Bad Times, Peeps. Bad Times.

If you’ve been a reader for a while, you’ll probably have noticed that I seem to be suffering with some kind of debilitating bowel condition, usually leaving me with either vomiting, diarrhoea, strange gut noises, excess gas, odd smells, you name it. Except apparently, I’m not suffering with some kind of debilitating bowel condition. I’m making it all up. That’s what the Doctors think – it’s all in my head.

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Bestie had a stomach bug last week. We actually thought he had norovirus (sp?) – a virus that is apparently doing the rounds over here, crippling one person at a time with dodgy guts and flu-like symptoms. Then I got it. Or so we thought. Six days later, when I was still vomiting at least once a day, and still getting a very bad stomach even though there was nothing left inside it, I made myself a doctors appointment. I’d already called in sick at work once and had my head well and truly bitten off by my boss who has turned out to be a real dick about all of this. If I hear the words “following procedures” one more time come out of his mouth, I’m going to ram my fucking fist down it. I know what the fucking procedures are you little cunt. I’m well-fucking-aware.

The Doc told me that although there are lots of little problems discovered throughout the investigations into why my insides are trying to kill me, there was nothing serious to give a real reason behind it. My anxiety is getting out of control, however, so she’s referred me to yet another shrink, and given me a prescription for a course of antidepressants / anti-anxiety pills that I should be on for about six months, starting off on the lowest dose and working my way up from there.

Sorry, how is this possible? I’ve already thrown up in the garbage can in my bedroom once this morning, and my stomach has had me doubled over in pain and running to the bathroom three times. I’ve been belching up air that tastes and smells like egg, even though I haven’t actually eaten eggs for a good couple of months, and I feel as if I have been hit by a truck. How is there seriously nothing wrong with me? How can they seriously not find anything wrong with me??

The doc asked if I had allergy tests yet. Nope. I have been promised a dietician for months but nothing has materialised. She’s sent me off for more blood tests, given me a pamphlet for a new shrink, a thirty quid prescription for drugs I really didn’t want in the first place, and still no answer to my questions. There are still no results from my endoscopy biopsy from back at the beginning of April. The endoscopy itself only showed a small patch of erosion in my stomach, and some GERD. Whatever GERD is. Again, none of this has been explained to me. I have no idea what GERD is, or I didn’t until I researched it myself with the help of Google. And we all know what Google does. It takes a headache and convinces you you’re suffering with lung cancer.

Now, don’t get me wrong. I know what a blessing the NHS is. I’ve lived on the other side of the world where you need to pay for your healthcare unless you have some pretty good benefits. I’m not complaining about it per se. Well, actually I am. Don’t I pay for this NHS? Why isn’t it doing me any favours right now?

For a while I thought they might have been right. Maybe this was all in my head? Maybe I was doing this to myself each and every morning I woke up, my skin wracked with goosebumps because I was in so much pain on the toilet? But how can I be? I know the mind is a powerful thing, but surely even the mind can’t give me chronic diarrhoea for three days in a row, when there is literally nothing left inside my body to produce as waste?

This is starting to have a very real and very negative impact on my life yet the Doctor’s can’t find anything wrong. Apart from the polyp up my ass which didn’t end up being bowel cancer, but still put me at high risk, plus the diverticula (or diverticulitis – we aren’t sure which, and each doctor calls it something different) which apparently, isn’t a real condition and shouldn’t be giving me any symptoms at all, and the GERD plus minor erosion they found when they sent a camera down my throat, apparently there is nothing wrong with me.

There is nothing inside me that would give an exact reason as to why I get diarrhoea most days, and vomiting on the very worst of them. They can’t explain why my stomach makes so much noise, that I no longer feel comfortable eating in public. They can’t explain why it feels as if I have marbles rolling around inside me, causing some very real discomfort. They can’t explain why I projectile-vomited in the kitchen sink at a party of four held just for me because I keep blowing them out when there is a massive group of people are around, while they were trying to dish up dinner. They can’t explain why I had the worst pain underneath my sternum the other night, to the point where I almost took myself off to the hospital. They can’t explain why I have spent the entirety of today burping up what tastes and smells just like egg, even though I’ve not eaten egg in months. None of these very real symptoms can be explained by anything. They keep telling me there is nothing wrong with me. Surely that’s not right?

