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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Back in the old days when I was in nursing school, we used to do what was called a harris flush to get rid of gas in patients that were recovering from surgery. We used an old fashion enema can and let the fluid run in and then lowered the can and let it run back out again. That was done several times and then the can was put on the bedside table, level with the patient and the tube was taped in place. The water was supposed to run in and out on it's own. It was left that way for about 1/2 hour.It sounds pretty gross, but it sure did work wonders. I don't know if this is used any more. It was in the mid 1960's tbat I went to nursing school, probably years before some of you were born.
 

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I also am a nurse and I am 59. I remember the Harris Flush very well. I am suffering so much with gas and pain. I thought of the Harris Flush, but this was usually done on people who were just post-op and had no stool in their colon. What would happen to the stool in your colon when you start lowering the bag and raising it? I don't remember the part about leaving at the same level as the patient and taping it. I just remember holding the bag up and letting the water in like you were giving an enema and then clamping it off, lowering the bag and then opening the clamp. The water would come back taking gas with it, but as I said what would happen to the stool? Also do you know you can't even get a regular enema bag anymore in a drugstore. You can only get a Fleets enema. I had to order it from a surgical supply store. Any helpful replies or suggestions for really bad gas pains would be appreciated.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Hi Roberta,Welcome. I also tried to get an old fashioned enema bag and couldn't. I just use a bulb syringe and plain water.I just thought that sharing the Harris flush story might be interested. My nursing instructor insisted that a Harris flush was done in the fashion I mentioned. I never used it much in my career, as I mostly worked on a med floor. When I went back to work later, I worked Ortho and I don't remember anyone ever mentioning a Harris flush.
 

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nerfmomDo you do the Harris flush to yourself? What happens to the stool? Where do you even find a bulb syringe. As I said before, I've thought of trying the Harris flush, but wondered what would happen to the stool in you as when I did it in my career, the person was pot-op and their bowel was empty. I'd appreciate any suggestions or advice from your experience. Thanks.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I have an ear syringe. It is small, but it works with lots of refills. I have never tried to do a Harris flush on myself. It was just an old nursing school situation. I don't even know if it is ever used anymore.
 

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Hi Nerfmom,I hate to sound stupid, but do you put water in the syringe? If so, isn't that more like a baby enema?
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I keep refilling the syringe with water. It is all I have, so I make do. Fleets are just not helpful to me, too irritating.
 

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Hi nerfmom,You could use an empty fleets enema bottle and fill it up with water. I tried this tonight and passed a lot of gas, but I have a bigtime pain issue and I think what happens is that after I pass some gas from the lower part it moves everything everywhere else all around my insides and I end up in excruciating pain like a colicky baby. Do you have a pain issue and does doing this bother you at all? Thanks
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I have done that before, using a fleets enema bottle. I should buy some more of those. I tossed all the old ones when we moved.I have a pain problem as well. I had a rough evening and night last night. Part of it had to do with being awakened by my noisy next door neighbor again. They have screaming battles and slam doors. Apartment living is for the birds!!I am better this morning. I hope it is a better day today.
 

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Do you have a problem with eating? My pain usually is worse at the end of the day and I have trouble eating. I have lost a lot of weight. My pain gets so bad i wish i could die. It doesn't seem to matter if I eat or don't eat or what I eat, I still get pain. I'm so full of gas and spasms even in my rectum. Even if i have a bowel movement, I still have pain the next day. The Zelnorm was helping at first with the constipation and somewhat with the pain, but then all of a sudden the spasms land pain later in the day got wors, which my doctor and I thought might be from the Zelnorm. I don't know any doctor that is prescribing the new medicine Amitiza. I think a lot of my problem is due to colonic dysmotility. I've been told that I have colonic inertia, but stool came with the Zelnorm. Do you find diet help? Sorry for going on so much. Thanks.Roberta
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Hi Roberta,I have the alternating kind of IBS, sometimes C and Sometimes D. My IBS is at it's worst late in the day or sometimes in the afternoon, always after I eat. An IBS attack for me starts with cramping and then several visits to the bathroom until I can finally go. I don't have it every day, but it seems to last several days in a row when I do have an attack. After all these years, I am still not sure what foods trigger it(except eggs, I know that I have a problem with those). I have tried all kinds of diet changes, but I don't have any answers. I just eat what I feel like and if I have an IBS attack, I do. I have learned to live with and accept my IBS problem. I think that has helped me deal with it better. My appetite isn't usually affected unless I am having a really hard time. I have gained weight over the years especially since menopause. I don't take many medications except for Donnatal for bad attacks and Imodium when I need it. I use Imodium only if the D is really bad or if I have to go out. Before you ask, yes I have pain most days, sometimes bad, sometimes not. I can't really give into my IBS at all because of the fact that I have to care for my husband and do most everything in our household. I really think that is why I have managed to put my IBS on "the back burner". There is no one else to do what needs to be done around this household, so I have no choice. I do what I have to, IBS or not. I try not to feel sorry for myself, there are so many things worse than IBS. I keep telling myself that even on really bad days.
 

