UPDATE: While this method worked for a solid three weeks, after three weeks, it stopped working continuously. That may have been because I wasn’t drinking as much water as I should have (I kept forgetting to drink water and water is necessary for fiber consumption; otherwise your stomach feels swollen and full). My body retaliated and refused to cooperate by allowing anything that entered the body to be expelled from the body. I felt bloated and way too full. As a result, I would recommend NOT following this program every day. Instead I would try it for two days on, then three days off, two days on, three days off, etc. Also remember to breathe, deeply and fully. Shallow breaths don’t help to move things along.
If you’re one of those lucky people who has never had a problem “going,” you won’t be able to relate to this post. If you’re disgusted by bodily functions, you’ll probably want to bypass this post as well. Because I’m going to be talking about poop – and especially the inability to poop. So if you’re sensitive to the discussion of bowel evacuation, look away, because I’m about to share some information that a lot of you will consider to be TMI (too much information). My goal, however, is to help others who suffer from the uncomfortable and often painful problem of constipation.
As far back as babyhood, I have had the annoying and frustrating habit of “not going.” My mother often reminds me about how I cried relentlessly as an infant and how colicky I was. I remember sitting in the bathroom as a teenager trying to force myself to go. I remember my father standing on the other side of the bathroom door, asking, “Have you fallen in?” which I think further contributed to my inability to relax enough to go. Knowing that somebody is taunting you from the other side of the only bathroom you share with the rest of the family is too much pressure, and not in the right area.
Though I tried and tried, I often went weeks without producing any bowel movements at all. Nothing made me feel more sluggish than carrying around what felt to be a hundred pounds of poop.
According to HealthDay from US News, I’m not the only one suffering from this problem. Chronic constipation affects nearly 63 million people and it can lead to more serious complications such as, “hemorrhoids, anal fissures, fecal incontinence, colonic conditions and urologic disorders.”
The article further states, “At least an association has been shown between constipation and other conditions, too. Studies of people with rectal prolapse, in which the rectum becomes stretched and protrudes from the anus, suggest such a relationship. More than 50 percent of people with anal fissures, which are small splits or tears in anal tissue, also have constipation. And fecal incontinence, the second most common cause for nursing home admissions, often occurs along with constipation, the researchers noted.”
Constipation affects us in ways we often don’t realize. For example, every morning during my working years, I had to rush – to get the kids ready, to get myself ready, to get to work on time (the list goes on and on), so for somebody like me, relaxing my body enough to defecate took too much time. Kids rushing in to use the same bathroom, everybody needing me for one reason or another, just didn’t allow me whatever time I needed to get the job done. I also didn’t have the luxury of escaping my workplace for prolonged periods of time, so I never went, except for maybe on a weekend when I had nothing else to do. Which was never.
I once asked a doctor what happened to waste that didn’t expel from a body. He said it had to go somewhere and if it didn’t go through normal channels, it got reabsorbed into the body and expelled through pores in the skin and through the lungs. Does anything sound more disgusting?
So I tried laxatives and stool softeners and teas, and though Smooth Move tea worked occasionally, NOTHING worked consistently. Even laxatives, something that everybody insisted would most definitely work, didn’t. Using them just made me feel more bloated than ever.
Enemas produced slight results, but not enough to help me feel completely empty. I couldn’t even use the entire product before it leaked out, possibly because of a blockage or because my body was retaliating from being forced to go. On days when I felt I might be able to move my bowels, what I produced amounted to a couple of stools the size of bunny pellets. I still felt bloated and uncomfortable. And frustrated! I had always read about how “proper eliminations” would help me feel better, but how does one achieve that goal when chronic constipation prevents one from evacuating the bowels?
When three weeks passed without eliminating anything (a previously common occurrence for me), and I finally felt the urge to go, the pain was so exceedingly excruciating, I felt as if I was giving birth to a baseball. My rectum split open and bled, and what finally emerged, after weeks of clogging my intestines, also clogged the toilet. For years I felt not only frustrated, but also angry. Doctors offered only smirky, pseudo-sympathetic nods. Colonoscopies revealed nothing, and the only thing doctors suggested was what I was already taking – stool softeners. Perhaps what I suffered from was merely a “sluggish” bowel, they said. Well, after experiencing chronic constipation for nearly 65 years, I was determined to WAKE UP that sluggish bowel!
