THE CONSTIPATION CLUB
By Sherrie Palm
I have a new puppy. I know I don’t need to go into detail with you about how this sends the normal daily ritual sideways; nearly everyone has been there. I’ve stepped in more puppy pee in the past few days than I care to say. But what typically happens while addressing my normal routine is I end up reflecting on how the things that occur in our lives, the things that are part of our normal household dynamic, the things that take us from point A to point B in a 24 hour schedule, impact our pelvic floor health. The normal stuff, the stuff we don’t even think about.
Despite having rectocele repair, I still dance from time to time with constipation; years of IBS have taken their toll. You name it-I’ve tried it to improve regularity. When the urge hits, I try to listen immediately. Now add puppy to that drill. While letting nature take its course this morning, I had my 3 year old lab mix on one side of me and my new 12 week old puppy on the other chewing on the throw rug, then my feet, then my hand while I tried to pet her; you know the drill. After several corrections, she finally settled down at my feet. As I petted her and called her a good girl for lying there nicely, it occurred to me that what was going to be a normal bowel movement now was not. And there it is.
As each of us shift through what is our normal routine, there are typically multiple sidebars that occur to impact the curve. For mothers of babies it is to the nth degree. For women with more than one child, many things can occur to change the direction your day is heading. For women juggling careers or jobs with motherhood, the odds are you seldom have a smooth day where everything falls perfectly into place. For women in menopausal years, hormone swing can mean you poop one day and not the next. And for the women with rectocele who have extreme difficulty having normal bowel movements on a good day, any and every one of these situations aggravates balance.
What to do? Step one is to recognize how your daily patterns impact your bowel health. Keep a diary of the hours prior to good bowel movements as well as days you have none may help clarify the things that make your personal situation better or worse. Track fiber intake, water intake, supplements used for regularity, exercise, stress level, probiotic use whether in yogurt form or supplement. It may not give you all the answers, but when suffering with chronic constipation from rectocele, any answers are beneficial.