Sooner or later a van dwelling blogger will write about how they go to the bathroom when they don’t have plumbing. This isn’t one of those posts. This is about not being able to poop. So if you don’t want to read about constipation, this is your warning. Turn. Back Now.
Constipation is one of the likely side effects of my chemotherapy drug, Cisplatin. In my case, it hit hard. Not simply gee-this-is-a-little-difficult-to-squeeze-out constipation. I’m talking too-firm-and-large-to-ever-pass-through-a-normal-person’s-sphincter constipation. I’m talking put-on-the-surgical-gloves-and-poke-around-in-there constipation. This is despite a lot of stool softening medication.
After three hours of mostly futile work, exhausted, hurting, humiliated, I had Ceebs take me to the ER. The pros would know what to do. They probably had special excavation tools.
Business was light when I arrived. They got me right in and checked me out. When I mentioned there had been some bleeding earlier, they became concerned there might be a larger problem than a reaction to my meds. They took a stool sample. They drew blood and sent it out for analysis. They did a CT scan. When the scan also revealed I was also developing a kidney stone (a tiny fleck of gravel in my urinary tract to go along with the rock in my rectum), they wanted a urine sample.
Everyone was nice. Everyone was sympathetic. A CT tech asked about my tattoos. An elderly volunteer doted on me, insisted I take an extra blanket. Then I waited. I watched the comings and goings of the now busy ER. A car wreck victim, a woman screaming with labor pains, a dude in police custody… I knew I was a low priority. I waited some more.
I made a few trips to the bathroom. Some of the newer poo was sneaking around the lump.
Finally, the word. No poop scooping for me. Just some stronger medications to use in the “comfort and privacy” of my own bathroom. And an invitation to come back if the problem persisted. And a recommendation I talk with my chemo doctor about adjusting my dosage.
So, as I write this, I’m back to waiting. Will the stuff work? How well? When?