It’s hard to believe the difference that just 12 hours can make. Last night I feared that I was on the verge of landing up in the hospital, this morning, I feel fine. Well, as close to fine as I ever get these days. I started to feel bad about lunchtime yesterday, the pain in my left lung and the whole area right down to my groin, kept going into spasm. Just sitting here was beyond uncomfortable, but there was nothing that I could do, other than push through the day and go with the flow. I have been there so many times in the past, so I expected that it would simply stay that way for the rest of the day, but yesterday was different.
I think it was around mid afternoon, that I started to realise that things just weren’t quite normal. It wasn’t just the spasms, but the left side of my abdomen was becoming more and more solid and distended. I was having to sit not just upright, but as though someone was stretching my spine, just to make space for what felt like an ever increasing mass. The internal pressure just kept growing, and as always, triggered more and more spasms in both my diaphragm and my intercostal muscles. Keeping myself busy, and my mind as much as possible off whatever was going on, was in reality, the only thing I could do, that had any effect. I frequently, though, had to stop, try and stretch my side even further in an attempt to clear whatever it was, that was hurting me.
By 6 pm, when I decided to close down my PC and shift myself over to the settee, the closest similarity to anything that has ever happened in my life before, was to say that I felt as though I was 8 months pregnant, heading rapidly towards 9. My entire abdomen was now solid, I do mean solid, not bloated or pliable in any way. The spasms were more or less constant and the only variations there were, was between uncomfortable or painful. Sitting in my wheelchair made the whole thing worse. Wheelchairs are nothing like sitting on any everyday chair I can think of. Your body is forced into what is the perfectly upright position we all should sit in all the time, but the angle of the seat and back, with a distended lump in front, isn’t comfortable in any way. Add in the action required by my upper body to move the chair, and my lower stomach was being squashed in every rotation of the wheels. The distance from one end of our living room to the other isn’t that far, but it was enough, for me to begin to feel sick. By the end of my first hour sat on the settee, I could no longer even add a sip of liquid, without fighting to stop it from coming back up. An hour on, and it had done it several times. I literally didn’t have space, for even the tiniest amount of anything.
No, I hadn’t been on a mega binge, I hadn’t sat here and stuffed myself silly all day. All I had eaten yesterday was exactly what I have been eating every day for weeks, but there I was, feeling like an overstuffed turkey. There was absolutely nothing, different about yesterday, than any other day in my life, but there I was, wishing that I could cut myself open and take everything out. The only thing that was different about yesterday was everything I have just written about and there wasn’t a single reason that I could think of, that could have caused it. In fact, if anything, it should have been the total opposite. I have been going to the loo every day since I upped the dose of my psyllium, yesterday, I went twice.
The correct dose you are supposed to take daily of Psyllium, is between 25 and 30 grams, a level I still haven’t reached. When I first went on it, I found that quantity impossible to consume, so I tried taking about half. For about a year, I was fine on that, I didn’t go to the loo daily, but I was going ever three to four days, which for me, was a massive improvement. The pain never went away, or even lessened, but I knew that I was, at least, going to the loo and that part was painless, which was a welcome and huge improvement. It didn’t last. The pain levels started rising and the amount I was passing fell. So I started upping my dose. Once again, I found one that worked for a while and then it stopped, so in the last three months, I have been slowly upping it every time we made a fresh dose of my pancakes, searching for the level that will once more work.
Psyllium doesn’t cause bloating, or wind. That is one of its bonuses, the biggest one for me, is that it doesn’t cause spasms, I have enough of them without adding more. It sounds like and has been for me, the best way of handling a half dead gut. If I stopped taking it, I would immediately find myself unable to go the loo, until I did reach the point of being overloaded. It was normal for the transition of food to take anything up to 18 days, and no matter how little or much I eat, that isn’t a pleasant position to be in. Laxatives don’t work, all they do is add in even more spasms that are quite simply unhelpful. So what happened yesterday, well other than my body going nuts, and causing rigid spasms throughout different lengths of my gut, I don’t know. What I do know is I don’t want it to happen again.
Adam couldn’t help but notice that I just wasn’t right, but as always, I did my usual, I made light of it. I wasn’t going to sit there and moan, or even scream, which was quite often what I felt like doing. Up to this point, yesterday wasn’t that unusual, just a heightened form of what I have felt frequently, everything had been notched up by not one but maybe three levels. So much so that I couldn’t cover it up, especially not when I found myself suddenly with yet another mouthful of acidic liquid from my stomach. I couldn’t hide the fact that I couldn’t find a way to sit, that dealt with the pain, but everything else, I hid. I hid my discomfort, I hid the problems I was having breathing beyond the shallowest action, as there simply wasn’t space. I hid the fact, that all I wanted was to go to bed, because there, I could stretch out with ease.
It wasn’t until just before midnight, that I started to put two and two together. Whether I am right or wrong, I’m not sure, but I think my theory has a high probability of being right. I hadn’t noticed it during the day, but I had been passing very little fluid, despite my drinking as much as I normally do. When you take psyllium, you have to be very careful to drink your full two liters or more every day. Anyway, at 8pm I went to the loo as I thought I was going to be sick, but instead, I peed for Scotland, then again at 9 pm, before I went to bed. I always wake around 6 am to empty my bladder as not surprisingly, it’s easy to sleep 12 hours but hard, not to need the loo. Last night, I woke before midnight and once again, found my bladder fit to burst. In those three visits, I swear I must have passed the entire amount I had drunk during the day. It was then I started to think. Although yesterday was the worst example, when I am that uncomfortable, just like yesterday, I don’t think I am passing any urine during the day. I am guessing, but I think that my body is collecting the fluid. When it collects in my already space shy abdomen, the pressure increases and the rest follows.
For years, I have been supposed to take Furosemide to deal with this excess fluid, but I have to be so careful with it, as I have Vasovagal, and Furosemide can aggravate it. Falling unconscious isn’t pleasant so I am inclined not to take it at all. I don’t know if I am right, but I am going to try and take enough to make me go to the loo during the day, and see if that changes the growing discomfort, I have during the late afternoon and evening. The next few days will be my testbed and the risks, well now that I am in my wheelchair, they have been reduced, it’s worth a try.
This morning, just like yesterday, I got up and moved my bowels with no issues. I have just taken my first small measure of Furosemide and have my fingers crossed that today will be totally different.
Please read my blog from 2 years ago today – 23/02/2014 – The merciful component
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