Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Google Analytics

As I sat here, suffering, I was looking at Google Analytics for my blog. I looked at how many states I've had visits from, and I was kind of blown away by what I saw.

Bet you can't guess where I live. Anyway, I've reached 42 states! You have no idea how good this makes me feel and not because people are reading MY blog, specifically; it's because that many people are reading this blog and possibly finding something that helps them gain control of their IBS. If nothing here works for them, I hope that at least they leave knowing that there's one more person that knows what they're dealing with so they don't feel completely alone.

But, really, Alaska, Delaware, Oklahoma, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Vermont and New Hampshire? There has to be someone with IBS in your states! Help them find this blog! I'm especially upset with Delaware since I vacation in Rehoboth Beach every summer. Ugh. Whatevs.

So, with that out of the way, I am not feeling well today. I'm down to my go-to foods that never cause flare-ups these past two days, but now one of my two options isn't even working for me. So now I just have cereal to fall back on. Yay! (sarcasm)

Yesterday I was randomly nauseous, and today my lovely diarrhea came back along with more nausea and just general crappy feeling-ness. I'm not happy especially because I couldn't remember the last time I even had diarrhea. I was thinking that it was just because I started my period, which never bodes well for my IBS symptoms, but who knows. I like to analyze what may have caused my symptoms, but I'm just not sure what's causing me problems today. I just want it to be over with! It definitely doesn't help that I forgot to take my imodium last night. Bummer.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Back rubs & bloating

I don't know about you guys, but GasX works for me...most of the time. Then there are times like tonight when I'm a complete idiot and decide that I'm craving a cheese quesadilla...a WHOLE cheese quesadilla...and eat one. Then GasX does absolutely nothing.

The gas gets so bad that it causes stomach cramps that take my breath away when it shifts. I can't sit up straight, I can hardly breathe, and I sure as heck can't talk. It just lodges itself in massive pockets along my GI tract and moves along when it feels like it. It feels like a baseball sitting in my stomach, trying to get through.

That's where my boyfriend's amazing back rubs come in. He's gotten really good at tailoring the massages to disperse the pockets of built up gas so I can feel somewhat normal again. I've found that it helps the most when he sticks to the area below my ribs on the outside of my back and kind of wrapping around to the sides of my stomach. It definitely is a little uncomfortable when it starts shifting the gas all around, but it's 10 times more effective than GasX.

With that said, the bloating has obviously come back, but it's only bad when I do stupid things like I did tonight. It still isn't as big of a problem as before the manipulation, but it's not as good as it was right after I had that done. Stools are still awesome though lol

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Update on the soft tissue manipulation

So last Wednesday was the day that I had the manipulation done. I was in pretty intense pain until Saturday.

Thanks to my awesome anxiety issues, I even looked up hernia symptoms and bowel perforation symptoms...luckily neither fit my situation. But if that tells you anything, it should tell you how bad it hurt. I sat in my living room or laid in my bed Thursday through Saturday with my heating pad moaning and complaining. It really, really sucked. I'm incredibly happy I didn't have class or work, or I would have had to miss it.

That was the bad part; now onto the good.

I have had COMPLETELY NORMAL STOOLS since the manipulation. Like 100% normal normal. I can't remember the last time that happened. I get excited every now and then because it somewhat resembles a normal stool, but everything was normal about it. No urgency, completely formed, no nausea/shaking/sweating, and I actually felt like I was finished when I was finished. No leaving the bathroom uneasy only to return minutes later.

That isn't the only part though. I also have been able to eat without becoming bloated all. I have been having a lot of problems with really painful bloating recently, so that has been wonderful these past few days.

I just got back from my chiropractor who must have apologized 10 times for making hurt that bad for that long, but he said that I'd probably still need to do it at least one more time. We'll see about that. He likened it to lifting weights. If you haven't lifted weights in 20 years and you go and lift a lot the first day, you're going to be in a lot of pain. You're also going to have to try again if you want to get the results you want. Luckily I won't have to have the manipulation done as many times as the weight lifter would have to go back to the gym, but I might have to do it again. We'll see.

