I'm sorry this is so long, but I'm hoping someone might have some advice or words of wisdom for me.
I'm a 24 year old, who has been having bathroom issues for as long as I can remember. Constipated since I was very young, and on and off growing up. Then came high school, I began to notice my bowel habits getting worse, only feeling like I needed to go if I was sick or took milk of magnesia. My stomach also began its bloating phase, which is still to this day one of my most debilitating symptoms. In college I got to the point where I was dependent on laxatives on and off. My stomach became distended to extreme amounts after eating a normal sized portion of food. Was told it was "IBS" and I had to live with it.
I took some time off from school and worked, still dealing with the constipation and bloating. Cigarettes, coffee, and Zelnorm were the only reason I was able to get up and go to work. But then they took Zelnorm away.(It was beginning to wear off anyway) I went back to college 2 years ago and it has been hell. I have 1 semester left until I graduate and I am determined to make it through. I am panicked now because I know that if something doesn't drastically change, I will not be able to get a job, and I am terrified at the thought of working so hard, to get to the point that I have to move back in with my parents and work part-time when I can bear to get dressed and out of the house.
I am currently dealing with:
* never having the urge to go to the bathroom, it's not like it's difficult to get out, instead, there is just nothing there to push out!
* Within minutes of eating I have pressure, fullness, discomfort, and extreme distension of my abdomen, I look pregnant
* distension is always present, lessens only after several rounds of stimulant laxatives (IF they even work)
* do not have much pain other than the crampy feeling of being so backed up, painful gas, and a tender, swollen feeling belly
* distension is visible and uncomfortable and it is hard to walk and sit comfortably
* laxatives fail to work most of the time and even when I repeat them for several days I still cannot get enough relief and then just feel sick all over
* Laxatives make me feel like I've been kicked in the sides and leave me exhausted beyond belief
* Miralax and other osmotic laxatives do not work at all, only worsening the distension/pressure in my belly, and I can feel/hear them sloshing around in me foever, but nothing comes out, and Miralax causes terrible gas and bloating even after "regular use"
I have also tried every medication there is, Zelnorm was the only one that worked for a little while, but of course they took it away. My morning routine quit working a long time ago and I basically can't go on my own without the use of a laxative.
This is all very debilitating, and has taken away all quality of life for me. I feel I have no hope left, and every day is a struggle to get out of bed and put one foot in front of the other. I watch other people every day and wonder what it would be like to just go about
my day like they do. I can walk across campus to class, and if you asked me what the weather was like I would have no idea. That is how consumed I am in this. I have to leave public places sometimes and go to the bathroom to cry. Lately I cry about
it daily, my mom thinks counseling would help but I've tried it and I've tried the antidepressants...what I try to explain to her is that I wouldn't feel so upset and sad if I FELT BETTER in general. The rare days of the year that a laxative actually works I feel like superwoman, until the next day when I'm back to the usual.
I recently saw a new GI and she did a colonoscopy on me last week, removed a polyp but other than that it came out normal. She said judging from my history and current issues, she has pretty much used up all of her "tricks" and she doesn't think there is anything she can do to help me. She referred me to UNC's GI/Motility center...where I finally have my first appointment there tomorrow.
As it approaches I am growing more and more anxious. I have done so much research on treatments and surgeries, and I really feel that a colectomy would help me tremendously. Of course, I don't want to walk right in to my appointment asking for surgery.
Has anyone been to a teaching hospital/center like UNC? What can I expect from my first appointment there? And how did other people first begin talking about
surgery with their doctors? If I could get this figured out, and if I were a candidate for surgery I would seriously consider it - but I don't want to discredit myself by jumping right into asking about
it. I just can't handle another appointment where the doctor tells me I just have to live with it and to try taking miralax.
At the same time I am also worried that they will want to do all kinds of studies and things on me instead of talking about
surgery, or they will say I am too young (I'm 24), or that it is too drastic and there must be something else that will work - but I am at the point where I have participated in research/medication studies, and tried everything I could, and I don't have time for doctors to keep saying "Ok, try this for a couple of weeks and see if this works...." Every day that passes is another day I will never get back.
Any advice would be hugely appreciated. I am very nervous for tomorrow and I am doing everything I can to keep myself together right now.
Post Edited (Alibee) : 11/15/2010 11:50:46 AM (GMT-7)