Friday, November 13, 2015

It is all gone to sh*t!

My life that is.  Literally it has gone to sh*t.  Now, we are all adults here, right?  Yeah?  OK, so let’s just jump right into it.  Everybody poops.  I know this to be true because when I was a preschool teacher we had a board book in the class named just that; Everybody Poops.  As a side note, every time I would read that title I would always start singing “everybody poops…sometimes” in my head in the tune of R.E.M's  “everybody hurts…sometimes”.  It is not a glamorous topic of conversation and it makes people uncomfortable, but, let’s face it…everyone has a daily sit down in their bathroom.  If more people did talk about it I may not be in the situation I find myself in today.  Which is a sh*tty one.  Oh, there are going to be a lot of puns in this one, sorry, but I tend to go for the cheap laughs.

So I have had this dull pain in my lower, right abdomen for a few weeks.  It wasn’t a big deal and it wasn’t so painful I needed to take anything for it.  I had a doctor’s appointment coming up and was going to bring it up then.  Well, about 4 weeks ago it started to get worse.  I was at work and it was starting to be a bit more of an annoyance and more of a ‘hmm…that doesn’t feel so good’.  I was kneeling down doing something and when I stood up I felt like I was going to pass out.  So I took a walk downstairs to the ER and get myself checked in.  When the doctor came in I tell him my story and I also give him my differential diagnosis; appendix (which is low on my list because I did a jumping jack in the bathroom before heading down….To my Hasbro peeps, HEY!! (said in a Wendy Williams voice)  You can take the girl out of the ED, but you can’t take the ED out of the girl!!), ovarian mass or an ectopic pregnancy (the same jackass that botched my c-section also tied my tubes…so I am certain he messed that up too).  The doctor agreed and said those were the top 3 of his differential also.  Off to the CT Scan I go.  When I get back he comes in with my results….drum roll please, I have an Ovarian Cyst, which he tells me will continue to feel crappy, but it will most likely just deflate on its own. Then he adds, “or there is a chance it could rupture --if it does you  will have intense, excruciating pain and then it will feel better."  OK, so I will either eventually feel better or feel like I am being gutted like a pig and in my case that will most likely happen at the most inopportune time, like when I am in the middle of Market Basket—though I really need not worry about that…I am sure no one there would notice me writhing on the floor in pain and, if they did, they would probably just through some sawdust on me and go about their day.  OK, I can live with that.  Then he says, there was an incidental finding on your scan.  You have an inflamed bowel.  Oh, OK.  He tells me it could be nothing, or it could be something big.  He doesn’t go into detail about what that “something big” could mean he just tells me the GI specialist wants me to have a rapid follow up in a day or two.  Great, because as a working mom of 3 kids and a puppy, a Girl Scout Troop Leader for one group and an assistant leader for another, and on the board of the PTA I have a ton of free time to pencil in a “rapid follow up”.    I call and they want to see me the next day!  Yikes…what could this “something big” be? 

So I run over to the University Campus on my lunch break.  I am sitting in the exam room when a med student who looks about 10 comes in and asks me what brings me in today.  "Umm, you do".  She looks confused so I explain I don't know why I am there-they requested to see me for an incidental finding on the CT scan.  So she asks me if I have any GI symptoms.  Nope.  Then the fellow comes in and asks me what kind of GI issues I have been having.  Umm, none.  Things are status quo in that department.  Finally the attending physician comes in, again with the questions.  He asks me more in-depth questions about my daily "bathroom" habits...I fill him in on this very glamorous side of my life.  He asks what my poop looks like.  I tell him I guess normal and go on to explain I don't really look at for any length of time.  I go, wipe and flush.  Much like when I blow my nose.  I blow then throw the tissue away, wash my hands and call it a day.  I don't open the tissue to look at it.  As an aside, I don't understand why people blow then open the tissue to look at what comes out.  I find that disgusting, just like those that blow their nose while people are eating.  Strange lot of people.  I try  not to judge people, but if there is any group worthy of a protest it is booger peekers.    Well back to my story, he thinks I may have Chrons Disease.  What the what?  I told him, I don't think so...but since he was the doctor I would humor him and fulfill his request for a stool sample.  If you are eating while reading this, now would be a great time to take a break, finish eating and resume  after a reasonable time to allow for digestion.  OK.  Now comes the fun stuff!  

So I am at home when the "urge" arises.  I head into the bathroom with the needed supplies; a toilet hat, sterile cup, tongue depressor and my ass.  I take care of business and start the process of getting the sample in the cup.  For the love of all that is holy this sh*t is NOT normal!!  Maybe I have should have been looking at it all along!  I am trying to get this toxic sludge into the cup without vomiting and I am struck with fear.  I was terrified of passing this sample in...all I could think was after they received the sample Erin Brockovich would be knocking down my door declaring my house a superfund hazardous waste site.  The government would come and cover my house in one of those tent things like in the movie ET and people in space suits would be wandering around examining everything.  