None of my doctors know how to communicate with each other. I have never seen the same doctor two times in a row. Nobody knows about ALL of my symptoms. They haven’t listened to the recordings I made on my phone when my stomach-noise was at it’s worst and loudest. They haven’t heard the cries when I’m in crippling pain because it feels as if my intestines are being twisted around by giant hands. They aren’t understanding how I’m down to barely one meal a day, and even then I can’t guarantee whether it will stay down… Or up. They don’t listen to how EXHAUSTED I feel for most of the day. I wake up more tired than when I went to bed, and I have zero energy left by the time I’ve made it TO work, let alone HOME from work.

Speaking of work. I’ve quit my job. I’ve handed in my 30-day notice. I seem to have skipped an ‘action plan’ for my sickness, and gone straight to a written warning disciplinary, and my boss is making this really hard for me. I’m not sure whether or not he’s trying to, but I’m already well aware of how much I’m letting them down. I’m trying so hard to make it to work every day. I really am trying. But with my anxiety apparently getting worse, it would seem like I’m not doing a very good job of keeping it together. This was the last straw for him, this final week I’ve been signed off by my Doctor. He’s having me moved to another store. That’s what he messaged me back. This doesn’t work for him or me. Blah blah blah.

Fuck it. I quit. I’ll be a writer and hope and pray everything works out. If it doesn’t, I’ll go looking for another job. I guess?

See, I’ve been putting off becoming a full-time writer for about three years. I’m so scared that I won’t pull myself together. I’ll be self-employed. I’ll need to kick my own ass into actually doing the work I need to do. And if we go by the last three months I had signed off work, where I did the bare minimum (although I was having the HARDEST time and was VERY sick), it’s not going to go well at all.

But I’m a different person now, aren’t I? Although my insides might not agree with me, aren’t I meant to be a ‘stronger’ person these days? Surely, with all the time I’ll have, and the knowledge that my ‘day job’ won’t pay my rent if I don’t finish that writing project, I’ll be able to make it work? Well, I don’t have a choice now. Because I’ve done it. My response to him was “I’ll hand my letter of notice in tomorrow. I can’t do this anymore”

I’ve written it out. I just need to email it to him. But I’m putting it off. I don’t know why. Not that it matters because he’s already told at least one other work colleague. It’s not like I can just back out now, is it? I can’t believe he did that. I can’t believe he told my work colleague I was quitting before I’d even handed my notice to him. What a cunt.

There has got to be an end to this never-ending story of shit soon, surely? Oh, did I throw into the mix that I still seem to be bleeding for a week or so after every time I have sex with Someone New? Yes, that’s right – I didn’t even mention my pre-cancerous cells on the cervix situation I have going on at the same time as all that shit. Well, after my LLETZ procedure, I am bleeding far too fucking regularly for my liking. And that awful traumatic experience was months ago now. I cannot seem to get a fucking break. At all!

Plus, all this vomiting… And the bleeding? I’ve only just gone back on the pill… Tomorrow I think I’ll do a test. Just in case. You know, what with all the bad luck I seem to have had recently, I wouldn’t past it past fate to throw a fucking badly-timed pregnancy into the mix. Oh please God, don’t let it be that. I’ve never really prayed before but I will be praying like anything that it’s not that. For once, the boyfriend situation is the only part of my life going quite nicely. I’d be so pissed if that got all screwed up just like the rest of my life.

Bad times, peeps. Bad times.

Rant over. 

7 thoughts on “Bad Times, Peeps. Bad Times.

