Saturday, August 21, 2010

Frustrated and poopy

Today was one of those days that I have been dreading for a long time... since mid 2007 to be exact... but in order to really explain it, we have to go back to the beginning.

In late 2007 I was working as a nurse at the same hospital Whit and I are still at.  At this point, I was a day shift nurse, only a year out of graduation.  One day, completely at random, I stepped on one of our hospital scales and was shocked to see that my weight was only 150 lbs!  Now, I've always been skinny, but I was, on average, about 185 lbs when I started that job.  To have dropped 15 lbs without even trying was kind of shocking...

For comparison, here are a couple photos of before I lost the weight and after...

Ignore the hair, it only added a couple pounds.

Jake (my youngest brother on the left) and me looking gaunt-like on the right (despite the whole bottle of alcohol) at my older brother's wedding in Nov 2007.
Despite my fondness for pictures of myself with alcohol in them, you can clearly see the difference in what I was at and where I ended up.  The shocking drop in weight lead people at work to start calling me 'Flacco' which means skinny in Spanish and questioning what was wrong with me.

Truly what was wrong is disgusting to describe, but it is what it is... Most of the weight loss seemed to revolve around the fact that I was having abnormally frequent poos and feeling so crappy (haha pun intended) that I wasn't eating nearly enough, thus losing weight.

I ended up going to my primary care doctor who attributed the weight loss to stress at the time and I went home without any sort of diagnosis.  Not being satisfied with that answer and attempting to decrease my stress level not helping, I returned to the doctor who ended up running all sorts of blood and stool studies, all of which came up negative.  The next step was an EGD and Colonoscopy. An EGD stands for Esophagogastrodudenoscopy, which means that I get yummy sedation drugs before a large tube is shoved down my throat into my stomach to see what is wrong with me.

A colonoscopy is basically the same thing, just from the other end... I'll spare you that picture.  During each procedure the doctor looks at the linings of my stomach and colon to see if there is anything wrong and then takes biopsies to test for abnormalities.  Again, everything comes back negative.

At this point, I am diagnosed with IBS.

IBS is a diagnosis by exclusion.  This means that if they can't figure out any other option, then it must be IBS.  I was told to avoid problem foods, have no stress, and to limit caffeine and alcohol intake (which as you can see from above, I wasn't too happy to hear about).  I was placed on an off label prescription medication to control my newly found problem and promptly started to gain the weight back.

Fast forward a couple years and I again had the same symptoms and was then referred to a Gastroenterologist.  Given that I had the same symptoms and that my primary care MD had run just about every test possible, all I got was a new prescription and words of encouragement.  I tried the new prescription, attempted to keep the stress down, and fiber intake up, and I started gaining all my weight back.  For the first time in a while I thought that things were much better under control, and I was back up to about 185-190 lbs, as well as my creepy antics...

Creepy McCreeperson

Fast forward to when Whitney and I got married.  The month up to the wedding was pretty unbearable for my stomach.  I again, went back to my GI doctor thinking it was just a flare up of my IBS and wanted to know if there was anything else I could do.  I was told it was most likely stress causing the flare up, but that there was another medication I could try to keep things under control.  So I started my third different RX for my IBS, got through the amazing wedding, coming out very happy on the other side.

Alas, my "IBS" started flaring again and I have had multiple episodes since the wedding in which I have been running to the bathroom and just don't feel like eating because I feel so yucky.  I am down about 15 lbs again but holding relatively stable...  This caused me to go out of the way and google a food allergy specialist to get tested for food allergies, something that, to this point, I have never had done.

My allergist drew 12 tubes of blood, and I have appointments to go back to see my primary care and GI doctors in the coming month, hopefully figuring out what may be causing my troubles... but this leads up to the day I have been dreading...

So today, Whitney, Tony, Desiree, myself, and a group of other friends from work were all supposed to go tubing down the river today.

Get in a tube, float down a river, drink beer
Knowing how my condition is, I got up 2 hours prior to even having to leave the house to make sure that if something were going to happen that I could deal with it prior to leaving.  Unfortunately, I ended up in the bathroom 4 times in an hour.  As you can see in the picture, there isn't much in the way of places to stop when you are on a 3 hour river float.  So feeling like crap again, disappointed I couldn't go, and frustrated that I still don't have this condition under control, I woke up Willis and told her I wasn't going to go.  Being the amazing wife she is, she said she'd stay home and make sure I was okay.  I insisted she go, she insisted she stay... Pretty big fight in the Bofferding house :)  Willis texted Tony and Desiree, our besties from the previous post, and told them to go on without us and meet the rest of the crew from work.  Of course, they ended up skipping too since we didn't go.  And thus, one of the things I dread most, my stupid stomach, my stupid condition that we can't figure out, impacting the lives of not just me and ruining my day, but now impacting the day of my wife and two of my best friends.  We were all pumped to float the river, and I ended up putting a damper on the whole day...
So here we are... I'm still waiting on test results from my allergist and his 12 tubes of blood he took, and once I hear back will be heading to my primary and my GI doctors again.  Round 10 of attempts to figure out what I need to do so I'm not running to the bathroom anymore... anyone who knows me, knows I don't like to exercise :)



  1. ok..when i first started reading this i suppose i missed the "same hospital WHIT and I work at" cause i tooootally thought this was whitney posting and i thought that girl has NEVER weighed 150 OR 185!!! then i saw the pic and thought ooooooooooooooooooooh. ;);) hope u feel better!

  2. Ever get checked out for Crohn's or Celiac's Disease?


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