After starting Apriso at the end of May, both my doctor and I felt that I achieved remission. July 4th weekend I ended up with a bad case of strep throat. Between being sick and things getting very crazy at work, I felt my symptoms creep back up. I was still having more good days than bad and my bad days over the last 2 months would have been considered a good day six months ago, so I didn’t bother calling the doctor. Last week things got extremely stressful at work and the last half of the week the diarrhea returned. To get through the day I took Imodium and figured it would get better when I got a chance to relax over the weekend. Saturday seemed to go as planned. Sunday was not as good, but I chalked it up to eating some things for dinner on Saturday that I probably shouldn’t have. I was visiting my parents (my Mom is recovering from complications from a major surgery) and had a long drive home, so again I took Imodium to be able to make it back.
I woke up at 1 am needing to use the bathroom. An hour and a half later (all in the bathroom) I was finally able to go back to bed. My stomach woke me up again at 4 am, but only for 30 minutes this time. This repeated at 6 am. By 6 am I was a little more awake and noticed bright red blood in the toilet bowel (about a tablespoon’s worth). From 6 am until about 9 am about every fifth bowel movement contained blood. At this point I called my doctor and left a message on her voicemail. Over the next 2 hours the frequency of the bleeding increased to every bowel movement and most of what was coming out was blood. I took 2 librax around 10:00 and by 11:30 the diarrhea stopped and it took the edge off of the cramping.
I wasn’t expecting a call right away since I my doctor does scopes on Mondays. At 3:30 her nurse called to get some more info – this nurse is relatively new and doesn’t know my full history like my doctor or the other nurses. I’m the type that puts off calling, so when I call my doctor knows that something is going on. It’s also the first time that I’ve had persistent bleeding like this. The nurse asked me what I wanted her to do – I told her I didn’t know and was thinking isn’t this what you’re paid for, but bit my tongue. She ended up talking to the doctor and gave me a call back around 5. Long story short, they said to wait another 24-48 hours and if I was still having symptoms they’d fit me in on Thursday.
Normally my doctor is excellent, but I’m not loving the way that my call was handled or the advice that I was given. I realize that I’m not losing a lot of blood, but it’s still a bit scary to see the blood in the toilet. I’d love to have been able to talk to the doctor to understand what might be causing the bleeding and why I’m getting cramping (I usually have pain, not cramping…this feels like menstrual cramps, but it’s not that time of the month). I’d also feel better if something was being done to try to get the flare under control other than wait and see.