Friday, 3 February 2017

Bunged Up

I lost a whole day today. It's a bit scary to think about it, losing a whole day because you are constipated, but that's what happened. I've been plugged up down there for about six days now, an experience I have never had before. Yes, there have been a couple of days here and there, and I thought that was constipation. I have a whole new respect for this condition now that I have experienced it in full hospitalization form.

The whole process actually started last night. When my good friends Anne and Emma came over, along with my daughter Kate, we discussed the possible tools for clearing stools. After much discussion, they decided the stuff I had purchased was the wrong stuff. So Anne went over to Shopper's Drug Mart at the mall across the street and picked up something called Codulax along with a saline enema kit. The pharmacist said take two of the stimulant laxative pills when I went to bed and things should clear out by morning. If not, use the enema.

So this morning things were still bunged up, as my Dad used to say. It was time for the enema. After a real circus with Home Care, another story to be told another day, I finally "self-administered" this thin with help from the Home Care Nurse. Everything else was off the shelf for the day; the only objective was clearing the blockage. Except the enema failed to do it.

Given the situation I did the only thing I could do, the thing everybody involved said I should do but hated saying it. I called 911. The ambulance came and took me to the hospital. Interestingly enough the enema had caused me substantial pressure pain. My body wanted to do what it is designed to do, but the blockage would not move. The result was pain which rose to the morphine level. I got some as soon as I got to the ER at Foothills Hospital.

Then came the long, slow process of fixing me. First it was another enema, this time some sort of industrial strength. Oddly enough I managed to pass a little something just at that moment. I think the idea of another enema scared the shit out of me. Only it was too little, too late. So in went the cleansing fluid. At the same time they had me drink the stuff they give to people getting a colonoscopy, something to clear the stomach and colon completely. However I didn't need the full dose, just enough to get my gut moving.

Except it didn't move. The industrial strength enema did start a bit more action, but far too little. I was still in a lot of pain after an hour or so of waiting for action. At that point the doctor came in to perform the dreaded "manual dis-impaction". I sure you can guess what that involved. Sure enough, in went her finger and out came a lump. It was like unplugging a drain. As soon as that stoppage was out, all the other stuff came out very quickly. Then came another hour wait to see what else might appear. Some did, very little. I think I blew most of it out as soon as the plug was gone.

After that came decision time. Did I feel like I was done? Did I feel like going home? I said yes to both, so with a note about taking Lax-A-Day should this start again and a reminder that the colon cleanser would keep working for a day or two, I got dressed, got a cab, and came home.

Total time elapsed in dealing with this today was 11 hours. In my books that's a full day. I'm beat. I'm sore. I'm tired. But I have yet to pack a single thing or prepare in any way for my departure on our road trip tomorrow. Fortunately I can pack in a few minutes. The other stuff, like doing the last of the laundry and tidying up will take more time. I'll start that as soon as I finish eating my grapes and drinking some water. The doctor recommended both of these actions too.

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