Now it’s time to talk about me, good, something I excel in.
This time last year I noticed I was struggling to go for a run, I was out of breath more and wasn’t able to hit my target points which was odd but I brushed it off as I was coming down with something. I went to the bathroom and noticed a small amount of blood in my bowel movements. Yes I felt a cold sweat come over me but I thought ‘Just give it a couple of days and see if it’s still there.’ But I noticed an increase in bowel movements (especially at night time), I was your one a day gal but I was now going 5, 6, 7 times a day. The BMs were getting softer, more blood (almost like blood clots). I went to my GP and he said ‘it’s probably gastroenteritis, this time of year with bugs going around, you know how it is, just eat plain food, drink plenty of water and rest.’ Ooooookay, I guess I accepted that diagnosis. But it was getting worse, I wasn’t getting any sleep as I was now hitting over 10 trips to the bathroom (at night; during the day it was only a few times, still to this day don’t know why), I was essentially passing sludge with blood through it. I was eating bland food: plain toast for breakfast, peanut butter sandwich or boiled eggs for lunch and white pasta or rice for dinner, never anything fibrous. I was getting a lil’ miserable. I still managed to do things during the day, just was a little tired. One day I decided to weigh myself. I was a healthy 9 stone 3 gal, always have been, but now I was 8 stone 5, well that was to be expected as I was a poop machine at this point.
I went back to my GP the following week to say my symptoms were getting worse not better. He checked my pulse, my heart and temperature, they were all pretty bad so he sent me to the A&E where I got taken straight away. For 6 hours I was given a saline drip, blood taken, watched people being left out in the corridors screaming in pain, a pregnant woman being left to stand whilst she looked like she was on the verge of collapsing, all the while I was lying in a bed in my own cubicle, terrified. Yeah I have never been a patient in a hospital before, ever. This was an eye opener. Nurses and doctors running around like headless chickens, folks yelling at them (the nurse that was assigned to me was a really nice guy). I gave a stool sample which was never collected or tested. My bloods suggested I had an infection (so they told me), I was given a chest x-ray and everything was fine. So I was given a 10 day antibiotic treatment and was sent on my way. I took them then and there. It was the first time I actually had a full night sleep without getting up to the toilet. RELIEF! Or so I thought.
For 6 or 7 weeks, I went to my GP at least once a week. The antibiotics were only a temporary relief. I was now going to the bathroom so much that I stopped counting. I wasn’t even passing any stools, it was literally just blood and puss. I was now getting closer to under 7 stone, I was weak. My mum was starting to believe I had bowel cancer (I was told this after I came out of my 10 day hospital stay! She didn’t want to worry me). Every. Single. Time I went to my GP they turned me a way. The man doctor (Dr. A) kept taking my blood every time I saw him, the woman doctor (Dr. B) told me to give it 5 days, give it a week, give it 10 days. I asked her about colitis, she asked me if anyone in my family suffered from it, I said no, she said well it’s not that and was extremely condescending with the way she talked to me. Dr. A (after about the 6th time seeing him in over a month) finally suggested IBD might be an explanation but that gastroenteritis could still be a cause and that I should keep away from dairy, it might aggravating it. When I first noticed blood in my BMs, of course I went on the internet to check it out and IBD was the first thing I came across, people who say self diagnosis is bad can fuck off, I knew what was wrong with me before Dr A & B did! I went back for my 10th visit in just under 2 months & saw Dr. B, she stuck a finger up my butt (this was the first time I’d been examined!!! A part of me thought this should have been done sooner) and said ‘well it’s not piles.’ AREN’T WE PAST THAT STAGE OF THINKING IT’S PILES?! What did she suggest I do? ‘Give it a few more days, keep eating bland food.’ She knew I had lost 2 stone in under 2 months.
I was now vomiting. Shitting out nothing but blood and now vomiting (I strangely never once suffered from pain, I know that’s a common problem but I feel because I wasn’t in pain the doctors didn’t think it was serious), I could hardly stand and I was feeling let down by my doctors. My mum was telling me to go back but it’s actually better not going because I knew I’d get turned away again and that’s worse, having your doctor turn you a way, so I didn’t go back for while until the vomiting got worse. I can’t even remember if it was Doctor A or B but I was turned away again. I felt defeated.
My mum and step-dad went away on a Friday for a little holiday in their motor-home and I was left to look after Shadow (our big German Shepard) and Mitzi (our little new chihuahua/poodle pup). I was in no mood to look after them. I was drinking Complan hoping to get some nutrients back but I felt like they weren’t doing anything. I put on a little bowl of pasta for myself knowing full well I was either going to vomit it back up or it’ll come out in a sludgy mess of blood. I was full on depressed. Whilst waiting for my pasta to boil I weighed myself and I was the lowest I had ever been and no one was doing anything about it, my doctors weren’t taking it seriously. I legit burst into tears, crying my eye balls out (I never cry, heart of stone me!), I went back into the kitchen and fell to the floor bawling like a little baby whilst the dogs just looked on, confused. I could feel myself starting to gag knowing full well I was about to throw up. I ran to bathroom and literally threw up white foamy stuff. I had had enough at that point, well and truly. I phoned 112 (non-emergency number in the UK), sobbing down the phone whilst giving my symptoms. Even the operator sounded shocked that I had been left in such a state by my GP and suggested I get myself to A&E straight away. I felt guilty as hell having to phone my mum to come back from their little holiday but I couldn’t stand this any more. They arrived, sobbed some more to my mum and in the car we went to Swindon Great Western Hospital for the second time round. It’s forty minutes away but it’s the closest hospital to us. We had to stop once as I threw up more white foam and finally we arrived, I remember my mum practically having to hold me up to walk me through the doors. And here was where my 10 days of fun started, unknown to me at the time, which I will discuss in part 2.