15 April 2011

Exit only

I believe I mentioned some time ago that I was suddenly constipated and prune juice was helping quite a bit. Well. The prune juice is starting to not work now. Every once in a while if I am stingy with it and have six ounces instead of seven (it really does taste bad) then I'll be all bunged up. And even on the days I have seven ounces there will be times when I have cement production in my bowels. So I have finally gone to see the doctor about it. After all, it's been about six months now.

My doctor is notoriously difficult to get in for an appointment. Actually, she doesn't take appointments for people who aren't pregnant. Instead I have to phone first thing in the morning and keep calling until I get through. When I eventually get to talk to the receptionist I ask if an appointment is available for that day. Sometimes there is. Sometimes I don't get through in time to book one for that day. My doctor seems to be moving towards an obstetrical practice as she will make prenatal appointments a month in advance. It's frustrating to say the least.

So rather than try to get in to see my doctor I've been doing my best to solve my movement issues on my own. In addition to the backing up I also have an odd pain in my perineum. At first I thought I pulled a groin muscle at work with the heavy lifting, or pushed too hard to get the poop moving, but the pain wouldn't go away. I found a lump down there and was seeing my doctor for my annual physical anyway so I mentioned it to her back in December. She said it was probably a cyst and left it at that. My sister told me later that cysts can be drained and there is no need to live in pain. Hm. Since cysts can also go away on their own, I did nothing else about it. The lump went away (I checked obsessively) but the pain has not. It also has not gotten worse or better at all, although I found Advil took care of the pain enough to continue doing my job.

Finally last Monday I decided to go to the medical clinic that S and my boys go to. They have a female doctor there so I thought I'd see if she could fix what ails me. I was not so lucky. The female doctor wasn't taking any new patients so I settled in to see whoever was available. I got a new doctor that was filling in at the clinic. He was young, fit and well dressed. I told him about the perineum pain and how it's been there about five months now, there was a lump and now it's gone, nothing makes it worse (I figure if it's a hernia then lifting would make it worse) and the pain is constant unless I take Advil. I also mentioned that the crook of my hip inside my pelvis aches when my legs are at a right angle to my torso. He asked other changes so I told him about the poop difficulty and that there was no discomfort or pain associated with it.

Then lucky me got the speculum exam that every woman endures at some point. He did all kinds of swabs but I didn't bother asking what they were for. He also did a digital exam of my lady bits to see if he could feel anything odd or out of place. He couldn't. There is also no visual difference in the area, no bruising or swelling or anything. Next, with a new pair of gloves I got the other digital exam. This has always been an exit only area of my body for me which made the exam very uncomfortable. I was able to distance myself from it enough to wonder how the doctor could possibly spin his two fingers in a complete circle inside me without dislocating his shoulder. He didn't find any lumps or bumps that shouldn't be in there. Which was...good?

What's not so good is that I now have to have a barium enema on Monday. Did I mention the exit only part? Yeah. Not looking forward to this at all. Starting tomorrow morning I'm on a clear fluids diet (no chocolate!) for two days. On Sunday night I'll have to drink a bottle of magnesium citrate which will empty my colon. Quickly and thoroughly. Later that night I also get to take three laxative pills, just in case there's still something in there I guess. I sort of looked up a bit of information on the enema and it looks like they will be putting the barium up there with some air and then take x-rays. I expect I'll feel extremely uncomfortable during the whole thing. I just keep telling myself that I am not the first bum or the last that they will see and that this is part of their daily job.

I'll also have an ultrasound in May to check out my pelvis and I've already gone for the blood work and urine tests the doctor requested. I hope that all the tests find something easy to fix. No cancer please. At the same time I don't want them to find nothing. Something has to be causing the pain and I want it to go away.


Chantelle said...

One thing I was thinking - you're taking iron, right? It's notoriously constipating, if I remember rightly. The prune juice might not have been quite enough for your system to keep things going.

Either way, the pain and swelling you have are quite concerning - especially since you've had them for so long. So I'm happy that you're getting it checked out.

The magnesium citrate isn't so bad - it works pretty fast. I've found that some laxatives can cause some cramping when the pipe is empty. The enema part sounds icky :(

I hope that there's nothing seriously wrong and that whatever is causing the problems is easily fixed. If it turns out that you need a regular laxative, I've had lots of experience with them :)

love you,

The Hyperlexian Aspie said...

good luck with your tests. i will be thinking of you!