Monday, 19 January 2015

So I dont have IBS after all - Part 1

All this time I was under the impression I had IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome); well that's what the doctors said I had due to my symptoms - bloating, stomach pain and constipation. I knew there was more to it, you just know your body. For 2 years I have had pain on my left side on and off, living like this was getting me down, and I felt stressed and very emotional at times, but I just got on with life braving through the discomfort.

I visited the doctors on numerous occasions, sent for ultra scans, and blood test upon blood tests - nothing detected, given painkillers which would make me more constipated, so threw them away and laxatives which I used for a couple of days but they didn't seem to make me feel any better, so refused to take anymore. Now being health conscious I begrudge taking prescribed medication anyway, and prefer herbal remedies.  Ive generally developed a healthier eating regime, juicing more and living a semi chemical free lifestyle.

For the past 6 months I have tried a couple of holistic treatments to help with my “IBS” from kinesiology with organic herbal remedies, Chinese medicine & acupuncture – to which both practitioners told me the same thing - that my immune system was low and that I had a weak spleen. I also started a Qi Wellness treatment which works with unblocking energy and healing you though balancing and revitalizing body and mind. They picked up that I had a blockage on my left side so I have been having this treatment since October 2014 to date and taking their Qi energy classes which involves - chanting, gentle movement, breathing exercises and meditation - designed to stimulate the circulation of energy throughtout the body, release deep rooted emotional patterns and achieve greater balance in your life.

I even changed my diet to veganism as I read it was great for healing yourself of certain aliments, since doing that I had been feeling better that I had been in ages. Although I felt better I still wasn't 100%, It look the day after my wedding anniversary (September 2014) that I called the doctors surgery very concerned with a few things and was seriously not going to be fobbed off with tablets/laxatives or more Bull chat about IBS. This locum which I'd seen before took me seriously this time round and said he would book me in for Colonoscopy, this was later cancelled and changed to an Endoscopy as they thought it would be the best procedure.

So on the day of my consultation appointment, the Gastroenterologist Consultant & specialist nurse who would be performing the procedure went through my symptoms and decided that a colonoscopy would be best as he didn’t want to miss anything. I received a date for the procedure and was taken though what would happen on the day. I was given some preparation bits and a leaflet explaining what I needed to do. 

Two days before the procedure I had to have a low fibre diet and the day before the procedure no food was allowed - just picolax (which is a laxative solution drink) which I had to take twice at certain times, I could drink tea and clear liquids so that wasn’t to bad. That day was the worse experience I have ever encountered, I couldn’t keep the solution down it made me throw up, I was having hot flushes, sweating and felt excruciating pain on my left side that would come in waves. I was climbing the walls, thought I was dying, any who I got through it but felt so exhausted and had to have an early night.

My appointment was at 7.30 in the morning, think I got seen an hour later where I had to get dressed into some very sexy shorts with a opening in the 
My blood pressure was taken and I hopped onto the bed kissed and waved to hubby as I was wheeled away to theatre. One of the nurses put a cannula into my vein and flushed it with saline before sedating me.

My consultant came in, we spoke but don’t ask me what we spoke about, I didn’t even know he had started the procedure, I remember watching a TV screen and something being injected that looked rather inflamed and then samples were taken, I felt a twinge and the nurse told me to breathe through it, before I knew it the procedure was over.

I went back to the recovery bay where I was greeted by hubby who had a big smile on his face, they checked me over gave me a cup of tea and some toast. When I was ready I went back to the consultants office. They told me not to worry but looked very concerned; they had found a lesion blocking my colon and was unable to see the colon in its entirety due to this and would arrange for me to have a CT Scan, I had to wait about a week to hear back about the biopsy. Marlon and I said we would be positive and whatever it was we would get through it, so prepared ourselves for the worse. I was in pain a few days after my colonoscopy so took a few days off work. Even though the discovery of the lesion was far from what I wanted to hear, I was grateful that the right procedure was performed, that I wasn't over reacting to my symptoms.

I got a call a week later with a date about my results, and the date for my CT scan came through the post, things were moving along very fast. On the day of the results I was a little nervous but put my brave face on, and made our way down to out-patients where we waited.  I had my height & weight taken and was seen by the Colorectal Specialist Nurse dealing with my case - God my heart was pounding. The nurse then told us that the biopsy results came back as being inconclusive – I sat there thinking well what does that mean? She then began to explain that even though they don’t know what it was, they were confident it was Cancerous and would treat it as such. 
Marlon and I were very calm as the nurse cautiously delivered the news and was surprised at how calm we were - we had been preparing ourselves for the worst case scenario anyway, she then made us aware that I would require surgery to have part of my colon removed and will also be put on a low dose of Chemo after the surgery as a pre-cautionary measure. 

It all became a bit much for me and I couldn’t hold in the tears any longer, all I could think about is am I going to lose my hair - us woman and our hair honestly. She asked if I had any questions, but I just couldn’t think at that stage, so she left the room for a bit so I could gain my composure and mentioned that the Laparoscopic Colorectal Surgeon would be in shortly to discuss everything in more detail. She came back and I threw out a few question like - recovery time and of course if I’d lose my hair. Considering my age and fitness, she believed I would recovery pretty quickly and that I would only be in hospital for upto 5 days and I wouldn't lose my hair but it may become thinner.

My surgeon came in and he explained in more detail about the procedure and recovery and to find out a little bit more about me - eating habits, fitness etc, he was very nice and re-assuring about the whole thing. He mentioned that key hole surgery would be performed which would mean my recovery would be much quicker than open surgery.

So whats next for me? Read part 2 here


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