Slow Digestion and bowel movements.

Before I got sick, I had very regular, very smooth bowel movements.  Although my bowel function has come back, and its relatively normal, there are differences - and I don't know whether they will return back to normal - as much as I hope they will.

The following may be uncomfortable (disgusting) to read, but, it is a topic I had lots of trouble trying to find out about when it wasn't working.   The subject matter is one that causes sufferers from speaking out, but I would like to share my experiences with anyone who is trying to figure out when bowel functions might come back, or if they will come back.

Here goes: If the topic makes you squemish, then stop reading.

I am lucky in this area.  My bowel movements have returned alomost to a point of normalcy for me, but I believe it would be considered normal for others.

In the beginning, someone else had to digitally stimulate me because I couldn't reach down and do it myself.  This went on for about 5 months after the spinal cord injury.  A theripist said I will get to the point where I can digitally stim myself, but I didn't have to reach that point.  By the time my abdomen got flexible enough so I could reach down,  my bowel movements came naturally. 

However, the timing and "holding" it in became a problem.  I would not evacuate every day, and when I did, it would be a rush, and the stools were elephant sized.  I suppose I could have taken laxatives and suppositories, but I wanted for my body to evacaute without any aids, except for fiber.  During this recovery process, I have taken in more fiber in the forms of oatmeal and beans.  My fruit and vegetable consumption has also increased.

This went on for about 10 months, and now I evacuate about 5 - 6 days out of the week, and usually in the morning, like before I got sick.  The difference now is that many times I do strain (more than I should), but I am careful not to strain too much, and will give up and go at a later time.   I can hold it in better than before, but sometimes I do feel like the stool will come out on its own when I am not ready for it to.  It's as if my muscles still haven't the strength to push out the stool efficiently.  The size and of the stool has become rabbit-pellet like, and instead of one or two large pieces, about a dozen of these pellet sized stool comes out.  And this is with the contiuation of my increased diet take.

I hope this function will return to my regular habit before I got sick, but in the meantime, I am at a point where I can live with this function as it works right now. 

I feel I am lucky because my bowel movements are natural, and now that a year has passed, regularity seems to be coming back very slowly, but surely.


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