Saturday, November 6, 2010

The Joys of MiraLAX®

I’ve been busy this week with a two-day colonoscopy prep and subsequent colonoscopy. I have been having difficulties with constipation over the last two years, and more noticeably since December of last year when I had a rather bad Crohn’s episode. Since this is not about Crohn’s episodes, let’s just say it was a major gut-cramping event where I end up in bed and take medication to relax the muscles and knock me out. After that point, I had increasing problems with constipation. This seemed to come to a head mid-June of this year when I had yet another Crohn’s episode. This one left me unable to move anything through my bowels without drinking a ton of prune juice.

It usually takes my gut a couple of weeks to recover from an episode and get the eating and bowel movements somewhat in sync. After three weeks then four, I began trying all sorts of things to get on top of the horrible gas buildup in my gut. I liken it to the beast in the movie Alien attempting to burst out of the body of one of the characters. After contacting my gastroenterologist, he suggested using MiraLAX®. He mentioned this when I saw him in the spring, but I have tried to stay away from anything in the laxative family and had not used it to date. Yes laxatives work in a bind, but you can become dependent on them if you use them over an extended amount of time. Since I was starting to turn brown from all the prune juice I was drinking, or maybe I was just full of…well, you figure it out! I tried the MiraLAX®. Laaaaaaaaa, happy days! It was amazing. Thus began months of trying to figure out just how much of this miracle powder I would need to keep my bowels moving.

Now that you have a little background, and perhaps more information than you really wanted to know, fast forward to the present. Months of working with the MiraLAX®, like a mad scientist, had not brought me any closer to coming up with a solution to the ratio of MiraLAX® to pooping. It had been over four years since my last colonoscopy and I was due, so my poop doc took a look. The results of the test were not surprising. Other than the fact I have Crohn’s, I had a benign polyp removed and have found I have a “tortuous colon.” Due to the fact I do not eat enough fiber, my colon has lengthened and twisted a bit. This condition can lead to intestinal blockage, which is never a good thing. I’ve always had problems moving fiber through my digestive system, and have been concerned with causing a blockage. MiraLAX® is an osmotic-type of laxative, which holds more water in your digestive system allowing the stool to soften, and is neither a stimulant nor bulk-forming laxative. It may pave the way for a number of IBD (Irritable Bowel Disease) and IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome) sufferers. It is now available over the counter and in generic form at most drug stores, including by the barrel at Costco! So now I am suppose to not only add more fiber, but also add more MiraLAX® than I had been taking. After every meal, I’m to have what I am calling my MiraLAX® digestif. Interestingly, digestifs are served at the end of the meal to aid digestion⎯usually a liqueur, brandy or fortified wine, but in my case MiraLAX®. So now I can begin to enjoy eating more fiber and know that somewhere in my gut everything is moving smoothly, and I have put the Alien to rest. My dear soapbox-carrying acupuncturist will be happy to know this. I’m on my way to Costco. Cheers!

© Copyright Michelle Clark 2010