For some context:
I've been having this horrific nerve pain due to severe entrapment from spinal fusions (it's a long story, but let's just say: yes I've tried it, before you ask ANYTHING - yes, I've tried it. I've been dealing with this for years and I am disabled partially due to it). For some reason, as pregnancy has progressed, I'm getting the most horrific symptoms when I try to go to the bathroom. I'm not entirely sure what's happening but there's some sort of screwed up mechanical trigger in my colon or rectum, so whenever I sit down and try to go, regardless of hard/soft stool, the resulting nerve pain is bad enough to make me throw up and/or pass out. It really, really, really is some of the worst pain I've ever experienced in my life. It causes uncontrollable muscle spasms down the affected leg that have literally pulled it out of joint (I have benign hypermobility joint syndrome, so dislocations can and do happen very easily), and honestly the pain from the dislocation is a *relief* by comparison to the pain of the nerve stuff. I already can't walk without a cane, and after a few days of this I can't even walk *with* one.
As you can imagine, this has kind of left me a little terrified to go to the bathroom. My kids are now so used to hearing me screaming from there that they don't even bother asking if I'm okay anymore, and that's getting a little weird for me. In effort to remove the mechanical aspect of the nerve trigger (ie. induce gentle diarrhea to see if that helps), I took HALF of one adult dose of castor oil as a laxative. I spent two hours beforehand pouring over medical journals and studies about castor oil's usage as both an induction aid and as a laxative to ensure that its usage at that dosage was not linked to labour induction and/or contractions. I have ZERO desire to push this baby out when I'm having this problem and even though I know the evidence for castor oil as an induction aid is sketchy at best, I do not want to risk going into labour before I'm ready. At the same time, I know it's regularly used as a "gentle laxative" during pregnancy at low doses without any concern that it will cause contractions, and I'm more comfortable with an oil laxative than one of the Rx ones. Those don't work for me at standard doses, generally requiring that I take a larger dose to have an effect... not something I want to experiment with when most of those are already contraindicated.
The recommended laxative dose was one tablespoon, so I took less than half of that. The tiniest teaspoon. It said it would work within 4-6 hours, so I went to sleep.
(And yes, this was discussed with my midwife as a way to control the nerve pain and ensure the risk of labour induction was nil).
It didn't start working for almost 10 hours! The first 15 minutes were fine and I thought, "This I can handle, this isn't too bad". But it quickly became an absolute nightmare. And after the day was over?... I think I would rather die than ever take it again. For real. I'm so glad my mother was able to watch my kids, because otherwise I'm pretty sure they would have not been fed or even *talked to* today. And while it did reduce the pain of the nerve trigger (I still had problems with it while going, but it was about half the strength of normal).
And that was at half - HALF! - the dose used as a laxative. I took just over one teaspoon, the laxative dose is a minimum of one tablespoon, and the labour induction dose? FOUR FREAKING OUNCES!! I think I would rather be stabbed through the anus with a flaming hot spear than take that much of it FOR ANY REASON WHATSOEVER!
Tomorrow I'm going into my doctor for a cortisone shot in my spine/hip in effort to help the nerve calm down a little (I got them regularly up until I was about 4 months pregnant and didn't seem to need them anymore). They used to work quite well for my nerve entrapment, though I've never had this particular style of pain until about a month ago in pregnancy, so here's hoping it does the trick!
I know that we're getting into the point where some of you are thinking of oil inductions and I just wanted to share my experience, or words of woe: know what you're getting into before you try it. I would RATHER give birth naturally four times in a row, back to back, than have another day like today again. For anyone considering it at 41 weeks? Two additional weeks of waiting is better than taking it. I swear to god! I don't know if my expeirence is completely atypical or what, but it was definitely a nightmare.