I go ahead with the plan and drop the specimen off at the lab.  I apologized profusely and told them I would nominate them in the next round of Champion of Excellence awards.  If those lab techs were paid 3 million dollars a year, they would still be grossly underpaid for the tasks they are charged with.  They are truly doing God's work.  

So while I am waiting to hear the results, about 10 days they tell me, I do some investigating.  I head straight to the internet and while looking up Chrons I am checking all the boxes.  Could this be true?  I decide to ask people to talk to me about one of the most taboo topics; their bowel habits.  So I know my study wasn't up to international research standards, my sample was not large, about 5 people and there wasn't a standard questionnaire, but I gathered enough data to realize I am an outlyer.  Turns out most people don't go to the "bathroom" if you know what I mean 4+ times a day.  Most people don't have intense stomach cramps when they do go.  Most people don't get a sudden urge to go and go NOW.  Most people don't have to stop mid-sentence to run to the bathroom.  Most people don't relate to Sh*t brick from American Pie.  Most people don't have to drive pretty much standing up for fear of sitting down and having a different kind of car accident.  Most people's poop doesn't look like raw brownie batter on a good day, Chinese rice on a bad day.  Oh, and I may or may not have something other than the weather in common with Al Roker.  Huh, imagine that.  I guess my status quo I bragged to the GI fellow isn't something to be proud of.

I finally hear back about 2 weeks later that my poop did not show signs of Chrons.  I was stunned, not because it wasn't Chrons, but, I was honestly expecting them to tell me what I gave them wasn't human.  So they want me to come back in.  I set up another appointment because "things" are getting worse and I am in near constant pain.  So now they are thinking I have IBS-D which for the non-medically inclined people is basically a sh*tting disorder.  I don't like the idea of them "thinking" it is something.  I say bring Hugh Laurie out of retirement, make my case a story line on House and he will have this "sh*t" solved in 60 minutes!!  Side note-when they told me this you know what I immediately did?  Went to McDonalds for fries and a Coke.  I'll show them!  I ended up in the bathroom for the better part of the afternoon, but it tasted soooo good!

My GI doc tried me on a med and sadly that made things worse.  Yay me!!  So now I get to try this awesome new diet called FODMAP.  It is pretty much everything free--gluten free, lactose free, soy free and some other free things that I can't pronounce.  If I do find something I can eat it also has to be low fat.  Oh, and I am a vegetarian and most of the veggies I eat are now out. Beans too.  Fear not though, if I am symptom free I can have 2 brussel sprouts or 5 centimeters of a stalk of celery.  I went to the grocery store last night looking for some things I can have.  I left with a dairy, soy, gluten free ice-cream-ish product and a low fat, dairy, soy, gluten free coffee creamer-like product for caffeine free coffee.  At that point why bother?  And a GMO, gluten, soy, dairy and something else free butter substitute.  I am afraid of trying that one, very afraid!  After spending 30 minutes of only finding those 3 things I was so overwhelmed I just left.  Chuck and I are going out to dinner tomorrow for our anniversary so I will officially start on Sunday.  Chuck did surprise me with some gluten free pasta the other night and today he is going grocery shopping and took time to look at the list of stuff I can eat and will pick some up for me today.  He said it doesn't seem that bad, but then when I suggested OK, if you don't think it is that bad you should do it with me.  The word "no" could not come out of his mouth fast enough.  

So the take away from my whole "crappy" adventure, forget the national conversations on racism, sexism and feminism.  Let's start talking sh*t!  My new mantra is "Let's break the Taboo--everyone goes Poo!".  You never know, one crappy conversation may just make a difference in someone's life and save the planet.  Now I am not a tree hugger but imagine how many trees would be saved from the decline in toilet paper being used, the amount of water saved from less and less toilets being flushed.  My national dialogue starter may just save the planet!!  You are all so very welcome!

Oh, and I apologize to anyone that needs to be around me for the next 6 weeks when I take on this whole new diet.  I am going to be one hangry lady!!!



1 comment:

  1. Yes! Let's break the taboo - everybody poos! Fun read though sorry you're symptomatic. It does "stink" but keep doing what you're doing and see how things change for better or worse. I would consider a scope eventually. That's the only way they can truly "see" what's going on in there. Not for you to comment back here, but curious if you had bloodwork done and what certain inflammation markers said?? And the stool sample is always a joy to do but good they had you do one.