Over the last 5 years I have gone through every test known to mankind I do believe. I can’t even begin to remember all of them, oh how I wish I would have kept a journal of every test. I have had blood test of every kind, I’ve had 24 hour swallow study test, sleep apnea test, one of my personal favorite was the Barium Enema Test. Oh, yes how that one was just the greatest of all. Lets shove a balloon up your bum then inflate it with air so that you can hold the liquid in your colon while they take x-ray photos. It’s really rather fun to be standing on the table and feeling that liquid run out of your ass and down your leg so that you have to tell the tech that it feels like you are shitting yourself. They don’t even bat an eyelash, they just wipe it off and tell you to clinch it tighter if you can and they add some more air to the balloon so that no more comes out. Then they tilt you up and down and left and right on the table to swish that lovely fluid in your colon around. When it’s all done they deflate the balloon then tell you to go “excrete” all of the fluid out. What they don’t tell you is that you’re going to sound like a barge is passing through you threatening to break out the back side of the commode, and of course the only thing that separates you and everyone one in the vicinity of the bathroom you are in is a thin wooden door that is unable to absorb any of the sounds that are expelling out of you faster than the speed of light. At this point all I could do is sit and fart and laugh and kind of die of embarrassment. When the nurse knocked on the door to check and see if I was doing okay, I literally wanted to start speaking Spanish “No habla ingles”, but instead I just said “FINE” really quickly hoping she’d leave and not hear the bull horn burst through again! Yeah… memories.. some you’d like to remember forever, like your mother kissing your forehead or the first time you see your newborn baby..others.. not so much. This is one of those but sadly it is forever burned into that part of my brain.
I have had multiple endoscopy’s, colonoscopies (only because my mother died of colon cancer and I have major intestinal issue’s) and mammograms. I have happy healthy lumpy boobies, at least that’s what the radiologist tells me every year after I have my first scan then get the call that they’ve detected lumps and I have to go have a diagnostic mammo as soon as possible, even though I tell them when I schedule this is what will happen and why can’t we just cut out the middle man and schedule the diagnostic one first. No… where would the fun be in that? They like to squish my already tiny size B+’s into a nice flatten pancake. But not an ordinary pancake, no one of those medallion ones. Ya know, the one’s for little kids to eat.
I’ve had MRI’s, Cat-scans and some kind of nuclear test where a guy came in with breakfast on a tray for me. Eggs with toast. Normally that would be a nice thing, but no.. this dude was wearing the full hazmat uniform while carrying the tray. He told me to spread the jelly on the toast and eat it all in a five minute window time frame. Nothing like eating something that the person carrying it doesn’t want to touch. Oh yeah, they also told me “not to touch the jelly” with my hands, or the eggs. I really wish I could remember what that one was for. I think it was some kind of cardiology test.
Now you may be asking yourself, why they hell have I had so many test? I decided about 7 years ago that I was tired of being fat, diabetic and unable to do anything about it. And before any of you start in with the “You coulda put the fork down and exercised”…umm I did! I walked 3 miles a day 5 days a week. I gave up soda’s and fried foods and sweets. I drank gallons of water a day. The harder I worked, the more weight I put on and it was maddening and depressing as hell. So one day I decided to go to a weight loss surgery seminar. There I met a doctor who spoke with me about my issue’s. When I told him all of the medicines I was on (14 pills a day and 2 to 3 shots of insulin a day), and all of the exercising I was doing, the foods I was eating, the extremely hard work I was putting into losing the weight only to gain more and more he simply said “You will never lose the weight. You’re trapped in the cycle. The more weight you gain, the more medicine you will need. The more medicine you take the more weight you will gain”. So started the very long and extensive journey to the operating table for the RNY or Gastric Bypass. Anyone who thinks this was the “cheaters” way out, you are uneducated and ignorant on the subject therefore your opinion doesn’t count.
After almost 2 full years of being put through some of the most invasive and embarrassing and disgusting test you can think of I was finally cleared for the surgery. On May 23, 2011 I put my future in the hands of a surgeon whom I thought would make my life so much better. For legal reasons I cannot discuss anymore of this.. but I can say it has been anything but better.
