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Old 12-27-2010, 04:27 PM   #1
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hollysmom HB User
Unhappy bowel disorders

I suffer from fecal incontinence since the birth of my last child in 1996. In 2004 I had surgical repair of the anal sphincter muscle which helped somewhat for a couple of years. I now suffer again like I never had the surgery. I would like to speak to other women who are experiencing this problem. I feel like my whole world has changed, I feel I can't go anywhere or make any plans. I am tired of always looking for a bathroom, and worst of all, most times never even making it to the bathroom on time. It is so humiliating, embarrassing, and I need some advice from someone who has experienced this problem. I would like to know if others have had the same problem with surgery only lasting for a few years, and if they had the surgery again. I don't really want to do the colostomy, but I am getting desperate. Please help! hollysmom

Last edited by hollysmom; 12-27-2010 at 05:22 PM. Reason: change category

 
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Old 12-28-2010, 06:38 AM   #2
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Re: fecal incontinence

I'm so sorry you are dealing with this problem - it is much more common than you think. The good news is that since your surgery there are many more options that are available. Talk to your doctor about minimally invasive solutions - some new ones that are out there now are Secca Therapy which is radiofrequency energy therapy, effective and low complication rate (outpatient too), it has FDA clearance - and really fills a gap for those where other options have failed and before considering implants or colostomy...Interstim which is a permanent implant like a pacemaker - waiting for FDA clearance in the states but available in europe...also heard of a bulking agent called solesta - still waiting for FDA clearance too. Lots depends on the nature of where the incontinence is coming from - but your doctor would know which therapy may be best for you.

 
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Old 12-28-2010, 08:06 AM   #3
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Re: fecal incontinence

Hi Sad6575, Thanks for the information. Is this something that you have experienced? I am always interested in hearing from others who have dealt with this and how they have achieved good results. It is getting so hard to make it through each day. I look forward to hearing from you. Thank you. Hollysmom

 
Old 12-28-2010, 06:48 PM   #4
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Re: fecal incontinence

I have not had this problem but I work in healthcare communications consulting and am taking note of many disorders where so many women silently suffer instead of talking to their doctors when there are solutions available. It is an educational challenge to get this patient to talk to their doctor - you've made it past that very important first step. We are working on increasing awareness of these type of disorders - I wish you much luck!

 
Old 12-29-2010, 07:04 AM   #5
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Re: fecal incontinence

Quote:
Originally Posted by sad6575 View Post
I have not had this problem but I work in healthcare communications consulting and am taking note of many disorders where so many women silently suffer instead of talking to their doctors when there are solutions available. It is an educational challenge to get this patient to talk to their doctor - you've made it past that very important first step. We are working on increasing awareness of these type of disorders - I wish you much luck!
sad6575, Hi, Thank you for all you do to help all of us. I checked out the Secca Therapy which you had suggested. I actually located a doctor about one hour away. I will give myself 3-4 months of intense Kegel exercises and if I don't have results, I will schedule an appointment and get started on the next step. I am just finishing my last semester to complete my R.N.. This has been a 3 year challenge, I just hope I can get through the pinning ceremony, wearing "white", without an accident! Thank you again, hollysmom

 
Old 12-30-2010, 03:07 PM   #6
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Re: fecal incontinence

Good luck with everything!!!

 
Old 12-31-2010, 07:23 AM   #7
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Re: fecal incontinence

Sad6575, Thanks for your support! hollysmom

 
Old 01-03-2011, 05:08 AM   #8
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Re: fecal incontinence

Hi hollysmom,
I'm not sure whether or not I responded to you before but just wanted to let you know what has been helpful for me. I really try to go first thing in the morning. Trying to be 'done' with a daily bowel movement helps me face the day. I do take an imodium every day which keeps me from going muliple times a day -most days. I take an Align each day and fiber pills at night and most days I go in the morning first thing and maybe once again before I leave for work and I'm good for the day. Not every day is a total success but it's allowed me to lead a pretty normal life. My splasty was in o7 and things are overall worse. I don't think I should ever have had it done and I chose the wrong doctor which made my life a nightmare for far too long. But I'm left with some continence and some not when my stool is too soft. Anyway reading about your anxiety when leaving for the day I thought this info might help. Good luck to you!
Penny

 
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Old 01-03-2011, 09:01 AM   #9
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hollysmom HB User
Re: fecal incontinence

Hi Penny70, No, I never spoke with you, but I appreciate your response. For the most part, I am pretty regular and go in the morning, but of course I can't be too far from the toilet, as I am unable to hold even a firm stool. During the day, if I don't think about it, I usually don't have to go again, but if I even think about it, and the anxiety kicks in, which is alot of the time, it's almost like my brain is connected to my rectum, I can bring on a BM just thinking about it. I take a small dose of klonopin, to settle my anxiety, but I hate that I have to do this too. It doesn't always work though. I just want to be able to control the incontinence. I have started doing intense kegel exercises and will continue each day for the next few months and if its not any better, I am going to see a MD who does the Secca Therapy. It can't hurt to try. If this fails, I will have to go the next step. I just hope its not a colostomy, which I am really not prepared for, but I want my life and freedom back without the stress, anxiety and constant worry. Thanks for your concern and suggestions, I wish you luck also. Keep me posted if you find any other ways of dealing with this. Hugs to you, hollysmom

