Is that it?
Never thought I'd be in this situation.
I can't eat what I want anymore.
More specifically, I barely can eat anything.
Food always has been a joy for me. The taste of pasta with rich tomato sauce. A slice of chocolate cake while watching Masterpiece Theatre on a quiet Sunday night. Going to breakfast with a good friend and chatting over Eggs Benedict.
I've had digestive issues since I was child. My earliest memories are of me straining on the toilet, my mother dispensing suppositories to me to unblock my poop. Enemas, those I had as well as a child.
However, I never knew that constipation wasn't normal. It wasn't until I became a teenager that I realized that other people didn't struggle with their bowels.
Fast forward to me as a young adult. In my mid-20's, I developed horrific acid reflux which still afflicts me today. My chronic constipation is diagnosed as something called Irritable Bowel System. The relfux and IBS seem to flare up together.
From then through my 30s and 40s, I still ate whatever I wanted. I suffered the consequences, but they weren't so bad back then.
That changed in my 50s. My stomach pain was getting worse. And my irritable bowel got out of control.
About a year ago, I started having pain around my belly button. And I started to get chest pains. I went to the ER several times for it. Each time, the doctor looked at me, smiled and said, "It's GERD and IBS. Here's a GI cocktail and a Bentyl. Are you under stress?"
A few months ago, my reflux got worse. I started to having bouts where I would choke, mostly happening at night. I had one bout where I choked and a little bit of food flew out of my mouth. The acid that washed up my throat felt like pure fire.
On the IBS side, instead of my usual constipation, I was having frequent, painful bowel movements. I also started to have a small bit of bowel leakage.
I thought, "What the heck is this?"
It got worse. Three weeks ago, my stomach pain became unbearable. I felt like I had a balloon in my abdomen that kept expanding and deflating that hurt my guts. At the same time, I had horrible lower back pain.
I went to my current doctor. She pushed on my lower and upper abdomen. I told her that it all hurt. She said, "Hmmm, did you eat something that didn't agree with you?" I told her about all of my symptoms and she said, "Keep taking your Pepcid."
Huh? Is that it?
I've been back to the doctor three or four times since then. I had a CT scan of my abdomen with contrast. Result -- "nothing remarkable."
My doctor also recommended that I go to psychiatry. Doctors often do this with women like me, women of a certain age who have IBS and GERD.
I went to my appointment last week. Nice guy. We talked. It didn't do much for my stomach pain. That said, out of desperation I started doing mindfulness meditation.
I'd drink toilet water if I thought it would stop the pain (sorry to be gross).
My painful bowels and out of control acid reflux have forced me to cut out practically everything that I previously ate. I have lost the desire actually consume them.
I've lost 10 lbs. in two weeks. Not good, although I actually needed to lose weight. This isn't the way that I wanted to do it. I'd rather struggle with food cravings than be repulsed.
I barely eat 500 calories, if that, these days. It feels like food has become my enemy.
I asked my doctor again to get me a consult to a GI doc. I'm scheduled for an endoscopy in a few days.
I'm scared but I want to find out why this is happening to me.
- Vherle5 and Laci3279 like this