I really wish I had joined this Forum a lot sooner....I am certain that no one wants to suffer but it is reassuring to read that I am not alone!
For the last 4/5 years I have been suffering bouts of discomfort that can vary from urgent visits to the loo, pain, headaches - all sorts.
For some time I thought it was Mittelschmerz - when I initially saw my GP about it 5 years ago I thought it was female organ related and was sent for an internal scan which found nothing. When the Gynecologist signed me off from her care she did say to me...'Are you sure this is not an issue with your Bowels?' I never pursued it because I thought she was talking nonsense and diagnosed myself with Mittelschmerz! All symptoms came in bouts this is why I suspected this and the symptoms so similar! So, for years I just put it down to this.
Convinced this was still to do with my frontal organs and as this also affects my bladder function (urgency especially in the evenings when having a bout) - when I have what I now believe to be symptoms of IBS I also had Urodynamic testing early 2014 which all came back OK with a suggestion I may just have a sensitive bladder. The symptoms of the bladder I now realise are completely in sync with the IBS symptoms.
Then in Summer 2014 my Partner was involved in an RTC and this prompted the beginning of a very stressful part of our lives, he had to have spinal fusion and suffered other injuries. He is still healing. I would say that in Jan 2015 post accident (6m) I started to have panic attacks - these were fed by the symptoms I had been feeling for some time but I had a new pain - all down the left side with associated back pain. So the absolute stress of the accident had potentially aggravated my what I now think are IBS symptoms - with this I began to suffer with Health Anxiety. I must have visited my GP dozens of times in the first 4 months of 2015, I was referred for CBT which helped massively and then one on one therapy which I finished in July 2015. Each time I visited my GP, I explained about the sore tummy and the other IBS type symptoms but GP suspected it was Acid Reflux (even though it was not a refluxy feeling) I was given some medication for AR which appeared to calm things down for a while. I explained I do still get the niggle in my left side which I can relieve by forcing a burp. I now think this is trapped wind....I have also recently started drinking Peppermint Tea when I feel symptomatic and this helps massively!
So...in Feb this year absolutely tired of feeling awful and after a Xmas of eating extremely poorly ( I lost 3 stone last year through the stress - and put a stone back on over December ) I went to see my GP again but this time asked to be tested for IBS - this is the first time I had ever mentioned this and it was only after learning more about IBS that I began to think that is what I must be suffering. He explained there are no tests as such for this but it would be a process of elimination. I had bloods taken - all fine. I had a stool sample taken and a potential trace for calprotectin was found ( I had supplied a stool for testing in 2015 also and nothing was found I have also read that presence of this is not possible with IBS but GP says differently ) so now my GP has referred me for a Colonoscopy - he does think I have IBS but wants to check I don't have IBD. I have no symptoms of IBD that differentiate between IBS and IBD....and my stools are almost always number 4 on the Bristol Scale, on the very odd occasion I have a 1 or 2 or a 6. On the day I supplied my sample I was suffering constipation - not sure if this contributed to the trace.
I was on the Colonoscopy waiting list for just after 10 weeks and my time is due on Friday! I can not say I am relishing in this but I received my Moviprep today and my leaflet about the procedure. After some weeks of accepting I need to have this done which has triggered my Anxiety again (give me a break!!) - I can say I feel better for reading the NHS leaflet about it. My mind set is that I have given birth to two beautiful boys, surely the pain can not be any worse that childbirth so I need to be brave and do this. I am opting for Gas & Air rather than sedation and taking comfort in that this is an A grade examination.
Not at all looking forward to the Bowel prep but at least I can have some answers & appropriate treatment after the procedure is done.
I just pray it is IBS and not something life threatening - that is the part that keeps me awake at night!
Will feedback my experience of the Colonoscopy to reassure all over the weekend.
It feels so good to let this out on a Forum where people can relate to my experience and I to others.