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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New Disease Coming Soon

New Disease Coming Soon

A forty-four year old woman can be absolutely certain that something is the right thing to do and still pout and whine about it. Ask me how I know.

My oncologist called and reminded me there was that matter of the nodule on my lung that showed up in the last CT scan. With all the lupus stuff preoccupying my tumored brain, I’d forgotten about it. He didn’t though.

He recommended a biopsy, reasoning that if it is cancer, it’d be so easy to treat right now. A little zap and voila! Early detection and all that jazz.

I know he is absolutely right. But I also know my body’s proclivity for racking up procedures that don’t help identify a damn thing.

He’s going to put in the referral.

Damn it.

When I got home from the rheumatologist’s appointment Wednesday, I was so buoyed too. “I’m taking all of August off from doctor shit,” I told Dan.

Fucking hell.

Dr. Oncologist also sent my lymph tissue off to Cleveland Clinic for a second opinion, which was pretty cool of him. They agree the lymphadenopathy is not cancer, and a couple of other tests also came back negative.

So my lupus theory holds for now, and I’m well aware that lupus can cause lung issues too. In light of that: no vape, only edibles. I get better pain relief from edibles anyway.

That reminds me. While we were talking, Dr. Oncologist asked me again if I’d ever been told I have an autoimmune disease. Heh. So I told him about the lupus not being confirmed or ruled out and about the hydroxychloroquine, and he seemed to think that was a good plan.

I’ve been told numerous times over the course of many years that “something autoimmune is going on” but no one can ever diagnose what exactly it is. I’m trying not to get all twitchy about it while I’m typing this.

“Maybe you’ll get a disease named after you,” Dan joked.

I’ve been thinking about that and have decided if I could name a new disease, I’d give it some attitude. Like “fuck this noise disease” or something.

Anyway, that sound means it’s time to ask for financial help again. Small donations of $10 and/or sharing the link are always helpful.

I Might Have Lupus! Hooray!

I Might Have Lupus! Hooray!

Yesterday’s appointment with the rheumatologist went so much better than I was expecting. 

“Did you see your lab results?” the NP asked as a way of determining just how much she needed to explain.

“I looked at them,” I said deflated. “From what I understand, they are inconclusive.”

“Yes and no.” She explained my results as essentially this: they can’t confirm a diagnosis of lupus, but they also can’t rule it out.

The NP says “It’s always lupus” btw.

HOWEVER, there is clearly some funky autoimmune stuff happening, and she and the doctor wondered how I felt about trying Plaquenil (hydroxychloroquine). 

Yes, THAT med.

My mood changed immediately. I turned to Dan and said, “Hey! Maybe I can cure some COVID while I’m at it.” And that started a whole bit about Ivermectin and injecting bleach. 

She remained very professional as we did our shtick, coping with humor. While acknowledging how absurd those treatments were, she confirmed what we already knew: 45* had no business distributing medical advice.

But this is not about convicted felons or pandemics.

This is about hope. 

I didn’t get the steroids I thought I wanted, but I have something to try, y’all! I’m ecstatic.

And instead of hedging about whether this drug will work (it’s a slow burn and might take months to help if it’s going to) and protecting myself with pessimism, I’m going to shoot that hope shit straight into my veins.

I need this. I need to live in the joy of this present moment instead of wondering about the future. (See? Meditation is working.)

Who cares if the med doesn’t work? What I need most now is the possibility that I can feel better. There are things to try and doctors to help me try them.

As my spoonie friend Dawn taught me years ago: carpe diem, bitches. In this moment, I feel better. I’m going to notice it.

When the doctor came in and asked how I felt about giving Plaquenil a try, I think I even used the word “excited.” Not only am I optimistic right now, but no one mentioned peeing in a cup, and I don’t go back to rheumatology until the end of October.

Yee-freaking-haw! 

Somebody get Howard Dean in here to help me celebrate.

So, as the rheumatologist explained it, lupus is a complicated diagnosis and the criteria were redetermined in the last five years or so. Swollen lymph nodes are no longer considered.

The way autoimmune things progress over time, though, I may one day qualify for it—or another diagnosis.

In the meantime, hydroxychloroquine could help me feel better and slow the progression of whatever this is.

Bottom line is I might have lupus! Hooray!

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