Deviated Septum Surgery Tips Photos
Day 6 - Stuck Bowels

Once again I aimed to get as much sleep as I could so my nose could heal unhindered. I lay awake until about 2am, but then slept until 10am. Bob woke me up to give me my antibiotics - the last pill in the series. Then I went back to sleep and slept until noon.

I woke up and had a protein shake, and ate my chewable vitamins / fiber pills in actual chewing form rather than having Bob grind them up into pixie dust. Progress! I do feel better. I can breathe (mostly) through my nose. I get occasional little sharp pains between my nostrils but nothing serious. My eye bruise seems to be yellowing and is no longer puffy.

Interestingly, my left arm still has a small bruise on it from where they tried to get the IV to work. On my right hand - where the IV actually was put in - I still don't see any sign at all of where they put it in.

I'm working at my desk for now, getting all of the Mused pages caught up. The submission deadline was yesterday so today I have to change everything over to take submissions for the Winter issue.


OK I just endured the most excruciating 3 hours of my life. I even have to include childbirth in this because I don't think it took 3 hours to birth James (I was young and flexible) and it was only occasional pain during that.

On one hand, the following description involves stuck bowel movement, which I know some readers find unpleasant to read about. So the short version is to DRINK LOTS OF PRUNE JUICE the very second you get home from surgery, if not before you start. However, I was told to do that and ignored the advice. So I am going to explain what happened. If I can help even one person avoid this type of agonizing pain, it will be well worth it having this on the web. I also want to help the people who get into this situation and are desperately googling for a solution to it.


Back when I went for my day-after checkup, the doctor - the wonderful, brilliant, intelligent doctor, TOLD me to make sure I took bowel softeners. She told me at least three times. She told me to get some prune juice. And milk of magnesia. She had other suggestions too. Bob was there. He heard. We nodded politely. But in my mind I was thinking that in all my 40 years I'd never had to use a stool softener. I take 2 fiber pills a day. I eat healthy things. My body is healthy. Obviously this was "rote" advice she gave to everyone that would not apply to me.

In fact in the days after the surgery I didn't have one bowel movement. I was so proud of myself - look, I'm eating only squishy soft food! This is great for my system! My body is really appreciating this break!

Then this afternoon, about 3pm, I felt like I had to go. The doctor had warned that if I ever did have to go, that I should never, ever bear down. I couldn't even lift small objects or lean over. It was very important not to cause that blood pressure buildup. It was critical to my nose staying "together" as it healed.

So I went to the downstairs restroom and planned to take it very slow and gentle. I had a stack of magazines. I would just wait it out and let it do things in its own time. I could be patient.

An hour later I was in serious pain and it was very clear that this object would NOT come out - but it HAD to come out. It was literally rock hard - and too big. Bob was bringing me in wet washcloths for my face, and everything we read on the web was about helping before this stage. We couldn't find anything to help with when you were already stuck in this situation.

I suppose part of the problem is - like right now when I'm typing - people tend to use vague terms when talking about the problem. So if I talk about this in very vague terms, then someone who googles the problem will never find me! They will have no idea that I went through it and have a few ideas for them. So, although it's hard to read for you guys, I will say I had STUCK POOP that simply would not come out. I was literally thinking about going in to the hospital.

But I decided I had to at least try this on my own. So I managed to get upstairs to the bathtub. Yes, I was desperate and in excruciating pain. I filled up the tub with warm water and got in. If nothing else I could try to dissolve it a bit. Bob got me some Preparation H which is sort of a "grease" to see if that would help out any. But this movement was rock-hard, like marble. I have no idea how this happened with all the water I've been drinking and all the super-soft food I've been eating. It is unbelievable to me. But there I was.

If people find this article who are in this situation and who are desperate, we found a few other sites which talked about "external massaging" - i.e. feeling for the big lump in your skin and trying to push in on it to reshape the bowel movement. That really doesn't work. Even the soaking was taking a REALLY long time. So - again, excruciating pain, desperation, agony - I began to gently dig away at the protruding part. Yes, gross. But again if I can spare one person out there from going through this, I will count myself very thankful.

**IT WORKED**. It was definitely not instant. I had to be very careful not to damage my actual skin at all. The infection scenarios would be horrific. But I was able to chip away at the rock-like hardness, let more water in there, change positions, allow the object to collapse in a bit, repeat. The pressure eased a bit. Yes it still was incredibly painful, but progress was actually being made. It was slow, took careful, patient work, probably another 2 hours all told. And in the end, when everything finally got unstopped and released, there was (I kid you not) an object about the size of two giant squash back to back. I had no idea that a human bowel system could hold that much, that large, that solid an object. I never would have guessed the large intestine system was that long or large.

It is now 6:15pm and it is really amazing - I feel perfectly fine. No lingering pain, no discomfort at all. I thoroughly showered after all of that, we will have to completely sanitize the tub and then I'll shower again. I will never, ever, ever again ignore any advice given to me about stool softeners. That was a completely horrific experience that I would not wish on anyone. I realize again that this was probably gross to read - but I really hope that people googling for help on this issue find this article and know there's a solution. If I had started on my warm-bath technique immediately, I think I could have saved myself quite a lot of pain. Of course, if I had taken my stool softeners starting BEFORE THE SURGERY then I never would have even started down this agonizing path.


11:00pm - I'm back from the post office - all the ebay items are in the mail. Also we stopped at WalMart. I have taken a stool softener, drunk a big glass of prune juice (low sugar) and also drunk 2 big glasses of water and eaten half a banana.

Never again. Never ever ever again.

12:00 midnight - OK maybe that many things at once was a little overkill. Lesson learned.

In other news my nose is itching like crazy under the cast. I really hope they are able to take the cast off tomorrow. I also really hope it is painless. Something in this process needs to be ...

Technically these photos are from day 7 as they're at 1:33am, but they are before I went to sleep for the night from this day :)

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