When Is Constipation Not Constipation?
This comes from our forums.
Q: When is constipation not constipation?
A: When there's a buildup of pressure in the lower part of the belly, and it occurs to one that one hasn't had a shit today, and come to think of it didn't shit much yesterday either, then one naturally assumes constipation.
This is what happened to me Wednesday of last week.
I started telling my work mates that I felt like I had a two feet-long King Brown laying in my guts. The funny thing was I was starting to feel like I was getting a dose of the flu, too. You know-- sore joints, scratchy lungs, that sort of thing.
Well, I finished work for the day, but didn't achieve a whole lot because of the general discomfort, and rang in sick later that evening.
That night, the pressure in the guts got worse but the flu feeling went away. The following morning I found it painful to lift my legs up to get out of bed. Lifting the legs put extra pressure on the guts, and this made it hard to get about (or even get dressed for that matter). I tried a commercial laxative and also a herbal colon-cleansing tea, with no result.
Now, being an ostomate (having no lower bowel or ringpiece), I have found in the past that the peristaltic action of the muscles of the large intestine usually push things along just nicely and, should the dreaded diarrhea strike, it's usually just a matter of removing a sporran full of soup and replacing it with a clean one. What I mean to say is that, without a leather cheerio, I have no means of controlling the pressure or volume of the output. That probably sounds ghastly to anyone who still uses the old-fashioned method of expelling crap via the bunghole, but it's been four years now since I had the conversion job, so to me it's become the norm.
Anyway, I expected the laxative plus the colon-cleansing tea to work together and give me at least three servings of soup, but almost nothing happened all day Thursday. Oh, except for a fever that made me sweat like a bastard and get all dizzy and nauseated. I went to the crapper and tried my best to chunder, and they were good attempts, too: involuntary spasms from way down deep that normally produce bile from the pit of the stomach, but with no result.
Long story short, I went to see the quack on Friday. He gave me the usual spiel about keeping up the laxatives, consuming lots of fluids and avoiding fiber, and he also prescribed an antibiotic, because he suspected that there might be an infection in there.
Well, that doctor is worth his weight in gold, because the antibiotic has just about killed the infection that was causing the abdominal pressure; the pain is almost gone, the pressure has subsided, there has been very little diarrhea, because I've hardly eaten anything since last Tuesday night.
So when is constipation not constipation? When its an infection of the lower intestine. All the symptoms, but a completely different cause.