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Please prepare for a long story.

Hello all, my name is Kevin, and I am a 27 year old male from the state of Connecticut. I wanted to introduce myself to the community and give a quick background of information regarding my GI issues and story to get some feedback. As of this point I have been diagnosed as having spastic colon and IBS-unsure of the classification of IBS-but these are also a diagnoses' without elaborate testing.

To start off my childhood was very difficult. My father was an alcoholic and would often come home intoxicated and argumentative with my mother. Some nights would be ok others would be bad-it was an emotional roller coaster. As a child I would always rock back and forth or sway while standing. Nothing serious, just noticeable. I've always considered myself a worrier or a nervous-nelly, about anything really. For a random 2 month period when I was 11, I was a severe hypochondriac and was fearful that I had e-coli or salmonella poisoning on a regular basis. That lasted for only a 1 and a half month period and dissipated on its own.

Into my early teens I decided that I wanted to be a police officer and I grew out of the nervousness. I would find myself worrying about things, but it wouldn't be as prevalent. I would notice that I kicked my feet when I was in a sitting position, but I didn't really rock. I would find that in an OCD manner I dreamed of becoming a police officer, cleaned things repeatedly, and was fixated on worrying that I was going to be in trouble for something. I joined a group called the police explorers at the age of 12 and enjoyed the program very much. Years later and in conjunction with dealing with a father that drank very often and used drugs and doing well in school while remaining moderately social with other classmates I graduated school and was now 6 years into the explorer program.

At age 18 during my graduation I learned of my older sister having Ovarian Cancer. It was very scary but I immediately dismissed the possibility that I could lose her as a result of it. It was around this time I started putting on weight and noticing acid reflux. I began using tums then initially started taking Aciphex for it.

I was hired as a security officer at a very high crime neighboring city mall following high school. I was exposed to many dangers and adrenaline pumping situations-chasing shop lifters, dealing with fights, gang members, drug users and activity, domestic assaults, etc. etc. I even won a commendation for apprehending a robbery suspect. Shortly after a year and a half I was promoted to a midnight shift supervisor Lieutenant position. There I was exposed to abnormal sleep patterns, adjusting to working overnights and alternating between a sleep at night day off schedule and work all night 5 days a week schedule. It was difficult but I did it. Around this time I lost my sister to Ovarian Cancer on Valentine's Day in 2006. It hit me and my family like a ton of bricks. I noticed that my interest in activities other than work and becoming a police officer diminished very quickly. I had girlfriends and noticed that I had stupid arguments with them all the time. Soon enough while applying to be a cop I was told my work as a supervisor was getting sloppy and the then acting director demoted me back to a guard position which was very upsetting for me.

I was hired as a part-time police dispatcher which was very exciting but dealt with internal political bs and nonsense from fellow civilian dispatchers. I then left to become a public safety officer at a busy high crime university in the state of Connecticut. After 8 months of taking everything very personally they sat me down and told me that it was not my line of work and terminated my employment. I won my claim with the labor department stating it was an unjust termination yet the day haunts me all the time. It was seemingly the end of my career in a line of work that I had been working so hard to get. It was devastating. Around the same time I had been married for several years and expecting a baby. My son was born a month after I had been let go from the job I loved more than anything. I was then a father. I was hired into a field that interested me wireless technology. I worked for T-Mobile corporate as a retail sales associate. I discovered I was very successful at selling. I stayed in the field as the salary was very good. During this time period I had moved in with my ex-wife and her family and began financially supporting them but finding myself dealing with much conflict with her family and conflict at work.

