Update is at the end of the post.
Warning this post is full of crap! Do not continue reading if talking about diarrhea and poop makes you uncomfortable! With that out of the way, it’s time for some potty talk!
I have been living with my chronic illnesses for 16 years. Prior to that I never gave much thought to my bowel movements. There was no reason to. I not only went at the same time every day, but I rarely dealt with diarrhea or constipation. My poop was nothing to get excited or worried about.
When my chronic illnesses were first diagnosed, I treated them with pharmaceutical medications. This led to painful bouts of constipation. Later when my abdominal adhesions began pulling and twisting my bowels, my body would flip flop between constipation and diarrhea. After awhile I began to forget what it was like to have a normal bowel movement or even what a normal turd looked like. This continued until approximately a year and a half ago when diarrhea took over full-time. Every over the counter and prescription medication made it worse. I tried one doctor recommended diet after another, nothing helped except for surgery. I would experience relief after my surgeons released and cleaned up my abdominal adhesions while performing surgery for other reasons. The problem with surgery as a solution is that the relief is short lived. The longest amount of time that I had relief from them was 6 months and the shortest was 3 weeks. The average relief time was only 3 months and why I would never ask my doctor to surgically clean them up unless I had to have surgery for another reason. With no options to end my diarrhea, I learned to accept that it was a part of my life.
There were times that my diarrhea held me hostage in bathroom stalls for close to an hour! There was one instance in which I was crapping my brains out at Disneyland when my daughter came in to check on me since I had been in there for 40 minutes. Often it hit without warning. Yes, I have crapped my pants!! This is why I haven’t left the house without an adult diaper for the past year and a half. Good times! NOT!! While not something most would admit to, I am not ashamed to wear adult diapers. They make clean up a lot easier!
However, there is more to suffering from chronic diarrhea than squirting brown liquid from your rear. It is painful. My stomach and intestines swell and hurt. I experience terrible intestinal and side muscle spasms. It is exhausting!! There have been times that I have experienced so much abdominal pain while on the toilet that I lacked the strength to go back to bed. Instead I would just curl up on the bathroom floor and rest until I felt I could make it back to bed.
Why all this talk of poo? Because two weeks ago I had my first normal bowel movement!!! Can I get a Hallelujah?!!! For the first time in what felt like forever, I am experiencing regular bowel movements and real turds!!!! I wish I had taken a picture of my family’s faces when I excitedly shared my good news, because it was hilarious.
How did this happen? To be honest I am not 100% sure, but I am testing it out and if what I am about to share continues to work, I won’t be stopping it. Two days before my first normal bowel movement, I began replacing two meals a day with instant oatmeal. This is why I brought it to have for lunch on my last Disneyland play day. To test this theory, I skipped a couple of days this past week and guess what? My diarrhea returned!!! The next day I went back on my oatmeal diet and my normal bowel movements returned!
So we will see if this continues or if it is just a fluke. All I know is that I will never take having a normal bowel movement for granted again. After living with my illnesses for 16 years, I am forever surprised by the things that I used to take for granted.
I will continue to update this post to share if this is really the end of my daily diarrhea or if it is just something that helps now and then. All I know is that I love that I found something that isn’t a drug or that requires surgery. Here’s to leaving the restroom with a smile on my face instead of tears from exhaustion and pain!
I have had to stop eating oatmeal for the moment. Most of my digestive issues stem from abdominal adhesions. The adhesions attach and wrap themselves around various internal organs. The organs they like the most are my bowels. For the past week my abdominal adhesions have been pulling and twisting my bowels. Firm poo has made this more painful than usual. I can’t believe I am saying this, but I am looking forward to having my bowel movements return to a liquid state. Once my adhesions loosen I will go back to eating oatmeal and avoiding the foods that give me diarrhea.
Wishing you a day filled with gentle hugs, many reasons to smile, and regular bowel movements!
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Tagged: chronic diarrhea, chronic illness, chronic pain, constipation, fibro, fibromyalgia, invisible disabilities, mental-health, MS, pain, pain pals, poop, potty talk, psoriatic arthritis, spoonie, spoonies