Posted 6/17/2012 6:50 AM (GMT -6)
I second the Low Residue Diet suggestion. I had the bottom 1/3 of the colon removed, along with 90% of the sigmoid, which I get confused about - is the sigmoid the rectum? I was told that the sigmoid is the GI tract's reservoir, it has the ability to hold stool and swell, behaving as a dam would holding back water. In this case, stool. Since I virtually do not have a sigmoid, the part of the colon they pulled down and reconnected is very narrow, so my stool tends to be narrow and small in amount each trip to the bathroom, but multiple times per day. Many times a day - about 20. I wear women's Stayfree Ultra Thin Overnight Maxi pads (small purple square shaped bag), they offer a wider area that is placed in the very back of your underwear and yes I read on another forum years ago, men were wearing these - they are very thin but highly absorbent and just enough protection so you don't soil your underwear. I now take a mild stool softener to keep my stool as consistent as possible but I would have never have taken it so soon after my ostomy reversal. Tuck that idea away for future reference, but for now you may benefit from a daily probiotic. The one I take is Renew Life, Critical Colon 80 billion count. I take up to 4 of these a day if I'm messed up, if not 2 a day, on empty stomachs. Finally, I don't need to do this as much, but I used a sitz bath daily when my bottom was very irritated, you can find these at any pharmacy, I suggest using 1 tablespoon of baking soda or 1 tablespoon of Aveeno (the boxed powder packs you use for full tub soaks for poison ivy) in the water. Very soothing. And healing.
I hope some of these suggestions help you, like Ruth offered. The GI tract does not like to be messed with, I was a mess for a long time and I'm still not right, I never will be, was told w/o the lower colon/sigmoid, I'll have multiple bm's per day, for life, as long as I continue to eat. Not to paint a dark picture for you but I wanted a realistic approach or outlook for my situation, of what to expect. My doctor drew me a diagram of what my lower colon looks like now and I can see why internally I have no where to store stool (longer than 30 minutes). It has to come out. I also try not to eat after dinner so I can get a full night's sleep w/o needing to use a bathroom.
One thing I wish now I had seriously considered, when I had all my surgeries performed, we had great insurance. Now it's extremely inadequate. Back then it might have been prudent to see my surgeon again within 2 years. A permanent ostomy might have been the way to go, ultimately. Now it would be a major operation and we'd be responsible for so much of the final bill. Unlike 13 years ago (for two 12 day hospital stays, our out of pocket expense was only $1400.00, total).