Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Is That an Ass Inhaler?

Oh, the glories of a being Crohn's patient.

Things have actually been going quite well lately, all things considering. Other than a few days down with the flu, I've been pretty pleased at my progress on Imuran. I am currently at 100 mg a day and have been going one or two times a day. Formed stools, for the most part.

Pretty good, other than for the constipation. Well, what I thought was constipation.

You see, I have had a difficult time--sometimes--going. Straining actually. Like I need to push out a large loaf that turns out to be only a small flat coin. For all the pushing, you expect so much more. "That's all?" I often say to myself in a rather disappointed voice after taking a glance in the bowl. After such a fight, you expect to see something much bigger. Miralax didn't help and I had the same problem in full blown diarrhea-mode when I had the flu.

The problem wasn't the stool, it was the exit. Although I don't have any pain at all (unlike last year), the entire lower section of my colon is inflamed. So it's like trying to push out through an opening that's 90% smaller than normal. Miralax isn't going to make a difference.

Even though I am on vacation in Florida (a sunny 46ยบ here. Brrrr), I needed to call my doctor as I am on day 3 of Shit Watch 2013. So there I was, standing in a crowded parking lot, explaining my symptoms. That's the thing about being a Crohnie, you really don't care anymore what people hear. It's kind of liberating actually, to be able to talk about your "ribbon-like" bowel movements, not caring who is around or what they think.

The nurse called back later and said that my doctor wants me to try "Proctofoam."

"What's that?" I asked.

"It's used to treat anorectal inflammation."

"How do you use it?"

There was a pause. "I'm not sure actually. I've never seen it," replied the nurse. "The instructions are on the package."

Not wanting to be blindsided, I quickly looked up the product. And this is the description from the website:
"Proctofoam-HC® is mucoadhesive analgesic and anti-inflammatory foam prescribed by health professionals for the relief of anorectal inflammation and swelling associated with hemorrhoids, pruritus ani, anal fissures and other anorectal discomforts. 
This unique metered-dose aerosol foam is particularly effective for the relief of postpartum hemorrhoids affecting as many as 3 out of 4 natural childbirthing women."
Okay, sounds good enough--even though I am not a "natural childbirthing" woman.  Then I saw a picture of the product:

I laughed.  I have an asthmatic child and I recognized the cartridge immediately.

It was an ass inhaler.

Having had Crohn's for awhile, I am accostomed to seeing all sorts of procedures, medicine and devices. But this was a first.

Hmmm.  As long as it works I am up for anything.

Even an ass inhaler.

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