I'm 27, female, living in the North-eastern portion of the US. I first started getting IBS-type symptoms when I was 21, but I've had tummy problems since I was a baby. Both my Mom and brother, whom I live with (by choice, thankyouverymuch), also have IBS-type symptoms, but mine are by far the worst of the group.
Ok... so I have IBS - or at least, that was the doctors' best guess. I first started suffering from intense bouts of nausea, dizziness, weakness, and messed up bowel movements (sometimes diarhea, sometimes constipation) August of 2002. That first stomach ache lasted for ten months solid, causing me to drop about 40lbs, and essentially lose all faith in the medical world. I had CAT scans, MRIs, xrays, ultrasounds, drank my weight in barium milkshakes, had some kind of gallbladder-contracting-test that involved radioactive fluid being injected into my veins, an empty scan, and an upper GI. The ONLY test that came back as remotely helpful was the empty scan, which concluded that I take too long to digest. Great...I knew that already!! But none of the doctors (and I saw TONS) could figure out what the cause was, or how to make it go away. I even went vegan and gluten-free for almost two solid years, and it STILL didn't go away completely. I tried various medications, but nothing helped.
They also checked me for Chrone's and Celiac's but both came back negative.
Pretty much at the end of the 10 months they were saying they wanted to start cutting out my extra organs, starting with my gallbladder. I asked if my gallbladder was the cause and they said "no, you don't seem to have gallstones or anything, but it MIGHT be..." I told them that until they KNEW what the cause was, they weren't cutting ANYTHING on me, or out of me. That was pretty much the last time I sought medical help for my tummy woes.
As of a year ago, I had stopped getting the debilitating, double-you-over-and-make-you-wish-you-were-dead stomach aches, but I still had bouts of constipation and diarhea. But for the MOST part, I was living a relatively normal life. I was happy, I felt GOOD for the first time in years, and I was able to go out and DO things.
Then my parents divorced and the house we were living in had to be sold and my life was turned head over heels. But I got through all that ok. I had a mild attack here and there, but for the most part, I was ok.
Until I went to the hospital with a mystery wish-you-would-die stomach ache. It wasn't IBS, it was something different, and a month later (yay for advanced American medical know-how...) I was finally diagnosed with a severe bladder infection that was starting to travel to my kidneys. Since then it's been just as bad as that first, ten-month-long stomach ache...maybe even worse at times. That was in February.
I try to restrict my diet (I'm vegetarian and almost completely dairy-free), but it doesn't seem to matter all that much. I don't drink coffee or alcohol, and I don't smoke cigarettes. I still get the pain - whether I eat or not. It just comes and goes in these intense waves. My stomach will bloat out so much that my pants don't fit and I have to change my clothes (oodles of fun when I'm stuck at work, lemme tell you). When the pain is REALLY bad, my teeth start chattering from the intensity and my skin goes all cold and clammy. I really, genuinely feel like I'm going to die when it gets like this!!
I know stress is a major trigger point for me (and IBS in general) and I'm trying SO hard to reduce it in my life as much as I can...but there's only so much you can do. Especially with a new job, having just moved, and with a Mom who's an emotional wreck from a nasty, NASTY divorce. I just don't know what to do... I walk around all day with at LEAST low-grade nausea. I wake up every day feeling like I'm going to puke, and more often than not these days I go to bed that way too. I am coming to the end of my rope and I DO NOT KNOW WHAT TO DO ANYMORE!!! I can't restrict my diet any more than I have...I'm exhausted from living in constant pain, and I have a CONSTANT lump in the back of my throat from trying not to cry. This is RUINING my life!! My fiancee has been patient as a saint with me, but I can tell my constant "my tummy hurts" is getting on his nerves. It's killed my sex drive, to say the least, and I don't want to cuddle or be close either because I'm bloated and my tummy gets so painful that touching me ANYWHERE is too much for me sometimes.
I don't know if anyone has any helpful advice or not...mostly I'm just looking for a place where I can talk to people and not be told it's all in my head and that I'm just looking for attention. I'm so SICK of being told that I'm not REALLY in pain and that if I really wanted to, I could just "get over it". It so does not work that way...
Somebody....anybody....please just tell me that I'm not losing my mind and that this isn't all in my head and I'm not alone???
Post Edited By Moderator (7Lil) : 7/19/2008 2:11:08 AM (GMT-6)