What a week and oh the pain!
After a 3 month course of roxithromycin tablets day and night, my skin had barely changed. The theory was to rule out an infection as a trigger for my ongoing eczema flare-up. We would combat the infection and then look at light therapy.
The 3 month window went by with no real noticeable improvement in my skin. I did not have the occasional staph spot anymore but I still had a problematic forehead and an upper body that gradually regressed back into flare up. Same pattern, with or without the antibiotics. Stomach, body, everything was normal as if I had not done anything. I did not even think there would be an issue coming off it.
A couple of days after I stopped taking the antibiotics my stomach and intestines went into shutdown mode. I did not put 2 and 2 together until a week and a half later when my local doctor mentioned it. Cramping, pain and chronic constipation. I was not stressed, I had not changed my diet, I had not eaten any foods I was allergic to. I could not think of why and I started to get really worried.
Maybe it is the semi-anonymity of a blog, so I will mention it. I hadn’t had a bowel movement in days. That is unlike me. I am normally very regular with that part of my body working well. The odd stress issue but normally like clockwork. This was seemed random and sudden. I thought of all the scary possibilities it could be. Stomach or bowel cancer locked up my mind.
There was a great quote from the tv show Scrubs that was “When you hear hoofbeats, think horses not zebras”. In other words, think of the likely scenario first. The problem for me is I have been living with zebras for some time now. As I type this I am sitting in a hospital oncology ward. Some of you may know that my lovely wife Millie has terminal kidney cancer. She has been fighting it for about 6 years. A recent bout of chronic and excruciating abdominal pain meant a hospital admission on Friday lunchtime. A quick whirl of staff, scans and a load of pain and nausea meds. They have been trying to balance the pain meds and nausea side effect, then the nausea meds with the drowsiness side effects. It is a balancing act. The pain came on fast and has been rough. Millie has now been in hospital for 4 nights.
Ironically, I was already dealing with my own personal gut pains and concerns for about 5 days before Millie trumped me. Due to Millie’s history, my mind went straight to cancer. Despite the way this blog might sound, I do not go to a doctor in a hurry. Most things sort themselves out or you can look after it at home. This was getting really sore. I had not had a normal bowel movement for 5 days. The urge was there but only small pebbles. My appetite was ok but the gut pains got worse after eating so this limited it a bit. Even so, a lot more seems to be going in than coming out. I tried Kiwicrush, a natural way of getting things moving, fruit and porridge but still no joy.
You can imagine my relief when I finally went to my GP last Thursday and put it together. She identified the fact I had just come off the antibiotics as the likely cause. Hallelujah! I got laxatives and probiotics to rebuild my gut health. When taking the antibiotics I had no idea I had decimated my gut health. Nor did I realise the pain and discomfort this could cause. I started taking the meds but no joy. This was probably not helped by the fact it took me a week to see the doctor.
Then queues Millies one-upmanship the following day, Friday. The pain meds are causing some significant constipation for Millie too. The added pressure and straining has exacerbated the pressure and pain in the abdomen. I must admit stealing one of her laxative drinks she left lying around while she was asleep. It didn’t help. Today I have decided I am going to go fibre crazy because I am still in pain and getting impatient. I have also increased the laxative dose, eaten about 4 kiwifruit and an apple. Things are starting to happen but still very sore. Now gurgly and sore.
I am so sorry gut. I hope the probiotics help repopulate you soon. You are getting solid payback and I am looking forward to returning to business as usual.
Regarding Millie, she is currently sleeping after speaking to a palliative care nurse about pain management. The main priority for Millie is to get a handle on the pain, nausea and constipation so we can go home.
On a side note, I started my first light therapy session today. 40 seconds today. I will let you all know how this goes as I progress.
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