The harrowing tale of my struggles with bowel movements (gas, constipation and cramping)

I really, REALLY don’t know what I did this time. As a bonafide MS’er of the Primary Progressive squad, I have issues out of the WAAAAZZOOOO. My “medical diagnoses” are Progressive Multiple Sclerosis (MS), Ulcerative Colitis (UC), Spondylosis, Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), kidney tumor. It’s some other stuff in there somewhere but at some point, I kinda just keep rolling. I’m not as concerned with labels and terms, I’m only studden the symptoms, treatments, alternatives, etc. As you can read, three of my diseases affect the ‘stomach area,’ so I’m no stranger to having problems with the good ol’ plumbing. Even in college, it was normal for me to have a bowel movement only 2-3 times/week. *wink* For me, college was 20 years ago. Now, here I am, father, husband, handicapped, homebound and still freaking dealing with the RR issues! I’m one of the people that is forever stuck between constipation and diarrhea. There is very little middle ground, one or the other. Over the years, I’ve changed my diet to Pescatarian to help. THAT was monumentally beneficial. I’ve stopped drinking brown liquor. My gastroentologist explained that the food coloring in brown liquor complicates and upsets the stomach, ESPECIALLY since I have IBS. (Heeeeeell YES, I drink clear liquor so bring out the vodka!) I don’t know if craft beer is better for the tummy or not but I even did that. At least the price keeps me from drinking as much as I used to *shrugs*

This latest issues with my plumbing and pipes began a little over a month ago. As of this writing, Arpil 29th, 2020, I’ve officially gone over a month with constipation and it is affecting my very soul. I probably drink too much beer/liqour but I eat pretty clean due to my diet. With the quarantine, fresh fruit and vegetables have become a virtual Rat Race. We’re constantly trying to get what I need from a variety of grocery stores and seldom fill it all. It has been over six weeks since I had my own lengendary Anti-Inflammatory Salad! Before this mess, I had salad 3-4x times per week. Now, I have a LIGHT AF salad one DAY every week or so. When I blog about it, candy is whooping me up too. I am NOT ashamed to admit my strong affection for candy bars with action, snickers, whatchamacallit, kit kat, Mr. Goodbar, I can go on and on. Since the quarantine, I confess to eating candy bars like they’re a full meal deal of KFC chicken. I can’t count the number of times I’ve ran through a 12 case of craft beer, a few glasses of Svedka vodka and juice, snuck some of my wife’s wine and topped it all off with a ice cold candy bar. In bed. Like a G. Amazing as this all sounds, it’s usual activity for me. I’ve been bragging to whoever will listen that I got this quarantine, homeschool life down. This week, I’m realizing that I need some truly evasive manuevers to earn freaking relief from constipation.

Over the past month, I’ve tried…

A lot of shit. I don’t do prescription drugs and I’m not with healthcare. Yup, I’m one of DEM. DEM #sickAF folks that always think there is some conspiracy with medicine because “there is no money in a cure”. *holds fist for dap* You feel me? *looks around* Anybody else? *sighs* Moving on then. I do yoga every day. I meditate every day. Even when I slip discs and barely move due to herniated discs, I yoga in pain. LESS yoga but I yoga. *flexes* Yoga poses were NOT helping me have bowel movements. Yoga poses were NOT helping me fart, pass gas, poot, anything. A lot of times, I can yoga my way through stomach issues. I’m still a novice but I’m on the yoga wagon as an exercise, preventative measure and recovery tool. Damn yoga ain’t been helping this past month. Well, maybe it was and that’s why it has taken so long before I went to drastic steps searching for relief.

I am a tea fan. I use it for therapy and medicinal purposes. In the past, I’ve used Smooth Move tea, kick started my digestion and no problem from there. Not this time. Yes, it produced a small BM but nothing after. When I type small BM, I mean tiny, teeny BM. *straight face* I’m a grown man Dawg. Small BMs ain’t helping me! I gave it a cup, pushed through the ensuing cramping and decided to try something else.

Step two, improve the diet. Makes perfect sense I thought.

Turned out to be an aggressive mistake of JaMarcus Russell-sized failure. (He was the 2007 #1 pick in the NFL draft but considered the biggest bust in sports history.) I followed the instructions to a T for 3 days unaware that the rapidly increasing cramps were tied to it. The worst part is that it never produced a BM. I went in expecting it may take days. I did not sign up for bloating, constant cramps and the tight, booty feeling. Three days. It was my wife that saved me on day three.

“Dude. If I knew you were taking this, I would have told you not to take this.”

The wife aka Mrs. Boss

According to her, the fiber was going to increase my gas waaaay before helping with BMs. Increased gas meant more cramps. I had no time to waste on anything other than moving on.

It was around week four that I tried these. I didn’t play either. I ripped it open and chewed six pieces.

I definitely got a BM but by this time I had the most painful gas pocket of my freaking life. Y’all know the gas pocket that gets UNDER your armpit? Feels like whatever you expect from a heart attack? I had THAT kind of gas pocket for four full weeks. It was slowly improving over the four weeks but yoo, it HURT. The laxative pills did not help with the gas pocket. I was on the verge of madness seeking something, anything that would alleviate the gas pocket AND produce BMs. Plus, I just wasn’t going to the RR enough. I’d been at this plumbing issue over a month and decided, fuck it. Time for a colon cleanse.

And so it began. I coordinated taking the magnesium citrate with my wife being at work. I knew it was going down because I’ve taken it before colonoscopies and stuff. (Ulcerative Colitis, IBS, etc). It took 3 hours buuuuut… This works. As I continued having BMs, 12 hours later, I kept drinking TF out of water. I am not new to this so I was familiar with the importance of water when using magnesium citrate. A few hours in, I realized that my gas pocket was finally easing up. A few hours after that, my energy levels were slightly up, my patience shined and I could crack jokes with the family without fear of gas pain UNDER the arm. To complete the treatment, no craft beer for at least a week, no drinking alone period and I’m off the candy bars for awhile. I’ll update on this SOON.

Next Related Post: MS and Smoothies, part of “fixing my stomach”

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