Results 1 to 14 of 14

Thread: Resurrecting ... CONSTIPATION!!

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Austin, TX
    Posts
    112

    Resurrecting ... CONSTIPATION!!

    Seems to be a universal topic, so lets' talk about it some more!
    I'm not alone in my ups and downs and confusion about remedies, good vs bad, effective vs. world-shattering, but here goes.

    Graphic frankness follows ...
    So far, the only things that worked in the hospital were a "mini-enema" that felt like a firecracker went off in my rectum, with minimal results ... and a combination of Colace and MOM which was VERY effective - once. After that it was poo baby pregnancy all over again for a week.

    After i came home I asked the surgeon's office, and their opinion was that it didn't matter what I took as long as I did something that kept "things moving." I thought I was going to explode until I tried the MOM and colace, but that kept me on the pot for a whole day and let's just say it was pretty unpleasant. I lost four pounds.

    Then, clean & skinny again, I ate dinner. BIG MISTAKE. Bloating, pain, etc etc etc once more. MOM worked alone this morning, not quite as violently, but what I want to know is: IS THERE A WAY to break this cycle of boating/pain/constipation/diarrhea over and over and over again? This time it left me weak and breathless with my heart beating fast and skipping like crazy. And feeling like I did a million situps. Plus making it diffucult to do the walking that is so necessary for recovery.

    Any suggestions on what to eat, how much or little to eat, effective remedies, preventatives, fiber vs Miralax, whatever works or worked for you? I'm sure I'm not the only one out here who will be eternally grateful for advice!
    Juliet, age 57
    37˚ lumbar and 35˚ thoracic with rotation
    Diagnosed at age 11 and untreated.
    Total degeneration of disc at L4-5, spondylolisthesis at L4, L5 sacralized.
    Surgery on 10/26/10
    Dr. Matthew Geck, Seton Spine & Scoliosis, Center, Austin, TX.
    University Medical Center @ Brackenridge Hospital.
    Posterior fusion of T11-S1, part minimally invasive; TLIF at L4-5.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    312
    Constipation.. .that's the topic of the thread I resurrected this morning - "Last night into this morning - worst experience of my life". If I knew how, I'd move my comment from that thread over to this one.

    BadKitty, you might want to go check that thread out. Lots of ideas, and Linda posted a link to an artcle about constipation resulting from opioid use that was informative.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    near Philadelphia
    Posts
    1,260
    Poor you!

    Miralax worked great for me. I also found that for a long time post-surgery, I was very uncomfortable if I ate big meals. I felt much better grazing on simple little meals throughout the day. I craved things like fruit, bread, milk and peanut butter. Eating too much meat gave me indigestion, although I ate small amounts of it for the protein. Drinking a lot of water throughout the day helped too. Good luck!!!
    Chris
    A/P fusion on June 19, 2007 at age 52; T10-L5
    Pre-op thoracolumbar curve: 70 degrees
    Post-op curve: 12 degrees
    Dr. Boachie-adjei, HSS, New York

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Austin, TX
    Posts
    112
    Thanks mgs - I'll go through the old thread. There's gotta be lot of great advice there. Looking forward to reading Linda's article.

    And thanks also, Chris - they kept trying to make me stuff myself at rehab, but the food was awful and I had no appetite. Small meals make a lot more sense to me, too. I'll also try Miralax again, and cross my fingers!
    Juliet, age 57
    37˚ lumbar and 35˚ thoracic with rotation
    Diagnosed at age 11 and untreated.
    Total degeneration of disc at L4-5, spondylolisthesis at L4, L5 sacralized.
    Surgery on 10/26/10
    Dr. Matthew Geck, Seton Spine & Scoliosis, Center, Austin, TX.
    University Medical Center @ Brackenridge Hospital.
    Posterior fusion of T11-S1, part minimally invasive; TLIF at L4-5.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Austin, TX
    Posts
    112
    Very helpful information at the old thread! Thanks again, mgs.
    Bulking agents are OUT! Could cause serious problems when combined with opioid-induced constipation.

    Looks like I'm doing everything right for me, probably add some Dulcolax every 2 or 3 days as needed, eat smaller meals, stay hydrated. This is all part of the healing process, changing according to need, but absolutely necessary as long as opioid pain meds are being used. Apparently the "eat lots of fiber and drink lots of water" instructions I was given are rarely effective against constipation from opioids!
    Juliet, age 57
    37˚ lumbar and 35˚ thoracic with rotation
    Diagnosed at age 11 and untreated.
    Total degeneration of disc at L4-5, spondylolisthesis at L4, L5 sacralized.
    Surgery on 10/26/10
    Dr. Matthew Geck, Seton Spine & Scoliosis, Center, Austin, TX.
    University Medical Center @ Brackenridge Hospital.
    Posterior fusion of T11-S1, part minimally invasive; TLIF at L4-5.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    312
    I found that last point extremely interesting. . .that particular piece of advice is said repeatedly by every doc and nurse who ever included this subject in my patient education. I thought it was gospel.

