Well, my fairytale 7 month run came to an end on Sunday night.
It was my first flare-up in 7 months – and in that time I assure you, you forget how painful it is. I don’t think the pain was even the worst part. I think the worst part was firstly the disappointment that the situation isn’t as well in hand as you first thought and realising that you saw all the signs and didn’t do anything about it.
As my GI has told me on several occasions, there are signs before a full on flare-up. Exhaustion, severe joint pain, unsettled stomach and bloating. I had it all, I even remember saying to my partner that I didn’t feel well and that I needed to go back on my steroids for a while. I missed it. If I had of read the signs properly, I may have been able to prevent the whole episode at best, or lessen the intensity at worst.
The severe pain started Sunday night and my bowel obstructed in the early hours of Monday morning. I know now that taking anything apart from Paracetamol makes things worse. So I downed (and to this moment I don’t know how I got them down) 2 x Buscopan and 2 x Panadol and much to my shock they had an effect. I was able to get back to sleep and about 6:20am Monday morning. I slept till my partner returned home from dropping our friends at the airport at about 8am. After he crept back into bed I fell straight back to sleep until around midday. As per the normal course of things I work up feeling as if it never happened – but there was a few differences to the norm. Generally, my bloating would have gone down, it hadn’t and I failed to realise that the Buscopan was still working for the morning. I got up and decided to have a bath (a luxury I seldom have time for anymore). About 10 minutes in I felt the pain return and I went to lay down. It intensified until its peak at about 6pm. It was pure, unadulterated agony. There is nothing quite like the pain you get from a bowel obstruction. Its very distinct and you reach a 9 on the 10 point pain scale. Yes, at this point even I was considering going to hospital – an act I knew would result in a week long stay as they would take out my strictures. Given the pain I was in – I am not against the surgery anymore but I would rather it be on my terms and I would rather it be via keyhole surgery which can’t be undertaken in such a rushed, emergency situation. I knew they had better painkillers in the hospital and I was literally delirious with pain. Stocker came and lay with me and as silly as it sounds it gave some relief. I relaxed a little. By this point the vomiting had started (or rather I had started it), generally its a good sign because the violence of it all helps to free the obstruction.
It was 10pm and I had been throwing up for 4 hours, the pain remained my chest and back were so sore they were taking some of the attention from my abdomen. I was exhausted from it all, but you can’t sleep under circumstances like that.
Finally at around 1am, I fell asleep and it was over for the most part 27 hours after it started. I couldn’t get to work on Tuesday, my body was a wreck. I was a wreck. Due to Stockers part in this he was also severely sleep deprived and stayed with me. I couldn’t drive to get my doctors certificate, even though I have been diagnosed chronically ill, my workplace still requires a doctors certificate for more than one day leave. I suppose its fortunate that he did stay, he works in Brisbane (about 100kms north of our home on the Gold Coast) and he commutes. His place of business is in the CBD and was closed at midday yesterday only an hour after his shift was to begin. The reality is he may not have been able to get home if he had of gone in. He is home again today and I am starting to get the impression that’s where I should have stayed. My cramping is hanging around and I was ill again this morning. Stocker asks me why I do it to myself – it worries me that I can’t give him a direct, truthful answer.
I know I will go back into remission. I know that my medication dosage will probably need to go back up – and finally, knowing the alternative, I am alright with that.
7 months is a good run – I am hoping my next bout of remission, the bought that started today, will exceed that.