manner of Martina Hingis. And I think the main consequence of my efforts is going to be hemorrhoids and varicose veins in my ass.

This, by the way, is on two Co*lace a day. At the recommendation of Beth and one of my online buddies, I called my clinic to ask for Mira.lax. The nurse said she had to ask the doctor, and, as luck would have it, she asked the one doctor (out of seven) with whom I have had a bad experience. He said no to the Mira.lax. Instead, the nurse said he suggested drinking more water or taking Meta.mucil. When I stopped laughing hysterically, I asked whether there was anything else I could do. She suggested high-fiber cereal. Once I again regained my composure, I pressed further. Finally, they gave me permission to use Dulco.lax suppositories, which I plan to attempt later today. I'm hoping this can clear things out and give the Co.lace more of a shot at working.


Larki said...

You can use more Colace, too. I've certainly put people on four a day: two am, two pm.

Sorry to hear you've got the shitless blues. I had them terribly in my first pregnancy, and oh, it was miserable! Also in India: everyone else got diarrhea, and I got completely stopped up. TEN DAYS I went once, on a road trip to Darjeeling. What I remember about Sikkim is not being able to shit.

However, you'll probably return to your enviable state post-pregnancy. At least, pregnancy fixed me for good. Pre-Rabbit, I had years of post-subcontinental intestinal problems. Post-Rabbit, I've never had any trouble again.

I really took the TMI to heart, there.

Oh, BTW, this is Bihari. I have acquired another blogger ID for complicated reasons.

My Reality said...

I do hope that everything comes out ok.

When is your next ultrasound? For some reason, I thought it was this week, but I guess I was wrong.

Meg said...

Ohmygod, I know exactly what you mean. It is torture!! I still don't have the answer, and I've no doubt it will probably take me another six months to work it out, by which point it will be over.

Hopeful Mother said...

Sorry to hear about your backlog. I, too, have always been a "model" of regularity when it comes to things on that end, so I can understand your shock at the sudden change.

I hope it gets better for you soon!

Heather said...

good luck!

Anita said...

Dulco.lax suppositories OMG! I have used them twice. Here's a few tips.

1. Be sure to use some type of lubricant (K*Y Jelly or something like that) before inserting.
2. Lay down on the couch for at least 10 minutes after insertion.
3. When you start to feel the gurgling in your guts resist the urge to run to the biffy.
4. When you hear the gurgling in your guts resist the urge to run to the biffy.
5. When the poop starts to "turtle" resist the urge to run to the biffy.
6. While waiting for things to start moving gather up the following supplies. A cool cloth, reading material (you're gonna be a while) and something to bite down on.
7. When you think you can no longer hold on wait a minute or two.
8. Get to the biffy as quickly as your legs can carry you without shitting yourself.
9. Assume the position.
10. Pray to God that this will be over soon.

Good luck, I can't wait to read all about your experience!

Motel Manager said...

MR, my next ultrasound is on 11/2 (or 11/3...must check). I may have said it was earlier - I am kind of a moron.

Anita, thanks for the tips. I used a suppository last night. The package claimed that the suppository would produce a BM in 15 minutes to one hour. Nothing happened. I went to sleep. About two hours later, I woke up feeling pretty crampy, and I spent a while on the toilet, not necessarily productively. Eventually, I went back to bed. It was not exactly the cathartic experience I was looking for - more like I got the cramps and pain of diarrhea without the Drano-like effect of it.

And I'm pretty sure I have hemorrhoids. Fist in the air!

Hope548 said...

I'm so sorry about your constipation, but I so appreciate your writing talents to describe it. Well done. I hope you get a much needed release soon!