    This morning, I took 2 dulcolax and 2 colace, and a dose of Miralax. SUCCESS!! (Having read of other people's experiences, I expected a dramatic "event", but it wasn't.. . just a ho-hum bit of time in the w.c.) Crisis averted - yea!!!!!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Austin, TX
    Posts
    112
    Exactly the goal from what I understand now!
    Constipation PREVENTION (rather than relief), through the regular "tactical" use of stool softeners and intestinal stimulants, for as long as the opiods are being used. It makes sense now!
    Juliet, age 57
    37˚ lumbar and 35˚ thoracic with rotation
    Diagnosed at age 11 and untreated.
    Total degeneration of disc at L4-5, spondylolisthesis at L4, L5 sacralized.
    Surgery on 10/26/10
    Dr. Matthew Geck, Seton Spine & Scoliosis, Center, Austin, TX.
    University Medical Center @ Brackenridge Hospital.
    Posterior fusion of T11-S1, part minimally invasive; TLIF at L4-5.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Oregon
    Posts
    1,163
    Hi Badkitty,

    I take one dose of Miralax at bedtime, and maybe one Senokot-S thrown in. When I was still taking opiates I would also take two colace per day as a stool softener. Also 3-4 prunes in the evening. Large meals are definitely out, I can only eat about 1/2 the amount I used to at best, so I graze also.

    Prevention is WAY better than treatment when things get too backed up. No fun there.
    Gayle, age 50
    Oct 2010 fusion T8-sacrum w/ pelvic fixation
    Feb 2012 lumbar revision for broken rods @ L2-3-4
    Sept 2015 major lumbar A/P revision for broken rods @ L5-S1


    mom of Leah, 15 y/o, Diagnosed '08 with 26* T JIS (age 6)
    2010 VBS Dr Luhmann Shriners St Louis
    2017 curves stable/skeletely mature

    also mom of Torrey, 12 y/o son, 16* T, stable

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Austin, TX
    Posts
    112
    Thanks, Gayle ... I'll try Miralax tonight with a couple of Dulcolax (a stimulant like Senokot) and see what happens. There has to be a perfect combination for me somewhere out there.

    (A heck of a mission in life, but it'll do for now!)
    Juliet, age 57
    37˚ lumbar and 35˚ thoracic with rotation
    Diagnosed at age 11 and untreated.
    Total degeneration of disc at L4-5, spondylolisthesis at L4, L5 sacralized.
    Surgery on 10/26/10
    Dr. Matthew Geck, Seton Spine & Scoliosis, Center, Austin, TX.
    University Medical Center @ Brackenridge Hospital.
    Posterior fusion of T11-S1, part minimally invasive; TLIF at L4-5.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Posts
    238
    Hi BadKitty and Mgs-

    I totally feel for you. Mgs- that old thread you pulled up was mine from June 22. That was one of the worst nights of my life, I'll never forget it! The only thing that worked for me was to have the Fleet Enema given to me by a home care nurse. I tried Colace, MOM, and other similar stuff, but nothing worked until I had the Enema.

    Hopefully things will get better for you!

    JenM
    Surgery date: June 8, 2010 with Dr. Boachie
    Thoracic curve: 55 degrees, corrected to 25 degrees
    Lumbar curve: 58 degrees, corrected to 27 degrees
    Posterior-only surgery, Levels T3-L3
    31 year old mother of 2 young kids

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    Carlyle, IL
    Posts
    52
    When I was still on the narcotics, seemed like NOTHING would work, with ya on the bloating and horrible cramping. Senna was not budging, and I, like you had MOM working too well, I ended up cutting the MOM dose in half and finding the happy medium. HTH
    Heidi
    35 year old mother of 2 lil girls
    60 degree thoracic
    44 degree lumbar
    Oct. 11, 2010 surgery
    Dr. Lenke St. Louis
    1 year follow up: 15 degree thoracic, 22 lumbar
    fused T1 to L1


  12. #12
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Posts
    2
    After my surgery I looked like I was 4 or 5 month pregnant. I asked the doc what was up my stomach, he told me most likely it was the anesthesia (I suck at spelling). On day two after my surgery, I had various nurses coming in with depositories, since there was no such thing as Miralax. Let me just say having a finger in that area is not a pleasant experience.

    What I suggest is to not eat really heavy or startchy foods. Oatmeal, Cream of Wheat or anything like that is great, right now fiber is your best friend. Also eat very slow, eating too fast may cause vomiting.

    Jess

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Carmel/Indianapolis
    Posts
    246
    After leaving the hospital I took two prescriptions: 1 Senna S twice a day and 1 Doc-O-Lace twice a day. Plus I would eat Raisin Bran, prune juice and a latte for breakfast. I did this routine while on pain meds. Even after things were more regular I stayed on the Senna S and Doc-O-Lace until I was off pain meds for at least a week or two to make sure I stayed regular. After going through 2 half gallons of prune juice, I quit that and I was ok. Good luck. And keep walking; that keeps the gastro-intestinal system working!
    Age 56
    Wore a Milwaukee Brace for 3 years in hs
    Fused L4-S1 for high grade spondylolisthesis Jan '09 in Indy
    Thoracic 68
    Surgery Aug 31, 2010 T3 to L1
    Dr Bridwell St Louis
    http://www.scoliosis.org/forum/attac...1&d=1289881696

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    NJ across from NYC
    Posts
    329
    This is one of my (many) fears! I am writing all this down and picking up these suggested items so I'm ready to go! Just the thought of this makes me ill. But we are strong and can do this.....let's hope! Thanks all for your suggestions. LYNN
    1981 Surgery with Harrington Rod; fused from T2 to L3 - Dr.Keim (at 26 years old)
    2000 Partial Rod Removal
    2001 Right Scapular Resection
    12/07/2010 Surgical stabilization L3 through sacrum with revision harrington rod instrumentation, interbody fusion and pre-sacral fusion L5-S1 - Dr. Boachie (at 56 years old)
    06/11/14 - Posterior cervical fusion C3 - T3 (Mountaineer System) due to severely arthritic joints - Dr. Patrick O'Leary (at age 59)

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •