Ankylosing Spondylitis and Digestive Issues
Last updated: July 2022
I’m not able to do much these days.
I've been in symptom hell for the past 7 or so weeks. It started at the end of May with what I thought was the stomach flu. I was having digestive issues and vomiting every single day. It wasn’t fun, but I got through it.
What happened after that
I had about a week after that where I was relatively okay. I thought the “flu” was gone and that I would be able to eat again (yay!). Not so yay. After that week or so, I was right back in it.
This is a bit of a gross article, but it’s what I’ve been going through and I want to share this in case someone is going through something similar.
The next 6 weeks were awful for my body. I was having digestive issues once again - which meant diarrhea multiple times a day, every single day. There was some vomiting here and there, but nothing as bad as the first week of symptoms.
It finally became too much to handle for me. One Friday night I just not feeling well. I felt weak, nauseous, and just generally not well. My mom and I headed to the ER to see if they could help me at all. I felt like I might be dehydrated.
At the ER
I was given fluids and Zofran at the ER and also referred for a colonoscopy to see what was going on. At this point, it had been 4 weeks of this with no end in sight.
A week later I was back in the ER after having 10 diarrhea episodes in 24 hours with 3 vomits. I felt like I was falling apart and once again felt dehydrated.
I needed fluids again, but this ER nurse actually knew about AS (my other one didn't, I had to explain it to her). This nurse understood my worries and urgency to get a colonoscopy (I’m worried that I have Crohn’s, due to it being common with AS). They told me I could take Imodium to help calm my bowels and sent me on my way.
After all of this
I haven’t been back to the ER since my second visit, as I took Imodium once and it did help to calm everything down.
I’m still going to the bathroom regularly, but it’s nothing like it was when I needed immediate attention.
I have my colonoscopy in a few days from when I’m writing this. My Gastroenterologist got me on a cancelation list and I got in within a week! I feel so lucky. I knew I didn’t want to be going through this for another 7 weeks.
My GI understands my concern for everything that’s going on. He sent me for bloodwork to see if I’m celiac, and will tell me more after my scope in a few days.
I’m extremely nervous to get the results of the colonoscopy. I don’t know if I can handle 3 chronic illnesses (I know I will have to, but it’s going to be hard). I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia earlier this year along with AS, so it feels like I just keep collecting chronic illnesses!
Have you ever had to take a leave of absence from work due to your symptoms?
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