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poo poo

littlejulie's picture
Posts: 311
Joined: Mar 2004

i though my subject line might get more response. my mom is still in the hospital - they are trying to keep her in until she has somewhat of a 'normal' bowel movement'.

The question I have for everyone is what is normal? My mother is either constipated or she's in the washroom 10 times a day. It's been 4 months since her surgery. Can anyone relate? What helped you and how long did it take for you to become 'normal' again.


Posts: 100
Joined: Mar 2004

Hi Julie -

I can definitely relate. After my moms first surgery, it seemed that she was going to the bathroom every second of the day. We talked to the doctor many times, and he said that this was just a side effect of the bowel surgery. Coupled with the fact that your mom had a blockage, these things would definitely cause "urgency". The surgeon and the G/P my mom talked to both said that this was normal post-surgery.

Hope that helps & tell your mom I am saying lots of prayers for her !


Moesimo's picture
Posts: 1080
Joined: Aug 2003

I can totally relate to "what is normal anyway". My body has not returned to anything close to normal since my surgery for a very low rectal tumor that was removed in 6/.03. On a good day, I go to the BR 8-10 times, and on a bad day 20-30 times. I feel like I live in the BR and it has consumed my life. I have RELUCTANTLY agreed to a permanent colostomy that will be done in Jan. after the holidays. All of my doc's, esp. the surgeon think that my quality of life will be SO much better. At least I know that I have tried to go the regular way and it didn't work. i have problems with diarrhea, urgency and "accidents" I have frequent rectal pain from so many trips that I cannot sleep at nite. I hope that i am not making a mistake in agreeing to have the surgery. I am so scared.
I wish your mom all the best.

grandma047's picture
Posts: 381
Joined: Feb 2004

Maureen, I think you are making the right decision. I was even able to go to Amish Country with my daughter for 3 days. Wasn't constantly going to potty. I just emptied it when I passed by a restroom. So much better. After you get used to the colostomy it is so much better as far as quality of life. I will be praying for you.
Love and prayers, Judy(grandma047)

MJay's picture
Posts: 132
Joined: Aug 2004

Hi Maureen-- I had the permanent colostomy surgery done in September. I had other procedures done at the same time so my recovery is moving slowly. And now that I started back on chemo this week the recovery will be even slower.

But I just have to say, the anxiety before the surgery is soooo much worse than the actual colostomy. I don't like it and I surely don't love it. But I never had bathroom frequency problems or accidents. If I did I would definitely say the colostomy will improve your quality of life. Without a doubt!!!!

Good luck. MJ

Kanort's picture
Posts: 1275
Joined: Jan 2004

Hi Julie,

I'm sorry your mom is still in the hospital. I remember when I had my blockage, my doctor wanted me to "pass gas" before going home. I think I had a nasal tube for five days and then left the hospital a couple of days after that.

As far as becoming "regular" I had the opposite problem. I think that now ( a year after my resection) that I am "normal!" However, my friends would beg to differ!!! I have one movement every day.

I think I missed your engagement announcement. Congratulations and my sincere best wishes to you both.



littlejulie's picture
Posts: 311
Joined: Mar 2004

my mom is coming home today :)

littlejulie's picture
Posts: 311
Joined: Mar 2004

my mom is coming home today :)

2bhealed's picture
Posts: 2085
Joined: Dec 2001

hi julie,

Normal is relative really. What is normal is a good question.

In all the colon health books that I have read the HEALTHY bowels move for each meal eaten. If you eat three meals/day then you should have three poopoos/day.

"Normal" americans I would bet have a lot less. But healthy is better than normal.

i take a product called CleanseMore to ensure more than zero to one bowel movements/day. (not a laxative) It is not healthy to have the poo poo sitting in your bowles where they have opportunity to putrify and become a stagnant breeding ground for problems that voila turn into colon cancers.

But what I gather from the situation is the hospital is just wanting her to have a movement with substance?

My first movements after my surgery were amazing b/c they just slid out. You mean I don't have to push and force??? Wow what a paradigm shift for me.....a poop that actually comes out "unassisted"! haha

well, don't know it this helps but someday I would love to write a book on HEALTHY bowels not NORMAL bowels.

The Scoop on Poop

peace, emily who drives her kids nuts asking them about their bowel movements! haha

spongebob's picture
Posts: 2598
Joined: Apr 2003

Ya know, EM, the common observer would call "Too Much Information" on that...

I have to say, though (and you KNOW I'm going to HATE to admit this...) I agree with you. I'm in there after each meal (usually within an hour or so) and things just slide out.

I think about friends (OK, well, my ex) who would sometimes not go for a couple days, or who - when "regular" - went once a day. She thought I was weird. Hmmm... maybe I was a lot more the "normal" one about other aspects of our relationship, too!

You're my favorite pooper scooper.

- SpongeBob

2bhealed's picture
Posts: 2085
Joined: Dec 2001


Well I tend to forget that the entire world can read our posts and that we are not just some cloistered bunch of semi-colons sitting around the pool sipping gin and tonics and discussing our movements.

Oh well, if we don't talk about it who will??

Now if I started telling you the consistancy, size, and color then......TMI haha

actually my Naturopathic doc told me that healthy poo poos should be the size of a quarter and about a foot long and float.

Hows that for the scoop on poop? :-)

peace, emily who has odd tidbits of info

johnom's picture
Posts: 86
Joined: Jul 2004

I am 5 months post op, with 12 inches of bowel removed about 4 inches above my rectum, so my sigmoid is long gone. Frankly, although I got a lot of information and some literature about the surgery beforehand, there is little or no talk about the problems we all are facing as a result of this procedure. I sat in the hospital for l9 hours waiting to produce something that would allow me to leave.
Once I was home I could only produce thin, string bean type poops. I was told to start taking metamucil, but it didn't seem to make any difference.
Good news!! Slowly, over time, and after a number of embarrassing, emergency accidents and learning to keep spare underwear and baby wipes in the car, things got better. As with most of us on here I suffered through bowel spasms which were terrible.....30-35 bm's in a couple of hours, resulting in the burning and pain that is so difficult. After a couple of months I decided when the spasm started in earnest I would take some immodium, and eventually that began to slow down the number from 35 to maybe 15 in 4 hours. One morning not too long ago I woke up, had a stool, and was fine all day until shortly after a 6:00 p.m. dinner, when I repeated the morning poop. I attribute the regained, relative control to taking 2 citrucil pills every morning for fiber content. Everyone is built differently, but I suggest your mom try something like this after the first miserable 6 weeks or so have elapsed.
As everyone told me, there is a light at the end of the colon, and there is eventually some relief of some kind. Tell your mom not to despair, everything that is happening is normal.
Take care.

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