For now, I'm just really excited about my freaking poop being normal.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

"Soft tissue manipulation"

If you EVER hear these words, RUN FOR THE HILLS!

Last night I was at the chiropractor, and we were talking after he had adjusted by neck and back. I was describing to him the gas pains and tightness I feel in my stomach, and he had me get back on the table. He examined my intestines all while going, "Oh my...OH my goodness!" Apparently what he felt was bad.

He told me that there's something called a soft tissue manipulation that kind of "jump starts" or "reboots" the system that is manipulated. He explained that it was like my intestines had short circuited like a computer and that it just needed to be jump started to start working correctly again. He's hoping that this is the thing that finally works.

What he did is push down really, really far into my abdominal area with the fingers of one hand and, with his other hand, he did a like twisting or snapping motion with the other. The pushing down part was incredibly painful...he was going down probably a full 4 inches into my intestines and it not only hurt but also created a lot of upward pressure. Awesome for emetophobes, let me tell ya ;) The snapping motion felt like he had one of my nerves and was blocking the conductance for a second. After the snap, it felt like the shock you get after shuffling your feet and touching something in the winter- just in my intestinal area...

Right after he did it, it felt like the feeling you get when you're incredibly hungry and it feels like your stomach is going to collapse in on itself. When I got home and was showering about 20 minutes later, the feeling turned to more of an abdominal muscle pain that you get after doing 2000 situps or so. After dinner, so about an hour after, and up until now the pain is the weirdest thing I've ever felt down there. It's behind my ab muscles, similar to hunger pains, but also similar to gas pains, but all of that times 100 plus the feeling of having been sucker-punched about 30 times. Also I'd describe it as what I would think someone removing your guts and stuffing them back in haphazardly would feel like.

It hurts mostly when I move, but occasionally hurts when I'm just sitting still. I took the half tablet of Imodium last night like I always do, but I also took a GasX because he said one lady that he did it on had said that the problem she had with it is that it gave her really bad gas pains.

As far as the benefits, I'm having a little trouble seeing past the pain right now. It doesn't rate very high on the pain scale- I'd say like a 6 or a 7- but it's just constant and makes for a very uncomfortable me. As with all muscle pain, I'm sure it'll be gone by tomorrow and I'll hopefully see some benefits. As for now, I've noticed that my gas distribution is a lot better. My gas tends to get caught in one little pocket of my intestines and cause me a ton of pain. It's in a spot that I can't burp or toot it out, but immediately after the manipulation, I noticed that I was able to move my gas through me and get it out finally.

He told me that he'd like to do this soft tissue manipulation at least once more, but I'm not sure I really want that. We'll see if this pain turns out to be worth it enough to suffer through it again.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Time for an update

Hey all,

Thought I would update again. I've started back with my chiropractor, but he's only adjusted my tail bone once since I started going back. Needless to say, there haven't been too many changes, but I'll keep you updated if anything significant happens.

I've been trying something new for the last month or so to try to force my bowels into submission. I'm taking 1/2 of an Imodium (loperamide) tablet every evening after I eat dinner. My worst times are the mornings- I usually wake up with urgency and end up having diarrhea a time or three before work. I figured if I took the Imodium before bed, I might not have the diarrhea in the morning.

It kind of worked. I don't wake up with urgency usually, and even if I do, it's not very severe. I do still have diarrhea from time to time, but it's usually only once, and I feel like I'm done instead of finishing and then having to go back a few minutes later. One huge benefit is that I'm having formed stools more often. Before I started this regimen, I hadn't had a formed stool in probably 2 or 3 months.

Ok, now let's talk about the downsides. After I take it, I feel like I have rocks in my stomach. It feels very "full" and painful. This sometimes even makes it hard to breathe. I also get extremely, EXTREMELY bloated which also makes it hard to breathe and move. In the beginning, I'd had a hard time getting to sleep because it kind of made me woozy, and I felt a little jittery. That hardly ever happens now, and it seemed to ease up when I started taking it on a full stomach.

