Hey all...never posted here before, I've posted on the IBS board mainly. I have some questions on developments in my symptoms and my doctors treatment of the symptoms. A bit of background first -
I always seemed to be prone to having diarrhea, ever since I can remember. It wasn't anything too unbearable until college started in 2002. I started having horrible cramping and intense bouts of diarrhea, really bad urgency, etc. It came to a head when I woke up with horrific cramping one night and the worst diarrhea of my life - I blacked out from the pain in the dorm bathroom and then later crawled back to my room and called my parents. Was referred to a GI and diagnosed with IBS after being blood-tested for Celiac marker and having an upper GI test done. Those are the only tests I can remember having - I was not asked to give a stool sample nor did I have a colonoscopy (did I spell that right?). They told me to try a gluten free diet anyway and try cutting out dairy and I saw a little bit of relief but not much. Mainly just learned to manage my symptoms, relax during those intense cramping times (using slow breathing and envisioning my colon/bowels relaxing...read that technique in a book somewhere). I was taking a ton of Immodium. Eventually I was put on an anti-depressant as well because the doctor thought perhaps anxiety/stress was contributing to the "attacks" (my term, not the doctors). Again a small bit of relief, not much. I started noticing a bit of a pattern in that some days I would wake up with a horribly achy body and inevitably would have the terrible D that day. Days I woke up with aches and pains I'd just stay home and in bed to be close to the bathroom. I went back to the doc for the achy body complaint in 2005, he tested for lyme then wrote it off as anxiety when that came up negative. I told him the correlation I noticed between the pain and the bowels, and he chalked it up to anxiety AGAIN. After a while I had a period where the symptoms seemed to resolve for almost a year and I was so happy and thought maybe it was just anxiety after all! But now they're back. Actually they have been back for over a year now. When the symptoms came back it was more in the form of constipation for days and then horrific diarrhea, to the point where I would be sitting on the toilet sweating, shaking, trying not to vomit from the cramping. This cycle just kept going. Then I had a horrible stretch where I felt constant colon cramping and pain and a feeling I needed to empty my bowels and all that would come out would be a tiny bit covered in mucus - trying to actually go was agony, felt like my colon was cramping, I was sweating, feeling like I could puke. I'd have to leave work and go home to sit on the toilet. THEN I noticed tenderness and a "lump" in my left lower abdomen. Reluctantly went back the the doctor (was feeling crazy at this point), told him the symptoms, he said my IBS was just acting up and thought the "lump" (which he admitted to feeling) was on my ovary. Sent for an ultrasound, all came back normal. Sent for a CT scan to check my lymph nodes, came back normal. When I finally spoke up and said I was almost certain the tenderness and lump was related to my bowels I was referred back to a GI. He felt the lump. He said he "had no idea what it was" and called in another doctor in the practice. He also "wasn't sure." They said my only option would be exploratory surgery if it didn't get better/go away.
What? No thanks. GI said I did not need a colonoscopy because I was "too young." (I'm 24). I left there feeling frustrated, that was over this past summer. Nothing has gotten better and I went to the doctor yet AGAIN last month for fatigue, feeling achy, irregular bowels, etc. I mentioned more than once the correlation I noticed between bowels and body aches but was written off for the most part. Basically got the whole "And have you been more anxious than usual lately?" or "Did this get better or worse when you started the anti-depressant?" Argh! He did some blood tests, only thing that came back was that I am anemic and he started me on Slow-Fe 2x per day.
OK now for another issue. I have, for a while now, had blood ON my stool and on the TP after a bowel movement. Almost every time. I have always just thought that I must have fissures or something due to frequent diarrhea and forceful BM's during constipation. I haven't considered the fact that blood could be IN the BM, just thought it was on the outside of it due to passing by a fissure and blood coating it. Sometimes after I've wiped I'll have some blood drops/marks in my underwear later, but that would happen with an irritated fissure right? Well within the past 2 months something else has happened. I am a runner, and several times after I have run I've noticed that my butt has bled. The first couple times it wasn't a lot and I thought "OK I irritated the fissure with running and it bled, whatever." Well yesterday I ran in a race and during the race I could FEEL the blood coming out, trickling, sometimes felt like gushing. I was disconcerted but kept running, thinking maybe it is just sweat?? I finished and (I was wearing spandex tights) put my hand against the bum of my tights and my hand came away with blood on it. Then I got concerned. I didn't go to the bathroom right away, didn't want to draw attention to myself, so wasn't sure of the actual damage. I started to feel lightheaded and then started to get the horrible colon cramping and told my ride I needed to get home right away. She (sister) let me put her sweats on over my tights for the ride home. By the time we got home the blood had soaked through to the sweats as well. TMI might be coming up - I got home and started to clean myself up, and it seemed as if I had also lost some fecal matter with the blood while I was running? I was so embarrassed. It wasn't a lot but...well, you know. Within a few minutes I had some bad diarrhea. I've felt crampy since then.
Now I am going to the doctor tomorrow, I know I need to. But I guess I want to know if anyone has experienced bleeding from the rectum at any time other than while having a BM? Just random bleeding? I'm a little concerned, especially b/c I've been to the doctor so much and two different GI's and still nothing...Anyone else have a similar bleeding experience??
Any advice appreciated...