My bowel program right now is so crazy that I'm not even posting in the Care forum, because I think it's beyond Care. It's just Life venting.

Currently, for one thing, my bowel program takes about 11 hours, which I do every three days. It's:

A. Take either a bottle of magnesium citrate or 90 ml of lactulose (actually 60 g kristalose). Then I wait about 4 hours. Sometimes I can sleep a bit during this period but it's hard because I get very bloated and constantly have to worry about incontinence. Lower doses just don't work.

B. Bisacodyl, and wait another 30-40 minutes

C. Then I am on the toilet for 2 - 2.5 hours. When I told my GP this, I don't think he believed me. I often feel very nauseous during this period and sometimes a bit faint. If it works, there's a huge amount of liquid that gushes out for a long time. It's weird, unpleasant and exhausting.

D. then I have to wait another hour.

E. Back on the toilet briefly.

F. Shower, cath, and sleep - this whole procedure is exhausting. (Sleep would add another 4 hours but I'm not counting that even though I'm out of commission for it).

If this works, I feel comfortable for a day. But lately I've had a bit of trouble with nausea on the 2d and 3d day, I think my stomach just isn't digesting anything.

If it worked that would be great, but a lot of the time C. above doesn't work too well, which changes the whole schedule around. In consequence, it's tough to meet anyone or make a reservation anywhere since I never know how I'll feel. And I can't really tell anyone why my schedule is the way it is because it's unpleasant and not too believable.

I've tried many different laxatives but they all either don't work, or if they do work, they also cause incontinence. Miralax worked for a long time, then just didn't any more. Also amitiza but it doesn't seem to do anything any more.

Lots of people suggest colostomy but I just can't see myself doing that. I've had so many operations and been in hospitals so much, I just can't imagine myself with something like this.

It's an absurd lifestyle. Nearly a third of my waking hours just deal with bowel programs, more when it's not working, which is often. And I'm fully comfortable only ever third day in the best case, often only once every few weeks in practice, feeling bloated, tired, or nauseous much of the rest of the time.

It's bad and I'd probably complain more but it's not as a bad as chronic pain was. And I do have good days.