What the heck happened to me this morning? Bathroom details inside...

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Regular Member

Date Joined May 2010
Total Posts : 26
   Posted 5/31/2010 11:34 AM (GMT -6)   
Basic info first. 25 year old female, diagnosed six years ago. 9 months ago 1.5 feet of my terminal illeum was removed. I've been feeling much better but not totally in remission. I'm trying out the SCD but haven't been very compliant due to finals and academic stressors. However, I take my Imuran religiously.

So here's the deal:

Yesterday I had no appetite. I drank a couple sugary beverages to get some calories in me but I just didn't want food, couldn't stomach the idea of it. I ate some baked rhubarb at six pm (previously tolerated well on several occasions) and then eggs, toast and bacon at 2am. Around six am when I went to bed, I was feeling kind of bloated like I might be getting gassy, but didn't take anything for it. Usually gas is started by lactose for me, so since I hadn't had any I didn't take meds and figured it was a fluke.

I woke up at 5:30 this morning to cramping and pain. First it would feel like my bladder was full, then I'd feel pain like I was gassy and bloated, then I would feel pain like I was constipated. This repeated in a very predictable cycle. I went to the bathroom but nothing would come out, not even urine. The pain kept getting worse. I got faint and dizzy. As I tried to lay down on the bathroom floor to recover my balance, I fell and landed badly due to dizziness. The abdominal pain got so bad I went to grab a phone, to call somebody to talk to so I would be distracted, and because I was starting to get scared. I had to crawl to my kitchen since I was so dizzy I couldn't stand up. My extremities were tingling knees and down and shoudlers and down. I noticed I was partially hyperventilating but couldn't really manage deeper breathing. I was also sweating buckets. I made it to the kitchen but was wrong about where my phone was. I couldn't get up, however. If I could have reached my phone I may have called an ambulance, because I couldn't see any end to the pain and have never felt anything like that before.

I haven't ever experienced this sort of pain where I felt pressure to defecate but was unable to do so. I still couldn't get up, but after about twenty minutes on the floor I felt like I might be able to go to the bathroom. Luckily (sort of) there was a rug I had by the door to go get washed, and I ended up having to go to the bathroom there. Not my proudest moment, but I honestly don't think I could have sat up, or if I could have gone to the bathroom sitting up anyhow. My stool however, was very soft. Not runny like diarrhea but barely formed. Not something that it would seem like would cause a ton of pain like some of the hard stools I have had in the past. After passing the first bout, I was able to crawl back to the bathroom and was able to continue there. Afterwards I was shaky and had goosebumps but was still sweating as well.

Aside from the embarrassment of having to go to the bathroom in my kitchen (thank goodness I live alone), there are several things about this incident that are upsetting to me. First, it kind of comes out of the blue. I'd been having normal stools for a while, no constipation and no reason to be "backed up". Second, the pattern of bladder pain, bloated pain, constipation pain was weird. It would come in waves every couple minutes, I'd have a second to rest and then it would start again. It makes me wonder about something like a stricture or fistula that my stool was having to pass around and therefore I was getting different sensations as it traveled my body? It particularly hurt near where my incision site is, and I'm not sure if thats due to scar tissue or just because that's where my Crohn's may be re-emerging? And lastly, I'm more used to chronic aching pain, and this acute pain was really like nothing I've experienced before. I'm also more used to back pain than abdominal pain.

So my questions are: Has anything like this happened to you? Was it unusual? What did it seem to indicate, health-wise? Should I call my doctor? Have you had problems in the past where you cannot defecate sitting up, for whatever reason? And how common is this acute sort of pain? How do you cope with it? I think I'd feel better about this if I heard that its just a kind of Crohn's incident that I've never experienced before, and would be less likely to catastrophize, which I'm trying very hard not to do.

Regular Member

Date Joined Oct 2009
Total Posts : 111
   Posted 5/31/2010 11:51 AM (GMT -6)   
From what others have said here, that sounds like a blockage of some sort. I would call your doc ASAP....any pain that severe and unusual for you certainly warrants a call, IMO.

I'm sure others more experienced will have some better feedback than me. :)
chronic active colitis/unspecified IBD - still awaiting a PillCam
Lialda 1.2 mg 2x/day
Prednisone 20 mg taper in progress
Remicade - 1 infusion so far
Darvocet or Lortab as needed for pain

Regular Member

Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 161
   Posted 5/31/2010 11:57 AM (GMT -6)   
This sounds a lot like how I feel when I have a blockage. Intense pain, sweating profusely, dizziness...all of it. Definitely call your doctor.

Regular Member

Date Joined Jul 2004
Total Posts : 422
   Posted 5/31/2010 4:44 PM (GMT -6)   
My heart goes out to you. I live alone, too, and there have been many times when I've had so much pain in the bathroom - dizzy, sweating, chills - that I got scared. My anxiety about no one being there often kicks in and makes the whole situation worse which causes me to panic a bit. I've had those times where I feel like I really have to go to the bathroom, then nothing is coming out for a while and I'm worried it's a blockage or partial blockage. I worry what'll happen if I pass out and there's no one there to know about it or call 911. I've often taken the phone into the bathroom with me.

