The Dietitian Changes Everything

Tuesday, the 27th, I had my appointment with the dietitian. This is the first dietitian I have ever seen, and I was extremely excited!

I had wanted to become a registered dietitian, until I took a class called “Intro to Nutrition Professions,” which pretty much said you always have to pitch your own jobs and I just don’t have the personality to do that – I barely have the personality to sell myself in regular interviews, let alone try to force people to hire me into a position I’ve created. I also wasn’t going to have the money to pay for the exams or internship, since I was already tens of thousands of dollars in student debt as it was. Sadly, I just kind of let that dream die instead of trying to figure out a way to make it work, but I still find nutrition absolutely fascinating! That fascination was definitely adding to the excitement.

My excitement was mainly due to the exciting potential of actually ending up on a track that might make me feel better, however, since most modern western medicine doctors don’t really focus much on nutrition. Continue reading

Productive Gastroenterology Appointment Today!

Today was my follow-up appointment with my gastroenterologist, and it was an extremely productive appointment! My GI doc is my favorite doctor, by quite a lot. They’re the most awkward subject matter, but they’re always productive and my doc refuses to give up on me. It’s a very refreshing change from how most doctors treat my cases.

s-llxyh3gzi-haley-phelps

Anyway, the follow-up was in regards to my HIDA scan. Continue reading

Visbiome High Potency Probiotics – Review

I have been given this product as part of a product review through the Chronic Illness Bloggers network. Although the product was a gift, all opinions in this review remain my own and I was in no way influenced by the company.

I am not a doctor! This post is not intended as medical advice. This post is for information purposes only. Before beginning any new medical routine, always consult with your doctor and/or pharmacist. By continuing, you release me (Elizabeth Bulfer) from any and all liability.

title-image-with-text

This review is about Visbiome high potency probiotics; specifically, the regular strength capsules.

Why am I reviewing Visbiome high potency probiotics? Well, I’ve been struggling with severe IBS-C (irritable bowel syndrome, constipation prominent) for over 20 years. I’m only 26 years old. My IBS-C problems started very shortly after I started eating solid foods. Apparently, as a toddler, I used to scream and cry in the corner to try to avoid using the restroom. I first got an IBS diagnosis when I was in college, about 2010, but there hadn’t been any other testing done so I actually ignored that diagnosis. Then, just recently, I got diagnosed with IBS-C again. This time, however, I really trusted the doctor and we have done extensive testing for all sorts of other illnesses (and ruled them out). After listening to my history of “bathroom issues,” he concluded that I have definitely been living with severe IBS-C my entire life. You can read a more detailed account in my post: “The Personal Hell That Is My IBS” (warning, it’s quite detailed/graphic and emotional). I’ve only just started to get some semblance of control over my IBS-C thanks to the use of high potency probiotics and an incredible gastroenterologist. Continue reading

Time for a HIDA Scan…

My stomach issues have been slowly getting worse and it’s been very disheartening. The delayed gastric emptying has hit ridiculous levels, and the pain and nausea can be incapacitating after I eat.

The absolute worst episode was the weekend my mother-in-law was in town… Of course, when people are in town, we try our best to not let my health mess with our plans. Becky, my MIL, was here from Friday night until midday Sunday. Continue reading

Experimenting With Treatment

Right now, we’re (my GI and I) experimenting with treatment for small intestine bacterial overgrowth – aka SIBO. I am going to be taking Xifaxan for two weeks, and hopefully the delayed gastric emptying will improve. We’re also going the motility improve.

1473231592581

He decided to just do the treatment instead of testing first because he didn’t like how many I’ve been thru already, and apparently the SIBO test isn’t very accurate. Xifaxan isn’t supposed to be absorbed into your system much at all, so there really isn’t supposed to be too many side effects, so I decided to just for it. I figure my daily issues are so miserable, I’d rather just try it and hope it’ll help.

So far, I haven’t been too happy: gassy and lots of bathroom trips. My fatigue is also a little wacky, but my period is also poorly timed again. However, my stomach had been marginally better. Hopefully that means it’s been helping.