I usually have an "off" day at least once a week so I don't get constipated. I usually choose Thursday night as my off day because I usually will then have diarrhea on Saturday morning. Since it's the weekend, I'm totally ok with that.

I still have to watch what I eat because it's a small dose which means I can steal have diarrhea if I'm not careful with my diet. I also get tons of gas regardless of the meal I eat, so that's still a huge issue for me. I'm definitely understanding the pain I'd heard about from other people that I hadn't previously experienced. It's something else and often lands me in bed right after dinner for the rest of the night.

With all that said, I need to mention that this medication can cause you to become constipated which is not good either, so you really should talk to your Gastroenterologist before starting something like this. But if you have any questions about it, feel free to ask!

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Giving up?

I've now been to the chiropractor 3 times for the tailbone adjustment thing. He has started adjusting my tailbone during my visits, but that doesn't mean he's stopped the other adjustments he has done in the past.

The second time he adjusted my tailbone, he adjusted my neck, hips, and back like usual, but this time it felt wrong when I stood up. I usually get lightheaded every time I stand up (orthostatic hypotension), but it was a little bit more than that. Since I had just been laying face down on the table when he pushed the button to stand it up quickly, I didn't say anything. I just figured that had thrown my balance off. But that night when I went home, I just felt incredibly woozy- even when I went and laid down to go to bed.

Stupidly, I looked up "dizzy with tailbone adjustment" on Google, and clicked on the first link. There is story after story about brain stem stroke. BRAIN. STEM. STROKE?! And the people often go into a coma or die 3 days after their adjustment.

Oh my god. I have three days. I texted Alexey, "I think I had a stroke." He came running up the stairs, "BABY ARE YOU OK? DO YOU NEED TO GO TO THE HOSPITAL?"

So I told him, "Oh baby, I don't really think I had a stroke, but I might have."

"Well, why the hell did you text that to me? I almost had a heart attack."

He made me promise to call the chiropractor the next morning and talk to him about it. So I did. And I made a video on the way there about what I wanted to happen if I died. Seriously.

And no, you can't see it.

Basically, what he said is that it wasn't what he did, it was what he didn't do. So he didn't another adjustment on my that he doesn't usually do, and the dizziness went away. I still waited until the third day before I believed I wasn't going to die. I also realized that I had just spent $75 in less than a week on these adjustments, and that if I kept it up, I was going to be shrinking my bank account way more quickly than I had planned.

So there's the long story about why I'm kind of giving up on the tailbone adjustments.

Long story short (Jells, start reading here): I'm scared, and I'm poor. 

And it doesn't seem to have been helping my symptoms very much. I'm still having diarrhea and urgency. I'm thinking of going back once a month, so I'll keep you guys updated. 

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Being bad on purpose

I was bad last night. We went over to a friend's house to watch a movie, and we didn't get home until 11:30 or so. I hadn't eaten dinner, so I was just going to grab a bowl of dry cereal.

Usually, if it's after 8pm, I don't eat because I've found that if I do, I wake up with a very angry stomach. Last night, however, I was just really hungry and a bowl of cereal didn't sound good. What did sound good was a bowl of oatmeal and a Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Poptart. For me, this meal equals bad news. Oatmeal always make me feel like I need to use the restroom right away, and the Poptarts just destroy my stomach, so this meal choice was a horrible one, especially at almost midnight. The oatmeal made it even worse because it has nuts and seeds in body won't even touch those, but it does make it angry. But I wanted to do something that I was sure would cause me problems and see what happened.

I was fully expecting to wake up the next morning and have to book it to the bathroom.

I had to wake up early this morning because the DirecTV guy was supposed to be here from 8-noon, so I got up before 8 and started tidying up the house. It was a complete wreck, so I was busy until about 9. That's when I stopped all of a sudden and just started laughing. I didn't even have to go. First of all, I'm never given the choice of whether I have to go or not- when I've gotta go, I have to go. But this morning, I didn't even feel the need to at all. That never happens. Ever.

