Posted 02 January 2014 - 05:50 PM
I'm there to tell my story about my undiagnosed IBS. I think I started having IBS-A like symptoms in July 2013.
A little bit of background on me and my situation
Occupation: IT Support (office job)
Before, I was taking 3-4 coffees per day, now I've cut it down to 1 decaf-coffee per day (it's hard to kick out an habit like that..)
I've been eating at restaurant often (job's cafeteria), but I'm doing an effort of doing my own meal or at least avoid any kind of fast-food.
I've replaced cow milk with soy milk.
After being in a somewhat distant relationship for almost a year with my current girlfriend, we discussed for a while and I decided to make the move and get together an apartment in her city in July 2013. We've been travelling between the two cities almost every week-end to see each-other since the beginning. It's been rough, especially since I don't own a car and relied on carpooling. So moving on was a relief on that point, but also a big source of stress. I start early looking for a new job in that new city in advance to make sure I don't get into financial trouble. Enough with the stress.
My girlfriend manage to have a new, bigger apartment for my move in July, and we have to move her stuff into the new apartment. I take a couple of days off to get to her city and help her move everything into the new apartment. Reality showed me that I'm not in great shape, but we did it anyway thanks to our friends.
I've been noticing a slight lump under my sternum and get worried about it. I go to the clinic to get it checked, and it seems my xiphoid process is a bit swollen. Still, the physician sends me for a check X-ray, and comes up negative. So far I don't worry to much.
My xiphoid process is still swollen, but other than that I'm fine. I'm still worried, not totally convinced about my health. After some discussion with my boss, he tells me there might be an opening for me within the corporation I work for over there. After an interview with the manager, I get a new job within the same company. Big relief!
It's now time to move my stuff. I booked a moving truck two months in advance with U-Haul, and on the moving day (I wanted to move my stuff a bit early, I'm not the kind of guy who does thing at the last minute) I get told they screwed up my order and they don't have any truck for me. I'm now terribly anxious, and unfortunately have to postpone my move. The week after, my girlfriend managed to get a moving truck from her city, get it down here, pick up my stuff and bring it to the new apartment. At least everything managed to sort itself out, thanks for my girlfriend and her help. (Oh, and f*** U-Haul).
I'm starting to feel bloated, and my xiphoid process is still swollen. I also start to feel like my ribs are swollen on each side, kind of like a tight band (or a girdle) around my stomach (epigastrium). My bowel movements are somewhat different, I've never had that before. Now I'm getting anxious about my health, and my girlfriend manage to get me under her family doctor. So I take an appointment and will be able to see me in mid-August, the waiting game begins.
I see my new family doctor, and I explain my situation.
- Altered bowel movements (trace of undigested food, mucus)
- Incomplete bowel movements (I feel like I'm not done yet, but nothing comes out)
- Tight-band sensation around my ribs, kind of swollen
- Swollen xiphoid
- Mostly diarrhoea
- Slight weight loss (2 lbs since July), nothing significant
- Pulsating feeling around my navel at rest, especially at night
I also tell him about my family antecedents that I think could be relevant
- Father: Celiac / Gluten Intolerance, Allergic to peanuts, cashews, bees, dog/cat hairs, pollen
- Sister: Diverticulitis
- Mother: Gallbladder removal (asymptomatic, stones spotted during another exam), Hyperthyroidism
He checks my xiphoid process, he doesn't see anything alarming.
He sends me for a blood test, an abdominal ultrasound and gives me Nexium for a month (I guess in case for an ulcer).
- Blood test: negative, excepted for slightly high cholesterol. He told me he won't give me pills for this at my age, as it could be controlled easily with physical activity.
- Abdominal Ultrasound: negative, nothing that stands out
- Nexium: I personally didn't see change with the medication.
My girlfriend and I decide to start doing some Yoga at home each evening (30 minutes) to help with stress and also to get back in shape slowly. So far it seems to help a bit.
As my situation is not improving, I take another appointment with my family doctor. I tell him the Nexium doesn't seem to have made any effect, and tells him I'm anxious about my health, being worried it might be something dangerous (I can't deny I'm thinking about cancer..). I also have some back pain near the lower-right shoulder blade at some time, but it doesn't happen often. I told him about the high amount of stress I've faced during the last months, so he prescribes me some Xanax (2x0.5mg/day) for up to March 2014. He also schedule me with a gastroenterologist for a colonoscopy, but he can't give me an exact date for the exam. He told me to contact him if I don't have news before January. Waiting game begins.
I decide to take some initiative without my family doctor's approval on my own to ease my mind, and order two tests kits I can try at home over eBay..
- Atlas Home Liver Function Test: Results are negative.
- 5 One-Step FOB (Fecal Occult Blood) Test Strips: Followed instructions, so far all tests were negative (tested once per day, at a different time frame)
I also dug up an old stethoscope I had from my previous career (medical assistant, yeah I know it's quite different from what I do now), and found out my RLQ and my LUQ are making a lot of rumbling in a persistent way.
I'm still worried, but this was able to put my mind at ease for liver problems or colorectal cancer. However, I'm keeping in mind these are not tests done by a physician, so even though they can be an indicator, I take the results lightly. I'll take to my doctor about my initiative on my next appointment. I don't think I did something bad like taking a drug I shouldn't have, but still I feel I shouldn't hide this from him.
I'm still not feeling better, my xiphoid process is still swollen and I constantly feel bloated. Now I'm having trouble achieving a bowel movement, and I'm several days without any. Now I'm worried it might be dangerous so I get to the ER to be checked. I feel dizzy and the ER doctor order an abdominal X-Ray. He sees that I'm constipated, but nothing on the X-Ray stands out to him, so he prescribes me some Lactulose (2x15ml/day) to help me out. I don't have much success with it at first, and eventually I'm able to have a bowel movement. I'm still feeling bloated, but there's not much I can do.
January 2014 (now)
My family doctor is coming back from vacations on January 7th, and I don't have any news for my colonoscopy. I'm not in an emergency situation so I can wait, but I'm still constantly bloated, I sometimes have right shoulder-blade pain (could be gallbladder, but it came out negative on my abdominal ultrasound..), I sometime feel nauseous (never up to the point of vomiting), and I don't have much appetite.
I'll probably ask my doctor if I can also have an upper-endoscopy as well while I'm visiting the gastroenterologist.
I'm not in a lot of pain, but I'm getting tired and depressed of not feeling well. If at least I could know what I have, at least I could focus my actions on the underlying problem.. but at the same time I don't want to change my habits too much in case this could screw up with my eventual colonoscopy, especially if I'm celiac.
Well, it's mostly my story for 2013, and I hope 2014 will bring up some improvements!
Posted 02 January 2014 - 06:32 PM
Maybe it's a costochondritis, I don't know.
I feel broken for a 27 years old male XD.