Good Enough Adjustments

One of the things about Spinal Cord Injury (and many other conditions) is that adjustments need to be made when things stop working right.  For me, bladder and bowel control is what causes me the most grief.

Even if I say I have recovered 90% on these issues, the remaining 10% calls for adjustments to be made.  I have a bowel movement almost everyday, now. And in that respect, I can say my bowel functions are back to normal.  However, my daily evacuation doesn't take place at the same time each day.  Generally, they do take place mid-morning.  But the difference between now and before I suffered spinal cord damage, I could force an evacuation earlier than it would occur naturally. Now, even though I know stool is ready to be evacuated, I can't force it out.

The consequence is that I generally don't leave my home, except for maybe a max of a half hour, unless I have a bowel movement.  And hopefully, it would have been a satisfactory bowel movement.

When I have a bowel movement, two things are assured.  I usually leak a lot of urine when having the bowel movement, and an empty bowel usually means an empty bladder - thus I don't have urine accidents.  Second, once I have a nice bowel movement, I don't have to worry about having an unexpectedd bowel movement.

But what about those times when I have a bowel movement, but I know some stool is left, but it just won't come out.  On those days, I am also reluctant to leave the home.  I know a few hours later I will have another bowel movement - but fortunately, I am pretty confident that the bowel movement can usually be delayed by not eating - but that's not a given.

So, what happened was that I lost a dear friend last week, and her funeral was on Saturday.  The funeral was 9 A.M., and I'd have to leave my home at 6 A.M. Under normal conditions, I wouldn't leave the house that early because I'd most assuredly would have an bowel and/or bladder accident.

As it turned out, I woke up at 4:30 A.M., and had a bowel movement at around 5 A.M.  But it wasn't a complete evacuation and I knew some stool was left and I'd have another movement around noon.  I thought about not going to the funeral.  However, I knew I could make it to the funeral, and I it was my way home that would be the problem.  When I was healthy, I could just force an evacuation before I would leave the church, but now, I can't force evacuations - bowel movements occur when my body is ready, not my mind.
So, this was not an option.

Anyway, I decided to go to the funeral and would worry about the bowel movement on my way home.

And it worked out.  I got a ride home from two friends, and even stopped for lunch once in the vacinity of my home.   I did end up having a bowel movement, but it was about 15 miuntes after I returned home.

If I had to take a bus home, I would have gotten home around the same time, but without eating lunch.  And I think lunch helped push down some of the left-over stool, so I most likely would have made it home without an accident.

The moral of this story?  It's okay to be cautious and concerned, but don't let these things cause you to be irrationally fearful of doing things.

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