Covering the time between my trip to the ER and finally seeing my family physician & a GI specialist. A few weeks of being an unwilling anorexic, and I give a little explanation of some of my symptoms.
What started happening when I ate, and it didn’t seem to matter what it was, and yes I did feel hungry…. I would eat and as soon as the food left my stomach it started causing me pain. I could honestly point to my belly and show you were my food was because the pain followed my digestive tract until it left. If you ever had an incredibly uncomfortable gas bubble, that feels like a sharp burning pain in your belly, and you just can’t get it out… that’s what everything
I ate felt like until I had diarrhea. It would keep me up at night, I started sleeping with a heating pad wrapped around my abdomen.
I understand what was going on now, but I didn’t until after we found out what was causing it. C Diff is a bacteria A very, very hearty bacteria, capable of forming endospores (just like anthrax that can live in the dirt for 200 years and then wake back up as soon as it’s in a good environment) and while it’s active it produces
a couple kinds of toxins that essentially eat away at your intestines. This makes your intestines very, very irritated (hence the pain when food was moving through) and it prevents them from absorbing the way they are supposed to. If you know anyone who has Chrone’s Disease, the symptoms are very similar.
Essentially what happened at this point is that I stopped eating as much, we estimate I was eating an absolute maximum of 500 calories a day (but probably closer to 300), and who knows how much of that was actually getting absorbed. About a week after my ER visit I had my nutritional crash. This wasn’t as dramatic as my trip to the ER, but it did come on suddenly. I felt tired, and tired just doesn’t even describe it. I was driving home from work, yes I went to work this whole time, and I just felt like I needed to get home because I didn’t have the energy to turn the steering wheel anymore. This is when I started sleeping 15-16 hours a day. I would come home from work and sleep until dinner, then I would eat noodles, or some other overly-processed and easily digestible starch, then I would go upstairs and fall asleep until morning. Also, because I quit eating as much, I quit having as much diarrhea. I would never say it was normal looking, but it wasn’t all water and undigested food either. I tried expanding my diet, but never got much beyond yogurt, cheerios, kix, bread, pasta, and rice.
I waited my 2 weeks. Just like the ER doctor said. Then my mom sweet talked the digestive disorders center at the hospital to sneak me into an appointment. Otherwise the GI specialist wouldn’t be able to see me till January (I might have weighed 80lbs by then) I had my GI appointment on December 9 th and I had my yearly physical with my family doctor on December 8 th.
I went to my family doctor on the 8 th. I weighed 109lbs. I was now -15lbs. I probably hadn’t weighed that little since 5 or 6 th grade. My doctor, who is I’ll admit a bit of an alarmist under the most normal of circumstances. Looked like she might pass out when she came into my room. Apparently when you’re losing weight (because of an illness) they go by the percentage of body weight you’ve lost. Losing 10% of your body weight is a major red flag as far as health is concerned. That’s apparently the indicator that lets doctors know “hey, this is kinda serious” I had lost 12% of my body weight. She sent me out with a poop hat, little poop containers and about 4 perscription sheets positively covered in things she wanted to test me for. All imaginable parasites and bacteria. She couldn’t believe I had actually listened to the ER doctor to wait two weeks before seeing her because I was incredibly ill.
I turned in all my cultures on my way to see the GI doctor the next day. (I’m prejudice against him because I’m upset about several things the GI doctor did… and a lot of my animosity comes from the colonoscopy he insisted I have in April of ’05 during which he totally ignored the fact that I wasn’t sedated enough…. I would rate that as probably the worst, most scarring experience of my life, but that is a whole other post just waiting to happen) The highlight -sarcastic- of this visit was the rectal exam which was positively excruciating because they didn’t “look” before they poked or they would have seenthat because of m y 3 weeks of explosive diarrhea I had developed an anal fissure. At this point I was just a regular barrel of monkeys.