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Nerfmom,Thanks for your response. I a IBS-C, but I have a dysmotility problem. I get so constipated and I have so much pain and then when I finally have a bowel movement the pain isn't better, but worse and I feel like I'm going to keel over. The most I can do is a laundry, a little cleaning, and a few errands. I admire you, but I can't even eat when the pain is so bad. I've lost 20 pounds. So mybe I'm worse because of the motility problem. Zelnorm worked for awhile but then it seemed to make my pain worse, I think. I hardly go any time without pain. I used to go pain free for some time during the day, but now its almost all the time. Are you able to eat when you have pain? Do you feel better after a b.m.?mSorry for all the questions, but I feel like nobody seems to be as bad as me and I don't know where to go next.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
My IBS varies. Sometimes it is really bad. I don't know why. I have gone through periods when I am only constipated and couldn't get anything moving. Then I would go back to D for awhile. Because I have had IBS so long (40 years), it has changed back and forth many times. There have been times when I also had upper digestive problems as well. Sometimes I have bad pain right around the belly button. When I have been having bad attacks, nothing seems to make the pain go away whether I have B.M.'s or not. It just depends. I sometimes can't eat if the pain is bad. What I find really strange is that I NEVER, EVER vomit!! I haven't in over 40 years. Odd, huh? I get nauseated sometimes, however. Even when I have a stomach virus, I just have loads of D. I don't know why.All in all, I know that I have to be the strong one in the family and can't afford to stay in bed or let myself be sick. I don't even stay in bed when I have the flu with a high fever. I just can't. There is no one to take care of things around here if I give into illness. My husband is completely dependent on me for everything. If anything ever happens to me, it is going to be very hard for my husband. I have a computer disk with all the information on it for my son if I should die or become incapacitated. I know that my husband could never figure out how to pay the bills, order his medication, or anything. I really think that having the responsibility for caring for him is what keeps me going. It isn't easy, however.
 

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Nerfmom,I realy admire you and your courage. i find that I've become very depressed over all this. I'm too afraid of the surgery especially since I was already told by two doctors that it doesn't necessarily help the pain and even though most people seem happy, one of the doctors told me that people often don't start to have problems until 1-2 years later.I saw you post on another board about tap water enemas. This usually works well for me, better then laxatives, but with both I get excruciating pain afterwards. Do you take tap water enemas or laxatives? I would think not since you said you tend to get more diarrhea. Have you ever tried Immodium or other products for IBS-D/ I've been told that it's easier to treat the diarrhea type then the constipation type. I feel like lately I'm in pain all the time. I think this whole thing is making me exhausted and depressed and anxious and that is probably not helping. My happiest time is when I'm sleeping. That's pretty pathetic. Have you ever heard of anyone having really bad pain after a bowel movement. It happens even when I have go on my own. I'm thinkinbg of trying the Zelnorm again until I'm able to find a doctor that prescribes the Amitza in my area. I live in NY and can't find anyone so far. Hard to believe in NY. Although I still had pain on the Zelnorm, I think it wasn't as bad after a bowel movement. Do you find eating smaller frequent meals more helpful. Often after I eat, I hear all these swishing and gurging sounds like everything is going crazy inside.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I use tap water enemas but not laxatives. I just can't deal with laxatives. I often have more pain after an enema. It feels like soreness. I think maybe it is trapped gas. It just depends. I usually have the most problems late in the day, about bedtime. I have both D and C right now. My IBS has changed back and forth several times over the years. I tstarted out with the C type and then changed. I had digestive problems before that even when I was very young. I think that sometimes pain after a bathroom bout isn't that unusual. These days, eating sometimes causes an attack, sometimes not. I used to be very thin but not any more. I do take Imodium when I really need it, but try not to take it often. It tends to cause C for me. Monday night, I had sudden liquid, D so I took 1 Imodium. I haven't gone since. We shall see. Tomorrow is my house cleaning day, so I hope I am ok. I won't eat before I go over. I have to clean upstairs, so I will be chasing lots of dog hair and cleaning wood floors. Pain in the neck. I feel that my IBS has to take a back seat most of the time. I just can't let it rule my life. I need to be able to do what I have to do and that is all there is to it. No choice for me no matter what.
 

