Monday, August 07, 2006

Facing some issues head-on, before they get worse

In talking to my mom yesterday, after a few days of utter chaos with my stomach (Thursday into Saturday, I am 99% sure, was yet another stomach virus that I caught from sweet Chris - thanks, sweetie!), I am coming to the realization that, yes, I do believe I have the lovely Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS - for when the doc finds nothing else wrong with your GI tract!) that my mother, sister and aunt share, along with the very lessening symptoms of GERD. So, I suppose this is something life-long now, and who knows when things will flair up or not. Yuck!

But, on top of that, the big IBS attacks seem to be getting very situational - before baby showers (like yesterday morning...see the elaboration below), baptisms, birthday parties, gatherings of larger groups of friends, simple stops to the store, huge projects at work... So, my mom (and my dear Hubby) both asked me if maybe these "attacks" are actually turning into real panick attacks. My mom has them, so it would not be a surprise if I, too, would start getting them.

Here are some of those symptoms I found on-line (thanks, Dr. Google!):

Irrational fear or dread - Check! Who on Earth fears going to the check-out at CVS?
Muscle tension and headache - BIG Check!
Chest pain - Wouldn't call it pain, but pressure, yes.
Elevated heart rate/palpitations - Normally, no. But, starting the morning of an event, Check!
Insomnia - BIG Check!
Diarrhea/GI distress/IBS - BIG Check!
Nausea - Check!
A feeling of fullness or chest pressure/shortness of breath - Check!
Jumpiness/Irritability/Shakiness - Check!
Sudden changes in body temperature/Hot flashes - Check!
Tearfulness - Check!
Depression - Probably...

An example of this is the baby shower I went to yesterday for a friend of mine from my old job. Originally, I was going to stay with her and her sister while the shower was going on - she is in bed-rest with twins because she has an incompitent cervix. But, he doc gave her clearance to attend under MANY restrictions (like, staying a wheelchair all day) and that changed the plans on Saturday.

So, I was up all night on Saturday night with what I throught was a bad upset stomach (yet again). But, during that time, I kept ruminating on what the baby shower the next day was going to be like: Who was I sitting with; how was I going to handle being around my PG friend who is due 2 weeks after when I should have been due with the last miscarriage; what was traffic going to be like (heading to the Jersey Shore early on Sunday is not always the wisest thing!); was I going to lose it during the shower as everyone oggled over her and the gifts; was Chris going to nap while he was with Hubby; was Hubby going to do the things I needed him to do for me to get ready for work the next day; how long was it going to take me to get home; what were we doing for dinner (not that I was hungary anyway)....etc., etc., etc. You get the picture.

These thoughts are SO STUPID! So TRIVIAL! Yet, I can't shut them off!

When I got up Sunday morning, my stomach was still a mess.... So, my thoughts turned into Do I go, do I not go?, over and over again. I needed to decide by 11 am so I could let the hostest know... But, I finally bucked up and left at 12 noon for the 1 pm shower - and, of course, I was fine (except for the THREE pregnant reminders of the baby I was not having in late October/early November - but, that is for another post). And, although my stomach was not perfect, I was calmer and able to eat and socialize.

So, what does this all mean now? Another phone call to the doc, of course (Hubby was doing that one, since he has the magic touch getting a hold of our GP!). Long-term, if this is really what this is all going to boil down to, I don't know.

Do I need meds - probably. Although, I really didn't want to start anything now since we wanted to start TTC again in January. But, as I really see these behaviors in myself, along with those who are closest to me seeing them (and telling me about it), then it is probably wise to start thinking of taking something now before this gets any worse. I have to put my family (and myself) first before trying attempt to have an addition to the family.

I can't believe my journey of loss has brought me here... Makes sense, I suppose. But, where did I really lose it? Or, it is just genetics taking advantage of the situation? Who knows... And, yet again, the control freak does not have answers...just more questions.


Joy said...

Very possible, Tina. So sorry. It makes sense, though. My SIL has IBS and it's triggered by food - any chance of that with you? She doesn't eat any gluten now...easier to control than stress, I think.

Hugs to you.

Anonymous said...

I'm sorry that you have to go through this. It's very possible that you don't have IBS at all, but a manifestion or symptom of panic attacks or social anxiety disorder. When I was in university I had to have phenobarb prescribed because I could not keep any food down-it either came out one end or the other. Of course, at the time I was under trememdous pressure-exams, adjusting to life outside of home, and personal issues, and once I was on the medication I learned to manage the stress through counselling.

I was the same way-I'd become so stressed about an upcoming project or paper, and it would consume me. Then it was like a house of cards-every thing started to tumble down around me. I felt out of control, and my bowels followed suit.

It's good that you're able to see these issues in yourself and know that they need to be addressed-a lot of times people don't want to admit there is something wrong. However, don't be afraid to take medication-the most important thing is that you be as healthy as possible, both emotionally and physically, before you decide to bring another child into the world (but, as you wrote, you know that already). Perhaps seeing the GP about meds isn't enough-I saw that you mentioned that you see a therapist-is he or she licensed to prescribe medication? It might be better having someone who's more familiar with those types of medications prescribe them rather than the gp...

I hope that everything works out for you-you've been through so much. You're in my prayers.

mossyclog said...

Just wanted to send some hugs your way. I'm thinking of you and sending lots of postive thoughts your way. *BIG HUG*

ilyse said...

I am so sorry to hear that you are dealing with all of this. You did not have to go to that shower and that was very brave of you that you did. Your feelings are totally valid and I can totally understand what you are saying. Sending you big hugs.