Digestive Health Clinic Follow-up

I have been having Irritable Bowel Symptoms for the last 12+ years and I FINALLY for a doctor to listen to me and care.

My doctor today told me I have IBS Irritable Bowel Syndrome with no cause of why. She explained that my Diverticulosis was not the cause and not active (Diverticulitis infection), and the colonoscopy and Upper EDG showed no Crohn’s or Ulcerative Colitis. Therefore, since my pain is mainly in my lower abdomen, she feels it’s just IBS (not the disease) and the goal was to treat the symptoms.

My symptoms are all IBS:

  • Abdominal pain, cramping or bloating that is typically relieved or partially relieved by passing a bowel movement (check for me)
  • Excess gas (yep yep)
  • Diarrhea or constipation — sometimes alternating bouts of diarrhea and constipation (I have alternating)
  • Mucus in the stool (yep and sometimes blood)

My symptoms can be from either bowel spasms or Neuropathic pain, pain generated by damaged or inflamed nerves or both. The only way to tell for sure it to try a couple medications to see which one works. The first one she is trying for 3 weeks is Dicyclomine 20mg, 4 times a day (30 min before each meal). If the pain completely stops in 3 weeks, we won’t need another medication. If it doesn’t work at all, this means I have nerve damage and she will try a  tricyclic anti-depressant. If the pain is only lessened, but still there, then I have both issues and she will put me on both medications. The Anti-depression medication commonly used for nerve pain in my case is amitriptyline and she told me this would be good for other pain too since I have more than one chronic pain issue AND depression from it.

We talked about any food I should avoid. She told me their goal is to have me be able to eat anything I am able and wanting to eat. She just told me to listen to by body and stop eating anything that bothers me. If drinking a whole glass of milk bothers me, drink a small glass and see if that lessens the issue. She never said I had to stay away from nuts and seeds or anything like that for my diverticulosis. I am only to take a stool softener every day to stay regular. She actually used the word Ice Cream consistency haha. She also cursed a little and used the word “shit” instead of bowel movement haha. She was really cool and down to earth. She just seemed to want to give me a better quality of life and could tell, I think, that I was just tired of pain and going to the bathroom all the time.

I spoke with her about my upcoming hidradenitis suppurativa surgery coming up and what to do about pain medications. She agreed that with my digestive issues and ulcer, I can’t take NSAIDs and should stick with Tylenol for any pain. As for surgery, she said not to worry, she knows my surgeon and he will make sure I am safe and pain free after everything is said and done. She told me he would want me on a stool softener every day anyway before and after surgery so, she told me to try one or more each day. I have Colace and Miralax that my surgeon told me to take a couple months ago, so I am going with that.

Lastly, I told her I couldn’t have my surgery until after May because of my repeat upper GI they wanted me to do May 30th. She told me I could reschedule if I wanted to or try and come in if I can as it will only take about 10 minutes to complete. If I can’t can’t even get to the bathroom and have to use a bedside commode, I’m not getting in a car! I don’t think she realizes my groin with be open and healing on both sides! No thanks, I will reschedule if I have to.

I will find out tomorrow when my surgery is at my pre-op appointment. I’m just excited to get it over with and have maybe a few years or more of remission.

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