Word of warning: Obviously, this post is about constipation. If you’re having similar surgeries or issues, you might find this of interest or value. If you don’t want to read a post about poo, well this one won’t be for you 🙂
Well, I had quite an experience the other day. I’m about 1.5 weeks post-laparoscopic excision of severe endometriosis and removal of both ovaries and tubes. The recovery has had its ups and downs, and this particular morning was one of the downs for sure.
After my surgery, I’ve been on narcotic pain medication and one of the side effects is constipation. In addition, I think the anesthesia and experience of surgery also slows down the plumbing. In any case, I’ve been through this before and so I was prepared. I started on stool softener and a fiber supplement and I’ve been drinking lots of water. Things had been moving, but slowly, in the downstairs plumbing.
And then this terrible morning happened. I woke up feeling pretty good. Ate breakfast, drank a little coffee… and then I felt the urge to go. Great, I thought. This will be great. But no! I got into the bathroom and soon realized that something was very wrong. I had to go all right and the train was at the station, but the tunnel seemed blocked. Then it started to reeeaallly hurt. Before surgery my endometriosis had all of my parts glued together down here – the uterus to the ovaries to the ureter and bladder to the rectum to the colon. All of these parts had the the endo painstakingly removed so that the parts are now free to move about and do their functions. They are also still swollen and tender and healing. And painful!
So at this point, nothing is going anywhere and I was in so much pain! I started sweating from the pain and was afraid that I was going to burst something inside! I have never had this experience before and I’m now scared and don’t know what to do. I wanted to ask for help, but I was so embarrassed. I just started to cry. I wanted to find my glycerin suppositories, but was in too much pain to find them. Then I swallowed my pride and, motivated by pain and fear, came out of the bathroom to get help from my husband.
He came through for me in the best way. I don’t know what I was afraid of. He was sympathetic and kind. He didn’t laugh at me. He didn’t act like I was disgusting. We’ve only been married a couple of years and I’ve never had a relationship like this before – one where we love each other truly in sickness and health no matter how embarrassing or difficult things get. I knew this about him! We had just started dating in 2012 when I had my first laparoscopy and he was wonderful then. That’s part of how I knew I wanted to marry him. Still, I guess I wanted to maintain some illusion or mystery. I’m not one of those share the bathroom, poo with the door open kind of people. But I reached out for his help and he answered with love.
The best thing was he helped to calm me down.
Then, when we still weren’t having success and I was still in terrible pain and still afraid of something awful bursting in my guts, we called my parents. So then my parents came over. Dad ran to the drug store to get an enema! Mom was calling the doctor! Hubby was giving me a pep talk! All the troops were called in. I was feeling humiliated but also desperate for help. I was in so much pain!!
And then, I’ll spare the details, the problem was ultimately solved.
We all cheered and hugged. I felt exhausted, like I’d just given birth to a disappointing baby! It was actually one of the more painful experiences of my life. My parents left and my hubby and I were alone again resting. I felt a new level of intimacy in our lives from this experience, a new sense of acceptance and appreciation for his love. I’m so thankful to find this place in life. I’m sure there will be more of these days ahead and I’m thankful to have people I can love and trust to be there for me when the shit gets real. (you have to pardon the pun)
In the future, I plan to get off the narcotics as soon as possible. I immediately started to shift onto ibuprofen instead.
In the future, I would also get on top of the constipation situation early and keep things moving using whatever means necessary!
I can have faith in my husband to love and accept me in sickness and health, in the hospital bed or on the toilet, and I should be grateful and accept that we are just souls in human bodies that sometimes have problems with our bodily functions and it’s okay.