Here I am almost 4 years later and I just had my 4th invasive surgery. This one trying like hell to determine why my body isn’t working correctly anymore. Before I go any further I’m going to let you know if you are squeamish, or don’t like to talk about personal issue’s… then stop reading. I’m sure there’s a Calvin and Hobbes comic strip somewhere you can go chuckle at. Now for those who can stand it… here’s what’s going on with me. After I had the first surgery I couldn’t eat. I lived off of chicken broth for weeks. Then a hernia popped up.. a few months later another hernia. Then I started realizing that I couldn’t poop anymore. Until you’ve been “compacted” you have NO CLUE whatsoever what being constipated truly feels like. The first time this happened to me I literally felt like I had given birth when I was done. Now I’ve never actually given birth, I had C-Sections so I’m only guessing this is what birth feels like. I had to “digitally” help to remove the compacted stool, which is very dangerous. I however did not know that at the time but apparently there is a major artery located in the rectum area that if you cut it, you will bleed out before you can get to help. I started drinking Miralax twice a day, sometimes three times a day. Let me tell you about this shit! It’s just that.. Shit! Yes, it will make you go but then you get what I call the mirashits. This means, every single time you go to the bathroom, even if you just piss… you will have to wipe and wipe and wipe until your poor ass is raw and red. You won’t have even pooped, but yet there is poop. It’s a miserable life to live. You don’t want to have sex because what if you “leak” a little? How embarrassing would that be? I’d have to divorce my husband if that happened. I wont even fart in front of him, and we’ve been married for almost 6 yrs!
After awhile I noticed the Miralax wasn’t even working anymore so I started using over the counter suppositories with it. Those did nothing from the start. So I started going back to the Gastro doctors. Something was wrong. No normal person would have this much trouble pooping. So I started getting scoped and filmed. Different medications ordered and tried and failed. Last year one of my doctors told me that the reason the fiber wasn’t working was because of my colon. Simply put my colon does not pull water into it anymore so it cannot push the stool down and out and fiber will just compact it. So she put me on Lizness which worked great at first. For a few months it was the answer to all my problems. I would get up in the morning, take it and within the hour be in the bathroom and actually going.. and get this.. actually getting it all out! Feeling empty inside for once. Knowing that the rest of the day I’d be fine, no abdominal cramping, no having to go but not being able too, no wiping a million times to try to get clean but never feeling like I could. IT WAS GLORIOUS. The Gods of shit had finally smiled upon me…. until I did something to piss them off. Because like all other medications, it has stopped working. I started using an enema every day. They now have me on Lizness in the morning with Miralax in my first cup of coffee, then Miralax a second time in the day then a 3rd if necessary. When I do go to the bathroom, unlike you I sit there for anywhere from 30 minutes to over an hour. It’s not me just trying to push it out, it’s nonstop. I stay so long my feet and legs go to sleep. I’m late for work most days, even though I’ve started getting up at 4:45 or 5 am, even though I don’t have to be to work until 7:45am. Most days I will do an enema if I have no urge to go within an hour of taking the medications, only because I can’t be caught on my way to work with the sudden urge when it hits. And honestly, I’d rather die then have it hit me at work.
Last week I had to go see the Gastro doc’s again. This was a follow-up from the surgery the week before because they scoped me while I was under to see if they could figure out why my reflux is still so severe to the point that I taste vomit some days (even though I haven’t vomited) and I wake up with acid bubbling in the back of my throat. Of course the scope show’s nothing. They never do, even though the problems keep persisting. They also wanted to discuss the bathroom issue’s some more. This time he did a “finger” test, yay.. dignity gone again! Apparently I have a very diminished muscle in my rectum, the muscle that you use to push out. He mentioned something about a possible problem with the pelvic floor muscles and that this could be the problem. Well, kinda makes sense when you figure I’ve had 2 C-Sections, a Hysterectomy, a Gallbladder removal, 2 Hernia repairs and the RNY and now this latest surgery all in my abdomen! So now I am being referred to yet another specialist. I’ve been told they will be doing some not so fun test and then physical therapy, although I’m not quite sure how you do physical therapy on pooping! I guess I’ll learn that one soon enough.
So here I am, years later and I still have absolutely no idea what is wrong with me. I told my husband it would be easier if I had something like cancer, at least then we’d know what is wrong and could fight it. It’s hard to fight against something that the doctors can’t figure out. The sad thing is this is only part of what’s going on with me. There is still the reflux issue, then the bulging disc in my neck, the frozen shoulder that has taken away at least 50% of the mobility of my arm and the Ulnar nerve damage in that arm. My new surgeon told my husband while I was in recovery that they are discussing ( him and my pain management dr) possible shoulder replacement surgery! They haven’t told me this yet though, I think he knows I might just lose it if he does.
I guess it’s just too much to ask to be able to poop like normal.