One of the most hilarious comedians in my humble opinion was Joan Rivers. I got to see her live in Las Vegas many years ago and many of her skits are still fresh in my mind. She would blurt out under her breath, “Can we talk here?” just as she was about to dish the dirt on a celebrity or delve into the hairy details of a sensitive topic. While in more recent years I became a fan of Christian comedienne Chonda Pierce more than Ms. Rivers yet I will always remember this phrase, drawing me close, now drawing you close as well.
Can we talk about the bowel? I have become more acquainted with this topic than I really should at my age! Usually a discussion of bowel habits marks the conversation of persons over the age of 65 and especially those over 85. I know this. I have worked with thousands of seniors as an occupational therapist. Improving independence in the skills required in toileting is one of our areas of expertise. Need a raised toilet seat? Secure handhold when transferring onto the commode? Yeah, that usually triggered additional self-disclosure from my client on his or her last BM which went beyond my area of expertise! (For more on toileting accessibility, see Part 1 and Part 2 in my professional website, Two Step Solutions.) Older adults often talk openly about their bodies in such an intimate setting you know.
From all of this I was determined NOT to talk about such matters . . . until today. So let’s get to it. The bottom line is that gut motility is a natural body function for all of us, right? Soooo, I ended up in the Emergency Room this past weekend for abdominal pain and back pain. Both exacerbated the daily convulsive episodes such that I could not bear to be me anymore! The staff of the Regional Medical Center administered IV fluids and a battery of tests resulting in the seizures and back pain diminishing while the abdominal pain continued. Flash forward to Monday afternoon and a call to my Primary Physician’s office. Unfortunately I soon discovered that he was to be out of town on a family emergency for the entire week! I prayed for him and then I prayed for me. What should I do now? The tummy pain was continuing.
By the grace of God and by phone, my incredible family doctor was able to figure out what to do and recommend treatment. The CT scan had shown a severe bowel obstruction (B.O.) but the ER Doc never told me about it! Imagine that! I was admitted to the emergency department with the primary complaint of abdominal pain and no one bothered to tell me the findings clearly stated on the CT report. Geez! I have no idea how the “B.O.” came about (little humor here folks!) but today I am grateful for an amazing Doc and phone nurse willing to get medical records and review my case with him when I was unsuccessful. The treatment worked! Geez again! And in the process I was introduced to an unsweetened form of a supplement that I believe I can use on an ongoing basis; I have battled for 4 years finding magnesium that I could tolerate; magnesium is critical to my recovery.
I hear-by recommend Natural CALM! You will now find an unsweetened version of both Natural CALM and Lily of the Desert Aloe Vera Juice in my list of Julie’s Favorites at the end of this webpage.
I am so glad that we can talk here! I know that this topic will touch the life of someone out there so I am not ashamed to mention it today. Here is my takeway message this afternoon:
If you feel like you are going crazy, you are not. It is just a feeling. Try something new. Get help and stay engaged in the process until you find an answer.
Don’t be afraid to politely ask for help even when others are busy. Often the busiest person, if they agree to help you, will be the best person to get the job done.
Always say “thank you.”
Keep your bowels moving. Keep your body moving. Keep your mind moving forward. Keep your eyes fixed on Christ. Keep tough . . . you are not alone!
That’s it Gentle Reader. Feel free to pass a link of this post onto someone who might need it. Young and old, I am so glad that we can talk about it here . . . :JJ