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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've been having HORRIBLE constipation and abdominal pain for several days (around the same time I joined the forums). I've been ringing my doc's phone off the hook, finally went to see her today and she said I'm really badly backed up.She said that my colon hypermobile around the upper left quadrant (splenic flexure), where I have most of my pain, but that it's hardly moving at all toward the bottom. She thinks I may have an infection in my stomach and prescribed Flagyl just in case. She also told me to hold off on oral laxatives and start doing Fleet enemas daily.Well, I did the enema and barely pooped at all. Then, about 10 minutes later, I pooped a really long (like 5 inch), thin string of mucus. Eww! The office is closed and I don't want to bother my doc any more until I've finished treatment. But wtf? I'm scared to death. I've had small amounts of mucus in my poo before, but never a big long string of it and nothing else. :(Everybody here's probably already heard about my colon cancer phobia. My doc freaked me out by saying that she's 99.99% sure that I don't have colon cancer. That's not what I want to hear. I want to hear that she's 100% sure. Arrgh.I'm going to DIE if I don't end this constipation-related pain. My upper GI tract is flipping out. Reflux, gas, squeezing, pain... But my lower GI tract won't MOVE anything. The pain is HORRIBLE. Has anybody else ever pooped a big long string of mucus? It didn't look like a worm or anything. just a long strand of ickiness.No blood. FOBT was negative. I do have bad hemorrhoids.
 

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Ive read a few posts here over the past few months where people have pooped out nothing but long mucus strands. Mucus is most consistan with IBS than anything, so it makes sense that this came out.I remember you saying that a colonoscopy isnt covered under your insurance, but to get a better piece of mind, is a barium xray covered under your insurance? I have the same insurance issue where it will not cover a colonoscopy, but will cover anything else. A barium xray will help your anxiety about your cancer fears. Also, 99.99% is about as good as any doc will say without actually doing a colonoscopy!
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for the support, Bonzi. :(It's not that colonoscopies aren't covered on my insurance... I don't have insurance at all. My doctor sees me at a very steep discount ($25 for an office visit) because she's a fricken saint and wants to see me get better.She said that if I don't feel better within a few weeks/months, she'll try to talk to some folks about arranging a discounted barium X-ray, but she said they're not much cheaper than a colonoscopy. I'm relieved that you've seen/heard other IBSers talk about mucus strings. I'd read that mucus isn't really typical of IBS and is more often seen with IBD and colon cancer. Some sites even say that mucus is a red flag for a serious illness.
 

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I dont believe I have ever read much on mucus being a red flag for something serious like cancer. But then again, every IBS symptom is also a cancer symptom, on top of every other symptom in the world that could somehow be linked to cancer! My wife had tons of mucus one week, along with blood and was freaked out(Rightfully so) but it ended up just being hemorrhoids and a GI infection. And when I say mucus, I mean nothing but mucus.As for your insurance, or lack there of, thats got to be a pain when you have IBS. Thats great that you have a doc thats willing to do that for you. I agree, she is an absolute saint to see you like she is. Imagine your anxiety if you didnt have any doctor at all! Im suprised price wise a barium xray is close to a colonoscopy. I quoted a colonoscopy here and it was almost 2gs, whereas a barium xray was only like $300(I have insurance that covers xray but not the colonoscopy)
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Yeah, it is a pain (literally) to not have insurance with IBS. I did spend quite a while managing my symptoms alone until I found my current doc.Even if I were paying for insurance, I'd still have to come up with a copay, so I wouldn't really be saving much. *shrug* If anything. I'm self-employed, so insurance isn't easy to come by.Maybe she was talking about a special kind of barium X-ray? If it's only $300, I could come up with that out of pocket if I really had to. Maybe I can work something out just so I can sleep in peace without the constant fear of colon cancer.
 

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We have tons of Gastro specialists and Imaging specialists here in my area,(I live in a large city) so maybe the competitiveness of so many specialists drive the price down. If you dont live in a big city area, maybe you can call around some places in the closest big city and see if you can get better rates.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I'm almost afraid to have an evaluation because I'm scared of finding out something bad.
Especially since it's been getting worse in the time that I've had it.My doc thinks I may have undiagnosed diverticula... That would actually be a relief. Did they find any when you had a barium enema?
 

