I’ve been trying to write a blog post where I tell you about life in May for the past three days, and I’ve been closing it down in frustration because nothing has been coming out the way I want it to. It feels too much of a challenge. Blogging had been coming so naturally since my depression started to lift, so this is a very uncomfortable situation for me to be in.
I’m pissed off because there’s much good stuff I wanted to talk to you about, such as getting naked in public spaces, investing in props for my photography and making videos for the first time in years. And much rough stuff such as my increasing sensitivity to traffic noise, the impact Britain being out of the EU will have on my move to Norway and not reading as much because I gave too many hours over to social media. I’m also pissed off because life has been really picking up recently, and I do not fucking need this.
My stomach is to blame. It’s been giving me grief since April. As I type, it’s swollen, tight and excruciatingly painful. I’m convinced that if I were to gently press a needle against it, it would explode. This dreadful feeling of fullness will, I predict, last for the rest of the evening.
So, instead of filling you in about everything, I’ll just talk about what’s happening with my stomach. I guess I can manage that.
Way back in April, I briefly mentioned in a blog post that my stomach felt as though it was weighed down with stones’ after eating some cheesecake. Little did I know that early satiety – feeling full and bloated after only a few bites of food – would become a horrible and frightening part of my daily life.
The awful feeling of fullness and bloating (which is still going on today) lasts for several hours and leaves me hellishly distressed. In some instances, I’m in extreme pain with lightheadedness and nausea. Simply touching my stomach in some areas has me doubling over in agony.
The doctor prescribed Lansoprazole four weeks ago. It hasn’t helped. An Ayurveda practitioner has given me herbal remedies. They’ve done little to shift the problem. I tried some of my mother’s IBS pills the other day (I haven’t been diagnosed with IBS, but I was desperate.) They seemed to help a bit but only short term.
My parents are both sensitive to soya and suggested it might be linked to that. I’ve been eating soya yoghurt twice a day (sometimes more) for several months, eating soya at dinner time and having soya protein shakes. I didn’t experience any stomach issues when I first started eating this much soya, but the past several weeks have been almost unbearable.
The other night I was in so much discomfort, so wreaked with anxiety, and, because my family insisted I did so, I called 111. They told me to go the Urgent Care. I went to Urgent Care. The doctor there (he was somewhat cocky and chuckled when I snapped and said I couldn’t be pregnant because I hadn’t had sex in ages) told me he couldn’t help and that I had to make an appointment with my GP. I walked out of there like a beaten dog.
I tried to make an appointment with my GP the following day (Friday), and I was told they were fully booked and I’d have to try again on Monday. My health anxiety isn’t as problematic as it has been in the past, but I know that it’s creeping around, and I’m worried it’s going to engulf me when I’m not looking.
I haven’t eaten any soya today or yesterday. Not one morsel. But all day, my stomach has been enlarged and has hurt.
I called my doctor’s surgery today. I was given a phone call appointment and told they’d take blood samples and that, if another month on the medication doesn’t help, then they’ll put a camera inside me and see if there’s anything out of the ordinary going on.
I mentioned bloating being linked to ovarian cancer, and the nurse on the other end said that because I wasn’t displaying other symptoms, it was doubtful it would be that, which was a relief. However, I still feel like there’s more that could be done with me other than just blood being taken. I have a video appointment with a dietitian tomorrow regarding help with gaining weight, but I’m going to bring up my stomach issues as a matter of urgency and see what they have to say. I’ve also started keeping a detailed food diary where I write down what I eat, how I feel before eating and how I feel afterwards. I’m hoping it will shed some light on what the hell is going on.