The Progress: Part 3

It’s been a while since I last shared anything. Work has been absolutely busy lately, not that I mind. I’ve been feeling pretty good lately. Not too much anxiety, I can do my work properly, and my bowel movements have been pretty regular, athought they’re still at Type 1. 

I got an abscessed tooth taken care off the other day but recovery has been rather slow since my GI wouldn’t allow me to be on antibiotics. Every now and again the tooth would feel slightly sensitive and that makes my heart rush slightly. I hope that will resolve itself soon.

But I have had quite a few little wins over the past few weeks! I went to watch a movie, Split, which to me was really good, but the ending does seem to be rather abrupt. Also went to a sushi place and hanged out with some friends and bought a new book to read. I’ve forgotten how good it feels to just go out and have some fun shopping time with friends.

This is honestly the first period in months where I can say I feel even remotely normal. Sure, I’m still scared to go out of my comfort zone too much, but I’m making efforts to actually go out! I guess that counts for something.

The bloating is still present, but it has reduced, and I don’t feel too horrible in the mornings now. The dry mouth also comes and goes, and so does the headaches or dizziness. I will however stop taking Dicetel next week as part of the plan with my GI to assess my condition with and without the medication.

I have been taking daily logs of my BM and how I generally feel throughout the day. I hope I’ll see a change for the better, even without the meds. Wish me luck! 

Thanks for reading! 

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The Anomaly

I honestly can’t wait for the next appointment with my GI. There’s plenty of questions for me to ask, such as: why’s my poop yellow? And why am I seeing very minute blood spots on my stool? Is the proctitis back? Sigh. 

The best cause of action here is obviously calling him and making sure I’m all good, and you know what, that’s exactly what I’m gonna do. I’m seriously starting to hate this, but the good news is, the blood is still bright red, and merely just marks my stool. So its still proctitis I guess. But however, I’ve never actually noticed it in any of my stools before, so am I getting worse somehow? Or since my stool is currently quite yellowish, it’s just easier to see. This is surely bizarre and unnerving. 

I need to ask him if it’s possible I have both IBS and IBD together. Because I am starting to feel better on this FODMAP diet and probiotics.

I ranged my GI up (thank god he’s open on Saturdays) and inquired about the spots, since that’s my major concern so far. My GI however said that perhaps this is a one off deal, and for me to keep a close look at my stool for these few coming days. If there’s consistently blood present, he asked me to come back for another check-up.

I seriously hope it goes away on its own. Next, to figure out why my body feels as if it’s feverish (body and insides feel warm, but cold feet). I’m currently keeping a daily record on how I’m feeling for the day and of my movements (if any). Maybe it could be of some use for the doctor in better diagnosing my condition. 

That’s all my rants for today. Thanks for indulging me. Until next time! 

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.

The Side Effects

Salofalk 500 (Mesalazine) was the prescription gave to me since the official diagnosis. The main goal was to allow my condition to go into remission. Remission for ulcerative colitis or proctitis here means: to be as normal as you possibly could. Emphasize on the “possibly”.

This small red bumps is the ulcerative proctitis.

Anyway, my body is an absolute softie when it comes to dealing with side effects of medications. So, you must now be wondering, what was the side effects? After 2 days of starting treatment, my anxiety levels were through the roof, I couldn’t eat or even relax for one brief moment. My head felt, funny. As if it was cold and then hot, my body kept having cold/hot flashes, my heart was always racing. There was nausea too. 

I couldn’t take it any longer, it was definitely the meds. The doctor, now worried, took more blood for testing and ECG to rule out serious underlying medical conditions. Everything came back clean. A dose change and a few days of monitoring, I was starting to feel better.

To help manage the anxiety, the doctor did gave me Lexapro to try out. It wasn’t great, at all. My heart rate crept even higher, and now there’s even insomnia. It was horrible. At one point I think I started being hypersensitive to sound and light. Everything felt extremely bright and loud. Thanks Lexapro! Immediately stopped treatment.

But in all seriousness, for the two weeks that I was on Salofalk, I did feel better. There were still some bloating, especially in the mornings. And it did gave me heartburn, but my BMs were back to being very infrequent, which I guess is a norm for me. However, my anxiety was still very much present, and excessive angst will send me rushing to the nearest toilet. In that sense, nothing much have changed.

That’s all from me for today! Until next time.

Thanks for reading!