Posted 10/11/2008 6:37 AM (GMT -7)
Hi there - question, does this occur right before your period (if you're female, if male, my apologies!!!)? If so, many women have very loose bm's before their cycles begin. There is a connection.
I had rectal cancer, a resection, a temp ostomy, in 1999. 8 weeks later reversed and nothing but trouble ever since. I went on a low residue diet (which allowed me to leave home again), faithfully kept a food diary for 2 years, etc. It's 9+ years later now and I still follow my LRD about 75% of the time, keep my stress level as low as possible, take a mild dose of Colace each evening, and do fairly well. I still have multiple bm's everyday though, that's a given and to be expected. I will never go back to my old - one bm a day - mode. It's more like 12 to 15 a day, but each time it's a small amount. My entire goal since being reconnected has been to keep my stool formed, easily passed anywhere (mall, grocery, private home bathrooms), not messy, and certainly not D. But sometimes I get out of whack and my bm's come one after another, for hours. The only good thing is if I let this happen (by not taking meds), I feel great the next day - virtually cleaned out again. It does seem like no matter what I do - diet, exercise, reducing stress - my body does its own thing on the repeated clean out phase. And since I've entered Menopause now and have started skipping cycles, it's not my time of the month. But could be hormone related. If this happens while home, I actually encourage it - by sipping hot tea. The hot tea seems to help keep things moving, I get the bm's over with sooner and then I feel better the next day. I had one of these wild nights last night. It's not fun to go thru but again, it does seem as though my body needs to do this (even now, 9 years later).
One thing I did years ago was never eat anything solid after dinner. If hungry, I would trick my stomach into thinking I had eaten by drinking a large glass of water. I did this so I could get 6 to 8 hours of solid sleep, when the need to have a bm wouldn't wake me up. I also would sleep on my back, because if I rolled to my side, the stool would slide down (I can feel it come down!). If I were lying on my back, it seems to stop the stool higher up in my colon. I still sleep this way if I have had a rough day/night because at that point, I want sleep! And to not hole up in the bathroom, for more time! Basically back then, I ate for 12 hours on, 12 hours off. It did seem to give me rest filled nights.
Keep the food/beverage/med diary, record everything you eat, drink, take and do. I would rate each day - good or bad. Then later if I needed to have a good day (social outing coming up for example) I would duplicate what did and ate/drank on one of my "good" days. This approach did seem to help me.
Finally, I have also skipped meals for special events - holiday dinners, wedding, parties. I make sure I haven't eaten anything about 4 hours before the event. I also end my solid intake with a vanilla flavored yogurt cup, high in acidopholis. During the event, I skip eating if I can pull it off (cocktail party, etc.) and if a sit down dinner, I just literally pick at my food. Eating very, very little of it. Asking for a doggie bag if I can. Telling out right lies that I'm not hungry. But I have learned the hard way, if I cave to this peer pressure (even at 53, I have it, if I allow it) and eat a full, regular sized meal, then I pay for it. I will be in that facility's bathroom for several hours, or a person's home's bathroom. No thanks. These are all tactics/approaches I've somewhat perfected over the years! Do they work? Sometimes, yes. Other times no, but so be it. This is the way it is for me now.
And like you, I did beat cancer. I keep telling myself, do I want the alternative? NO!
I wish you better days ahead.....