Although I've had those "spells" before where I simply could not have walked away from the bathroom even if there was a fire, I've never had a known blockage. But I agree with the others - I would at the very least see your GI about it and make sure he knows what you experienced.
Diagnosed in October, 2004 at age 32 (misdiagnosed with IBS in 2002)
Current Rx's: Colazal (generic), Omeprazole (PRN), Librax, One-A-Day multivitamin, Probiotic, Omega-3 Fish Oil, Vitamin D, Cranberry pills; Slow Fe (PRN) 
Secondary conditions: swelling ankles, extreme fatigue, mouth ulcers, joint pain
Previous/occasional Rx's: Prednisone, Flagyl, Levaquin, Xifaxan, Carafate
4/7/09: Gall bladder removal laproscopic surgery (gall stones)

Regular Member

Date Joined May 2010
Total Posts : 205
   Posted 6/1/2010 2:09 AM (GMT -6)   
In December I had food poisoning from a pulled pork sandwich. After one vomit I felt better but 2 days later I had the EXACT symptoms you just described. Complete pain like I've never felt. I couldnt go to the bathroom and I had that bladder pain. It felt like by uterus was trying to come out. I couldnt move for a half hour. I did end up having bad D later that day. I dont know if it was a flare or related to the food poisoning. I thought since you had bacon it was worth mentioning.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Feb 2010
Total Posts : 925
   Posted 6/1/2010 8:26 AM (GMT -6)   
Very much like what I go through, although I haven't been quite that severe (not able to walk nor make it back to the bathroom), but feeling the same way as you.....you feel like you are going into shock, cold sweats, shivers ringing ears and the pain is excruciating, this is what finally got me to the doctor.  After about an hour or two of those repeated bouts I start to do better.  I don't know what to tell you since I don't know that I have ever dealt with a blockage
Diagnosed (FINALLY) UC Sept 09/Diagnosis amended 5-3-10 to Crohn's
Taking Pentasa 500mg/8x/day
Entocort 3X/day
Bentyl as needed
1000 mg Vitamin C
Prilosec 1X/day

Elite Member

Date Joined Jan 2005
Total Posts : 24909
   Posted 6/1/2010 9:42 AM (GMT -6)   
I really think like others you need to go to docs or call n see what he/she wants you to do
let us know how you mk out please
         ..Co Moderator for Crohns........Alzheimers.....Anxiety/Panic
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Elite Member

Date Joined Apr 2005
Total Posts : 14995
   Posted 6/1/2010 9:52 AM (GMT -6)   
Sounds like a combination of a blockage and an anxiety attack. When I have had blockages in the past its like this: Pain that comes in waves much like labor pains, cannot move air or stool out of either direction, nausea and then eventually I throw up. The pain is so bad you can't stay home, you HAVE to go to the ER. As for why I think you had an anxiety attack in there was because of the dizziness and the hyperventilating. I have experienced that in the past too, and its not surprising with how much pain you were in, and also being alone. I would suggest you put a call into your doctor and let him know about this. I think its time for a small bowel follow thru to check for a stricture. Good luck and keep us posted. Hugs!
Gail*Nanners* Co-Moderator for Crohns Disease 
Crohn's Disease for over 34 years. Currently on Asacol, Prilosec, Estrace, Prinivil, Diltiazem, Percoset prn for pain, Zofran, Phenergan, Probiotics, Calcium, Vit D, and Xanax prn. Resections in 2002 & 2005. Also diagnosed w/ Fibromyalgia, Osteoarthritis, & Anxiety. Currently my Crohns is in remission, but my joints are going crazy!
*Every tomorrow has two handles.  We can take hold of it by the handle of anxiety, or by the handle of faith"*

Veteran Member

Date Joined May 2003
Total Posts : 2480
   Posted 6/1/2010 9:56 AM (GMT -6)   
Could have been an obstruction. I've had numerous. They are quite painful and seriously inhibit mobility. Dizziness is common. It's even happened to me a couple of times while on the road. Quite awful.
I suggest you call your doc. You'll need to find out for sure what is going on inside. You could very well have a stricture or inflammation or both causing obstruction.
Also, let a close friend or family member (or both) know what is going on with you and have them phone you once or twice a day to make sure you're ok.
You'll be okay, just hang in there. Many of us know what you're going through. ;-)

Regular Member

Date Joined Sep 2008
Total Posts : 54
   Posted 6/1/2010 11:29 AM (GMT -6)   

Very sorry to hear what you went through. Just a couple of thoughts:- yes you could have a stricture, caused either by scar tissue or inflammation or a combination of both. Then the only thing that manages to get out is the liquid and you are still constipated/obstructed. I have had this, and I have also had a major problem after eating rhubarb, I think it is too fibrous to get through my stricture. And because the gap gets narrower when there is inflammation on top of the stricture, it means some foods can cause problems which have previously been fine.  I wish you all the best.


had crohns for 15 years took pentasa then nothing but diet but stricture appeared 3years ago and problems since. Had abscesses more than once
Taking VSL#3, glutamine, multivitamins, slippery elm food, aloe vera, vitamin d, grapefruit seed extract, no meds at present

Regular Member

Date Joined May 2010
Total Posts : 26
   Posted 6/1/2010 7:17 PM (GMT -6)   
Thanks for all the replies. I talked to my doctor on the phone who said to wait and see, and that if I have any more pain or a fever to go to the ER. So for the time being I'm going to wait it out and hope things go back to relatively normal. Thanks for all the advice everybody!
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