For a while I've been taking a calcium pill and a Welchol pill to control my bile diarrhea. When I started getting a wee bit constipated, I stopped taking the calcium pill. Well, the last couple of weeks, I've been tending towards a wee bit constipated just taking one Welchol. The pills are so big, I can't split them easily, so half a dose isn't an option. So this morning I thought I might just try taking a calcium pill and see if that didn't do me as well as half a Welchol.
The answer to this experiment is NO! I was well and good until about 30 minutes or so after finishing my breakfast--which made it nearly 11:45. I had had a bit of a hard stool that was a little hard to pass this morning--prompting the idea--and then I had another small one right after breakfast which was also a bit hard, but not so much so, and not very hard to pass. Sounding like I'm getting more normal. Then, I started getting the mounting feeling of pressure-turned-cramps in the lower instestines and I immediatley reach for my Welchol bottle because I know what's coming. I end up having to hurry to the bathroom and pass a good deal that's mostly pieces and a little bile. about 10 minutes later, I'm back again, this time with mostly water and bile. I feel like I'm starting to level back out, but if I'm not fine in about 5 more minutes, I'll have to take another Welchol because they never take more than 30 minutes to work.
So I learned a valuable lesson today: for me, calcium can help Welchol, but not stand-in for it. That and a small amount of constipation is better than a large amount of diarrhea with cramping.
I couldn't help but think of the scene in "French Kiss" where Meg Ryan is on a train in France, happily eating cheese and bread with butter for breakfast when suddenly her face drops. Kevin Kline's character asks her if she's okay as her face starts to get a painful, panicky look on it and she says, "Lactose intolerance!" The next scene is in front of a train station and we hear a toliet flushing. She comes out of the bathroom and Kevin Kline asks her if she is okay now. She sits down on a bench, then immedately pops back up again, saying, "Got to walk." And she has this really funny walk, where she is walking really slowly, sort of leaned back and her legs kind of splayed out. Basically, how people walk when they are sick with diarrhea. I have thought about that scene many times throughout my gall bladder days and since--because I know I walk like that. I think maybe Meg Ryan must have had some sort of stomach problem at least at some point in her life, because she hits it so dead on. If you haven't seen the movie--and it's a cute chick-flick--you should get it, if only to watch that one scene and say, yep, that's what it's like.
It's been 30 minutes and I'm not completely 100%, so another pill for me so I can get back to work.