(photo)Long time readers will already have a far too intimate knowledge of my bowel habits. I don't shy away from the less glamorous side of living with Bob. And, lets face it, we've all been there at some point. Whether it's related to a chronic illness, a dodgy late night kebab, a stomach flu, or a trip to foreign lands (Bali Belly, Montezuma's Revenge), few are those who have not experienced the joy that is a disgruntled gastrointestinal tract.
I have been living with a permanent burning ring of fire since the beginning of August. And apparently supplying my offspring with endless comedic moments. My youngest will periodically sneak up behind me and play Johnny Cash's famous song on his ipod. Whilst simultaneously peeing himself laughing. Because mum's chronic gastro issues are simply hilarious (or 'hil.hairy.arse' as we tend to say in our classy household). Admittedly we, as responsible parents, played this same song for him when he was being 'cleansed' for his gastro scopes earlier in the year. So really I only have myself to blame. And, yes I am up for Parent of the Year.
Last weekend a trip to my GP reached a depressing low. Bulk prescription for GastroStop. Fanfrickentastic. Because that's just what every 38-year-old woman wants to buy at the chemist. Or even better, send her long suffering husband out to purchase on her behalf. Mind you he has carried a 4litre bottle of my wee to the local pathology lab, so really purchasing bulk stool hardening pills is a cake walk in comparison. I wonder if he thought he'd be undertaking these kind of tasks for me when he agreed to the "for better or worse" line on our wedding day. Love is a beautiful thing, no?
My next appointment to see Gastro Guy is not until the end of November. (Is it sad that every time I say 'Gastro Guy', I envision him as some sort of comic book hero. I can see the tagline now, "Villains tremble when Gatsro Guy produces his latex gloves, SCHNAP!". Dear lord, I really need to get out more). I have not been looking forward to this delay as it means continuing imprisonment in my ever shrinking four walls.
After leaving a comment/whinge/woeisme/sookylalapants rant on a forum, I was contacted by a fellow Bobette in the same rectally-challenged position as myself. She suggested that I try H1 and H2 antihistamines (often used for those who have Mast Cell Activation Disorder, MCAD, a common comorbidity in Bob) as they had worked well to control her own rear firehose. Normally I double check this type of information with my GP. But given they are over the counter meds, so no prescription required, and I am over forking out my life savings for the pleasure of waiting an hour in a germ filled waiting room, followed by the usual, trial and error, medical guinea pig answer I normally get, I thought bugger it. So once Mr Grumpy was sent off to the local chemist to purchase yet more pills.
To say I am surprised by the result would be an understatement. From the first day of taking the combined H1 and H2s I have gone from double digit, bolting/stumbling/praying, to the loo, to 3-4 times a day. WHOA! I here you say. You're talking crazy, Crazy Lady! But it's true. These two little tabs have reduced my vacating substantially, and my butthole is oh so grateful. Even the rainforests of the world have breathed a collective sigh of relief to know that their brethren will no longer be slaughtered in record numbers to meet my excessive tissue consumption.
In the spirit of full disclosure, I have to say it's not a complete answer. I am still nauseous, consistency has changed little, and my stomach continues to speak in tongues at 80 decibels. But frequency has reduced substantially. And that has given me some of my life back. Did you know that if you aren't crapping yourself stupid every three seconds you can pot a plant, and wait for it....walk up a flight of stairs. Whoa, I know I can't believe it either. As, I said to the lovely Linda, who put me onto this idea, I'm pretty sure I owe her my first born, or at least a kidney.
So the plan is to trial it for two weeks, stop it for a week, and see what happens. I'll also be double checking with Gastro Guy, when I see him, about the safety of long term use. As frankly, I hardly need to add another problem to my list, especially one that could be avoided.
So for now I am simply rejoicing in my reduced bathroom time. Laughing at the irony that my newly reduced frequency, would still be a cause for concern for regular folk. Amazing what you can get used to. I may even get crazy and walk up a flight of stairs again. Or go all out, and walk to the letterbox. Oh the possibilities. I may even go all Braveheart, and scream "FREEDOM", from my bedroom window. Its not like my neighbours think I'm normal anyway.
The world is my oyster dear readers. The world is my oyster.
I'm back baby.