The Next 4 Months Agony
After my last Doctor’s visit I knew I was in for a long wait. I was on the waiting list for a colonoscopy/endoscopy. What was I to do for the next 4 months? Suffer, that was the long and short of it. I was still suffering the daily symptoms, the aggressive flare-ups AND I was still going in to work. It was around this time I began to keep a diary of my daily symptoms and how I was feeling emotionally. I felt this would help me. My daily entries were practically identical.
A typical entry would be: I’d list my symptoms (see my first blog), I’d highlight the symptoms that were the most aggressive that day.
Here is a typical diary entry:
“Really bad day today. Flare-up of symptoms. Feel dizzy, comes and goes. Feel confused at times. Brain feels foggy. Head feels itchy, beneath the scalp, like a crawling sensation. Terrible headache. Pain in right side of neck, feels stiff. Feel slightly feverish. Feel achy all over, almost flu-like symptoms.
Eyes are slightly red, whites of the eyes are very dull. Floaters in eyes, blurry vision. Eyes feel sore too.
Mouth feels really awful, almost dirty. Coating on tongue, whitish yellow and foulish smell. Throat feels slightly tight. Nose badly congested, white stringy stuff up nose and it feels itchy, like a crawling sensation. Also foulish smell coming from nasal passage.
Coughing up thick mucus/slime, has white blobby stuff inside slimy mucus. Very wheezy and bouts of coughing. Something irritating lungs, can’t stop coughing.
Feel tight around ribs, sore too. Tummy very fluttery, worse after eating something. Like a rumbling coldron. I feel like a nipping sensation, difficult to describe, like deep inside my intestines. Like pin-prick sensations, something biting. Feel slightly sick. I feel wriggling sensation, quite heavy, sometimes up in the chest area. Also feel wriggling under right rib area. Worm? Definately feel wriggling.
Strange red track like marks appearing on skin. Like scratch marks but skin is not broken. Around the area it feels itchy, like a burning sensation.
Toileting difficult. Stools covered in mucus with white blobs inside mucus. No blood though.
Cried again today, no-one to talk to. I feel so alone. It’s taking over my life. I have no motivation for anything. I feel so tired. Can’t be bothered even talking. I JUST WANT MY HEALTH BACK!”
So that’s pretty much a typical diary entry for me. If I’m having a good day I say so in my entries. By doing this I’ve been able to see a pattern as to when the symptoms flare up and when they are more aggressive.
One of the hardest things I found around this time was I had no-one to talk to, at least, no-one who understood what I was going through. It can be very lonely when you are ill. It’s also very frightening to experience some of the symptoms I’ve been experiencing. I’m sure the stress of it all also plays a part in my health and it certainly doesn’t help.
The 4 months waiting for the colonoscopy/endoscopy was very difficult. I decided to see an alternative practitioner to see if she could help. I gave a brief history of my illness and symptoms. I did mention my concerns with regards to parasites and she advised first and foremost, that I should have a stool sample test carried out. She recommended this because these tests check for a multitude of things. They can check for digestive disorders like Irritable Bowel Syndrome and diseases such as Inflammatory Bowel Disease i.e. Crohns Disease and Ulcerative Colitis and, of course, parasites. This was the one I was most interested in - the parasite test. The test had to be ordered through herself. I wasn’t able to order it direct. I remember wondering why. I thought it was possibly because a practitioner would understand the findings and be able to relate the results to the patient and if the patient required treatment a practitioner would be able to follow this up. The lab of choice was Great Smokies.
I had to provide three stool samples over a period of days and I was to place some stool in small vials which had a liquid in them, which I now know are referred to as fixatives. I believe the fixatives are used to preserve the sample. I sent off the samples and was advised it would be 2-3 weeks for the results. I waited. I got the results of my tests and I found the report particularly difficult to understand. That’s where my practitioner came in. She explained the content of the report to me. A “commentary” is provided. I still found it difficult to grasp. From what I interpretted, there was nothing major going on. I had some issues with regards to food not properly being broken down, ie., meat and vegetable fibres were found in stool. The beneficial bacteria was “within the range” and so was additional bacteria. The report did, however, state that there was a “possible pathogen” - Proteus Mirabilis. (This is an anaerobic rod-shaped bacterium.) I was not concerned in any way because from what I could tell from the report, and from what my practitioner was telling me, everything seemed to be within the reference range and I interpreted this as being acceptable. Finally, and it was the one I was waiting for, the parasitology test - according to the report no ova, parasites or worms were found in the samples. I was very surprised! I was rather disappointed. I now questioned whether the Proteus Mirabilis was causing my symptoms? I just wasn’t sure.
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