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Potty problems

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,671
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:32 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
I need some suggestions, ideas, thoughts......... My wife hasn't gone #2 since Mon morning and now she is very uncomfortable and is feeling "backed up". Have tried stool softner (regularly), female lax (regularly), miralax (3rd day), and finally magnesium citrate (6am this morn) with no results. Next step is supository? Any ideas helpful!


  • The first week after surgery was the same for me. I got really miserable before I was able to have a BM. Prune juice, stool softeners, but finally Milk of Magnesia worked. All of those things take some time to kick into gear, but it will happen. I know how she feels. Just keep pushing the water and juice and hopefully something will happen. You may need to contact doctor to get extra help.
  • Pain medication (especially morphine) are going to constipate the heck out of you. If she had to spend any time in the hospital and was on a pain pump or continuous high-dosage pain meds, it can take several days for things to get back into motion. One major suggestion I have, and I'm sure you've heard it, is lots of fluids. Water, tea, juice, soda.

    If it starts to become painful (abdominal pains, especially sharp ones), contact your doctor immediately. As far as things you can do at home, yes suppositories would be the only big gun left. Also, you might want to give the mag. citrate a little more time to do its thing. But when it does, it's not going to be a fun ride! I had to use that stuff in conjunction with stool softener and suppositories before my colonoscopy and it was absolutely aweful. It makes a stomach virus seem like a pleasant walk in the park...

  • Hello Jran,

    Welcome to Spine-Health! It's so nice to see a spouse posting on behalf of their significant other. :)

    Most of us have been in this situation at one time or another, due to the combination of pain medication and constant bed rest.

    As already suggested, having your wife drink a lot of water and juice every day will help. Prune juice is most often recommended.

    When I have reached the point of where your wife is, the best remedy for me is to eat something that tends to go right through my system. Navy bean soup, califlower and egg custard are foods that "run" right through me and help to move things along.

    It's important that your wife seek medical attention, at once, should she feel an unusual amount of abdominal discomfort and/or the inability to pass a bowel movement... which she can feel is ready to be passed. While pregnant with my first child Zach, I went into pre-term labor and was on solid bed rest for 3 months. During my first week of bed rest, I went without having a bowel movement for 6 days. My feces became impacted and I had to go to the ER for removal of it. It was not a pleasant experience, but it was necessary and provided me IMMEDIATE relief.

    I hope your wife can find relief with extra fluids and dietary adjustments. Increasing her fiber intake will also help... there are many good cereals to choose from.

    Best wishes to you,


  • Pain meds can cause some backup. Is there any spine herniations in her back. With severe herniations, it can slow down the nerves that control bowel and bladder. I have had this problem for about a year do to my thoracic problems. Stool softeners work well, but a dr needs to look at the situation. Sometimes, it is not easy because most neurosergeons treat spines and not gastrointestinal. Good luck.
  • Well, the mag. cit. worked a little bit. We've got dr. appt tomorrow and have added it to our extensive list of questions. If he suggests something different, I will put a post up about it. Thanks again for the help!
  • after my surgery i had the worse time going to potty. my dr. had me drink a half of a bottle of milk of magnesia and about a hour or two later drink the rest. it was hard to do but it did help. drink alot of water and keep taking softens so it want be so bad. castorl oil will help you go to if you can take it. i think that is the nastys stuff but it works. i still have a hard time going cause of the meds i am on. i know it sounds crazy but when i finally do go it is like it takes all my energy to go like a ten hour day of work. i drink grape juice, take softens and everything else and it is still hard to go. good luck and if you guys find something that works good let me know. thanks theresa aka krazyangel
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