This Present Darkness

This Present Darkness

If there’s a way to be in abdominal pain and not also spiral into anxiety, someone out there please tell me what it is. Please.

I was up at 4:30 this morning again with intestinal distress. It was a mixed bag for me, emotionally. On one hand, I understand that the reason I still feel terrible is that this is not over. On the other hand, why is this still not over?!

When I don’t feel good, which is all the time these days, I watch Bob’s Burgers a lot. I recently saw the episode where Louise has an over-night with her class at the aquarium and gets constipated. Then I saw the Superbowl episode where Gene clogs a toilet at Jimmy Pesto’s. It occurs to me someone who writes for Bob’s Burgers has IBS.

Still no fever, which is good in all ways but the diagnostic ones.

Last night there was a family thing where everyone had calzones from Sauce on the Side—one of my favorites. Not only did I forgo the calzone to stay in bed, but I didn’t even throw myself a pity party about it. That’s how miserable I am right now. Eating rich foods sounds worse than enduring another four years of high school.

The only things bringing me GI joy right now are the Creamy Coconut Outshine bars. They’re like the pudding pops of my youth, but with coconut and without the rapist spokesperson.

I sent a message to the nurse practitioner to explain my situation last night and let her know I’ve stopped taking the hydroxychloroquine—at least until this clears up.

There are a few things that could have set me off, so I’m not ready to give up on it without a medical recommendation. However, it’s certainly not helping this present darkness, and I don’t want to needlessly develop a bad association.

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IBS Relief: My 10 Must-Haves

IBS Relief: My 10 Must-Haves

Seeing how I ordered myself a grocery care package from Walmart and I was approved this week for Walmart’s affiliate program, I thought I’d share what IBS relief stuff is being delivered today.

If you’re not sure what happened this week, you probably missed yesterday’s post: And So It Was That I Pooped Today.

Brief disclaimer since this is the internet: I’m disabled, but not so disabled I don’t delete comments from people who try to shame me about accessible delivery services, packaging, and whatnot.

Now on with the show…

My IBS Relief Must-Haves

Peppermint Probiotic Tea

Organic peppermint delight probiotic tea

Peppermint tea is soothing for the stomach. I frequently get tired of drinking the same thing, so I like to have a little variety. That leads me to my next purchase.

Ginger and Turmeric Tea

Organic turmeric and ginger tea

I’m not a fan of tea, but I always take my medicine. Ginger and I go way back to my first round of chemo. It helps with nausea.

FYI: Ondansetron (generic for Zofran) works well as an anti-emetic, but, girlfriend, it stops all the pipes from chugging. Give me some ginger and I’ll deal, thank you very much.)

Olipop Ginger Ale

Olipop Ginger Ale

I haven’t tried this yet, so I’m not vouching for it. It contains chicory though, so this has to be tried with forethought. It’s not time yet, but it will be waiting when I’m ready.

Kozyshack Rice Pudding

Kozyshack Rice Pudding

Rice or tapioca pudding are a comfort to me. It’s time for rice since I just finished tapioca. There’s not more to it than that. 

Outshine Coconut Pops

Outshine creamy coconut frozen fruit bars

My taste buds prefer ice cream, but I’m trying to be kind to my intestines right now. The colder, the better even when it’s not the middle of July in the Northern Hemisphere.

Snyder’s Pretzels

Snyder's butter snaps flavored pretzels

Salt is just something I crave when I’m drinking a lot of water. Plus I really like the movie theater butter flavor on these. Popcorn hurts me, so I make do.

Bays English Muffins

Bay's English muffins

Lightly toasted with peanut butter for when I’m hungry, but not adventurously so. Dan and I both like them and just have them around anyway. This brand comes pre-sliced.

Bottled Water

Pure Life bottled water

Not much to say about this one.

Cinnamon Graham Cracker Scooby Snacks

Scooby-Doo graham cracker snacks

Usually I would treat myself with a package of Double Stuf Oreos, but graham crackers have less sugar. (Processed foods are a no-no, but YOLO. Also sugar is delicious but sadly a trigger for me, so I’m opting for less sugar. I’m a work in progress, okay?)

