A Poop-less Week

Ah, so I think the title might’ve given away the source of my rambling for this entry. Yes, gents, I haven’t had a bowel motion (nor the urge) in 7 days.

Let’s recap slightly. It’s now the month of Ramadan, and me being a Muslim, have a mandatory fast to perform for 30 days, and I was definitely up to the challenge. For the first few days of the fast, I was having a daily bowel movement, every morning without fail.

However, as I crept further into Ramadan, the movement begins to become…looser. It became softer, too soft in fact that I was suspecting there’s an issue with my digestive tract.

And then there it was, as weird as how it started, I stopped pooping altogether. My rectum was honestly slightly sore from the daily pooping. I think my body wasn’t ready for that.

Anyway, as the work piled, and the days went by, I honestly just have forgotten that I haven’t had  any BM for DAYS! Not even the slightest urge. When I realised, it was mainly due to me feeling bloated, and I asked myself, “when was the last time I had to go?”. I was internally silent, there’s just no answer, mainly because even I have forgotten the specifics.

Desperate time calls for desperate measures. Hello again my old friend, bisacodyl. Damn damn damn damn damn do I hate this drug. Yes, it works, I get it, but it just makes me feel all weak and weird. There’s one slight twist though, this time I actually got the suppository version of it, thinking that it would work better.

Got home, drank lots of water, slipped the drug in, and there I was, waiting and writhing in discomfort, wanting to eject the drug out of me. After a good 10 minutes of keeping it in me, I rushed to the loo.

To my disappointment, nothing came out, just mucus, and more mucus, and then there was whatever left of the drug.

After much debilitating wait in the throne, finally, some very hard stool finally came out with much hesitation. 

As I’m typing this, I’m just lying down on the floor, still waiting on the actual time I’ll have a proper BM. Maybe I should’ve held it in much longer, but it was just so irritating to my innards.

At least it doesn’t make me feel like passing out or straight out dying like the oral version does, so there’s that.

Update – many moons later (or about 2 hours)

Still nothing, I’m going to sleep, if this still doesn’t work by tomorrow, I’m just gonna have to take the normal bisacodyl. If that doesn’t work, well, a trip to the ER it is then

Wish me luck

Update – It’s the next morning now, and I just inserted another suppository, but this time I’m gonna hold it in as best as I could. The stomach has been gurgling but it’s still not working from yesterday. This may just be the anxiety talking, but my body feels absolutely weird, definitely not working (or fasting) for that matter. It feels all jittery and weak, I feel at complete unease.

One important thing I learned is never to let it go this out of hand, and I really should be taking notes again for my bowel movements like I used to do, so I can actually remember when was the last time I had one. I have chugged 1.5 Litres of water in 12 hours, so I don’t think I’m dehydrated at all. Now I’ll just wait patiently I guess. 

Update – finally went to the doctor he prescribed something called Paraffin Oil. Apparently this will just help in lubricating my internal and should help in relieving in a more natural and controlled manner (we’ll see about that)!

However, suddenly my mouth feels extremely dry (even though I’ve been drinking water aplenty) and there’s a sensation or desire rather of gagging and vomiting. Great! My weekend is all sorted out then

But I’m counting my blessings however, I have an exam on Tuesday and I seriously much rather all of this to happen today instead! I should feel better once Tuesday comes.

If the mouth feeling doesn’t subside, I’ll just resort to suckling on some hard candy instead, that should (theoretically) work! 

Update – after two doses, still nothing from the paraffin oil, other than just cramps and gurgles from the stomach. Finally called my GI, and he suggested for me to take fibre drinks, 3x/day coupled with the paraffin oil in the mornings. 

I’m not giving up, will be trying that next! 

Update – got bored of fibre drinks too, I give up. No matter how bad the side effects is, oral bisacodyl seems to work best for me. The effect (for me, at least) comes in stages. 

  1. Suddenly awake, yet I don’t feel weird or sick
  2. I start farting, a lot (maybe because the bowel is finally moving)
  3. General weakness and coldness
  4. Cramps, lots of abdominal cramps 
  5. Feeling Faint
  6. Elimination

Anyway, I actually went to the loo, and what came out was only a few pebbles of stool, and the paraffin oil. Damn body, why won’t you work! My body is feeling oddly hot too, internally 

Update – It finally happened. A big (and surprisingly comfortable) BM. Maybe due to the paraffin coated internals. Damn! DEFINITELY drinking fibre every few days once from today onwards 

That’s about it, I think this post has been long enough. Until the next entry 

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Stress; The Evil Within Us

Stress, such a stressful word even to pronounce. I realize it now, all my problems began since I was transferred to a new department at work. A department so bad, that essentially I’m the only one there who does everything. EVERYTHING. This isn’t an exageration or me being playful. It’s just that bad!

