When I started doing the mesalamine enemas, my doctor told me that I should wean myself off the Imodium. She said that we’d only be able to tell if the mesalamine was helping my symptoms if we could actually see whether I even had symptoms. The Imodium is hiding them.
The Imodium was the first relief I had found in years. I could run again! I didn’t have to stop at the Dunkin Donuts to use the bathroom on my way to work! Our water bill went down since I wasn’t flushing the toilet as often!
I was nervous to stop the one thing I knew was helping me.
But I gradually decreased. I was taking it three times a day for a few weeks, then twice, then just once when I woke up.
I’ve recently started to feel better, just taking the one Imodium first thing in the morning. I’ve been on some runs around the neighborhood, I didn’t have to cut my morning dog walks short as often, and I didn’t have any urgent close calls.
I have been travelling a lot the past four or five weekends, but now all that travel is done for awhile, so I figured now is a good time to try to break my relationship with Imodium.
I went cold turkey on Sunday. I didn’t have too much planned this weekend so I figured I could be near a bathroom if I needed to be. (This thought process actually went through my head. This is where I am with the Imodium thing.)
Since it was a beautiful day, my husband and I went on a 10 mile bike ride. All smooth sailing there. I was fine for most of the day. Then we drove to a bar and on the way, I started to get some discomfort. I passed a bit of gas, still didn’t feel great as we parked, but then as soon as I got out of the car, the feeling passed and I was okay. I had a burger for dinner, drank a beer, and we headed home. All good.
Today, I again decided to forego the Imodium. I pooped a lot in the morning, particularly after the butt-drops. Great. (More about my morning and evening routine later.) But I figured I got it all out and I should be good for the day.
Then I had to go again around 11:30am. Not terrible, but not a good sign.
Then I’m driving home and I’m sitting at the longest red light in the whole city (I swear this is true) and I feel it. That horrible feeling like my stomach is churning and there’s a little twinge of pain and it might pass or it might be 100% an emergency.
I was still sitting at this red light, trying to think of literally anything else. I kept eyeing the towel on the seat next to me, knowing that I would not hesitate to use it if necessary.
The light finally turned and I kept driving. Traffic was horrible, per usual. The feeling subsided a bit, but didn’t fully go away.
And now I’m home. I haven’t had to use the bathroom. I think I feel fine.
But tonight is a beautiful night and I want to go outside and go for a run, but I’m literally terrified that the second I’m 0.2 miles away from my house or away from a port-a-potty I will have to go. And it will be an urgent emergency. Because that’s how it always happens.
So right now, I’m trying to stay calm, but I’m terrified that the mesalamine enema is not working. And if that’s the case, I don’t know what’s next. My doctor was so sure this would work that I didn’t even question it.
I want this to be over. I want to be better. I want to go for a run.