Phantom Rectum: Oh The Joys
Have any of you heard the term “phantom rectum?” I mean, who hasn’t right? ; ) According to http://www.ostomy-medical-supplies.com/ostomy-surgery/surgery-what-to-expect/ … Phantom Rectum: A “phantom rectal” sensation is when the body feels as if it needs to evacuate—even though the rectum is no longer connected to the bowel. This is a normal, if disconcerting, occurrence similar to the “phantom limb” sensation reported by amputees. Some patients are able to relieve the sensation by sitting on a toilet and going through the motions of evacuation.
I have been feeling this so often and it is beyond annoying. As someone who doesn’t have an anus either, I am lucky that I at least don’t have to worry about possible mucus coming out while I am feeling this. For those people who are not officially “closed up” down there, discharge could occur when you are trying to alleviate the discomfort.
This is clearly not a topic of conversation that comes up a lot; Not that I need to really discuss it with anyone other than those of you in the amazingly supportive IBD and ostomy communities. But still. It is just another thing to have to deal with. When I am home, it isn’t as big of a deal. I go into the bathroom, act like I am going to go the “normal” way and the sensation does eventually go away. It will usually return (timing depends) but at least I have some relief. It is just really uncomfortable too. And sometimes it even hurts a little. I know if this is the worst thing I have to deal with (knock on wood!) then I have it pretty damn good but I just wish I knew what caused it. Why certain times and not others? Is it triggered by anything? All I know is that this is a “normal” part of ostomy surgery so it isn’t worrisome.
If any of you know the answers to these questions, please comment so others who are dealing with this can have a better understanding too. If you aren’t comfortable commenting on the blog, feel free to email me at Marisa.IBD@gmail.com and I will share it anonymously for you.