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"If this building was on fire right now...I would not be able to get on my feet and get out!" (Fifth floor)
That's what I told the ambulance attendants, when they picked me up to take me to the emergency room at the hospital! After about 7-8 hours of severe conspitation and other ailments, I couldn't function anymore...I was drained...wobbly-kneed...exhausted, dizzy and I needed help in the worst way! I was folded over like a taco, and I couldn't even sit-up! And I live on the fifth floor, and I knew I could not get out of the building by myself, if there was an emergency.
In the year 2009, and at the age of 64...I have never had a problem with constipation or digestive problems of any kind. But, I realize that I have entered old age now...and everything could start coming apart...the roof is leaking...the plaster is coming off the walls...the sinks are stopped up...that's the beginning of old age...like it or not!
As a veteran, I remember when I was in the VA Medical Center for a week, there were four of us in a room...and one of the veterans suffered from severe constipation...and it seemed like the nurses, were giving this poor guy an enema about every other day! He told me, he had been having digestive problems over the past few years, and I felt sorry for him! I hoped something like this would never happen to me...but it did...and I was not a happy camper about the whole thing...
When I was discharged from the VA hospital after a week, this poor guy still had agony on his face.
As I've said in other articles I've written...when I turned 40 and 50 years old...it didn't bother me. But, when I turned 60 years of age...it bothered me! Millions of people die in their 60's all across the nation...and now I could be one of them! In describing life...I use the football analogy...divided into four quarters...20...40...60...80, and if you're lucky enough to reach the age of 80 in good health, etc. When I turned 60, I entered the fourth quarter of my life, and as I look up at the stadium clock...the clock in winding down to the two-minute warning! That's all the time I have left in the game! Scary, eh?
All of us are getting older, and I'm just going to have to deal with it, just like everybody else! The whole episode started one day after I ate lunch, in which I started having pressure and pain in the lower abdomen. I took down a little plop-plot; fizz-fizz and thought nothing more about it.
May, 2009; I love french bread, and I've eaten it for years without any problems. On this day, that I found myself going to the emergency room (by ambulance), I had beef soup and french bread for lunch. It was shortly after lunch, that I started having lower stomach discomfort. About two hours later, I felt constipated, so I took a laxative, to see if that would help...it didn't. By 4:00 that afternoon, I was having trouble standing up...and even sitting down was painful. I had never suffered from constipation, so what could it be?
I don't think there is anything that will weaken a person more, than that awful bloated and throw-up feeling and nausea! The combination of the three, will weaken the strongest person more than anything...and very quickly! By 7:00 that night, I was really in bad shape, and I called 911. I told the ambulance attendants, that I pointed to the french bread I ate at lunch that day, as the possible culprit. The dough could have balled up and served as a stopper, etc. I would find out months later, that I was wrong about the french bread. It all made sense to me at the time...
Little did I know, that six months later, I would be taking another trip to the emergency room (by ambulance), only this time, I was admitted over the Columbus Day (October, 2009) week-end. (stroke-like symptoms)
Getting back to the ER Sob Story, I said hello to an enema that night, and I got it in the ass in four different ways...litterally; physically; figuratively and financially. Heck...I could have gotten an enema at Wal Mart for a buck and a half...but no-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-I had to go through all the trouble of going all the way to the emergency room, in an ambulance...to get mine...which would cost me $50 bucks. (co-pay). A costly enema for sure...
I was given the enema about 9:00 that night, and by midnight, I had a bowel movement. I was glad to get some relief that day! I was released from the emergency room about 2:00 AM. I had a cabbie pick me up, and I thought a cab would cost me over a trillion dollars, but the Plan paid for it.
Little did I know at the time, that things would get worse for me over the coming months.
June/July, 2009; It was during these two months, that I suffered from intense cramps under my right foot, and one cramp behind the right knee. I walked off the cramps at the time, and thought nothing else of it...at least for now. Little did I know, what was in store for me that was around the corner...
September 21, 2009: On this day, I had another constipation attack, which was similar to the one I had in May, 2009. Only this time, I tried to prepare for one, so I bought some suppositories, which I had never used. After about 4 hours of discomfort, I used one of the suppositories, and later I had a bowel movement, and I felt better. I dodged a bullet, by not having to call 911 again. Only this time, the incident brought good news. Remember, I pointed the finger to the french bread I had eater that day? Well, I had not eaten any french bread since May, 2099, so now there had to be a different reason for the second attack.