Coke Zero

Coke Zero

I don’t drink it, but Dan does. And since he’s my caregiver he gets what he wants. Got to take care of the person who takes care of me.

Do you have go-to purchases for IBS flares? I want to hear what they are. Sometimes I need ideas.

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And So It Was That I Pooped Today

And So It Was That I Pooped Today

I’ve spent the last three days wondering if emergency surgery would be required to clear a bowel obstruction.

Here’s the thing. If me talking about poop troubles you in any way for any reason, you need to find something else to read. I have IBS, zero qualms, and a bag of edibles making me feel pretty bold right now.

I promise you I can’t be bothered to care whether this topic makes you squirm. Plus there are people out there who need me to write about this as much as I need to tell the tale.

Last night I went to bed near tears, my abdomen hurt so much. I spent most of the late afternoon using the shiatsu massager someone gifted me a couple of years ago on my belly. The heat and massage relieved some of the discomfort, and I was desperate.

Plus, I’d read that self-massage can relieve constipation and since I’m too weak and fatigued, I knew it was the closest I was going to get. I had to try.

I also sipped hot tea. I ate Activia. I took laxatives. I drank coffee. I threw caution to the wind and ate IBS-D triggers. Then, when none of that helped, I did the only thing I could. I panicked and let the anxiety in.

I laid in bed, staring at the ceiling and contemplating the blogger from 14 years ago who almost died because of a severe bowel obstruction. I saw her face and her hospital gown in my mind’s eye, and I pondered the worst.

Anxiety used to trigger IBS-D, by the way, but not this time. That turd wasn’t going to budge for nothin’.

I spent enough time on the toilet hoping for a bowel to twitch that eventually my legs went purple from the blood pooling around my feet and ankles.

(I have a foot rest, but after so much time even that doesn’t help.)

When I woke up this morning to take my levothyroxine, the water I sipped made me notice just how much I wanted to barf. I closed my eyes and willed away the nausea, falling back asleep for another hour. But when I woke again, the urge to hurl was still there.

I felt that familiar discomfort in my lower left abdominal quadrant where something (it was the poop) was setting off radiating nerve pain. I dug my palm in a little, pressing and pushing down toward my leg. My bowels rumbled.

“This is it! It’s happening! Finally!” I thought.

And so it was that I pooped today.

But you know what was waiting in the wings behind that IBS-C poop? IBS-D poop. That’s what.

No wonder I felt so awful. I might as well have been walking around for days with a cork up my ass.

And the best part is now I get to wonder if this is just ordinary IBS stuff or if the Plaquenil is making shit worse.

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I Couldn’t Title This Sober

I Couldn’t Title This Sober

I’m so proud of myself for pooping today, I should buy myself this T-shirt.

The exacerbated nerve pain increased rapidly after the edible wore off yesterday, so I decided not to be a hero. I took a 10mg (what now?) square of the Incredibles strawberry crunch bar around 4 o’clock. I microblogged some notes and will review the Incredibles edible like the Ache Away chews. But later. I don’t feel like doing it right now.

Anyway, that’s why I took 10mg again instead of reverting to my usual 5 mg. Easier to compare notes with like dosing.

That’s my story, and I’m sticking to it.

I see today that the barometric pressure has topped up again and the weather should be stable for a couple of days. Fingers crossed that does the trick, and this present migraine is on its way out. Or I’ll have to shake my fist at a cloud or something.

Edibles are dehydrating, in case you’re not familiar. (If you don’t know how dehydration can complicate IBS-C, congratulations for being regular. I hate you.) So I have to drink extra water while sleeping 6 additional hours a day and doing my best bipedal sloth impression when I’m awake my eyes are open.

What I’m trying to say is that dragging a cup of water to my face while under the influence isn’t easy, but somehow I managed to negotiate an annoyingly troublesome side effect of medical marijuana before things got out of hand. I feel accomplished. Don’t take pooping for granted, people. Listen to your Auntie Em.

Also iced coffee is medicinal but looks like I’m just treating myself. So next time your evil co-worker Carol comes in with that Frappe, you have my permission to assume she’s cranky for reasons and giggle your way to 5 o’clock. I’m full of great life advice today. Bookmark this post. I’ll wait.

I have to take another nap now. Bye.

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