Today’s post is not going to be about sex or relationships or anything fun like that. Today, my post is going to be about something very embarrassing, incredibly gross, and something that you’re probably not going to want to read.
I have IBS.
Yep, that’s right. After a year or so of struggling to use the loo, having bouts of constipation and diarrhoea, and generally being in pain 80% of the time, I’ve finally managed to get the doctor to turn around and tell me what’s wrong:
“I’m pretty sure you have Irritable Bowel Syndrome, although there are a couple of more tests we need to do to rule other stuff out.”
To be honest, for all this time, I thought it was just me. Perhaps I wasn’t eating a great diet, or maybe I didn’t drink enough water / get enough fibre / eat enough fruit. The crippling cramps I used to get whilst trying to use the loo were getting unbearable and considerably worse, and when I woke up yesterday morning in tears, desperately needing the urge to use the loo but without very much happening, I called in sick and made a doctor’s appointment.
My boss was a dick. I couldn’t call in sick. I left them in the lurch. He wanted a sick note… He was a dick. The GP’s surgery weren’t much better either. They had no appointments, there was nothing I could do.
I gave it another couple of hours and, still in extreme pain, I called the out of hours line. After listening to everything I had to say, they urgently advised me to book an appointment in the next two hours or so. So, I called the surgery back and relayed the information to which I was met by the same response – they couldn’t book me an appointment. After a bit of bath and forth with my apparently shit doctors, I finally got an appointment…. for 7 hours later.
See this is the thing – most doctor’s surgeries round here are shit. You can never get an appointment for when you’re actually ill, so most conditions go unnoticed for long periods of time. Just like the insomnia I tried to get help with, and still don’t have any help with. And the weight loss that was fast and unexplained… I kept repeating myself to new doctor after new doctor and not getting anywhere fast. Finally it looks like I might be getting somewhere.
It’s embarrassing – IBS. I’m quite lucky. I get constipation more often than I get the D-word. That dreaded D-word. But, and this is a big but, I get the pain and discomfort that normally associates itself with diarrhoea, but then nothing happens. My gut is engorged and becomes bloated, I’m in immense pain and yet… nothing.
The pain is like nothing else I’ve ever experienced. It’s pain that doubles you over – it cripples you. It feels like my insides are being twisted around and around, and no amount of painkillers seem to be able to soothe it. I need to fart yet I can’t. I need to go to the toilet but I can’t. It’s unbearable.
For months I’ve been asking the doctor about IBS. I watched my Papa go through the same debilitating symptoms that I had to go through. I had my suspicions for a long time. Finally the professionals have caught up with me. Finally.
The only problem now is now they need to rule out other shit before they’ll give me a final diagnosis. I need to poop in a pot. I’m still not sure how I’m meant to get my poop in that pot but so far, the only advice I’ve been given is to use the assistance of a lolly stick. Well that’s just gross, isn’t it? I also need a bunch of blood tests. Great. I’m no good with needles.
So that’s it really. The thing I thought I had – IBS, well it turns out, I’ve probably actually got it. I have an actual syndrome. It really sucks. Now, unless I want to sit through hours or painful cramps, I need to watch what I’m eating. I never had any of this hassle when I was fat. Now I’ve lost all the weight, I’m literally falling apart. I need to take tablets. I need to drink this gross tasting orange crap that makes me feel sick and already has made me vomit once. The first day… Perfect.
At least someone is listening to me now. At least the doctors are listening to me now. This pain I’m feeling; it’s not normal pain. It really hurts. I can deal with leg aches, knee pains, period pains, headaches, toothache; I can deal with all of that. This is a different pain. This is a really painful pain.
I’ve got IBS.