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.|
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.
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...
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|