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Nerfmom, How are you doing? I really admire you. How are you able to do extensive housework when you are in pain? Maybe I'm a wimp. The days when I'm not in pain I try to do somethings to catch up a little. You said it wasn't uncommon to have pain after a bowel movement. Sometimes I get severe pain after a bowel movement. Does this happen to you? I put a post about pain after a bowel movement but noone responded.I haven't seen anyone talk about pain after a bowel movement and everything I've read about IBS says that pain is usually relieved by defecation.On Monday I had an upper G.I. and small bowel series. It was basically normal except for a small hiatal hernia and reflux. The radiologist said it took me a little longer then normal to get the barium through the small intestine but it was still within normal limnits. Whatever that means. Now trying to get rid of that Barium that hardens like cement inside you. I've been drinking a lot of water and herbal teas but I had to take some mineral oil. It's the only laxative that gives me the least pain.I spent all morning in the bathroom with stool coming out a little at a time. I had such spasms I thought I was going to double over. No matter whatever I take, I still feel a discomfort in my rectum like I have to pass gas or stool and can't. It's like everything is trapped in there. This is new for me in the last 3-4 months. I never had rectal discomfort before.I was originally diagnosed with pelvic floor dysfunction and had urological symptoms. I went to a special physical therapist and that was better. Then I got this mess at the age of57. Now I'm 59. before I got this inever had any problems with food. I had a tendency to e constipated but nothing terrible. I was never uncomfortable or in pain. I was wondering when you said you used to be thin, how do you manage to keep your weight on if you get pain after eating. I lost a lot of weight and struggle to put some weight back on. It's really hard to eat when you're in pain, or if eating causes pain. I do get stool to my rectum, so my dysmotility must not be as bad as some people who say they don'tgo for weeks. I just can't get it all out and I can tell because not too be to graphic, the paper is really dirty when I clean myself. So I know there is still stool there. I had a bad and abusive experience about 10 years ago which left me with bad depression for many years. Some doctors think that might have something to do with it. I feel like I was old to get this, but I guess nothing is impossible. I'm 59 now. I'm going to a new G.I. on Monday who is supposedlydoing his ownb trials for that new medicine Amitiza.I hope I will be a candidate. He's the first doctor I could find who has heard of it or is using it. I live on Long Island in New York. I called several hospitals in NYC to no avail.I'm talking too much. I hope you fel better and that your husband is feling better also.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Hi Roberta,I was 21 when I got this. I guess that after 40 years I am used to it. I have my good days but bad days too. I don't bother with doctors and tests anymore. They didn't give me much help and besides, my husband has really high medical bills and we can't afford to pay any more. I have managed this IBS on my own for many years. I try not to let it get me down. I can't afford to. I manage to be strong when I have to be.Yes, there are days that I hurt, badly, but I have to do the work anyway. As I have said before, I have no choice. As far as eating goes, it depends on how I am feeling. I never eat in the mornings before I go out. I wait until I get home no matter how late it is. Then if I get pain or need the bathroom, I am at home. But afternoons and evenings are by far the worst for me. Sometimes are worse than others. I just live with it the best I can. I am very stoic. I have to be. I was raised that way. I was told to suffer in silence, so I do. If I was alone and didn't have to care of my husband, I might give in to my IBS, but I can't. I am sitting here now rubbing my tum tum because it hurts, but that is the way it is. I really think that because I have accepted my IBS and it's symptoms, I am able to deal with it. I don't know what else it could be. I don't want it to control my life any more than it does.
 

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Hi Nerfmom,How are you doing? I hope well. I sent you an e-mail. I was wondering if you got it. Can you let me know? Feel good. Roberta
 
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