Now, I pointed the finger at the medication I was given for diabetes (metformin) It had to be the metformin, because it was only prescribed to me in April, 2009, about a month before the first attack in May, 2009. I cut the medication in half, so I could start the process of getting off the medication. But, before that happened, I got another severe cramp in the bottom of my right foot. It wouldn't go away this time, but stayed and I hobbled around for about a week. During the week, I felt lightning streaks all up and down the right side of my body! And, by Friday night, my right hand had cramped up, and it looked like I was holding a grapefruit. The ambulance attendant asked me if I could open my right hand; or close the right hand, and answer was NO.
October, 2009; I felt like these were the symtoms of a stroke coming on, and so I called 911 again! I told the ambulance people and the emergency room doctor, that I pointed the finger at metformin, the diabetes medication. This time, I was admitted right away, and I spent the next two days in the hospital. Tests were run during the two days, and nothing was found wrong with me. My right hand was still paralyzed and still coupled, but was better after two days. I was given medication, but I can't remember the name.
In short, doctors didn't find anything wrong with me, because doctor's didn't want to find anything wrong with me, when it comes to a medication they precribed, they won't admit that it was the medication was at fault! After my discharge from the hospital, and for the next two weeks, I had two appointments with the nuerologist, and in both visits, she could not find anything wrong with me. I told her, that I pointed the finger at the metformin, and she just seemed to look the other way!
To make a long story...short...I changed HMO's a few months after the last incident in October, 2009, and I went to my new HMO and had a visit with my new primary doctor. It was a pleasant visit, and I didn't tell my new primary about all the mess involving the drug metformin. She was in a partnership with three other doctors in the complex. She knew from our initial meeting, that I was a diabetic. The following week, I got a letter from one of the other doctors in the complex, stating that they were doing some testing on a drug for diabetes, and if I wanted to participate in the test. Guess what the name of the drug was? Metformin! (I declined to participate)
I was shocked at what I saw in the letter, and now the thoughts that crossed my mind was the possibility of guinea-pigging and or experimentation issues. Could this drug have been prescribed to me, before it was allowed to be prescribed to anyone without consent of the FDA? Could there be an ethics and legal issue here?
At my former doctor's office, who prescribed the metformin, was there testing, guinea-pigging, and/or experimentation going on here without my knowledge or consent?
At the time...I was diagnosed with 'pre-diabetes,' so why was the dose of the metformin so high? (1,000 mg.) I wouldn't take anything with that high a dose, and so I cut each pill in half...and I still wound up in the hospital TWICE! There are a few ethical questions remain to be answered here...
April, 2009; The medication metformin was prescribed to me by my doctor for diabetes. (pre-diabetes; a soft form of diabetes which actually exists); This is when I had the initial cramps under my right foot, and the worst was yet to come.
June/July, 2009: Three more cramps below the right foot and one behind the right knee.
September 21, 2009; Another constipation attack on this day, which was similar to the May 11 event, but I headed it off with the use of a suppository. This could have been a blessing in disguise for me, because I had not eaten any french bread all summer long, and so the french bread theroy was now ruled out. It had to be the medication metformin that was causing all the damage...
Because of this, I cut the medication in half again, in order to ween myself off of it...
October 3, 2009: Too little; too late, as on this date, I got another cramp on the bottom of the right foot, and only this time, it was permanant. The pain remained on the arch of the foot, and I was hobbling around for a few days. There were streaks of lightning going up and down my right side all week. Four days later, my right hand froze up and cramped and became paralyzed, and I called 911. I was taken to the emergency room (by ambulance) and I was admitted right away. (the metformin was abandoned)
October 5, 2009; After two days in the hospital and several tests, nothing was found, and I was released.
Late October, 2009; Two visits to the nuerologist, found nothing. (this fact makes me even more suspicious of the metformin) The Neurologist gave me a grade of A-
November, 2009; Open enrollment for another HMO, and I enroll and leave my old HMO.
January, 2010; My first visit with my new doctor at my new HMO. She knows now that I am a diabetic.
January 10, 2010: I get a letter from one of her partners, announcing the fact that there will be a testing program with a diabetes medication, and if I wanted to participate. (I declined to participate)
January 12, 2010; I got the letter, and I was shocked at the medication that will be tested...metformin! This fact raises many ethical questions about the previous doctor that prescribed the medication in the first place. Was there any testing; guinea-pigging or experimentation going on here, when the medication was first prescribed to me...without my knowledge or concent? I don't know if there are any ethical problems here or not. We'll probably never know the answer
UPDATE; May, 2012; Since all that awful stuff happened to me in 2009, I have never had a problem with constipation or stroke-like symptoms after the metformin was removed. And, I'll always believe that it was the metformin that did all the damage...but, you'll never find a doctor who will agree with me...afterall doctor's are in business to fill their pockets, etc.
NOTE; I wrote this piece in the summer of 2009, before the case had ended, so I had already gone and done a little research on constipation. But, I thought the research would make a good article, so I went with it.
