Monday, January 3, 2011

What I Know For Sure

What I know for sure:

In 1994 I also had this lower left colon pain and some bleeding. I was 18 years old and knew nothing about health outside of vitamin books I had read. I was certainly not the person I am today. I went to my primary care doctor. Oddly the same one I spoke of years later in the benzo withdrawal video, who acted like a baby and had a tantrum because I told him (politely) that I disagreed. So, I go see him in 1994 and he has me come back for a sigmoidoscopy. What I didn't know then is that would have been better to have done by a gastro doc and not a primary care doctor, but again I was 18, what did I know? A doctor was a doctor in my head back then.

So, he does this scope. When he is finished, Dr. Zeltner (It is not deformation of character if everything I say about this man is true), says to me... "Looks like you have a little colitis." and put me on a drug called Azulfidine for a year. There was no follow up about it, no explanation about what a little colitis was, no biopsy, nothing at all. This is right before the internet exploded on to the scene, so that was not at my finger tips yet to know anything about this "little colitis".

Years pass and when I would see him about pain it was always "It is IBS (irritable bowel syndrome), from your anxiety.". What did I know? I mean still at this point I knew little. That is what I would just tell close friends when I would go in pain so bad that I would almost faint. "Yea, I have IBS, it sucks." and the truth is IBS can cause that kind of pain, so really I had nothing to really be concerned about, after all it made sense.

Fast forward to 2009. I am in the depths of benzo withdrawal, people who follow me or seen the video know what happened. One day, because I had cramps so bad during it I turned white, broke into a cold sweat and for a few seconds till it stopped prayed for death I decided to place a call. I collected myself and called his majesties office (this was months after his flip out on me). I told a nurse on the phone that in 1994 I had a sigmoidoscopy. I would like to know the results of that test, because back then colitis was a word thrown around for not only ulcerative colitis, but for IBS". See what was not sitting right with me is no one with IBS gets put on Azulfidine and in almost all cases IBS does not cause bleeding the exception being usually when they have IBS-C (meaning severe constipation and that blood is usually from hemorrhoids and fissures).

The test was in 1994, so she had to take a few hours to call me back. When she did she said. "Dr. Zeltner said the diagnosis (in Sept on 1994) was ulcerative colitis vs. crohn's disease." I said "Well, which is it? Those are both completely different diseases." and she said "I will call you back."

An hour later the phone rings. She says "Ulcerative colitis". I say " do we know that?" and she said "Well in May 1995 he decided it was not crohn's disease that it was ulcerative colitis." OK, first of all I have not seen the man from Sept 1994 till May of 1995. I know this because I followed my girlfriend out to Western New York where she and I attended college. So how he suddenly had the light of the universe descend upon him and the answer was revealed is beyond me. I told her thank you and that was that.

I was too sick from benzo withdrawal and as everyone knows, because I drive it home to you all constantly, no doctor listened to me and I was just sick. So I placed that conversation away. The goal at that time was to just stay alive.

God this post is going to be long sorry.....OK

So, I quit smoking Sept 2009. Shortly after the bowel pain acted up more. I couldn't even go without living on Metamucil. This of course is somewhat common in people who quit. Many many people who quit smoking become chronically constipated for a time. This never ended for me, month after month. Left side pain became an issue again. I was always sore. That is what prompted me (if some of you have kept up with me so far) to see a gastro doc at Albany Medical Center in Jan 2010. Her and I didn't click. She is not a bad doctor, just was one of those things. My mother is very happy with her and she has done my mom justice in her cancer ordeal. She just couldn't really follow my story and that is OK, look not everyone is a match. Plus I was still not too well from the benzo issues. So I retreated into denial again.

The very day I saw her I came home and there was a voice mail. "Mom had a stroke and we are in the ER" from my father. I had just had a gastro who I was angry at (mainly because of how I had been treated by doctors, three days before a lung doctor tells me "anxiety" yet again, even when I scored below normal on breathing tests and got some half assed answer about the cause of that because I was thin and now my mother just had a stroke. There went quitting smoking....I drove right to the store and lit up. What a rush that was by the smoking for several months and then bam. It was like starting again...sick as all get out from it.

The next day I went to the bathroom just fine, within days the pain really subsided. Shortly after I tried to stop smoking again...after all what a fool I am for doing that to myself. Sadly that never came to pass and for the first time I admit I am still a smoker. However there have been times that I tried again for obvious reasons. When I do, my colon gets worse.

See I had cut back a lot the past two times the blood showed up and this is very important because I am going to copy and paste some info at the end of this post.

First, I want to say I think I do indeed have ulcertive colitis and it is no small thing to have at all, esp for someone like me. A week from now I will be contacting doctors yet again. I need time to settle all this in my head. I couldn't eat for days from stress and finally I am eating again. That is my pattern...I flip the hell out and then days to weeks later I reclaim my power and move myself forward...after all what other choice do we all have? I am scared, scared, scared of the scope and in my last post I told you I read all the horror stories, but that is easing because I have little choice. If it is ulcerative colitis it is dangerous and stupid for me not to find out. What I will do with proof of the illness will be a topic for later should that come to pass.

Here is some info which will explain the cigarettes:

"Ulcerative colitis appears to be a disease of non-smokers. Former smokers are at the highest risk for developing ulcerative colitis, while current smokers have the least risk. This tendency indicates that smoking cigarettes may prevent the onset of ulcerative colitis." "Researchers have discovered that it is the nicotine in tobacco cigarettes that has a positive influence on symptoms of ulcerative colitis. Nicotine is a naturally occurring substance in tobacco that has a complex effect on many organs and systems in the body. Nicotine is also highly addictive, and many people who smoke cigarettes have difficulty quitting despite the serious health risks."

Also I want to point out that many studies have been done and they are finding that ulcerative colitis causes (not caused by BUT CAUSES) anxiety, depression, heart irregularieies like palpitation and ohh yeah orthostatic intolerance aka why maybe I have POTS symptoms... (postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome, that magically no doctor in my area has heard of).

Something very interesting I found was a man who was placed on Ativan for his crohn's disease to comfort him. When his Ativan was taken away his crohn's disease raged back. The doctor felt it best to just keep him on Ativan. Of course knowing what benzo withdrawal does and talking with 1000s of people this makes since. Benzo's cause a horrible rebound effect that can last years...that was his weakness , his crohn's and ranging back it came...not to mention the digestive system is filled with "neurochemicals" it is just not the brain folks these things are concentrated in your gut and heart. This would also show that benzos have a direct effect of the gut.

Ok ..ok enough for now..I will tell more later.

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