I take Copaxone to help halt the Multiple Sclerosis. It’s doing a bang up job, thank goodness. I also take Backlofin and Vessicare.
The Backlofin helps prevent or lessen the spasms that are caused by both the Cerebral Palsy and the MS. The Vessicare helps with my bladder problems, enabling me to urinate. Before using the Vessicare, I had frequent issues with my bladder (which I wrote about HERE), sometimes not even able to go for days at a time.
The only issue with each of these pills is that they both produce constipation, and I get a double dose of that.
When I was first diagnosed and started taking the Backlofin, I wasn’t able to poop for six days. I did what research I could and asked for advice from my MS nurse and doctor. They, and the books I was reading at the time, all suggested one thing: Ducolex.
For a time, this worked wonderfully. It was a laxative that you could take before bed and, in the morning, presto! Then it started not to work so well. So I bumped the dosage up to two pills a day. The information I’d read about it said you could go up to three pills a day, but I didn’t want to go that high.
I’ve been taking Ducolex for about two years. A few weeks ago, it became all too easy to defecate, sometimes up to three times a day. I started doing a bit more thorough research about taking Ducolex and learned a couple of things: it’s only to be used for occasional constipation and is actually a cause of cancer in very long term usage.
So I resolved to cut the pills out. I figured I didn’t want to shock my body too much, so went down to one pill….and wasn’t able to defecate for three days. I read everything I could about having a proper bowel movement while on meds (not the most thrilling reading material, I can tell you) and they all said the same thing: more fibre, more water, go for walks and exercise.
I was already doing all of that: I go for two walks a day, exercise three times a week, drink water and tea and eat a healthy diet full of fruit and vegetables. There had to be a way that I could take in more fibre with my diet.
One of my friends told me about Metamucil. It’s full of psyllium fibre. To increase your amount of fibre with fruit and veggies, you’d have to eat a shitload of them (pun intended). With Metamucil, you work your way up to three glasses a day and it helps to keep you regular.
I’m now down to half of a Ducolex and, after this week, will be off them completely. I just have to realize a few things for myself: Not everyone poops every day. And the time of day where you have to poop can differ and change. Before, it was every day, first thing. Now it’s now, but I’m doing it in a healthy way.
So why am I talking about this on here? Well, I figure that there are lots of other people that are taking medication that causes all sort of side-effects, constipation being the most common.
If my doctors or nurses, or for that matter any of the books I was reading, had told me about Metamucil, it would have saved me a lot of grief and discomfort. And if I can help anyone else avoid that discomfort, than my job is done.
For me, it’s just another step towards a healthy life and that’s a great thing.