From: Self Growth.com;
Food for constipation and Relief:
The most effective treatment of constipation is preventing the onset of the symptoms by choosing to eat a healthy diet. The leading cause of constipation is poor diet; poor choice of choosing to eat a healthy diet; poor eating habits; and chewing your food good enough so you can aid in the digestive process.
A healthy diet should consist of fresh fruits; vegetables; foods which are high in Omega 3 fatty acids; foods high in fiber content. Your diet should include foods for constipation relief and should include; wheat bran; cereal; pinto beans; bananas; prunes; raisens; salads; whole grain breads; raw vegetables; peas; peanuts; blueberries; chashews; Brussel sprouts; turnip greens; corn; potatoes; strawberries; peaches; oranges; apricots; oatmeal.
Your body diet needs a certain amount of "good fats." Foods that are rich in Omega 3 fats for prevention of constipation include; mackerel; herring; sardines; lake trout; tuna; salmon; tofu; soybeans; canola; walnuts; flaxseeds.
Foods that help to relieve constipation include;
- Bale fruit; cleans and tones intestines;
- Bran products; provides fiber to soften stool;
- Guava; provides needed roughage;
- Corn syrup/sugar; helps to soften stool;
- Spices; cumin; coriander; turneric powder;
fennel; asafetida; makes food easier to digest;
- Folic acid; insufficient intake of folic acid can
- Lemon juice; drink with warm water;
From: All On Health.com;
Constipation has become an epidemic in our modern lifestyle for the following reasons;
- Medications such as antibiotics, can irritate the bowel and lead to constipation;
- Certain beverages and foods can cause constipation if eaten regularly such as coffee; tobacco; alcohol; chocolate; and sugars can upset gastro-secretions and nerve responses;
- Emotional and mental strain produces unfavorable conditions in the digestive and eliminative organs;
- The lack of physical exercise matters; weak and flaacid muscles tone incapable of holding up under the demands of poor diet and extra eliminating duty, causing them to be tense and under active;
- Lack of physical activity; Many jobs today require individuals to sit in front of a computer for hours, leading to a sedentary lifestyle.
- A hurried lifestyle, sometimes causes individuals to ignore a call to eliminate. Passing gas is a natural symptom that it is time to eliminate, but most people don't pay attention since they don't feel the need to go.
- Excessive intake of fat or protein can also cause constipation.
- If one doesn't drink enough water, and most of the processed food out there lack moisture and stool becomes dry and hard to eliminate;
- Inadequet levels of magnesium can lead to constipation;
- Constipation can be the result of ongoing infection in the body cause by parasites; bacteria or yeast;
- The colon may have weighty layers of impacted fecal matter on its walls as a result of eating processed foods that are either void of fiber or have little fiber in them. Therefore, what remains as an opening in the colon for fecal matter to exit is a small opening. Thus, a case of constipation.
Additional information from this website:
There are 45,000 laxative and cathartic remedies for constipation manufactured and used by Americans. It is recommended not to use laxatives at all. Laxatives can damage the mechanism of the elimination process. The way laxatives work is by poisoning or irritating the colon. Often times, these laxatives find their way to all parts of the body. This situation can contribute to addiction and over-use of these drugs, etc. Depending on the laxative (will in time), permanently destroy the normal ability upon the bowel to eliminate on its own accord.
My Two-Cents: (personal opinion)
There are millions of people out there hooked on stool softeners; laxatives; enemas; suppositories, and I don't want to be one of them! I don't want to ever be like that guy in the hospital with digestive problems.
Ever wonder why the colon (large intestine) cancer rate and colon deaths are so high?
In February 2011, I had a colonoscopy procedure done, and the results were;
Colonoscopy Results; NO CANCER!
Did you know...
Prescription Drugs; The #4 Killer In America
I am not a pill-popper: I go to a chiropractor, because I want to get away from dangerous pills and chemicals, and not increase them in my life as I get older. That's why I go to a chiropractor...because they do things naturally and let the body heal itself. Over the years, I've known people who take 17 to 30 pills a day! This is insanity...pure and simple!
And, who's benefiting from all this...the doctor's who prescribe the pills and fill their pockets, etc. You're not going to see me knocking on the door at the Betty Ford Center anytime soon! I'm a realist...I know I'm getting old, but you don't have to be old, to have common sense, and quit taking so many drugs.
By the end of 2009, I made a promise to myself. That I would reduce the amount of prescription and over-the-counter drugs I was taking. In 2009f, I was taking 8 pills a day...and by the end of 2013, I am only taking ONE pill a day, and I think that's pretty good for a man who's pushing 70 years of age.
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