Warning. Frank discussion of IBS symptoms and bowel movements ahead.

I didn’t poop for five days around the start of my backpacking trip in the Frank Church Wilderness. The two days before and the first three days, basically, no poop. Then I had some movements, but they were all pellets, so I was still constipated, technically. I thought it would clear up once I got home and started drinking a whole lot, but the trend continued and when I ate, I felt like the food was sticking around in my throat instead of going down. So I’m going back to the liquid breakfast experiment, since that seems to help when the IBS flares up.

I started a few weeks ago, and, well, at least I have a little less pain in the mornings. But it still hurts a lot. During the day. At night it’s especially bad when I first lie down. I try to quiet my mind for sleep and all of my awareness is drawn to the burning in my abdomen, highlighted by irregular stabs of additional pain mostly in the same area, but also in my head.

Although it could be something else, I’ve also been getting a lot of moodiness since switching to liquid breakfast. The whole idea makes me feel like a sick person, an invalid. Really gets my “woe-is-me” juices flowing, even though I’m not really sick. I think. I mean. Am I? Is IBS a sickness or a chronic condition? Is someone with a chronic condition not sick?

Anywho. Ambrose wants me to see the doctor again. I’m skeptical, because I’ve already got a diagnosis and they’ve said there’s nothing they can do. Pretty much, if I’m in pain because of IBS, then I’m not “managing” my condition. Basically, I’m screwed. There’s pain and oh yes the doctors believe it is real, but there’s nothing they can do.

And even if there is something else wrong, I feel like having the diagnosis of IBS screws me even more, because I don’t believe any doctors will try to find something else wrong when my symptoms mostly fit with IBS. But I’m not sure they really do. Because I’ve been obsessively tracking my symptoms and I’m not getting relief after a movement. Relief just isn’t frequent.

I’m supposed to managed my symptoms. That’s the treatment plan. Figure it out. Well. Figuring it out is hard. But I’m working on it. I started cutting back on coffee in addition to the liquid breakfasts. Which gives me caffeine headaches, but I’m not going cold turkey this time, so it isn’t quite as bad. When the headaches get too much I just drink a bit of caffeine in non-coffee form to get through.

Every change takes time to evaluate, so I’m going to be doing a lot of wait-and-see and hope-and-wish.

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