Well, I’ve been using laxatives for a couple weeks now. I have tried four different kinds so far. I want to try and avoid the stimulant kind, because that tends to be more painful in the gut, so after an initial stimulant I went to stool softeners. These worked, kind of, but it felt like after a few days they didn’t give the same results. It seems weird that my body would adapt to them so quickly, so I figured that just means I should try a different one. 

The next trial is an osmotic type, which is easier to consume, in a way, because it’s a powder that dissolves in any liquid rather than a pill. But I really need to take it with something flavored, because taking it with plain water made me feel like I was drinking plastic, and it was hard to finish. 

The first few days went well, but, again, it feels like they are losing efficacy in a very short period of time. I don’t do well with fiber due to mild gastroparesis, but I’m thinking that I might try very small doses of psyllium fiber with plenty of liquid. When I was first diagnosed with IBS, I took psyllium regularly, but I stopped after the gastroparesis diagnosis. 

Even though I haven’t fine-tuned my laxative use as of yet, I’m feeling a lot better in general. The simplified diet seems to be doing me very well – and it’s helping my husband lose weight also. I’m not really looking to lose weight at this point; I’m focused on fixing the gut and preparing for summer backpacking season more than on weight loss right now. 

It’s been interesting doing twice daily measurements of my tummy. I started doing it as a way to track my bloat, and possibly confirm when my physical sensations are actually telling me about bloat, rather than different kinds of pain. In the past, I’d be pretty sensitive to my waist measurements and freak out about them going up. Now, I’m just observing, and not putting any meaning into the numbers. After all, my pants fit either well or loosely at the moment. 

The hard part about the simplified diet is staying the course. And I’m going on a trip soon, during which I may have little control over what I eat. I will be bringing some snacking food, not partaking of alcohol, and avoiding serious trigger foods at least, if not strictly adhering to the simplified diet. 

Once I get back, I am prepared to have to do some resets – I anticipate my sleep schedule and diet will both be out of whack. So, I’ll wait to try the fiber experiment until after I get back. 

Sometimes, I wish I could be more rigorous in my self-experimentation, but alas, I live in the real world, not a lab. 

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