I wake up every morning, and go to the bathroom right away. Literally, every single morning without fail. Even though this has been a fabulous weekend so far thanks to my symptoms holding off, I'm still reluctant to say this is because of the coccyx adjustment. I won't determine that until I've gone more than a month without symptoms, but things are looking up.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

A coccyx update

Not much different today, but I thought I'd update. I woke up this morning with a really sore back end. It feels exactly like if I had fallen on my ass and hit my tailbone; it just feels bruised. Now that it's further into the day, I can hardly feel it though.

As far as symptoms go, I'm not too sure what's different. Over the past 3 days, my main problem has been gas. It was causing me a ton of pain and just an overall really uncomfortable feeling. Other than that, my other issues were holding off, so I don't know if I'm better because of the adjustment or that I'm still just feeling well as I have been for the past few days.

I haven't been as bloated today, didn't have any urgency, and didn't even need to use the restroom this morning...that's definitely new for me because I go each and EVERY morning. If it's like this for the rest of the week, well....let's just say I will probably cry from being so happy.

Friday, September 23, 2011

I feel like a dweeb

You guys have been commenting on my blog since I started it, but idiot me forgot to set up email notifications when someone comments!

I've changed that, so comment away! I'll actually be replying to them now. Sorry about that! :)

About my coccyx...

Intriguing title, huh? Well, I thought so anyway.

Today I was blessed with a major migraine. You know the kind- lights hurt, sound hurts, lovely sloshy feeling in your head, want to take an ice pick and a hammer to your head migraine. This month I'm on my 3rd (!) pharmacy rotation at a small independent pharmacy, and the people there are just wonderful. The pharmacist I was working with today noticed how much pain I was in and told me I could go home.

Instead of going home, I decided to move my chiropractor appointment up to today instead of waiting until Wednesday. I hadn't been in about a month and figured that was part of the reason for my migraine today.

Now, I know what you're thinking- "This girl goes to the chiropractor? What a looney bin!" and I'm right there with you. Up until a few months ago, I thought chiropractors were sleazy old men trying to make a buck off of unsuspecting looney bins. Until I tried it out. I had been having migraines for a few months and nothing else was working. I also couldn't find a doctor who cared enough to really try to get to the bottom of it.

One day, I read something on Twitter or someone on Twitter told me I really needed to see a chiropractor, so I decided I'd try it. What could it hurt? Well, I was pretty sure it could hurt a lot. I even thought I'd end up either addicted to it like I'd heard or paralyzed. Seriously.

Long story short, I went, I got adjusted, I didn't get paralyzed, and my migraines AND headaches went away. I also lost that annoying as hell stiffness that was everpresent in my upper back and shoulders.

It was until today that I mentioned to my chiropractor what a shitty month I've been having- I've been having diarrhea multiple times a day again, major MAJOR, painful bloating, stomach cramps, nausea, urgency, pain, etc etc etc. He said, "Have we talked about this before?!" I told him that I mentioned it when I first came in, but that my main concern then was my migraines. He told me about some other cases of IBS that he had seen and how all of the people (all girls) had seen major relief once he adjusted their coccyx.

He asked if I'd ever fallen down and hit my tailbone, and I told him I had played basketball since 1st grade and had a bully in grade school always pulling my chair out from underneath, uh, yeah I'd fallen on my tailbone a time or five hundred. He felt for my tailbone and found that it had been pushed up at almost a 90ยบ angle to my spine. He explained to me all of the nerve plexus that attach to the coccyx and how if it isn't positioned correctly, the parasympathetic and sympathetic nervous systems get all out of whack and can cause some major problems with your GI system.

While all of this sounds absolutely lovely, and I really hope it helps, I'm not exactly won over with his argument. I've had these problems since I was 7 years old, and I don't expect anything to be this easy. With that said, I'm seriously hoping he's right and that I'll have some major relief after a few more adjustments. For now, I'm just happy he's fixed my migraine situation.

I'll keep you all updated on the coccyx situation.