How long can one go without successful bowel movements before risking fecal impaction? I ask because I've been very badly constipated for the past five or so days -- although I have a history of constipation, it's never been like this before, with a heavy feeling and stool too big to pass despite straining, and none of my usual measures are working: water, fiber, stool softeners, even milk of magnesia (which I have never tried before)... the unusualness of this episode worries me. I don't feel any pain, and I still definitely have appetite, but the Random Online Stuff I read didn't say that pain and appetite loss would happen in 100% of cases of fecal impaction.
I didn't pass a stool for two weeks and I only got REALLY REALLY bad anal fissures afterwards. And when it finally came out, it didn't ask for permission. Kind of awkward, it being the middle of a church service for which I was the organist, but luckily there was a bucket in the organ loft.
Get a bottle of magnesum citrate at the local drug store. It is about $5 and is over the counter product. Drink lots of water before and after then stay close to the bathroom with some air spray. Good luck!
I see this post was made more than a week to go, but my advice should help whether you've finally gone or not. I have another couple suggestions in addition to the above poster to get things moving. Also, it takes a while to get fecal impaction, more like a month, and even then, as long as something is coming out, you may make it without your bowel perforating from hardened contents for a few months. Anyhow, you describe it as "stool too big to pass despite straining," and I can tell you that the first time I had that was after a round of antibiotics, and I tried some enemas, which didn't work, so I called the family doc office and spoke to the physician on-call. He gave me the best advice, becuz as I've gotten older, I've used this method time and again with success.
Go to the drugstore and buy you this little box of PediaLax or BabyLax, it has tubes of ointment in there, you squirt two in your back end, and within minutes you will have a bowel movement, plus the ointment lubricates the area, making it easier to come out. Repeat once or twice, then later it'll just come out on its own over a couple days. The other idea is to get some of those clear plastic "gloves" for your hands, and put a lubricant on the fingers and your back end, plain KY jelly from the drugstore or even lotion will do in a pinch, and very gently dig in a little ways and pop some out, dig a little more out, a little more, and that will make enough room for more waste to come down and thus trigger a bowel movement.
In the future, daily and always drink extra water, and if you ever take medicines that tend to dry you out, the extra water is a must. Also, add more fiber on a daily basis to your diet, to include oat cereal, wheat bread, and salad, as well as the usual stuff like brocholli, carrots, fruit as a snack like blueberries, etc. Lastly, regular exercise helps keep the bowels moving better.
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