Part Five ~ Side Effects/Pills/Food

New Years - a time for staring over - I thought with my new meds I'd be starting on a better healthier path for 2018.

That wouldn't be the case.

Day two into my prescription, I started to have new pains in addition to the intestinal pains and issues I was having. On the positive side, I did notice the diarrhea slowing down. It was nice to not have to run to the bathroom as frequent. So this meant my medicine was working against the infection! By day three I felt better in that respect and only went to the bathroom a few times per day. So why the heck was my stomach in so much pain?

I called around and spoke to several health nurses and doctors over the course of the next couple days concerned with my new pains. The pains were awful, they started in my upper stomach and spasmed down through my large intestines. More than half of my digestive system. The only way I can describe it is to compare it to constant labor pains, but in my food belly. They were stronger than any contraction I'd ever had though. Even with my sons birth, which was a painful back labor. This pain was worse. And on top of it the ovary pain was exacerbated by the contractions, and the pain in my butt (the hemorrhoid) was worse, it was like someone stuck a hot coal up my ass. Sorry to be so graphic, sometimes it felt like I was shitting razor blades. It hurt like that all the time but was way worse while having a bowel movement, sometimes I'd feel like I was going to pass out from the pain.

Some suggested maybe the contractions was the C-diff still in my system. I didn't think so, this was different. I felt pretty confident that the C-diff was under control based on the frequency of bowel movements and the odor was gone, completely gone.

By this time, I hardly ate, hardly drank, and only slept one hour per day, sometimes only 30-45 minutes. The pain was just too much. My mom would sleep with me on our large couch and we'd sleep head-to-head and she would massage my scalp to relax me. I'd breathe through the pain, and relax as best as I could during the hours I was supposed to be sleeping. I tried to give my body the rest it needed to heal.

I think the only way I survived this time in my life was my mom taking care of me. She went out and got baby food and Pedialyte. She made sure I ate every couple of hours to take my meds. I wasn't able to eat much if at all. I tried and sometimes cried through each bite to get it down. I cried when food commercials came on the TV. I wanted to eat, I really did. Not because I was hungry, because I wasn't, but for nourishment and to help my stomach cramps. Nurses and doctors said I needed a full meal on my stomach to prevent stomach cramps from the medicine.

But I just couldn't get it down. I'd chew it slowly, I'd feel nauseous, and it would feel like my throat would close up, but I still forced it down as best I could. Baby food, eggs, and plain chicken with white rice was my diet every day.

I can't remember which doctor of the many, but someone gave me potassium pills, said it was very low (I don't think I mentioned it but every time I went to the doctors, in addition to urine tests, they'd give me an IV and take blood). I tried to take the potassium and I couldn't stomach them at all! It was something else that made me cry, because when I took the potassium I actually felt sleepy and I slept for a couple hours that night, I think due to my blood pressure dropping (I don't really know, it's a guess, I had a blood pressure cuff and took it a few times per day - my bp was higher than usual due to stress/medicines/anxiety so I wanted to keep an eye on it).
And potassium helps with cramping, which was another reason I really wanted to be able to take it.

Mom stocked me up on sweet potato baby food. I ate it as much as I could throughout the day (usually only a couple tablespoons) to get whatever potassium in my system that I could. But it didn't feel like it was making a difference.

On one doctor visit they gave me a script for Reglan - it's used to treat nausea, loss of appetite, heartburn and early satiety. It didn't work as it was intended. The side effects for this drug are; feeling restless, nausea, and insomnia. All the pills did was give me the side effects - which I already had - but they were now ten times worse. Another drug we tried for my spasms was Bentyl, it did work and I had no spasms for a few hours which was a nice reprieve, however the side effects weren't nice at all; pounding heart, confusion, unusual thoughts, nervousness, dry mouth and eyes, and blurred vision (which I tried eye drops and I read later that was the worst thing I could do - it made my vision beyond blurred and I felt like I had salt crystals in my eyes). The spasms as bad as they were felt like a picnic compared, so I didn't take the Bentyl again.

Also, during one doctor trip, I had them check my tongue, it had weird spots on it. Turns out I had thrush, an oral yeast infection. They gave me tablets to dissolve on my tongue to get rid of it. It went away quickly (couple days) and was then told to stop using the pills.

Everyone I spoke to during this time, would ask me if I was drinking alcohol while taking the Flagyl. What the hell? I wanted to laugh, but would usually end up crying. I couldn't drink water, never mind alcohol. I honestly think in all of this no one was taking me seriously or understanding what I was going through. Apparently if you drink alcohol or have anything with propylene glycol in it while taking Flagyl, it will make you really ill and cause you pain. Finally, I thought we'd figured out my pain, my magnesium pills I've taken for years have propylene glycol in them. I stopped taking them. It made no difference, it just made my muscle twitches come back within two days (which is why I take them) but I steered clear of them anyway because of the ingredients, just in case.

At this point, I was convinced all of the issues were due to the Flagyl, I was having some kind of reaction to it. All the health care professionals I spoke to said I had no choice I had to finish the prescription, which I forgot to mention, was 500mg three times per day. I've always been sensitive to any kind of meds over the counter or scripts and usually take children's doses or the least amount I could. So 1500mg's of anything was going to be a shock to my system. Instead of three times per day I cut the pills in half and took them six times per day, since I wasn't sleeping anyway. The pains lessened. I called around to pharmacy's and tracked down someone from the drug company and 50% of the people I spoke to said as long as I was getting the full 1500 per day I was fine, the other half said, no take as prescribed or the infection might come back.

I asked the ER and they said there were other meds I could take for this infection, but they wouldn't give them to me. After researching I found out the other meds - there are two others - are very expensive.

50/50 - those odds weren't in my favor. I went back to three times per day since I didn't want the infection to come back, until I couldn't handle it, I took another one day break of six half pills for the day. Then powered back on with three pills per day. It was absolute hell!

As the pill bottle was emptying, I kept telling myself, one day this bottle will be empty. My life revolved around the level of pills in the bottle and what little food I could get in my system.

...To be continued.


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