The End of My Life
When I turned 18 that was supposed to be the jumping off point for the rest of my life. I was smart and hard working I had applied to a lot of colleges and gotten as far as the interview round at Brown. I didn’t get in as I had expected but I did get a full ride scholarship and into a special fellowship of only 14 students for Chemistry my chosen major at a private university. I had also just started a new relationship that little did I know was with the man I would later marry.
The hardships of IBS
In February everything came crashing down. I got sick I had a very low fever, vomiting, and severe abdominal pain. My parents thought I had appendicitis and took me to the hospital but I didn’t. This started a long year of tests, misdiagnoses, and severe symptoms. Even finishing high school was a struggle. I couldn’t eat and struggled with constipation, pain, a low fever, vomiting, and nausea. I lost probably 30 lbs in just a couple of months. I tried to go to school for two weeks but I was in such severe pain I couldn’t sit up in a chair at a desk. I resorted to laying on the floor with my head propped up on my backpack during the classes I forced myself to sit through before I was clearly in too much pain and too sick and was inevitably sent home early every day.
To make a long story short over the last five years I’ve had to quit the university where I had a full ride after just one semester to move back home due to poor health, started at a local school but inevitably had to do an emergency medical drop out of that school for several semesters after being close to failing every class due to poor health, and dropped out of the school and have not been back.
I’ve lost two jobs due to my condition and was on the verge of losing my current job if my manager wasn’t so adamant with upper management that I stay. I was diagnosed with IBS after about a year but then my symptoms continued to worsen. By year 3 I was frequently experiencing mostly constipation but some diarrhea usually only when I was at my worst. It would get to the point where I was literally incontinent in my sleep, fevers usually low but some high, acid reflux, heart burn, nausea, vomiting, severe abdominal pain, bloating, gas, nausea, vomiting, low blood pressure, lightheadedness, dizzy spells, and finally fainting spells which left me with concussions on two separate occasions and caused me to be hospitalized once.
Specialized treatment and relapse
It was then I sough treatment at the IBS Treatment Center. If you guys haven’t heard of it you should look into it. They have I believe three centers in North America but they do remote treatment through phone calls and video chats which can be very helpful. My doctor ordered a stool test for me and that’s when they discovered I had a severe case of C Diff. After months of treatment with multiple medications to get rid of the infection and fix the havoc it had wreaked during which time I had to be on a very strict and limited diet as I was having immune system reactions to so many foods.
After so many months I was able to stop taking all the medication and reintroduce foods to my diet. I was healthy for maybe 3 months with essentially no symptoms and now here I am sick all over again. I’ve been retested and I don’t have C Diff again but my inflammatory markers are high on every test. There’s just no reason why. I’ve been diagnosed with IBS for 4 years experiencing symptoms for 5. all of my life plans and goals have been ruined (other than marrying my amazing husband who has been with me through this entire journey). I’m exhibiting some IBD symptoms especially the inflammation but my doctor has no idea what the cause is and hasn’t looked at diagnosing me with anything else. I’m so frustrated with what my life has become because of my debilitating IBS.
Do you think there is enough awareness of IBS?