So essentially, my department is divided into two sub-groups, let’s call them Group A, which takes care of Area A, and the same applies to Group B, and Area B. I’m in Group/Area A, and while I admit, Area B is more complicated, but Area A just has a lot more problems, almost on a daily basis when I started. Still doesn’t sound bad? There’s only two people in Group A, just two, and both of us were new!

Could you imagine that now? Two brand-spankin-new engineers, with not much experience to boot, directly overseeing the profitability of a whole area, during a period of extreme difficulties. You may ask, “Why is the other guy just fine, you wuss!”. Don’t get me wrong, my partner is a very kind and understanding soul, but he is just isn’t…efficient. In the end, most of the workload falls on my shoulders instead. After a few months of this situation going on, finally, I cracked. I got really sick and was warded (read my previous posts for a recollection)

THIS HAS TO STOP!

So starting from a month or so back, I now no longer stay back at work longer than I have to. 7.30 AM in, 5.30 PM out. This may still seem long to some, but it’s waayy better compared to the 13 hour workday I used to have. I’m also slowly starting to implement better habits to ease stress. During lunch hour, I now no longer do any work. Instead, I prefer to eat with the company of my phone and YouTube, and reading the odd blogs every now and again.

Does it work, you maybe wondering. It really does. I’m getting much less sicker by the day! Sure, there are legit health issues that I need to tackle, such as the root canal, and poor blood circulation, but that all is part of an upcoming plan to try and walk for a few KMs each day after work. I also just started doing some basic yoga, to help in reducing my anxiety and finding better inner peace.

But stress isn’t something you can avoid easily and completely. I’m still pretty much experimenting with what I could/couldn’t do to help. If any of you actually has any suggestions or experience you would like to share, I’d be more than happy to read and respond to it.

Have a good day, readers! Until next time 🙂

The Anxiety

Quite ironically, eventhough this blog is called myanxiouswords and Anxiety Diary, I have never actually detailed what I’ve been going through, and what actually brought upon my anxiety.

Since I can ever remember, I have always been one not to show much signs of stress, at least emotionally. During stressful situations, I have always managed to stay calm and composed. However, there’s always some form of “ticks” present. The ones I could remember are muscle twitches, trembling, headaches, facial pressures, breathlessness and sometimes even feeling faint. If these symptoms seem familiar to you, it’s because – as what I’ve gathered – they’re the same symptoms of an anxiety or panic attack, save for the rapid breathing of course.

So what triggered this latest bout of non-stop anxiety you might ask. I’ve managed to narrow it down to either actually an IBS flare, or Food Poisoning, or maybe even both at once. As I recall, I have told the story on the trip to Pahang, when I got the food poisoning. But what I haven’t told – I think – is that the next day, while still recovering, I actually had to go to Malacca. During the honestly short drive there – which felt forever to me – I had to stop about 10 times, but every time, nothing came out.

From that point onwards, I somehow think that my brain has linked driving with diarrhea. So whenever I drive, or generally not in the vicinity of a toilet, I get nervous, which in turns makes me run to the toilet. But I have been feeling better lately. I have been strictly controlling the food I eat. No processed food (sorry, McDonald’s), reduced lactose, reduced fried/fatty foods and generally just strictly following the FODMAP diet. It actually works!

I have been a lot less gassy, bloated and my body has finally accepted Dicetel. I don’t get much heartburn or anxious – as long as I don’t push myself too far outside of the comfort zone. I’m seriously greatful to finally just be able to do my work properly again. I’m also trying to pay less attention on how I’m feeling for the day, though I do keep a note to show my GI (perhaps it could be useful to him).

However, not all is perfect. I still have some anxiety every now and then. Even as I’m typing this, my breathing just feels difficult or heavy, and I feel an odd pressure like sensation in my nose. I got it checked last week and I had no sinusitis to speak off. The doctor even gave me anti-histamines just to be safe. I guess I’ll just have to deal with it.

