So brief history:
Reversal surgery in June 2011.
Multiple infections thereafter including c-diff.
So no use of anything including fiber supplements during that period. Just my diet.
Ended antibiotics in January.
At that point I was having about 12-20 small bowel movements per day. All were solidly formed...no diarrhea whatsoever.
I started on the MD Anderson Bowel management program. This worked nearly immediately in creating better formed and bulkier movements a few times a day. But I still had a lot of small movements as well and it reduced restroom trips down to about 8-12 a day, with the largest in the morning during/after breakfast and during/after lunch.
However, I have never been able to empty all the way. Not with hot liquid, not with prune juice heated. That is supposed to be the last step to the MD Anderson Bowel Management Program, but it just doesn't work for me. In fact, it takes about 20-30 minutes after the hot drink or prune juice to generate a bowl movement. And even then its not every time.
At this point, nearly a year post reversal surgery, its just not acceptable for me to be going this often. It impedes my ability to get to and from work, and its a quality of life issue that should be resolvable.
So two Sunday's ago, I ate something that didn't agree with me at all. My stomach rumbled, I fled to the restroom, and ten minutes later, everything was evacuated. First time I've had diarrhea since my reversal surgery. Not only that, I did not have to go to the restroom at all the entire next day. First time thats happened as well. I was in bliss. The next day, I had to go about 5 times...but thats still a MAJOR improvement...and that was one large movement in the morning, and the other 4 were small amounts.
The next day after that(Wed) things were rougher and I had to go about 8 times. So Wednesday night I decided to use a Ducolax. Emptied out in about 30 minutes on Thursday morning and was on my way with no BM's Thursday, only 2 on Friday, and only 3 on Saturday.
I've used the Ducolax twice since then..Sunday night, and then again tonight...never any more than at least 2 full days in between(ie if I take it on Monday, I won't take it again until Thursday).
The impact on my quality of life is beyond measure. Work is easy. Going out is easy. Eating a meal is easy. But I know laxatives can be bad for you and even addictive. I don't want to cause further damage to myself.
So I guess I have two questions:
1.) Is this something I can keep doing?
2.) Are there alternatives that are better?
I haven't entirely discussed it with my doctor. The reason is that my medical provider(Kaiser) has been deficient in this one area....nutrition, diet, and bowel management....up until now. When I've sought advice, their nutritionists are literally clueless. They make recommendations that are terrible and have caused my system more problems than they've solved. Kaiser has been great on everything else, but not in this regard.
7/23/10 -3C rc, 7cm,15/33 lymph nodes
8/31/10 5 1/2 weeks of radiation + Xeloda
11/12/10 6 rounds Oxy + Xeloda
3/25/11 Finished chemo
6/15/11 Colostomy reversal followed by infections
8/28/13 Clear CT scan..no further scans.