I haven’t shared what I am about to tell you all with anyone outside of my family till now, but I am so excited about this new treatment that I want to shout it from the rooftops. So I will start at the beginning.
As you know, I have severe food intolerances but what I haven’t shared is that my intestines and colon don’t work as they should since I got my appendix removed two years ago. It’s called “chronic slow transit”. From when I eat food till I see it again in the bathroom can take anything up to 28 days according to a test I had last year where I took x-ray detectable tablets and then got regular x-rays to trace their progress.
I also have epic chronic constipation (here comes the TMI part). I have gone for 32 days without any bowel movement at all. During this, I tried every treatment possible, including the powders that are typically exclusive to pre-colonoscopy preparation. To have a bowel movement at all, I take laxatives morning and night (docusate sodium or bisacodyl). I have also tried various weird and wonderful herbal remedies, and I will try mostly anything once…
…Nothing worked, until an emergency appointment with a local doctor when I was on holiday in Kent (32 days of no movement and on holiday, it wasn’t fun) I was prescribed suppositories. After a few days of using them morning and night, I finally went. When I returned home from my holiday, I visited my GP and cried. I was sick (and still am) of being bloated, uncomfortable, looking heavily pregnant and being generally miserable. He re-referred me to the gastroenterology nurse that I had seen post appendectomy to ask if she had any ideas. She did.
When I visited her, we chatted about how I was managing my stomach, and she told me there is only one treatment method left before I need to be referred to the surgical team – to discuss the possibility of a stoma. A stoma – the words I had been dreading but prepared for – my anxiety always thinks the worst case scenario and here I was – living it.
So the last thing we could try before being referred to a surgeon was a little device called the Qufora Mini System. It’s a self-irrigation system. Yes – self-irrigating – me, who has self-cleanliness OCD. However, I am willing to try anything with the prospect of some semblance of normality with my toilet visiting time.
I’m not going to go into details because that really would be TMI. However, I have now been using the Qufora Mini System for a week now (4 times in total), and I have to say – it is like I have someone else’s colon! It is fast (by comparison to the suppositories which can take up to 4 hours to work, if at all), reliable (I haven’t been successful in its use yet, and I am much more comfortable in myself. It is a little sore inside my abdomen, but that will be my colon returning to an average size. I am impressed and so, so happy with this system. Even although it is likely to be a lifelong situation, I am so pleased that I have found something that is so almost normal regarding the time it takes and success rate.
If you have questions for me, please feel free to ask. I will answer them as soon as possible.