In September of 2010 I had been dealing with increased depression over medical issues including kidney failure and congestive heart failure experienced by my father. He passed away early September of 2010. It hit me like a ton of bricks. I took on another job to distract my mind and focused on work and my son. Throughout the time period and prior to being terminated at the security job I noticed that I was still suffering from acid reflux but continued to eat out and not maintain a healthy diet. I didn't really gain a lot of weight however I was still slightly overweight. I also noticed that my bathroom trips to pass stools were taking longer. But I was able to completely evacuate without any issues. On Halloween of 2010 I experienced an episode of numbness in my left arm lasting for several hours and upon complain to my ex-wife's father whom had a cardiac device installed following several heart attacks he stated numbness could mean a cardiac situation. On my way to take my child trick or treating I started fearing to the severest degree that I was having a heart attack and began having chest heaviness as well as palpitations. By the end of the night and after an EKG it was all clarified as a "panic attack". I let go, forgot about it, and didn't notice anything else. Several months later following Christmas while training at work I began having a similar episode with palps and assumed once again that I was having yet another panic attack-which after being transported by ambulance it turned out to be a panic attack.

My primary care doctor inquired about my family medical history significance which aside from my sister passing from Ovarian Cancer which he wasn't very concerned with I had some relatives and past generation relatives that were deceased from various things but nothing consistently prevalent. I was prescribed Diazepam for the persistent panic attacks and told to take it daily. I didn't realize that I was taking Valium and the horrific withdrawal type symptoms that one could face attempting to discontinue use. A year into being on valium I took cognitive behavioral therapy but to no avail. Shortly after that I had found that my ex-wife was seeing another man and so a divorce ultimately was the outcome. It was very tough and took a huge toll. My panic attacks were frequent then less frequent and now are sporadic-less intense and I am more able to work through them but however they do make me fear death and dying all the time and sometimes more intense things happen to trigger more fear.

My bowel habits changed all throughout the course of being on Valium. I noticed that a few times when I forcibly pushed to excrete flatulence liquid stool accompanied it. My flatulence would be foul smelling, my stools would alternate between loose and constipation, and would sometimes be hard or soft and diarrea-like, and I have suffered from benzo-belly, or the nervous rection of my gut during episodes of emotional upset or stress.

In my past I obsessively requested many tests which my doctor believed was a severe phase of hypochondria. I was given a multitude of tests for cardiac reassurance as I feared a fatal cardiac episode and then issued testing for bowel related concerns. To my knowledge I do not have any family genetic issues concerning bowel related diseases such as polyps, or lynch syndrome, or familial adenous polypsis-conditions known to genetic predisposition of colon/rectal cancer. I noticed many different bowel changes and abnormalities. Symptoms included:

-Rectal stabbing pains

-Sometimes blood on toilet paper due to having to wipe excessively

-4 years history of foul smelling an sticky stools that would stick to the toilet bowl

-Sometimes darker colored stools but never red in appearance such as contained with blood

-Periodic episodes of heartburn and acid reflux discomfort that seemed to correlate with external stress

-Abdominal pain, gas pain, bloating discomfort

-Suffered from a case of fatty liver recently which I was told was due to being slightly overweight

-Alternating constipation and diarrea

-Alternating weight but predominantly gain versus loss and weight loss has been associated with decreased consumption of food at later hours and eating healthier diet versus unknown weight loss cause

-Tenesmus and feeling of rectal pressure or full bowel upon waking or sometimes right after complete evacuation

-Sensation of mass in rectum

-Numbness and pain in coccyx or tip of tailbone before buttocks-usually after sitting

-Still on diazepam(2 and a half years later), still exposed to stressful situations, and still dealing with stress involving my difficult ex-wife, work, financial, and other concerns.

-Fatigue/weakness

-Disinterest in many activities

-Agoraphobia

-Anxiety

-Panic Attacks(Random)

-Vitamin D Deficient (Probably due to not getting sunlight)

-Depression

-Hypochondria(Health Anxiety)

-Urinesis(Urinating while asleep)

-Dyspepsia

-Joint pain(Like fibromyalgia)

-Chest musculoskeletal sensitivity

-Side pain sometimes right and left

Cardiac tests over the last few years include an MRI of my heart(Echocardiogram) which was normal, multiple EKG's all normal, a Cardiac Calcium CT Scoring test(normal), and a 24 hour holter monitor(normal)

Testing done for Bowel concerns:

