Thursday, June 19, 2008

My Poor Butt

*Quick note before I start this post: I am home. I was discharged this evening. Fever came and went and I am infection free. Good news is also that my neutrophils are high enough to render me no longer neutropenic which means I don't have to don my sexy mask whenever I go out in public. But I am still suffering from rashy, flaky skin and a charming flushed face, all thanks to the antibiotics. Antibiotics are my catch-22; I need the little buggers to keep me healthy, but then again they like to wreak havok on my skin and my intestines, leading me to the subject of this post...*

Let me warn you all, dear readers, this post falls under the LeukemiaTown:TMI sub-header. You are duly forewarned.

My bowel issue I originally wrote about was this bizarre bout of constipation that started around Tuesday evening. I would describe it thusly: The train was in the station, the station wanted the train to leave, but the train simply would not depart. And no amount of shoving from my steam engine, could push the train out. The pushing was actually causing me a measure of pain and discomfort, a measure that steadily increased with time. My body wanted me to go and kept sending me signals to go, but still, despite my efforts, no deal.

The nurse gave me a stool softener. This seemed to have no effect, so I got a second pill. On Wednesday morning, after still no results from the stool softeners, I was given the most bizarre laxative. It was in the form of a little bottle of lemon-lime club soda. The lemon-lime flavor was present, except there this bizarre, thick plastic under taste. It was like drinking a Barbie Soda. I drank the whole bottle, waited about four hours, and then, after still no results, I got panicky.

See, I am not generally a weeper, but I guess when it comes to my precious bowels, I am a little sensitive. My frustrations and terrors and pain all came to a head, and I cried a bit in front of the nurse. What a wuss I am when I can't take a proper crap.

Docs sent me for an x-ray to rule out an obstructed bowel. While awaiting results, around three o'clock, a curious thing happened. There was movement. Yeah! Results! No enema!

Then all hell broke loose, and I got raging, crampy, butt-punishing diarrhea. Barbie Soda was a little bit too effective. For the next few hours, I got well acquainted with my bathroom. You know, I don't think I've ever had anything like this. There were these stunning cramps that ran all the way down my abdomen, cramps so strong my ab muscles are sore today. This cramping would cause me to bug my eyes out, kick the wall, and exclaim some nonsensical gibberish because frankly I was too busy being horrified of my own intestines to talk straight.

All I know is thank goodness there was one of those handicapped railings right beside me so that every time a good wave of cramping set in I could grab onto it like I was riding the Wild Diarrhea Coaster.

It was some intense bunch of stuff.

There'd even be instances where I get that feeling, make a dash for the bathroom (as much as one can when one is hooked up to an IV), only to get to the toilet and have to wait five minutes before the show started. Daggit.

Needless to say: My poor butt.

Now that I'm home, seems like the excitement is slowly dying down. My rides on the Wild Diarrhea Coaster are becoming fewer and far between, and turning more into rides on the Gentle Diarrhea Skyrail.

But I have made a few discoveries during this fun period of intestinal excitement. One: Those wet toilet paper wipes my grandmother, who swore by them, gave me a few years back actually come in handy in these types of circumstances.

Two: Boudreaux's Butt Paste works fabulously to soothe big people butts as well.


Girl With Curious Hair said...

I'm SO glad you're home and doing better. For future reference, if you (God forbid) need to take Barbie Soda (brilliant) again, I recommend the cherry flavor--the red color alone will be a nice change. Please don't ask me how I know this.

Jay said...

So you had an adventure then, eh?

Well, you know what I always say: as long as it makes for a good story!

Plus there's wordplay to be had like "scared the crap outta me" and "scared shitless" and such. Some people wait forever to get scripts that good.

I'd like to wear a gas mask if ever under such restrictions. Why half ass it with some paper? Accessorize!

You may feel differently though.

James Carshalton said...


Just to say that we have just got Butt Paste over here in the UK and it's totally fab so we endorse (me and my wife) everything you say :)

Ranylt said...

Bama, your made-of-steelness has just been tested to the hilt. Severe constipation is the worst of the worst, and sobbing in horror, pain and frustration is par for the course (so no, you are not a wuss). I'd take the pain of a broken leg, or a thousand needle-pricks, over what you just went through.

So glad you're home again.

Pea said...

I'm sorry you've had to deal with the fun of the no-go-train and then the wild diarrhea rollercoaster, but your description did bring a giggle to my morning... a giggle and a vivid recollection of food poisoning while camping (outhouses are NOT made for food poisoning).

mswas said...

this entry gives "Whoa, Camel!" a completely new meaning

Anonymous said...

Sweet! Home! Awesome!

Yeah! Poo stories!

Butt paste!

But my favorite: wet wipes. I cannot tell you how intimately involved I am with wet wipes. We use them almost as much as regular toilet paper, and they are great for much more than sore bums.

Dirty feet!
Smelly pits!

(I only know all this because of living among dirty, filthy hippies for 4 days at Bonnaroo last year. Wet wipes saved my ass--and the rest of my body.)

I'm am SO glad your counts are up. SO so so so so glad! :)

Anonymous said...

hooray for buttpaste, but i also recommend the California Baby products. hippy and all pretty smelling. and stuff. welcome home!

litelysalted said...

Butt paste.


That laxative you took, that wasn't Fleet Phospho-soda, was it? I had to take that once, and the only way I can describe it is that it felt like my entire insides were becoming liquified by battery acid and forcefully evacuated out my butt. It was probably the worst pain I've experienced in my entire life.

And yes, I do feel shameful saying that to a leukemia survivor, even one who cries when she can't poop.

Nicole said...

Bama, I feel you. The Barbie Soda is evil. My saving grace? A little concoction called Anamantle. Yeah, it's like Preparation H's older cousin. Whatevs. When you have the trots so bad that you're actually gasping in pain from your flaming poop chute and have tears come to your eyes, that shit is golden. Overshare, but I don't care. (I have chronic IBS. Don't judge.)

Curious, the WORST thing you can drink is the cherry flavor, because then the docs are convinced that you're bleeding from your intestines. (I worked for a GI for years and learned all the tricks.)

Eff this noise. I'm drunk, but I am damn THRILLED that Manda's home. Love you girl.

tinksgirl said...

Forgive me but I laughed through your post. You truly have a gift! Hope you are feeling better soon.

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