Hi Adviseseeker - I know we've chatted before on the Total Colectomy thread. So, how are you feeling post-op? I sure hope better!!!
Your initinal question regarding minimal movements and them being pretty hard - Well, for me in the beginning, I was having several bm's a day and quite frankly very watery. However, this has changed for me. My surgery was 11-09-06 and beginning about two and a half months ago I slowed down to one bm every other day and they were quite hard as well. I again began to feel that "not empty - bloated" feeling - I'm sure you know what I'm talking about. Anyway, my surgeon ran some tests (CAT and a colonoscopy) to make sure there wasn't a problem where they connected the small intestine to the rectum. All came out just fine, thank God, however, I did develop a few polyps with what very little colon that was left in so he now thinks my small intestine is lazy. At this point in the game he has me taking MiraLAX daily (it can be bought OC now) and it does help, but I still don't quite feel "emptied" at times. It is OK and will not hurt you to take stool softeners. I take two everyday without fail and I think this may be beneficial to you as well.
I did question my surgeon that in the event that the MiraLAX stops working what would happen and he stated that he "could" remove the very little bit of colon that was left, however, it would be a last ditch thing for him to do, so there is that possibility. I really don't know what or how this would affect me seeing he will only do it if he MUST.
You may also want to try adding some simple things to your diet that I've found works pretty good too. Try drinking Mott's no sugar added apple juice and/or try eating some sugar free chocolate candy. Oh, I also take magnesium capsules everyday too.
I look forward to hearing from you and hope your healing process is going well.
Oh, I also drink and have always drank a lot of water - so this is nothing new for me.