Face Leakage

It’s been 4 days since the gallbladder operation and, it seemed to me that, everything was going well. The places on my … (what’s the word for the whole bit from beneath your boobs to under that roll of fat called?), where the bandages have been placed, haven’t been hurting.

 

(But I gotta say, for an operation where there are only supposed to be 4 little holes, there’s a helluva lot of bandages!)

The Hospital Stay

I woke up from the operation with a really dry mouth and a massive headache. The nurses kept trying to give me panadol – who are they kidding! Panadeine Extra and Panadeine Forte have trouble dealing with my headaches. So, I had to fight with them each time for something stronger. I had even brought my own pain relief in (with a letter from my GP).

This may be too much information for some but, there was a lot of phantom wee-ing (I felt like I had to go to the toilet to urinate all the time despite nothing coming out).

I had a drain in one of the sites, which hurt while it was in and hurt more while it was being taken out – it literally took my breath away: I felt like the nurse was pulling my heart out through that little hole!

But after that, I was fine to get out of hospital and go home (and handle my own pain relief!)

At Home

The only pain that I really had (and I think it diminished any FM pain because of its intensity) was in my lower abdomen. Supposedly it’s gas and air from the operation PLUS 4 days of being unable to produce a bowel movement (even with Lactulose and Movicol). So I was dying for that to happen so all the pain would disappear.

Guess what? Today I had a poo. Yippee, I thought, except it felt like it was ripping my insides out. Then I was stuck in the toilet because I couldn’t turn my body to wipe myself (remember I did just have an operation!) I’m standing there, moving to the left, to the right, leaning over the toilet bowl, toilet paper in my right hand, in my left hand – all in an attempt to reach my bum (yes, you’re allowed to laugh!) And, after all of that, the pain in my abdomen has not diminished – in fact, it feels so much worse.

Back to the couch to pay my gas bill, as I watch my credit card creep ever closer to its limit; when, all of a sudden, there’s a huge crash in my bedroom. I get myself off the couch to see what happened – and I can’t even get into my room because my shoe shelf-thingy (that is supposed to be able to hold 30 pairs of shoes but only had about 15) has collapsed. There are shoes and shelf parts all over the floor and crashed against my bed and the wall; and I can’t do anything about it because bending to pick it all up makes me dizzy and hurt.

So, I’m back to sitting on my couch, with my face leaking (just feeling deeply sorry for myself), thinking I should write all of this down before I forget how I’m feeling right now.

Don’t worry, I’ll feel better later.

 

And It All Comes Back to the Poo!

***This is NOT dinnertime reading! Do NOT read if you are easily offended, nauseous, or just don’t like to talk about bowel movements***

Isn’t it funny, we all go to the toilet, but we don’t like to talk about it, particularly number twos.

Today, I had a ‘normal’ bowel movement – but what is considered to be a ‘normal’ bowel movement?

A bowel movement should be soft and easy to pass, though some people may have harder or softer stools than others. In general, stool should be brown or golden brown, be formed, have a texture similar to peanut butter, and have a size and shape similar to a sausage. In many cases, a stool that varies a bit from this description is no cause for alarm, especially if it is an isolated incident.

It seems that most of us, especially those with IBS issues, never have a ‘normal’ bowel movement. In fact, our ‘normal’ is more likely to be those ‘really difficult to push out rabbit droppings type,’ or the ‘rush to the closest toilet explosion,’ or even the ‘my ass is dribbling type.’

Most of us who live with FM also have IBS. FM and IBS are co-diagnosed in up to 70% of FM patients. IBS (also known as irritable colon, spastic colon, mucous colitis, or spastic colitis) is a disorder of the bowel, or large intestine. It is characterized by severe abdominal pain and cramping, changes in bowel movements, and a variety of other symptoms.

It has been estimated that as many as two-thirds of all IBS patients have FM, and as many as 70% of FM patients may also have IBS. These statistics differ greatly from the corresponding rates in the general population, where only 10%-15% of individuals are estimated to have IBS. It is unknown if the two conditions are related symptomatically or causally, or if their frequent co-occurrence is merely a coincidence.

Adding pain killers to the mix can be frustrating and painful.

Now, the ‘really difficult to push out rabbit droppings type’ tends to be a constipation. Constipation means different things to different people. For many people, it simply means infrequent stools. For others, however, constipation means hard stools, difficulty passing stools (straining), or a sense of incomplete emptying after a bowel movement. This is called fecal impaction, a condition in which stool hardens in the rectum and prevents the passage of any stool.  According to reports in the Journal of Psychosomatic Research, constipation or infrequent stools occur in 30% of FM sufferers.

Constipation also can alternate with diarrhoea. Diarrhoea is an increase in the frequency of bowel movements, an increase in the looseness of stool or both. It is caused by increased secretion of fluid into the intestine, reduced absorption of fluid from the intestine or rapid passage of stool through the intestine. This is the other two types of (what I refer to as) our ‘normal.’

My point to all this crap (Ha! Ha! Lol!) is that I get used to the IBS stuff: I have cramps, I take Buscopan; I have diarrhoea for too long, I take Immodium; and, if I’m constipated, greasy fish and chips seems to do the trick. But when I have a ‘normal’ poo, it feels like it is dragging all my insides out with it. It’s tiring and it’s physically draining. It leaves my body feeling empty (but not in a good way!).

So, is this what ‘normal’ feels like?

Further Reading: