Ok. I’ll admit it. I did not prepare this way for surgery besides the suggested yogurt. But if you really think about it, this may be the one place you should really have a handle on before you start. This is where your body gets rid of things, this and your urine (OK and through your skin). But the bowels remove most of the toxins and things you don’t need from your body. The bile from the liver contains many byproducts of toxic breakdowns.
So you want this moving smoothly and soon after surgery.
And what are two of the worst things for your bowels? Antibiotics and Opiates. Both of which you get during surgery.
Let me tell you the Halleluja! moment I had after my surgery. This will contain poop stories so be warned.
The morning of surgery, I had a movement but it was a little rabbit pellet like which means I was slightly dehydrated, probably from the restriction on food and liquids before surgery. So I was sub maximal going in.
The day of surgery, with the spinal and all might make it almost impossible to poop the day after surgery. Since I got to go home that day, I was home on the day after surgery and still no movement. Which is strange for me, Mr. 2-3 times per day. So that evening I took a Senecot which is a stimulant laxative and it felt like it got the entrance part of my colon going but the exit part was still slow, resulting in a crampy, uncomfortable feeling.
Two days after surgery, still nothing moving in the morning. My general pain level had increased and my brain fog was rather high. Feeling dull. Feeling still blocked.
So I decided out was better than in and that I should administer myself (with the help of Molly) and enema while seated on the toilet. (If I would have had access to a good Colon Hydrotherapist, I would have gone to them. The professional equipment is much nicer.)
Using warm water with just a tablespoon of epsom salt to a quart of water. I proceeded with irrigation. After a couple of fill ups and wash outs this way, I felt some relief, but not much clearing of the bowels. So I laid down and did two more fills and flushes where I could get a little more water in and let it set a little more.
On the fourth try, boom. I felt like the dam let go. Major relief!
With in five minutes, my brain was clear again, not feeling dull. This was actually one of the most amazingly quick changes in consciousness I have ever experienced. Perhaps it was the absorption of water and magnesium from the colon along with the elimination of toxins. I have no idea what it was but the world was alive and full of color again.
And the swelling in my leg went down significantly. Not sure the mechanism for that* but I guess a full bowel may hinder the flow of lymph out of the leg.
Went from a pain level of 7 to a pain level of 4. It was an amazing experience to feel that much better that fast.
So in hindsight, before surgery, I would have eaten a lot of prunes during the pre surgery week. I would have done more probiotics. I would do whatever it took to get the drain moving in tip top shape.
* (Molly‘s note) When fecal matter sits in the bowel too long, you get a situation called endotoxicity, which is recirculation of toxic wastes and metabolites across the colon wall and into the bloodstream. Basically, the body’s sewer backs up. This increases the burden on the liver and other organs of detoxification. Because these toxins recirculate in the bloodstream, symptoms appear throughout the whole body, which is why clearing his bowel relieved his brain fog as well as pain and swelling in the knee. (For more information, check out Dr. Jensen’s Guide to Better Bowel Care.)