-Lower abdominal CT Scan- (Normal)

-H-Pylori Breath Test( Negative) - (Once found in blood test several years prior followed by prev-pack antiobiotic treatment but never a second reoccurence)

-Digital Rectal/Fecal Occult Test (No abnormalities felt and clean Fecal Occult Test)

-Blood testing normal counts(not anemic)

I did schedule a colonoscopy and endoscopy and the night of I had a severe panic attack and after preparing for a whole day I did not go. I was too afraid. I AM TERRIFIED THAT I HAVE COLON OR RECTAL CANCER OR STOMACH CANCER OR WILL SUFFER A HEART OR CARDIAC EPISODE. As far as my doctor goes he knows that I have severe hypochondria and I think feels as though the extent of which I have gone to have tests done is a little overboard.

I am planning on seeing my GI doctor on October 7th this month and am planning on arranging a colonoscopy and an upper and lower endoscopy for first quarter of 2014. Also going to arrange some cardiac tests such as an EKG Stress Test and another holter monitor test. I noticed I get these weird flutter sensations which take my breath away and they scare me. I was told it had something to do with cortisol adrenal gland release due to being in a consistent state of panic or anxiety and nervousness, as I am told can take a serious toll on my GI track and gut. Can anyone offer an opinion on my long winded life story? I am currently an Assistant Store Manager for a corporate cell phone carrier. My job can be tough at times but I am able to get in a zone and do a great job. I live in a nice new apartment with my beautiful girlfriend and spend time with my son every other week. My son is delayed per his doctors as far as devleopment goes and is behind. My life isn't easy but I am managing. Anyone with some insight to my IBS and GI concerns stated I appreciate feedback. I wanted to share my whole story. Lately the heartburn stuff has picked up more than usual. Thanks again for reading and taking the time to respond.
 

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Hello Kevin.

I am responding to your post as I went through very similar symptoms many years ago when first diagnosed with IBS-A (alternate between D and C.) I suffered the same OCD worries out illness etc. Afer seeing many doctors that told me I was fine and my test was normal as you have also admitted too, and with encouragement from my wife, I finally realized most of my symptoms were being caused by emotional problems.

I then went to see a Psychiatrist that I had went to high school with. I too was diagnosed with anxiety and mild OCD.He prescribed the right combination of meds and once my anxiety was controlled, almost all of my GI problems were solved as well. Hang in there, it will get better.
 

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Hi Kevin,

My name is Danielle. I just joined yesterday as well. I read your story and I sympathize with you. I have been through similar things with my GI tract, anxiety and chest stuff. I had the whole work up with my chest the way you did and it turned out I had costochondritis, It was extremely painful and scary. I also thought I was having heart attacks and have gone to the ER many times thinking I was dying! That alone was super stressful. So when you can look up costo and see if this could be what you have. Its awful but it does go away in time but its good to have the full work up to rule everything else out.

I am 36 and have already had like 4 colonoscopy s. The prep is the worst part!! I swear, the last one I had 2 years ago was easy, breezy. They put you asleep through the whole thing you wake up and its already over. The worrying about it is worse than having it done. I have a family history of colon cancer so I have to get them every five years and it really can and will save your life. If you do have something going on in there they will see it and be able to fix it. It could just be internal hemroids (which could be what the blood is most likely from that you see on the paper). But if you have polyps that's what can turn into cancer and they will just remove them if they are there. I'm telling you its worth it to have it done!! If you don't then there is reason for you to worry. They can't help you if you are not willing to have the test done. And like I said it could just be hemroids and you can treat that very easily. So PLEASE for me just do it!!

Definatley try going to therepy it sounds like this would help you a great deal. I think I may try to do the same. I have some anxiety but I feel like a lot of mine comes from my stomach issues but who knows which came first the stress or the IBS. Probably the stress. I would be SO happy to just have a happy, healthy, gut!! My frequent bowl movements, cramping, and gas impair my quality of life and it sucks.

I hope this helped a little : )
 
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