Cramps in the Night

I mentioned in a recent article that I have been experiencing terrible cramping lately. This is a first for me as far as IBS symptoms go. The cramps are tolerable during the daytime, tolerable, but very uncomfortable. Nighttime is a much different story. This has been going on a couple of months now. It’s not every night, but several times a week, I wake up in pain. I feel like my stomach muscles have had electro-shock applied in all the wrong places. It’s painful and has disrupted my sleep something awful. I ended up at the doctor, but I would like to share my thought process as I worked up to actually making the call to the doctor. I hope that my stubborn attitude will help to make an important point.

"No big deal"

Yes, stubborn. I was raised that way. I’m a tough guy, I’m a man ;-). Even though I knew that I was starting to experience more bloating than usual and that I was actually cramping during the day, I just told myself it was no big deal and that I just needed to tweak my diet and get to the gym more. Can you believe that I blamed the whole thing on sweet peppers, you know the orange and yellow ones. I love them in salads even though I know they are not completely ideal. Better than bacon, right? This is my rational. Moving on, I tried drinking more water, walking more and being extra careful about what I was eating. This seemed to help during the daytime a bit, but the night issue was getting worse. Look, before I go anything further, do yourself a favor and don’t WAIT STUFF OUT. This is a good rule of thumb for most everything but particularly when we are in pain. Does it make us feel good or tough to suffer? Are we concerned about money for the doctors and meds? Are we simply too lazy to take steps? Any or all of things may apply to us stubborn types. My point is that I pushed this incredible discomfort at night to the point I could barely stand up.

Back to the doctor

So, back to the doctor. I feel like I lived there this month. We had to change the medication they had initially been prescribed for the cramps. The doctor prescribed some muscle relaxers and they went over my whole diet and yanked a couple of things they thought ‘might’ be the problem. Interestingly enough, my doctor was a bit more concerned with my stress and anxiety with the holidays and also made some adjustment to my psyche meds in an effort to ‘stabilize me’. Mind, body and spirit, my doctor said. Well, I couldn’t agree with this more. It’s nice to be supported. As with so many of the things we deal with, IBS is an ongoing fight that needs constant thinking, rethinking and adjusting. Adaptation goes a long way with this thing. I hope sharing some of my story has reached those of you that have dealt with this awful phenomena. Because cramp can be much more than...uh...cramps.

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