As of now, I’m just trying to look on a brighter side. It’s just one problem after the other. I guess it’s just my time to be sick currently, and with every downs, there will be ups. I’ll just have to wait patiently for that day to come again once more.

Sidenote; I actually cried the other day, because life just seems unfair. But then it hit me, it could actually be worse, and others do have it worse. So keep that in mind everyone, if you’re feeling down, or depressed. There’s always someone out there who has it worse than you, so be greatful.

Thanks for reading!

 

The Progress: Part 2

Progress, huh. If anything, naming this post “The Regression” would be ever so appropriate. But, I’m not losing hope. Never!

As mentioned in the last post, my GI prescribed me Lacidofil to better help me replenish my gut fauna, since I’ve been having much gas even with a supremely low FODMAP diet. Here’s an update on the probiotics situation.

I’m definitely starting to feel better. The first day on the probiotics, before breakfast I had 1 multivitamin and 3 garlic pills. Bad idea! One of em is causing me to have very bad acid and reflux. It’s so bad that at one point, I feel as if there’s food regurgitating up my throat. 

The next day, by chance, I accidentally dropped my bottle of garlic pills, and started my day only with 1 multivitamin. The reflux was reduced, but still very much present. I could feel the acid burning my belly from within. Bananas helped a lot, together with some antacid to calm my tummy down. But other than that, the bloating was much less since I’ve started probiotics. 

When the next day came along, I gave up the multivitamins altogether in hopes that it wouldn’t trigger my heartburn, and almost magically, the heartburn just wasn’t there, at least not severely. It was very-very mild. It was the multivitamins all along. I wonder what does it contain that triggers the acid production. 

I’m honestly hyped about starting this new probiotics. Sure, I do feel some improvements, but it’s not like I’m 100% better either. I actually had to take 1/2 day off work yesterday just because I couldn’t stand the nausea and dizziness at work. 

I’m still trying to figure out what causes the dizziness. My instincts tell me it’s an anxiety response, or dehydration, but drinking water seems to do very little in improving it. A better way to describe my dizziness is feeling as if my head is very heavy, and I feel tired but not sleepy.

What’s also nice is that I found out that soy milk makes my throat all slimy. Cool! Maybe Almond Milk next? 

Thanks for reading! 

The Alternative

Western medications is great. But sometimes, we have to be open to other forms of treatment too. My current goal with alternative medications is not too completely heal IBS, but instead, to help me deal with symptoms such as fatigue and bloating. 

I went to a Chinese Herbal Doctor nearby, and what’s amazing was without me actually saying anything, with a touch on my palm and wrists, he said I have too much gas, and I’m weak. I mean how amazing is that! 

He then proceeded to write down names for a few herbs for me to boil and drink the extract and he claims that this will help with my gas. I was skeptical, but nonetheless eager to try this out! However, there was that one voice deep within me that said ,”what if this makes it worse?”. I couldn’t care less at this point, you either discover, or life your life in pain not knowing that perhaps, there’s a cure out there. 

 

The herbal concoction. Sorry for the potato quality
 
The taste? It starts off bitter, and somewhat sour, with a disturbing sweetness aftertaste that lingers. It’s not something you’d enjoy drinking on a daily basis. But as the saying goes, the worse medicine taste, the better it works.

Immediately after drinking, I noticed no particular changes to my condition. No burps, farts, nothing. It did however made me feel slightly warm from the inside. This is somewhat of a good thing since I’m almost always freezing anyways.  However, I realized that my body did feel somewhat less bloated the next morning, until I ate some yoghurt. It’s fine however, I can stand the bloating, and the added probiotics will be good for my gut. I had a very-very small movement the next day, it still looks weird, but better compared to the previous days. It’s at least more solid now, but still somewhat mucus-y. 

My previous movements were purely mucus, and some watery mess. But even then, the amount is pathetically little. I don’t know it it’s because I have not much in me, or I am just backed up inside. Will surely keep and eye out for a few more days, and if it’s really necessary, I’d most probably have to resort to laxatives.

Anyway, since I was feeling particularly bad these past few days, I decided that the best thing to do is pay a short visit to my GI for some checkups. He said that I was technically fine, and the Ensure is definitely to be blamed here. He did recommend to take the laxatives and just have a do over. Lastly, he gave prescriptions for Lacidofil, a probiotic to help regain the “good” bacteria populations in my gut. Sadly, he recommended me to stop taking the Chinese herbal remedy for the time being because I was really in a bad shape. 

