Tuesday, January 28, 2014

The Joys of IBS

An ideal spot for heads on spikes
Last year, I was diagnosed with IBS – Irritable Bowel Syndrome to you and me. This is essentially doctors saying "Yes, we know there's something wrong with you, with stuck cameras down both ends and in the middle, and we can't find anything. Takes these pills and bugger off."

This means that I take those pills, go to the toilet a lot (perhaps the first case of a man turning into his blog), and watch what I eat. This is because – for example – that if you stuff your face with the mother of all Sunday roasts and half a tub of Ben & Jerry's finest ice cream, you're going to pay the price the next day.

In my case, it's (yes) going to the toilet a lot, but also dreadful acid reflux. And there's nothing like red-hot vomit to make you really feel alive.

So, Monday morning after a fulsome Sunday repast, and I am feeling great. I leave for work half an hour early to miss the traffic, and I'm not five miles down the road before the acid hits me. Nasty, but I'll live.

However, it's as I hit the A33 dual carriageway into Reading that I hit ALL the traffic. It turns out a crucial set of traffic lights on the motorway junction have gone wrong, and nobody is going anywhere. With nowhere to U-turn, it took (and I'm not kidding) two-and-a-half hours to find a suitable escape route.

By that time, the acid reflux had really started, and I'm sure the surrounding cars wouldn't mindd me getting out for a moment to puke against my own wheel arch.

Also, down my leg.

And once I got back in the car with pukey jeans, it was game over.

I was car-sharing, dear reader. Car-sharing with Huey and Rolf. "HUEEEEEY!" I said. "ROLLLLLF!" I cried.

Then, reeking, I bullied my way to a (legal) right turn, went home, and went to bed.

Now, I know how to handle my illness. For eg: Watch what you eat and all will be relatively well, and even on the odd day it doesn't quite work out. My insides have a life of their own, and some days you win, some days you drive home smelling like a tramp's blanket.

However, I'm a reasonable man, and I fully expect some comeback on the two-and-a-half hour traffic jam. If there aren't heads on spikes by Junction 11 in the morning, I'm going to write a strongly-worded letter to the local newspaper.

I might even post it.


AmyP said...

I am sorry you have these problems. I know your parents are in the med. field so I have nothing to add or say but in case you are interested, there are some new discoveries/revelations about gut flora these days. If you are not hearing about it where you live you might wish to look at some of the links I gathered together recently for a friend, including a nice audio piece I heard the other day. Maybe some of this info will help you. Best wishes about this.

In no particular order
When you get to the page, go to Segment 2, which is 21 minutes.



and this link talks about how oral bacteria community composition depends on diet:



Further reading is here if you are interested. The last two are particularly interesting.




Martina said...

Try lemon juice. It reduces acid immediately. A teaspoon is enough. IBS causes such painful cramps that I can just squat.

Anonymous said...

I had this problem for a couple of years. Similar diagnosis/treatment to yours was little help
A friend advised that if I ate a lot of bacon, I should stop. I did. Within a couple of months the problem had disappeared.
Sounds silly (he couldn't explain it and neither can I) but worth a try if you are a bacon sandwich or full English lover.
By the way, I tried bacon again after a gap of some years. No ill effects.

For eg? said...

Lemon juice is the fruit with the highest acidity. Do you have a young sheep in the house? I ask because one internet post on IBS advises: 'Pour the lemon juice across the back of the lamb then scatter with sea salt'.

Anonymous said...

".....This means that I take those pills, go to the toilet a lot....."

How do the results score on the Bristol Chart?

I always thought Bristol should use this in Tourist Ad campaigns:
"Visit Bristol! More than just the Chart!

AmyP said...

You have written you like cold war stuff. I am currently going thru Callan color episodes, will be a great journey, excellent acting, clarity of stage productions without fancy CGI. I love EdWood WoodWood). Also if you have not seen the Alec Guiness Smiley's People and Tinker Tailor from the 80s, those are a must-see but you probably have already watched all those.

Funny moment: Been going thru an EW stage so watched the (butchered version of) The Wicker Man and what a film that is. Then I watched a rather drawn-out psycho thriller called "The Appointment", and in that film there was bag of apples rolling around in his car during a car accident. Some bloke wrote a YouTube comment that those apples were probably Summerisle apples.

Cracked me up it did. (Maybe you had to be there but I had to tell this to somebody :) It seems YouTube comments are getting better, not all criticisms and vulgarities, yay)