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Why Do I Feel Like I'm Giving Birth Every Time I Have A Bowel Movement?

cujuja4evr
Posts: 106
Joined: Jul 2010

Okay, I know I've been on here before talking about painful bowel movements and I've gotten some great advice and suggestions that even worked. HOWEVER, BMs improved for about a week or so and now I feel like I took 1 step forward and 5 steps backwards. I found myself in the bathroom earlier doing breathing exercises (short breaths - like when a woman is in labor and working through contractions!) I also found myself counting (1001, 1002, 1003...) as each stool passed through. Even the lidocaine is not working as well as it did last week. It feels as though I am passing broken glass! The lidocaine didn't seem to numb anything. Is my body beginning to get used to the medication and it's just not working anymore? I'm beginning to get the same anxiety as before - I'm starting to fear going to the bathroom. I was so relieved last week when I started using lidocaine and my BMs were so much better and very little pain, if any!

It seems as if my stools are still soft, but are larger than before, so when they pass through, it feels as if the anal opening is too small! Please give me some suggestions on what you think might be the problem. I rely very heavily on this board because I've gotten more answers from cancer survivors than my own cancer care team!

z's picture
z
Posts: 1249
Joined: May 2009

Hi, Yes I remember this feeling of passing glass. Are you still taking your pain pills? As I know that is what helped me through. I would also use a water bottle just to ease the pain, it was like a distraction. I hope that it will get better for you everyday, as I know it hurts. Lori

nonichol's picture
nonichol
Posts: 114
Joined: Jul 2010

Just wonderng what kind of water bottle to use?
Thanks,
Norma

cujuja4evr
Posts: 106
Joined: Jul 2010

I got my water bottle from the nurse at the radiologist's office. It looks like a miniature water bottle. Believe me it sure comes in handy when you experience burning when you urinate or when you have diarrhea and the treatment area has not healed as yet!

cujuja4evr
Posts: 106
Joined: Jul 2010

No, I try to stay away from the pain pills unless it's an absolute emergency. I'm so afraid of getting constipated. I did the water bottle thing earlier on in my recovery, but the kind of pain I'm dealing with now seems to be just on the inside of the anus...like the opening is too small to handle the stools and I feel like a tearing of the opening as the stools pass through. The pain starts as the stool is coming out...I start to feel a sting (which feels like broken glass) that gradually worsens and intensifies until the stool is released. Then I take a break until the next stool and the whole process starts again. I feel like I'm in labor...the contractions come...I push...then the "baby's" out and I take a huge sigh of relief!!! I give birth to quadruplets or sometimes quintuplets every time I go to the bathroom!! What's up with the lidocaine???

z's picture
z
Posts: 1249
Joined: May 2009

I was fortunate not to have suffered with constripation, as I only took 4 pain meds a day, but could have taken up to 12. So maybe because I didn't take the full amount is the reason I didn't have constipation. As far as the water bottle, I just used a regular drinking bottle with the attached drinking part, to be able to squirt the water. I don't know about the lidocaine, as I didn't use it. Lori

mp327's picture
mp327
Posts: 2889
Joined: Jan 2010

I'm sorry to hear that the Lidocaine is no longer relieving your pain. As for feeling like the opening is smaller now, that's a real possibility, as radiation can cause anal stenosis, just like it can cause vaginal stenosis. Even at almost 2 years post-treatment, I still have times when passing a larger or hard stool will be painful and even produce a little bleeding. It has gotten better with time though. As you already know, keeping the stools soft is a must, so drink lots of water and make sure you are getting some good fiber. Just be sure to increase your fiber intake gradually. There are also certain foods you might want to avoid, such as nuts and seeds. I can eat neither anymore, including fruits that contain small seeds, such as strawberries and raspberries or kiwi. Hope this info helps.

cujuja4evr
Posts: 106
Joined: Jul 2010

I did notice something, though. To help get the water down (I'm not a water drinker) I started using flavored powder to give the water a sweeter flavored taste. I noticed that bowel movements started getting harder to bear since I've started adding powder to the water. Hmmmmmm...interesting. I looked on the box (the small print) and I saw Phenylketonurics: Contains phenylalanine. I guess this is a chemical in aspartame. I did look online and did not like what I saw with side effects with aspartame. I'm going to stop drinking that powder with the phenylalanine. I'm going to go back to plain water to see if there's a difference with the bowel movements. As far as stenosis, I believe that there is definitely a difference with size. I have the most problem with the anus opening up to let stools out. Even very small stools are hard to pass. I'm going to be very conscious about what I'm eating from here on out too...at least until I can figure out what works and what does. Thanks so much for encouragement and suggestions. You have been so helpful to me since I've joined this board and I do value your opinions and support. This too shall pass! It's just been a bad few days! Thanks!

patacz
Posts: 64
Joined: Sep 2010

I completed my treatment about 10 weeks ago, and I am still having a lot of issues with BM's. I eat a lot of nuts and fruits with seeds, such as strawberries, because they are supposed to be good for you. But after reading comments here, I am wondering if they make matters worse? I was always constipated prior to this, and now its even worse:-(

mp327's picture
mp327
Posts: 2889
Joined: Jan 2010

I would quit eating foods with seeds and nuts for awhile and see if that relieves your pain. You won't know unless you try this. I can not eat those foods anymore.

pjjenkins's picture
pjjenkins
Posts: 173
Joined: Mar 2009

Sorry you are battling pain again!

