Resigning myself

Hi again world.

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After a string of solid blog posting I’ve obviously gone all quiet (it’s nothing personal) but I’m hopefully back on the wagon for a bit now!

The reason for this is many-fold. First, I’ve had a series of “blah” days and just felt generally that I had nothing worth talking about. I decided right from the start of this blog creation that I never wanted to make it a chore and although I always want to remain committed and update regularly, I will only ever write when I feel like I have something to ponder.

Largely too, it’s just because I’ve been so tired, so very, very tired.

Yawn.

But actually, I slept well last night so I take back that last yawn! My stomach over the last few days has been at an all time cramp fest (cramp not crap, although the two are interchangeable). Occasionally I’ve had pains in the day but by and large, boy does it hit hardest at night! It actually wakes me up, like clockwork, at the same time (around 1am – I know this because I have automated emails that come through on my work phone at this time every night and I hear it vibrate). Usually it’s discomfort, a pretty exasperating form of discomfort but now and then it crosses the line well and truly into pain.

I’ve resigned myself to this being IBS.

Since my digestive issues really peaked around August I’ve been determined to resist attributing symptoms to IBS as I IGNORANTLY thought the condition was a “wishy washy” label for someone with occasional digestive complaints resulting, mostly, from poor diet or perhaps over indulgence. I see know how pigheaded that misconception was. I just didn’t think a syndrome I didn’t view as all that serious could cause symptoms so intense as mine. In a twisted way I wanted to be diagnosed with a more significant (and treatable) condition, the likes of Endometriosis or Coeliac if not so that I could present others as ignorant as myself with an excuse for wanting to avoid certain foods or make allowances for missing social occasions. Of course, all the tests for these came back negative again and again and I realise now how fortunate that was (although I still feel better cutting back on gluten and dairy and haven’t been tested fully for intolerances to these so will continue to do so).

Looking tentatively at IBS forums I realised very quickly that this is a big deal condition. It’s not a syndrome that just occasionally causes an attack of the smellies. Here were people regaling anecdotes of pain and discomfort, unpredictable bowel movements leading to embarrassing accidents and general all round debilitating issues. I’ve experienced all of these myself in exactly the same ways that everyone else had. Immediately I recognised my problems for what they were – IBS (or maybe IBD – given the inflammatory results from my blood tests).

I was actually formally diagnosed with this a few years back whilst at uni. After making a few healthy changes to my diet, things cleared up and I put my problems just down to poor diet and unhealthy habits, which a lot of the time it probably was.

Fast forward several years and, despite my diet being consistently good (I’m not just saying that, it really is varied with fruit, veg and nothing too “processed”) I started having further on off digestive problems. That was a year or so after my Copper IUD was inserted. Things got worse and worse and, eventually, I was admitted to hospital by an out of hours doctor. He suspected appendicitis due to pain and high temperature. Tests and scans followed – as I’ve mentioned all were fine but I had a broad series of intravenous and oral medications dispensed to me; antibiotics, painkillers, glucose etc, etc. I believe that SURELY this had a big effect on my stomach. Not surprisingly then since my release from hospital in November my stomach has been ALL OVER THE PLACE. Not agony but certainly uncomfortable and yes, painful at times. I also believe that my bowel problems have always been connected to my menstrual cycle and in months when I’m late, it’s almost as though there’s a build up of digestive discomfort and things get pretty riled all up in there until about day 3 of menstruation. Since having my IUD removed just over a month ago, my cycle has been somewhat delayed so predictably things in IBS terms have really come to a head.

Well that was certainly more than I’d intended to share on the health side of things. Guess I had a lot to get off my chest!

Alas dear reader(s), in light of my contemplations I have a number of “exciting(?)” new blog posts coming up. Things I want to diarise for my own benefit but also to put out in the internet world in the hope of helping others;

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I stumbled across this probiotic online a few days ago when I was desperate and a hot water bottle had done all it could for my stomach! It’s super expensive but has had some good reviews for those with IBS so I thought I’d give it a try and track my progress in the hope that mine, along with other people’s reviews may help others form a decision before biting the bullet and starting such a long term, expensive supplement course themselves. Please be assured that I am in NO WAY being paid to write about this, my comments and thoughts will be entirely my own.

2) Period diary
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Goodbye prospective male readers!! No, hopefully not. I’m not talking anything graphic here. It’s just that, with my cycle having been so irregular the last year I’m hoping that now I’m at a pause in birth control I may be able to get a better understanding as to how my cycle empowers and/or hinders me and my personality. I’ve suspected for a while that I’m massively steered by it; maybe I’m estrogen dominant or my IBS impacts upon my hormones (or vice versa)?! WHATEVER! I just want to record how I’m feeling, more from a mood and energy perspective to perhaps use it to my advantage and assess optimum times to get the best out of myself.

3) General nutrition
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I’m hoping to educate myself more about food and nutrition. In an ideal world, I’d love to bake something experimental and new once a week. Sadly, it feels like I won’t have the time. But on the rare occasions I do, I’m kicking myself into gear to do a write-up documenting my hits (if there are any) and misses (more likely!)

4) A review
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My very first, of sorts. I have something booked in my diary tomorrow that I’m REALLY hoping I can write about. Watch this space.

5) New Year’s Resolutions
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I’ve been pretty reflective these past few days. Sleep deprivation does that to you ‘ya know! I intend to list some of the personal goals I’ve been contemplating. Perhaps I won’t list them as resolutions. Most of them are long term and I don’t want to put time-scaled pressure on myself. I just don’t need the stress right now but I’d like to acknowledge that they exist!

What are your upcoming plans for the New Year and beyond (be it blogging-wise or personal)?

Amy xx
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