 
Old 01-04-2011, 03:58 AM   #10
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Re: fecal incontinence

Hi Hollysmom,
I've been surprised at how directly connected our brains are to our digestive systems. I read an article describing our stomachs as our second brains! And how can we not have some anxiety with our situations! I think for me the imodium seems to create a barrier at least slowing things down in my colon so there's less ability for things to flow faster than need be. I started doing kegels in a big way before my last surgery (a reversal from an ileostomy that I had to have after getting a fistula) which made me feel good but I'm not sure it helped with continence. I really should do them anyway because I'm sure they're just generally helpful with muscle tone and can only make things better. If I need to try surgery in the future again I've decided to check out the Cleveland Clinic. My MD just doesn't do enough of them for me to feel she's experienced. But hopefully that doesn't need to happen for a while/if ever!
take care,
Penny

 
Old 01-04-2011, 08:00 AM   #11
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hollysmom HB User
Re: fecal incontinence

Penny70, Hi Thanks for the info. Is it safe to take Immodium every day? This may be something for me to try. I wish you luck with all, it's an awful way to go through life worrying each day! hollysmom

 
Old 01-04-2011, 04:26 PM   #12
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Re: fecal incontinence

I have been taking imodium daily for almost a year and have had no side effects. My doctors have told me there rarely are any and when I Googled it I saw some people have been on it for 30 years and more. I think the bottle says to only take it so many days but I think that's because if you're having diahrrea they want you to get at the root cause rather than hide the symptoms. My colo rectal surgeon suggested it and then I went to see a Gastroentrologist ( who said "those are symptoms you have before surgery, not after!") and she also recommended imodium daily. You might want to check it out with your MD's just to feel more confident about it. I felt the way you do before I started taking the Align and fiber pills. I use to have to wipe forever. Very frustrating and then if I had to go more than once it seemed a lot of my day was spent in the bathroom. You're right, not a way to live. I still get annoyed if my day isn't ideal but I'm learning to try to go with the flow a bit more, so to speak.
Penny

 
Old 01-07-2011, 07:37 AM   #13
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Re: fecal incontinence

Penny70, Thanks for the additional information. I picked up Colon Health Probiotics yesterday, and will give this a try along with the Kegels. It truly helps to know that I am not the only person that is dealing with this problem. If I could turn back the clock and insist on a C-section, oh well, I will move forward and try all other options! Good luck to you, as well as all the others. Hugs, hollysmom

 
Old 01-17-2011, 09:29 AM   #14
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Re: fecal incontinence

>Hollysmom, I think I have 'spoken' to you before on this board as in your name sounds familiar. I read your posts and you and I are in exactly the same boat. So I have some questions for you. My last child was born in 1997 and I have had several 'repairs' what I 'thought' were all sphinteroplasy's but after review of my records they were all different 'approach'. How? I have no idea. I too am a nurse but have not 'practiced' in many years but am newly divorced and need to 'go back to work'. I am trying to go back to school to get my License. I see you are in your last semester. I have not done anything further because of my 'condition' and daily accidents. How are you handling going to school? I am just curious because just recently I had to start wearing diapers for certain 'trips' and it is just horrible...I have had two UTI's in the last two months. Anyway, you also talked about a colostomy. I too have considered that so I CAN get back to work. Although, I wonder if I go with that option if I will be 'employable' in nursing with the colostomy? Have you researched that? I am just running out of time and money to 'treat' this and just feel panicked and depressed. BTW, I think we both will be better nurses because we KNOW and can sympathize with many patients in a lot of areas!

Last edited by flsunshine; 01-17-2011 at 09:30 AM.

 
Old 01-18-2011, 06:20 AM   #15
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hollysmom HB User
Re: fecal incontinence

Hi flsunshine, I am sorry that you are also in "my boat", its a horrible place to be. The only way I am making it through college, is that I am pretty regular with my BM's. I get up extra early in the am and have some "lite" coffee, after moving around, I hit the BR quicky, as there is no holding even a firm BM. After going 2- 3 times, I take my shower and get going. On certain, (most) days, I will start to have anxiety, hoping that I won't have to go again, since I can't stop it, for this, I take 0.5mg of Kolonopin, which settles my nerves. I don't always need it, some times I am able to do my breathing exercises to calm my nerves. Usually when I do need a pill, it is the only one I need for the day. What really makes me crazy is how our minds can control our bowels. If I can keep my mind off my problem, some times it almost seems like I don't have a physical problem. I have really concentrated on doing kegels every day, and I think it is starting to help alittle, I don't seem to run as fast in the morning, but I still need to be close to the BR. As far as the colostomy with being a nurse, this is your personal business and no one elses, there are no queations on an employment application that asks if you have a colostomy, so I would think this is not an issue. Yes, you are right, we would be more compassionate nurses, and we may be able to help other moms-to-be to be aware of how drastically their lives can change after a baby. We, of course, would not add fear... but would may be advise them to speak to their doctors before delivery, especially if they expect a large baby!
Let me know about your plans for college and how much longer you need to go. Maybe I can help you out in some way. Good luck to you, hollysmom

 
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