I didn't use lidocaine but I did use prescription painkillers in diminishing amounts for a few weeks after ending treatment. Routine use of Citrucel kept (and even now keeps) constipation at a minimum and I had no trouble ending prescription altogether. Maybe just take one every afternoon for a few days/weeks to see if things stretch and heal.

Things DO get better!

Priscilla

cujuja4evr
Posts: 106
Joined: Jul 2010

Thanks for responding so quickly. I will try citrucel to see if that helps. I'm really not sure if there's a problem with the lidocaine. Maybe the problem is not on the outside, but on the inside of the anus. This morning I tried a little lidocaine on a q-tip and inserted in anal opening enough to get a little lidocaine on the inside. I don't know how effective it was...I was unable to pass anything, but it did feel that something inside was very irritated. What did pass was a little mucous with blood in it. I'll keep a watch on it and maybe I'll have to schedule an appt with gastro doc to find out what the problem could be. At this point it must be hard to detect because inside is still healing. Thanks so much for your words of encouragement and support. I appreciate you more than you will ever know!

z810840b's picture
z810840b
Posts: 212
Joined: Jan 2010

Hi cuju-I dont know when u finished treatment..but it will get better.Try to avoid pain meds..they make you constipated.Also you may have a fissure.Thats like an open cut inside..and they dont go away..just are more or less inflamed depending on the time of day.Ask your doctor..

cujuja4evr
Posts: 106
Joined: Jul 2010

Well, that's kind of what it feels like...a cut inside. When the doc prescribed lidocaine to me, he also prescribed hydrocortizone suppositories which I don't use on a regular basis. I only use them if I had a bad BM and it feels like things are inflamed. Think I should go back to the doc?

pjjenkins's picture
pjjenkins
Posts: 173
Joined: Mar 2009

I, too, have heard of fissures forming. In your shoes, I would at least call and ask how you are supposed to know that it is NOT something like that and then schedule an appointment. When is your next "regular" one? Fissures can get infected, too. So be sure you are on the look out for fever.

Geesh, I hope you start to feel better again, SOON!

Priscilla

cujuja4evr
Posts: 106
Joined: Jul 2010

I actually feel okay this morning. When I went to bed last night, I could feel a constant stinging (not bad, but enough to know that it's there). When I woke up, I felt okay. I didn't feel anything. I didn't have a BM yesterday at all, so I'm hoping that today I'll have one and pray that it won't be too painful. Constipation is something I don't want to deal with. I just look at this whole thing as just another obstacle to overcome. I will call the GI's office and see if I can get in to see him today or tomorrow. Thanks Priscilla, I'll watch for any fevers...I know that I've been going through a lot of "hot-one-minute-cold-the-next" episodes. Maybe that might be menopause-related...who knows? Have a great day. I'm sure I'll feel better soon - this is something that goes along with the territory! :-)

Judy

patacz
Posts: 64
Joined: Sep 2010

I suspect I have one of these also, since everytime I have a BM it hurts and even bleeds, depending on how the stool is. So, this don't ever go away? When I went back to the surgeon, he said everythings looked normal, and I just needed more time to heal.

lemonade
Posts: 62
Joined: Feb 2010

I had to take over the counter stool softeners, especially when I was on pain meds. I took 2 a day. Have you tried those? I also find that if I eat very much fiber at all, my stools get very loose and I have that sharting problem.

susan1069
Posts: 30
Joined: Mar 2010

After I finished treatment, I, too, had that feeling of passing broken glass. I called my colorectal surgeon, cause I figured he'd know better than anyone what was happening. He said it sounded like an anal fissure (tear) and he prescribed a nifedipine ointment, which had to be mixed special by the drugstore. It really helped to soften the tissue and in a couple of weeks, the pain subsided and now the fissure is healed. Softening that tissue is really important. I also kept my stools liquid in the beginning and now always soft.

I never saw anyone else mention this ointment, so I thought I'd suggest it. As far as the pain meds go, I couldn't take enough to dampen that sharp pain, so I just gave them up.