One day a very close relative (who would be humiliated if I mentioned her name, but who suffers from the same problem) and I talked about how we envisioned using dynamite to relieve ourselves from this painful problem. After fantasizing about how good it would feel to be completely empty, a lightbulb exploded in my brain – I would use EVERYTHING TOGETHER! And I would call it Dynamite!
But how I would I prepare such a concoction?
Through experimentation, intuition, and research, I developed my own workable solution, and it is, in a word, Dynamite!
What is Dynamite, you ask? Obviously, I’m not talking about nitroglycerine explosives, though I think you get a fairly good picture about what exactly I intended to do to get myself “moving” – no – I’m talking about a mixture of guaranteed-to-work poop bombs! I decided to tackle the problem from as many different angles as possible – all at once. I already knew I had to increase my water intake and my fiber consumption, but what if I attacked the problem head-on with an arsenal of weaponry?
Guess what! It worked! I’m on day 7 now and I hope I’m not jinxing myself by announcing this solution too early. I hope I’m setting into motion a solution that will continue to work so that I don’t have to rely on this arsenal every day for the rest of my life. I’m hoping that once my body gets used to doing what it was supposed to do since birth, it will figure out how to “properly eliminate” on its own.
So what is this arsenal?
It’s a combination of solutions. Yes, I drink as much water as I can. Yes, I eat as much fiber as I can. But in addition to those solutions, every morning for the past 7 mornings, I have made myself a cup of coffee (something I drink every day, but it has never helped produce results; however, it is a stimulant, so I hope to get the “baseball” rolling by starting my day with it). After coffee, I warm some apple cider, into which I drop a Smooth Move tea bag and 2 teaspoons of Benefiber.
At night I take 2 stool softeners and a laxative (in pill form). In the morning, while drinking my coffee, I take in slow deep breaths and exhale slowly (breathing properly is important – as an asthmatic, I had to factor in the possibility that lung function and bowel function were related). Either during my cup of coffee or during my cup of cider tea, when my nose begins to run (a relationship exists between sinuses and bowels – every time I feel the need to go, my nose runs), I feel my Dynamite working!
While I don’t have a customary exercise routine, I try to move as much as possible, to do in 10 steps what might normally take me only 2 steps. In other words, I move more often than I would normally move, especially when I am performing routine tasks. If, for example, instead of grabbing everything from my dryer and walking to the bedroom to hang up everything at once, I hang up one piece of clothing at a time, walking from my washing machine or dryer all the way into the bedroom for each article of clothing. “Moving” apparently prepares the mind to move everything inside the body.
So far, this week has been the most enjoyable week of my entire life – I have “gone” 7 days in a row!
I’ll repeat the Dynamite Concoction recipe here:
Drink lots of water
Eat lots of fiber
1 Cup of Coffee, followed by
1 Cup of Warm Apple Cider with one Smooth Move tea bag and 2 teaspoons of Benefiber.
2 stool softeners and a laxative (in pill form)
If you decide to try my Dynamite Concoction, give yourself some time. Go about your daily routine. Allow the concoction to work without force. Relax. Breathe. Don’t expect instantaneous results. You’ll put too much pressure on yourself and your body will retaliate by holding everything in. If you normally rush to work in the morning, slow down. Put your makeup on while you sit on the toilet if necessary, because if you’re used to being constipated, you might be surprised by the urge to go on the first day after using my Dynamite Concoction. You may even have to take a Health Day (as opposed to a sick day).
I hope my Dynamite Concoction works as well for you as it does for me! Let’s start a movement, a Bowel Movement!
Disclaimer – I am not a doctor. All products can be found on store shelves. I would advise checking with your doctor if you have any concerns or if you suffer from other medical conditions beyond chronic constipation.