  1. Don’t resign. You will have made yourself jobless and you won’t get jobseekers or whatever. Let them sack you instead 😦

    I’m pretty sure the docs aren’t saying ‘it’s all in your head’ – but unfortunately this is one of the most common misconceptions that happens because of doctors not having time to explain things properly to patients, and patients being really anxious that they may die, and doctors then making assumptions cos they have to make snap judgments. The brain is extremely powerful – people wet themselves with fear or throw up with anxiety. Your brain is a mass of hormones and neurotransmitters, so to deny its role in illness is, in itself, madness. The problem is that the ancient division of illness into ‘physical’ and ‘mental’ is ridiculous – as ridiculous as a division into ‘physical’ and ‘liver’ or something. Add to this the fact that there is a ‘second brain’ in the guts, which responds to all of those neurotransmitters, and I’m sure you can see how your emotional state can lead to a worsening of any bowel problems. Then the anxiety that doctors have ‘missed something’ adds into it, adds into the adrenalin and cortisol release etc, and you have a whole body disorder (one which will cause fatigue and exhaustion) – who knows where it came from, but it is now a vicious cycle. The side-effect of this is that the person, quite understandably, thinks that if only the doctor knew the whole picture, they would be able to make a ‘physical’ diagnosis – so they tell the docs everything, every little thing to try not to miss out what might be the key piece of info, and the doc then thinks ‘FFS, I don’t need to know what you ate at your cousin’s wedding 6 months ago, crazy person’. The main point being that the usual misdiagnosis of bowel disorders is it being diagnosed as IBS when it is cancer or Crohn’s. If those have been excluded, then you can breathe a sigh of relief.

    The other thing patients get confused by is that they interpret pain as being proportional to seriousness. this isn’t the case – you only have to think how painful it is to step on a lego or get a paper cut as opposed to having malignant melanoma or high cholesterol, which are both generally painless but can both be lethal.

    So how to deal with the current situation? If the eggy burps are new, I’d say you have the tummy bug thing still going on, although there is an unexplained syndrome that also has these symptoms. I’d google alternative methods of treating bowel disorders if I were you – only because modern medicine had no clue how to deal with my IBS or the consequent anxiety (it is amazing how anxious a person can get if they are not able to leave the house and be sure they’ll make it back without shitting themselves). If you can find someone to do visceral manipulation then get it done. If you are ever in the Midlands I’ll do it for you! There are various odd diets that can help too. Doctors often don’t like them because of the potential for poor nutrition – but of you are throwing up and pooing all the time, how much nutrition are you getting anyway? To that end, I’d get started on a programme of decent multivitamin/minerals and look at rebooting your gut flora/fauna with yoghurt or actimel or something along those lines that you like – lots of info on the net about it, and my knowledge is probs out of date by now.

    Finally, and feel free to ignore this bit especially, craniosacrally we believe our body communicates with us by symbolically. If you were seeing me for craniosacral therapy, I’d be getting you to look at in what way your life is shit and making you sick.

    Apologies for the pseudo-lecture, but this sort of thing used to be part of my job and I loved it! And hopefully just having a rant has made you feel a bit better xxxx

    • Hello Karen!

      I was waiting for your words of wisdom! 🙂

      Firstly, I’ve already committed to resigning. As much as I want to fight my corner and keep my job, I don’t really. I’ve been toying with the idea of jacking it in for some time now, and I’m going to take now as a sign. I wouldn’t claim Jobseekers or anything like that anyway. Firstly, I have waaaaay too much pride and secondly, I don’t need to. If I actually do the writing work I have, I’ll be making more than enough money to support myself. I just need to actually keep myself on track, which is easier said than done…

      Said wanker boss actually messaged a few moments ago asking where my letter of resignation was. Impatient prick. Don’t worry, I’m leaving. You’ll get it. I kinda want to say that to him, but I won’t. I have too much dignity. Plus, I don’t have the energy left to fight.

      Hahaha after reading what you wrote about my godamn poo problems, I admit I’m probably overreacting everrrrrrrr-so-slightly. But I’m really not. There is something definitely wrong. As much as some of it might all be in my head, it can’t all be down to that. I don’t think the doctor’s have missed something… I just don’t think they’re getting the full picture. I lost over half my body weight – the first reason I went to the doctor about a year ago, and since then, things have got progressively worse. The doctor I saw on Tuesday knew nothing about how much weight I’d lost. She didn’t even know I had been sent for more blood tests. It feels like I’m lost in a loop somewhere. I know they are doing their best and I’m grateful for that, but I don’t seem to be getting anywhere?

