Posted 6/3/2007 12:58 PM (GMT -7)
I am 60 years old. I was diagnosed many many years ago with IBS. I was constipated even as a child. I began taking Fleet enemas several times a week at the age of 19, because I just couldn't put up with feeling bound all the time. Also,
found that meat, dairy and some other things, like cold cereal, definitely cause horrible stomachaches, so I try to limit the meat meals, don't eat cereal and try to avoid cheese if possible.
After the birth of my first child, (taking Milk of Magnesia tablets every night), I decided to get my problem "fixed" and went to a GI doctor. She did some tests, found nothing wrong, and told me she preferred just "tap water" enemas. After I while, I was taking one every morning, and if I was horribly bound, I would add a little bit of gentle soap or baby shampoo. Extreme periods of stress along the way have caused many many episodes of bleeding hemmaroids, and a couple of fissures.
With the first fissure, I went to the Lahey Clinic in Boston to the head doctor of the colo-rectal surgery department. He gave me several tests. One test was to swallow 3 metal pellets, one every other day. After a week, (with no bowel movement), they did a flat xray to see if the pellets had moved through the bowel. They had not. The doctor recommended Ducolax on a daily basis. I tried really hard to take the pills and feel "comfortable" as they did produce a bowel movement (if I took enough of them,) but I still was horribly uncomfortable without a morning enema. Also, I found that the way to have the fissue heal was to soak in the tub 3 times a day, and to not take any laxatives or enemas, every other day, which gave the crack a chance to heal, since my body does not have spontaneous bowel movements. (This actually is especially convenient if you are planning an airplane journey and don't want to have a bowel movement on the plane.) The doctor also gave me some Nitroglycerine in a vaseline base, which was mixed at their own pharmacy, and not available otherwise. Applying that stuff, soaking, and having a day off every other day, resulted in the fissue healing by the time I returned to the Dr. one month later.
We moved across country almost 7 years ago, and I saw an ad to participate in an IBS study. I applied and unfortunately was not selected for the study. The physician was extremely knowledable though, and understood my problem exactly. I joked with him that I could never camp out at the Grand Canyon or anything since I always need a private bathroom available.
I became friends with a woman who told me that her husband had had cancer so she put him on alternative treatments including coffee enemas. She also takes them 3 times a week. She said that they clean out the toxins, etc., correct constipation, and other problems. I mentioned coffee enemas to the Study physician and he said that although he had never heard of that, he could understand where the caffeine would act as a stimulant to the bowel. He did not give me any negative feeling about the coffee. Also, I normally can't tolerate caffeine and avoid coffee, tea, chocolate and aspirin, unless they have no caffeine. Along the years as well I was "sipping" white wine as I felt that it "relaxed" my gut and helped with the situation.
I decided to try the coffee but could not make it in the kitchen, as this is so personal that I did not want my husband to know I was trying it. Just before I tried this, I had had a colonoscopy as part of the IBS study and it was fine. In order to try the coffee, I bought instant and mixed it with tap water, occasionally. It works pretty well, and I have been doing this for several years now.
I guess I am wondering if others out there are taking daily enemas, and if the coffee thing could be dangerous? I am embarrassed to mention the coffee to my physician, although he knows that I cannot tolerate constipation for very long and do take enemas. I also take two Ducolax at 6:15 everynight to get something "going" in the morning. If I take nothing, even the enemas are very very difficult. And a month ago, I joined AA as I realized that the alcohol consumption gradually became way out of control.
The problem now is that my daughter and her husband bought a lovely 48' catamaran and are cruising around the Carribean with their Golden Retrieiver. They want us to visit and stay on the boat as it has 4 bedrooms. But from what I can see, the bathrooms are little tiny areas. I don't know how I could stay with them with these bowel problems. I don't want to go and be miserable.
Any suggestions would be fine also.