Stomach Issues Return

Normally after vacations, due to all the restaurant and junk food, I am horribly stopped up.

For some reason, this time, I now have diarrhea. It’s not “running to the restroom every few hours” bad, but the last three days have all had multiple loose stools. Today is the worst of it so far. But the frequency is way off. I’ve only gone about twice each the last two days, which is weird.

My stomach though feels horrid. It feels like I’ve been hit in the lower abdomen by a baseball bat and my colon has been set on fire. No idea what triggered this.

I do not have a fever.

I’m glad I see my GI on the 31st. Hopefully it doesn’t get any worse, and I really hope it doesn’t last that long…

Minimal Bodily Cooperation, But Still Cause For Gratitude

My body seemed to level back out again, weight wise. When I picked Dan up from the airport, I was still nauseous but it was dinner time and I really wanted a French dip sandwich from Mimi’s Cafe. Instead of only eating half (like usual), I ate about 3/4 of it and half of my fruit bowl. The next day I managed to eat most of my Qdoba nachos for lunch too!

The rest of the weekend I’ve been eating lighter, but I did go back up those three pounds. The nausea is a little more manageable, but still pretty bad. We’ll see what happens this week. At least the rapid weight loss seems to have stopped for now – that was unnerving.

I hope you all had a good weekend.

Time for a Colonoscopy

As I mentioned at the beginning of yesterday’s post (The Personal Hell That Is My IBS), my GI is starting to suspect that my IBS may not actually be IBS after all. Why has he come to this conclusion? Well, for the same reason I am not completely shocked by his conclusion, actually: because I just do not respond well to any treatment for IBS that I get put on. For some reason, everything we do to try to treat my digestion problems just seems to cause me an entirely new set of issues. My system just doesn’t behave at all like it’s supposed to, to anything at all. Wonderful.

gastroenterology

Continue reading

The Personal Hell That Is My IBS

Unfortunately, my gastroenterologist is now starting to suspect that my IBS may actually be something more than IBS. I have been dealing with my severe IBS-C for more than 20 years, so this is both not surprising and very frustrating. (Yes, I am only 26. I literally cannot recall a time in my life that I have not been constipated unless I was horribly ill and afflicted with diarrhea instead.) If I was told to name one singular illness that causes me the most negative impact on a daily basis, and that I have to most carefully plan my life around, I would choose my IBS. Yes, above the POTS that makes me so dizzy I can’t think straight, above the fibro that can make a gentle breeze feel like I’m being sand blasted, above the allergies that make my eyes feel like they’re full of sand, and above the asthma that can make me feel like I’m trying to run a marathon on top of Mt. Everest. My IBS literally runs my life and it is relentless.

gastroenterology

(Disclaimer: This post is going to talk about poop, just in case you hadn’t figured that one out; you might not want to be eating.)

What is IBS? Continue reading

Full Body Headache, Or So It Feels…

My entire body feels like it has a migraine. I’m in so much pain today. My back is STILL shot. I thought after Pilates yesterday, my back would feel better, but I can’t seem to get ahead of this. My fibro pain is almost always first prominent in my hips, so I’m pretty sure that is why I’m just stuck in this cycle. The daily migraine also hit REALLY early today, and I was struck down by about 11am, when I woke up at 10am. Ugh. I have been lying on the couch, with the room dark and the TV on VERY quiet just because my ADHD makes me really bored if I’m not doing anything at all. I finally had to call Dan at work because the waves of pain were too much, and then came to the realization I absolutely had to take Tramadol and Excedrin (an hour apart for my poor stomach). I had buttered noodles and Ensure for lunch, and my stomach is still killing me despite Zofran. No idea if it’s the medication or the migraine or the pain or a combination of everything or something completely different. I can barely think and I feel horrendous. I’m so sick of lying on the couch. I’m so sick of headaches.

pills and couch june 2016

Daily pills (AM top hand, PM bottom hand), and my usual place and position of lying on the couch.