      Diet-wise, I’ve been told by one doctor that I need a brand new diet for my diverticula / diverticulitis. Another doctor has said I need a different diet for IBS. The third doctor I saw said that I didn’t need a specific diet for either of those conditions, and the fourth doctor said I would need to see a dietician which hasn’t happened yet. I tried eating yogurts, but I think I might be lactose intolerant. I used to drink a LARGE (sometimes two) cup of barista frothy, milky coffee EVERY DAY. Now, I can’t. It makes me nauseous, sometimes it even makes me sick. I get a little pregnant belly, and the next day, I will have chronic toilet trouble. The same can be said for cereal – I could eat cereal with lashings of milk for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Now, I can’t. Milk and other dairy products seem to be really affect me. Literally out of nowhere, all of my favorite foods are out of the window. In fact, it would seem a lot of foods are out of the window.

      I started keeping a food diary. Garlic started to affect me out of nowhere, and on the days I would eat fresh garlic, I would wake up in the middle of the night barfing my brains out. Some days, bread would affect me. Some days, it wouldn’t. There didn’t seem to be a constant among the foods I was eating and the symptoms they were bringing on, with the exception of dairy produce. It’s gotten to a point where I eat just one meal a day and hope for the best. I no longer drink any soda, or the carbonated water I then replaced it with. I can’t remember the last time I had a cup of coffee. I can’t make plans just in case…. Oh and no Doctor has listened to the dairy thing either. It’s been completely disregarded.

      I know it’s a vicious cycle, and I thought I was doing much better. I had a period of about three and a half weeks where I didn’t phone in sick at work, and I seemed to be handling things really well and then BOOM! Out of nowhere, shit goes crazy, and my life is totally fucked up again. First I lost the boyfriend. Now I’ve lost my job. Well, basically anyway. Are anti-depressants really the answer? Really?

      Sorry about the essay back there. I like to get carried away. And yes, I felt massively better after my rant haha! It’s been a while since I’ve gotten things off my chest.

      All the love to you as always my dear 🙂

      xoxo

      • Oh yuck – sounds like your docs are a bit crappy an aren’t even reading your notes, which isn’t a good sign. If you were in Scotland I would have no hesitation in recommending you go to a psychiatrist – not because of it being ‘in your head’, but because the psychiatrists there are on the ball and test exhaustively – cannot count the times they found obscure diseases that were nothing to do with psychiatry. At least that was the case in the 90s. But I’m not sure how things are now or in England.

        Personally I am not a fan of antidepressants at all, for reasons I don’t want to go into because it’s something I really need to blog about – it is long and complicated.

        Your instinct with the gluten and dairy is spot on – craniosacrally we recommend cutting both with bowel disorders. Not usually forever – I’ve completely successfully reintroduced both now. Lots ofdairy intolerant people are ok with yoghurt and other fermented dairy, but best to cut it all initially. I think the best advice would be to seek a quack nutritionist. Seriously. This is the sort of area where they are way ahead of ‘evidence based’ medicine (in inverted commas, cos have you seen the evidence base for antidepressants?). I’ll try and find the bowel recommendations, but I’ve been out of this sort of work since 2001, so I can’t remember it fully and might have lost the info 😦

        It’s encouraging that you have better times – shows the bowels can still work if things align. And well done on ditching the job – it sounds horrendous – definitely one way to have less shit in all senses of the word! xx

  2. Have they tested you for Celiac disease? It is relatively uncommon and just becoming well known to doctors. The symptoms for Celiac disease include mental and physical symptoms, especially bowel and stomach issues. There is a blood test and also a test on your intestines to see if gluten is doing damage to your body. You could also try going gluten free to see if it helps, apparently quite few people suffer from non Celiac gluten sensitivity.

    • Hey! Thanks for your comment!
      I’ve already been tested for Celiac, and that came back negative.
      Hadn’t yet thought of a gluten-free diet as yet… May look further into that.
      Thanks for the advice 🙂
      xoxo

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