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I havent had the barium xray yet. That is next on the list if symptoms dont get much better. I can understand the fear of not wanting the results. It can be scary to not know what you have, then take a test to see what it is and get the results. But, think like this. No matter what you do, one way or another, you will get results. If you wait forever and keep having problems, eventually you will HAVE to get a test. But if you get it now, you will be done with the worrying and can move on.Also, just know you will be stressed and scared to the max before you find out what you have, and think of the relief of knowing all is well. Waiting for my ultrasound results was the most nerveracking thing ever. Even though 3 weeks prior I had an absolute flawless CBC done. I have no idea why I stressed it, but I did. And when they said the words, "everything was normal" it was without a doubt the greatest thing I have ever heard! So, dont let that be the reason you dont get tested
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I had a recent CBC, too, and it was flawless except that my ferritin levels were a tiny bit high. My doc said that it probably wasn't a big deal but wants to recheck it. I still can't figure out what high ferritin levels might mean in my case. It may actually be a good sign, because people with colorectal cancer or IBD usually have LOW ferritin levels from chronic blood loss.I've always been nervous about medical tests. When I got my last pap smear, they had offered an HIV test. I had no reason to think I could possibly have HIV, but I spent the next several minutes FLIPPING OUT thinking that it was going to be positive. The nurse came back in with a really serious look on her face and I started bawling. It was negative.I guess I was way over-analyzing her facial expression.
 

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:(Your posts give me a good laugh sometimes. Not in a mean way, but I can just imagine you in the exam room crying and the nurse looking at you like your crazy! Me and you are very much alike. While I havent gone to that extreme, I have been pyschotic sometimes with test results. When the nurse called me with the ultrasound results, she paused for over 5 seconds before telling me my results and my heart sank to my stomach. I just knew she was giving me the bad news :)Yea, my cbc actually showed that I had a really high(but not abnormal, just max normal) hematocrit and hemoglobin levels and my RBC count was on the high end of normal, so that was a good sign to me. It would have to be one of the slowest bleeding tumors of all time!Ah, these forums are great to talk about our issues, mostly mental(in the case that we are so anxious) its a great way to relieve symptoms.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I'm glad that you can help me laugh at these things.
The nurse looked at me like I was a bit nuts... I was a lot more scared that I could have given HIV to my daughter than that I could have it myself. I totally wouldn't have been worried about the test before I had a kid to worry about.It's funny, because I didn't have hypochondria until my daughter was born. I think a lot of it is my fear that I might not be here to watch her grow up and take care of her. When I was younger and got sick, I had this kind of fatalistic attitude. "Oh, well, I'm sick. I'll get better or I won't." Now, every little symptom terrifies me. Especially with something as painful as my IBS. I know I've got issues. It's just that IBS makes them so much worse because it tends to feed itself. Thanks for listening to my paranoia. It really is good to know I'm not alone.
 

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Yes, having a family and kids makes fears increase 10 fold. As a teen, I could care less about my health and safety. I was exactly like you. Now as a parent, I want to make sure I stay healthy and in shape so I can grow old and watch my son grow up.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I think I'll breathe a sigh of relief when I hear good news about your barium x-ray. Since we're in the same boat emotionally and physically, I think I'll feel like it's my triumph, too.God, I'm in so much pain tonight.
I did a Fleet's enema and now I've got awful upper-left side cramping and no pain relief; my doc said I should feel better after the enema. Plus, I passed a bunch more mucus and a little bit of blood. Does your abdomen ever itch when you have IBS trouble? It scares me because, like everything else, it's supposed to be a colon cancer sign.I may go to the hospital tonight if my pain doesn't get better. It's been getting worse and worse for several days; I can't eat or sleep or do much of anything.
I'm not one to rush to the E.R. over everything, but I really don't think I can tolerate the pain anymore.
 
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