Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Return of the Evil One

There's a pattern to my constipation, and until this last episode I was able to say that things were improving in the post-Namenda world. (Namenda has a side effect of constipation). The pattern is that after the large and uncomfortable blowout, there will be two to four days of repeated success. Then there will be a buildup of two or three days, and some discomfort. But since halting the Namenda, each time, the crisis was less severe, until it almost became easy. I started to think the Evil One might be on his way out of my life.

I normally went every two days, even before my diagnosis. It has to do, I think, with spending 10 years constipated as a child. The pressure was relieved by uncontrollable squirts into my pants. It turned out I was unable to digest milk, and once we learned that, the problem was solved. I call that parental incompetence. Rest assured though, my mother has written a script that explains it all. Under the script, she knew it was milk, but at schools, and at friends' houses, it would be "slipped" to me. I never drank it at school and I rarely went to friends' houses. I did eat lots of milk chocolate, and drink lots of milk at home.

Back to the present day... Things were improving with each cycle. There was less discomfort, and production of the hesitant mass was growing easier. This had been going on since March 16.

Some of you have suggested that maybe I don't need to take Citrucel every day, noting that when not taken properly, it can constipate. I take it with half a liter of water. But I allowed various quotidian distractions to cause me to skip the Citrucel for several days before this most recent attack, in part as an experiment with your advice. Bad idea. Very bad. I am not sure, but I think that the stoppages in the current pattern can be ascribed to skipping Citrucel, or mineral oil.

I hope to promise that I will now be inflexible about this: Not a day without both!

Cough misery
Imagine being feebed out with a neuromuscular disorder like mine, barely able to teeter from place to place, using the walls to steady yourself, barely able to have your words understood, worried about losing weight -- and then you get this persistent cough. This cough is due to your 'reactive airways' and happens pretty much all the time, but especially if you put a bite of food in your mouth, or try to say anything. This cough wracks your already spastic body, tensing the muscles and making your teetering transits from wall to wall even more perilous. A cough that can make you fall down and break your crown.

I caught a mild cold with sneeze from my daughter, and got over it quickly. But the predictable cough came next. My folk prevention method has been to drink warm or hot water only -- never cold. Plus fanatic hand sanitization. This approach had worked since November of 2005. But shortly before I caught the cold from my daughter, I had begun drinking lots of tepid water from a jug I kept on my desk, in the interest of bowel regularity. I think that made me vulnerable.

Mercifully, the cough lessened just before the latest attack of the Evil One. I hope and believe that I am now coming out of it, at last.
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