Hang in there. I PROMISE that it gets better. I'm 3 1/2 months out of treatment and I feel almost normal. My bowel movements and that whole area isn't the same and probably never will be, but I'm not in pain, and that's the important thing.

cujuja4evr
Posts: 106
Joined: Jul 2010

Okay, I'll check on the ointment. Anything that will help get this thing healed will be greatly appreciated. Thanks I'll get to work on it! Quick question, is the ointment something that is inserted in anal canal or is it a topical cream? I feel like I'm running a pharmacy in here...I've got so much meds on my table, people will think I'm an addict!!!

Thanks Susan

susan1069
Posts: 30
Joined: Mar 2010

The nifedipine is a topical ointment but I was also inserting a hydrocortisone ointment into the anal canal, which seemed to help for a while. I had a whole (hole) ritual before bed. One laxative (Correctal), 1 stool softener, cream up into the butt (analpram, I think), a vaginal estrogen tablet into the vagina (for dryness) and ointment on the outside of the anal area. My husband used to laugh at this whole thing - it seemed so rediculous, but it was all necessary. It was too painful to pass anything but liquid for a week or two, but once things started healing, I was able to quit the laxative. I took stool softeners for a while, but I don't need them anymore either.

fYI - I don't take ANY meds anymore, except for the estrogen and a bunch of vitimins. You WILL feel better after some time.

Oh, and a day didn't go by that I didn't take at least 2 baths! It was the only time I got real relief.
Good luck!

cujuja4evr
Posts: 106
Joined: Jul 2010

My GI prescribed hydrocortisone suppositories and things seemed to be a litle bit better, but I don't used them a whole lot...only when I have a bad BM and everything feels inflamed! It seems like a good ritual that you have. Instead of the lidocaine, I'm trying Nupercainal which was suggested by another survivor who used it and said it worked for her. I just started using it this morning so I guess I'll see how it does over the next couple of days. I'd rather get rid of the pain than take something to cover it up temporarily. I put a call in to my onc about this possible anal fissure that I have. I'm just looking forward to the day that I won't feel pain or burning anymore.

Thanks Susan

ACW189
Posts: 24
Joined: Feb 2009

Warm tub baths or sitz baths work wonders as does a stool softener. I still use both on occasion when I make the mistake of not watching what I eat or drink. Nix the pain meds if possible--they're horrible on the digestive system. My routine includes plenty of water & exeecise, fiber supplement, dolcolax once a day--when needed, no/minimal sugar & dairy and one cup of coffee in the morning--to get things moving. I also find eating plain yogurt helps.
Yes, be careful with fissues. If infected they can lead to a anal abscess and fistula which will require surgery. I had both an abscess and fistula which required a "fistulotomy" 4 months after treatment ended and that healing process took another 6 months...not fun.

cujuja4evr
Posts: 106
Joined: Jul 2010

You mean there's more...I don't know if I can take anymore. I will take all of your suggestions and see about getting that ointment mentioned in an earlier post. I know I'll get through this, but WOW this is TOO much!

cujuja4evr
Posts: 106
Joined: Jul 2010

You mean there's more...I don't know if I can take anymore. I will take all of your suggestions and see about getting that ointment mentioned in an earlier post. I know I'll get through this, but WOW this is TOO much!

teacherofkids
Posts: 14
Joined: Feb 2010

This is dejavu from how I felt 6 months ago. I will tell you that it will get better and that is the good news. I too was ready to throw in the towel and it was very discouraging to have a bowel movement after treatments. Funny, I described it as giving birth too. I would take little breaths and squeeze my hands together to help ease the pain. Just tell yourself that this too will pass as did the treatments. I still have some burning with bowel movements but they definatly have gotten better. I found taking miralax before bed each night really softened my stools and helped with the pain. Good luck!

flipfleury
Posts: 1
Joined: Jan 2012

I can understand what you're going through because I have had lifelong problems with constipation. I feel like a knife is cutting me upside my rectum every time I have to try to pass those very large hard stools ! I decided in early March of 2011 that I had enough of this constipation problem once and for all. I went on a high fiber diet 20-25 grams a day of fiber and 64 oz, a day of water,Citrucel in the morning at breakfast and then at night when I get home from work, I sit on the toilet every day at the same time for 30 minutes to have a bowel movement. I do not use stimulant laxatives or enemas. The one thing I found to work for me so far is to do slow deep breathing exercises continuously until I have a bowel movement. This relaxes all the muscles which actually aids in having a bowel movement that is totally painless. I have to do this every day to keep my bowels moving and the stools soft. If I don't drink enough water and eat enough fiber my stools are harder to pass and more likely not to be able to have a bowel movement the next day. It takes a lot of time,patience,and commitment on my part but at least I'm not constantly having to force hard stools out that are so painful to pass. I hope this will be helpful to you.

mxperry220
Posts: 360
Joined: Mar 2011

You might try using a generous amount of Aquaphor. This is sold over the counter. I got mine at Target. It worked very well for me even though it is greasy. It puts a barrier between your butt and BMS.

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