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Post-Surgery Constipation. Is It The Worst? Hear Why Many Leading Experts Say "Yes"


So as some of you may already know, I had surgery on Friday for my ACL. I know what you’re thinking to yourself. “Wow, Jordie. Surgery on Friday and you already rifled out 3 blogs today? You’re an absolute beast”. Remember those are your words, not mine. Am I going to argue with you over calling me a beast and hopping right back into the mix after the long weekend? No I am not. I think it’s the opposite of humble when people simply will not take a compliment because they think they’re too humble for it. In reality, they just want to hear you justify your compliment over and over again to them. So for me, I’ll just let you call me a beast and be done with it. But moving on…

Labor Day Weekend for me was probably a little different than most. I spent the past 72ish hours posted up in bed doing pretty much nothing besides posted up in bed, taking pain pills every few hours and losing a bunch of college football bets. To some, that may actually sound like an ideal type of situation. That is, of course, until you realize that you haven’t taken a shit in quite some time.

Now post-surgery constipation is an issue in this nation that not a lot of people like to talk about. You won’t find journalists over at the New York Times diving into this subject. But I’m a journalist of the people. I’m a firm believer that as a member of the 4th estate, it is my civic duty to shed light on these types of issues and bring them to the forefront of conversation in our nation.

First of all, the reason why you can’t shit those first few days after surgery is due to a combination of a few things. General anesthesia, the opioid pain pills, general lack of activity. Think of it like a parade. In order to have a parade, you need to shut down a few streets to keep everybody safe and to make sure the parade runs smoothly. Those are the pills and the anesthesia and the rest. But when you shut down a bunch of streets, you’re going to end up with a ton of traffic. That traffic, of course, is all the shit that’s been building up but the streets are closed. Is it better for the parade to keep the streets closed? Absolutely. But don’t tell that to the guy who has been sitting in traffic for 72 hours.

Before we keep going, I feel like I should mention that my bowel movements are now regular at the moment. I am a post-surgery constipation survivor. Does that make me a hero? Again, that is up for you to decide and not me. But I’ll tell you one thing–it sure as shit wasn’t easy and that pun was only slightly intended. Because the only move you’re left with is to start taking some PEDs. You just pump your body full of laxative after laxative after laxative. You start off small with some scoops of laxative in your drink. But you realize that’s child’s play and it’s not working. So you bump yourself up to some laxative pills. And that, my friends, is when you finally open a lane on a 4-lane highway that’s been backed up for days. You already feel awful due to the whole surgery thing but now you’re on the toilet exerting the most physical energy you’ve needed in days. By the time it’s all done you feel like you just ran a marathon, you’re lightheaded, you’re disoriented, and you’re nervous that it wasn’t the last of it. Even once you’re done, those laxatives are still doing a number on your stomach and you’re dealing with cramps for the next few hours. Ladies–I finally understand why you all hate cramps so much. They are debilitating.

So why am I telling you all of this? Why am I writing about post-surgery constipation? Well because I know that I’m not the first person to tear my ACL. I also know that I’m not going to be the last either. And one of these days, somebody new is going to tear theirs. And a few days later while they’re recovering from their surgery, they’re going to realize they are going through this exact same issue. And I’m just here right now to tell them that they’re not alone. Their pain is our pain. We’ll get through this together. Trust the process and just keep breathing.