(Or Lars and the Goblet of Fire if you will indulge my tendency of borrowing famous sequel names) (I had to move beyond famous trilogies)
Alright, when we last left Jenny Potter, she was in the clutches of Lars with both jury duty and a return to work looming, while she tried in vain to discover the right magic to get her out of the situation…
So, let’s talk, that feeling that you’re full of stuff but cannot go can be miserable, right? Lars often feels like that because you can only go a little bit at a time. The goblet of fire that worked for me after too much Immodium the night I got back from the hospital contained Milk of Magnesia.
I began to take some comfort from Milk of Magnesia from time to time. (Hm, are you seeing the makings for a disturbing after school special?) M of M sped things up and finished them off. It left me empty so I could go awhile without going. Unfortunately it is not a remedy for someone who wants to leave the house unless doing so is optional and absolutely on your own terms. Also, Milk of Mag did not always work. When it did, the timing was not in any way uniform or predictable.
Ultimately I had to seek a second deferral from jury duty. I had already delayed once as the first request came just about the time I was having my first surgery. I was told I couldn’t delay a second time without a note from my doctor. I was now willing to go after a note. But when I called the jury information line, she simply set the date back again saying I was allowed to delay a year, and we had only delayed six months the first time. Whew.
In the meantime, I continued to press the surgeon and his staff for suggestions for relief. Their strong recommendation was fiber: both the kind in your food (dietary) and the kind that supplements your diet (supplementary, see why they call it that?).
Let us now turn our attention to fiber. And this is for everyone, not just folks with cancer or folks who don’t want to get cancer (well, actually, that’s probably everyone then). You need to consume fiber.
We don’t eat well. In fact, we eat a lot of stuff that is specifically and particularly toxic to human bodies. Cancer is on the rise (the World Health Organization says cancer is going to increase 57% in the next twenty years) and lots of smart people think that has much to do with what we eat and drink.
When I was first diagnosed with cancer, we asked the doctor why I got it. Three things came out of his mouth fairly easily. I don’t remember the exact order. 1. Smoking. Well, I’ve never smoked. 2. Western diet. 3. It’s random.
So #3 indicates there’s still a lot we don’t know.
But there is a great deal of evidence for #2. And #2 says, we all need to eat more plants. We need to eat quite a lot more plants. And we should eat less things that are not plants.
There’s actually lots and lots of good reasons to eat more plants and less things that are not plants; like our economy, the future of the planet, not exploiting people and animals – but I should probably save all that for a future blog article.
So, social justice in another post, celery and Metamucil for now.
A couple weeks (of suffering) after the surgery to reverse my ileostomy, the surgeon recommended a fiber supplement. They don’t want you to take it before that, maybe you need to heal a little. Specifically, he recommended sugar free Metamucil powder because his patients were getting the best results with that.
I already had the Meijer version of Benefiber, so I started with that. Benefiber was a cinch to take. It dissolved without a trace. I put it in my soup and never noticed the difference.
But I continued to suffer. Looking back, there probably was no cure for me except time and what I desperately sought was instant relief. But I switched to Metamucil. I continue to take a teaspoon and a half dissolved in water every morning.
Metamucil is a little more noticeable a swallow than Benefiber. It would not “pair well” with soup, or other delicacies. The powder grows into soft, mossy filaments in water. So it feels a little slimy going down and I usually take it in gulps over the course of getting ready for work. But it tastes fine, in fact, I’d have to say it tastes good. I’ve liked the orange and the triple berry and I don’t know if there are other choices. Using an expression from the medical community, I find it “very tolerable”.
And as for effectiveness: I’m not sure I’m sure. What it is supposed to do is help you literally get your shit together. Or if you’re more polite, which I will strive to be: get your poop in a group. It bulks you up. (Yeah, I just heard that in Arnold Schwarzenegger’s voice). (And yes, I had to look up the spelling of Schwarzenegger as my computer refused to offer any suggestions).
So why would any sane person wish to “bulk up” in that way? Well, you may not have thought a lot about this before – or you may have thought quite a lot about it before – but here’s what you want from your poop: you want it to be soft and full and formed. You want it to assert itself with confidence and consideration, to exit the premises easily and completely – all together in a nice group.
I’ve taken the fiber daily for months now and things have improved toward that goal. I don’t know if that’s Metamucil or time. I think its the two in cahoots. I was doing the Metamucil twice a day and decided to abruptly cut back to once to see what the dif would be. There was no noticeable dif. I’m not sure what to make of that. I’ve thought about further experiments but as I will confirm as I now switch the discussion to dietary fiber, experiments are tricky outside of the lab.
Oh goodness, I have gone on a bit this time and you know what that means – another post. I’ll get to celery/diet next time and write a little more about Lars for anyone who is following the story. So stay tuned to see if the Phoenix will rise from the ashes… or to see if I can continue to be able to stretch my Harry Potter or other multi-sequel pop culture references.