My heart goes out to you. I can remember those days where I was laying on my left side on the bathroom floor with my knees up trying to insert an enema. This was such a horrible time in my life and I am sure you feel the same. I remember going three days without food and trying to teach my fitness classes. There were so many times that I thought I would faint in the class. I would say and prayer in my mind to my Heavenly Father and beg him to please help me to finish teaching my classes. As far as laxatives went, I was taking a full regime. The bad part of taking laxatives is that they are habit forming and your body needs more and more to have the same effect. I was drinking a whole bottle of Citrate of Magnesium everyday, I took Amitiza 2-3 times a day, I took tons of Sorbitol (which is an over-the-counter laxative like Lactulose), I drank about 1/2 bottle prune juice daily, and I did more than this when ever things got worse. The problem with all of this is that I became very depleted in my electrolytes and very dehydrated from all the laxative agents. I ended up in the hospital many times. In June 2007, I was placed in the ICU for 9 days. I had to have a single nurse caring only for me and no other patients because they thought I could die at any time. My heart was struggling and over working because I was so dehydrated, my kidneys were failing, and all of my blood levels were critically low. My highest blood pressure was 65/38. My health was deteriorating fast. I was released from the ICU and sent home after I was hydrated and my kidney levels increased. However, by the end of July I was back in the hospital again because I was still taking all my laxatives at home. After 15 days in the hospital it was decided that I need to have an ileostomy.
I would love to tell you not to have the surgery. I wish I could tell you to go get laxatives and you'll be ok, but that is not the case. If if you find agents to help you poop, you are still damaging and depleting yourself. Like you, I was in college when all of this got worse for me.. I was 24 when I had my first TC. I have had to drop many classes in my life because I was in the hospital during exams or when large mid-terms where due. It has always been frustrating for me. I was happy to take classes on-line but the stress of studying and dead-lines made me more constipated - you see, I hold all my stress in my gut and my gut is always tight.
Now, I have the ostomy. Yes, I want to rip this bag off and be free. Yes, I do not want to see myself wearing this nasty thing forever. It bothers me. I hate feeling it. I hate looking bloated because I have a stupid bag on, but I am healthier than I have been in nearly a decade. I still have to take things to help me "go." I eat breakfast at and have a protein shake around . At , I drink prune juice with a Tbs. Sorbitol. This helps things move otherwise they don't go into my bag. At , I have dinner and I take another Tbs of Sorbitol and prune juice at . This regime has helped me a lot. I am hoping/praying that I do not have to increase my usage of these agents and I can just focus on healing. However, with CI of the entire gut, there is no way to predict what my life will be like in years to come.
If you had an ileo before and it served you well, I would go back to that. I would be so overwhelmingly happy if I could have a normal ostomy. I would be so happy if anything about my bowel could be normal and I could finally be agent-free. I encourage you to put vanity aside, and get the ileostomy. The world makes it so hard to have an ostomy. The Victoria Secret commercials, TV programs with girls in bathing suits, and all of the tight jean/short shirt fads make having a bag very difficult. But, you have to put your health first.
I hope this has been of some help to you. Please let me know if I can help you further.
Good Luck and Merry Christmas
Revised Coletomy/ Reset Anastimosis 2006
Revised Colectomy/ Obstructions 2005
Sub-total Colectomy 2001
Prov. 16: 20 Whoso trusteth in the Lord, happy is he.
Zelnorm, Colace, Motilium, Citrate of Magnesium, Nexium, Amitiza, Potassium, Magnesium, Miralax, Milk of Magnesium, Corgard, Glycerin Suppositories, Sorbitol, Bentyl, Senokot