In August of this year, I spent a record number of hours in the bathroom. Constant stomach cramps kept me from sleeping more than a few hours. I couldn’t eat. I couldn’t even drink. I felt like something was wrong, seriously wrong.
My dear husband, Joe, took me to urgent care. The doctor talked to me and said I had a gastrointestinal infection (when diarrhea is yellow, that’s a sign of gastro infections) and maybe a stomach virus. He gave me antibiotics and two bags of IV fluids for my dehydration. I went home under orders to eat a B.R.A.T. diet. B.R.A.T. stands for Banana, Rice, Applesauce, and Toast (or crackers). He said if I got worse to go to the ER.
In the days following, the pain increases exponentially. I was forcing fluids but still couldn’t stomach food. I urinated constantly. The human body pushes fluids out when you’re sick to flush your system but I was still feeling worse.
Days later, I’m forcing myself to eat crackers and toast. Applesauce was not sitting well. The amount of time spent in the bathroom doubled. My husband took me to see the doctor. Since my usual doctor was out, I saw her associate. This guy tells me nothing is “wrong” just that I have a bladder infection and gives me different antibiotics. He tells me to continue the B.R.A.T. diet.
4 am, the following Monday, I’m in so much pain. I’m crying. I have oral thrush now (yeast infection in my mouth) from too many antibiotics, which are obviously not working. I crawl to the bathroom and have the WW3 of diarrhea. Sweat is pouring down my face and my stomach knots while what must have been a tiny little man stabbing my insides twists my intestines. I nearly pass out. My husband takes me to the ER.
The ER doctor does scans, tests, both urine, feces and blood. He looks at all of my records and my symptoms. Finally, he says he thinks I have IBS, Inflammatory Bowel Syndrome. He hands me a paper with info on IBS and the diets needed to reduce/eliminate symptoms. I need to follow up with a Gastroenterologist.
The diet is called a Low Fodmap diet. Foods break down into different kinds of sugars. People with IBS have a hard time processing these sugars in large quantities. Guess what foods were on the “avoid” list? Applesauce (both apples and corn syrup are the enemy of IBS), gluten (crackers and toast). Fifty percent of my prescribed diet was making me sicker. Cutting out the foods on the “avoid” list helped tremendously but I was still fatigued, had mild cramping and no desire to eat or drink. I went to see the Gastroenterologist.
The dreaded colonoscopy came next. Two liters of thick, bitter salty fluid and a day and a half in the bathroom with no food later came the big test. Fortunately, I was fine. I had a few polyps but nothing to worry about. Yay!
Now I’ve been on the diet for a few months and it has helped but I have noticed that stress tends to send me to the bathroom. So now I need to de-stress which leads me to meditation and yoga. I found a 100 Days of Meditation Challenge and decided this was the way I’d go.
I will meditate and do yoga at least once a day and document the effects I feel. Join me in my journey down the wellness rabbit hole!