For a while now, I've been meaning to write a follow up from my original posting (almost one year ago!) on my lovely condition called, redundant colon.
And as I sit here now, trying to breathe deeply through the pains of yet another attack, I figure now's a good time to update.
Like most people who have this, there are good days and bad days. I have a hard time sticking to any sort of routine, so I bet if I was better about this, there'd probably be more good days than bad. This past Saturday Tom and I met a friend in town then went to lunch in the city. Since we were over our 5 mile radius from home, I was very careful about what to order. I had some pita bread and veggies and light hummus. Tom had this nasty looking stew that smelled like dog food and some special IPA beer. I sipped my plain iced tea and ate my pita and then Tom asked me to taste his beer. It was a restaurant special that was unfiltered and unpasteurized and it just didn't taste right. I had about 3 sips total, (just to confirm that I really didn't like it) and by the time we left the restaurant I could feel my stomach start to churn. By the time we pulled into the driveway, it had blown up like a balloon. I have no way of knowing if it was from the beer alone or if it was a combo of everything else and the beer just tipped the scale. We had plans that evening with friends and as I was getting ready for the night the sharp, stabbing pains in my ribs and belly began to get worse. I did not want to cancel but I knew it was going to be an uncomfortable night. My stomach was making these alien sounds and it looked like there was a nice sized cantaloupe under my shirt. I changed my clothes and drank some tummy tea and sat for a bit just breathing through the pain (like I'm doing now) and then my husband, who is usually very understanding when these things happen, was growing impatient and says to me, "Would you just go to the bathroom already!?!" I had some choice words for him.
What I'm finding out is that most people with redundant colon have days or even weeks of constipation. That is not typically what happens to me (except when I travel). My norm is that I have these blow up moments and severe pain and then it's like a ticking time bomb as to when the explosion is going to happen. So I can't just "go to the bathroom" on command, but once I start to feel those little spastic sensations I better get to a bathroom quick. It's kind of similar to a roller coaster ride. The car goes through lots of loops and twists and turns (that's where the pain comes in) and then it slows down and climbs uphill, up and up and up at a slow moving pace and then it finally reaches the top and then full speed ahead slams down the tracks with intense force and there's just no stopping it. You get the picture.
As I've mentioned in my previous post the Dr. prescribed Dicyclomine which has pretty much lost its effectiveness. There have been times when I'm out in a public place and the pill doesn't work so then I pop a Zantac, chase it with a Mylanta and then start chewing Tums like candy but at that point, I'm doomed.
I decided to share a list of food items that have triggered some major issues, usually within minutes of consumption. For those of you also suffering through this, maybe you noticed similar reactions to these foods:
-milk and cereal together (separate they are ok, dry cereal and juice is fine, milk alone is fine)
-cooked onions and garlic together in a dish, whether it's pasta, chicken, fish etc.
-warm, drawn butter
-wheat toast and coffee together
-soda and popcorn together (think movie theater, NOT GOOD!)
-any type of cream based soup
-any type of artificial or sugar free sweetener
-sushi with a mayonnaise based sauce
-chicken, egg or tuna salad sandwiches
-poultry, pork or meat with seasonings, like Lawry's or Peri Peri rub, anything with spices
It took me a while to put the milk and cereal combo together which looking back now, should have been a no brainer. One would think that it was a lactose/gluten intolerance since but I can have either of them separately without instantaneous issues, it's not the case. I was tested for Celiac back in the summer of 2009 and it came back negative, however, my doctor told me the results are only about 75-80% accurate and you're supposed to consume gobs of gluten for about a 2 week period prior to the blood test so who knows. There could be a bit of intolerance there but the only way to officially find out is to have an endoscopy which I decided was not something I needed to do at this point. Getting roto-rooted from one end is enough for now.
I've tried some different herbs and natural remedies for blow up days and one thing that I wanted to share was this tummy tea. It's specifically formulated for IBS pain, spasms and cramps (accidentally typed craps at first, which is also fitting!) and has brought some relief on the bad days.
So that's my update, thanks for reading and for fellow sufferers please know you are not alone.