Maybe once I start feeling better I might try it again, if I’m bloated of course. 

Thanks for reading my boring rants! Until next time.

The Flare

It’s been a week since I stopped Salofalk 500 (mesalazine) and started Dicetel (Pinaverium Bromide). Things have been….different. I was doing somewhat fine, although just slightly bloated occasionally, and the bouts of anxiety, as per usual, but my movement were getting somewhat better now. 

But as I’ve said earlier, the downside to that is I get anxious from having bowel movements, so from that perspective, I’m not doing all right. To add insult to injury, it’s also not helpful to my overall mental stability when I had a tooth abscess at the exact same time. 

Finally, I just gave up, and went cold turkey. No more meds, no more anxiety (hopefully), and no more movements for the time being until I feel good enough to give this another shot, probably after a consult session with my doctor. 

If you thought that was the flare, I’m afraid to inform you, that you’re superbly wrong. It all started when I had a drink of something called Ensure FOS. FOS. F O S.

Damn! Damn! Damn! Damn! Damn! That horrible thing sent me spiralling back to square one! The first time I had it, it was fine. Just felt more bloated than usual, but nothing too bad. But after the second drink the next morning, oh dearie me, I had nothing but mucus and some watery movements, accompanied by some other mucus filled mush. It was very yellow too. Reminds me of the movements I had post colonoscopy. 

The bloating got unbearable. I lost all appetite to eat. My mouth went completely dry, although I wasn’t dehydrated. Back to square one! 

So I started to fast. I had nothing but minimal amounts of simple foods and water. Plain rice, steamed fish or porridge (especially at night). No spice, no gravy, nothing. Next, I tried re-introducing plain yoghurt with no additives, preservatives and flavourings. I’m trying my best to restore my gut flora at this point (with controlled small amounts throughout the day, the bloating was very manageable and I had no diarrhea). 

I also just had a root canal done, and that should help with resolving one other issue that was bugging me. I can’t believe how relieved I was that it doesn’t hurt, at least for now. I had it done without anaesthetics too. 

As of now, I’m feeling better. I’m still very easily bloated, and my body gets very achy especially in the mornings, from the gas I presume. Once I’m fairly confident of my current disposition, I will try to reintroduce the Dicetel back into my diet. 

I’ve also been trying simple yoga poses to help with the bloating. The breathing exercises combined with yoga did somewhat help in lowering my anxiety levels and helped in expelling some of the trapped gas in me.

What a weekend it has been. I feel weak and tired, most probably due to the diarrhoea and bloating. I hope I’ll start feeling better soon, missed two days of work this week. I honestly can’t work in this condition, I deserve a good break to help heal myself better. Also, stopping the Dicetel did make me not rush to the loo, at least for now. If in 4 days I don’t head to the loo, I’ll either have some dulcolax, or just give up and take Dicetel quietly, hoping for the best.

Until next time, thanks for reading! 

The Progress

Two weeks have passed since my last visit to the hospital. To have this condition has certaintly made me more aware of how frail we really are, and how much I yearned to be normal again. So, when the doctor finally told me, based on all the blood tests, biopsies, and drug trials I was on, he can now safely conclude that instead of IBD, I actually have IBS instead!

“So what about that ulcer in my rectum?”, I inquired. It was apparently there most probably due to an infection, possibly from the food poisoning I had earlier on. His opinion was further reinforced by the fact that my condition was more on the constipation end of the spectrum. Blood was never apparent in any of my movements too.

So now, the prescription changed. I received Dicetel (Pinaverium Bromide). It’s supposed to be very helpful in letting me gain a more normal use of my bowel.

However, since I’m pretty much traumatized now from having bowel movements, the Dicetel did somewhat cause me to have little bouts of anxiety throughout the day as my bowels moved, even without any visits to the loo.

The doctor did however suggested me to have a chat with the resident psychiatrist in order to better understand the cause of my anxiety, and possibly, have treatment options to make me function better again. But it think this shall be scheduled in the next appointment instead.

I personally believe my anxiety is a psychological issue too. Whenever I’m asleep, or busy working, my resting heart rate is normally around the 60-70 bpm range. However, once I get home, and my mind is free to wonder, my heart rate will creep up to the high 90s. This is also very apparent when I’m driving. Somehow, I’ve managed to convince myself that driving is a trigger point. Would definitely point this out to the doctor in my next appointment.