My IBD diagnosis
Last updated: March 2022
I've been doing a lot of reading about IBD since being diagnosed last month and it really is disturbing the amount of people who have been told there's nothing wrong with them, misdiagnosed, turned away from the ED and told to go home and rest. Doctors telling people it's all in their heads. Even GI's not wanting to have a bar of it.
I must have been one of the lucky ones
I work 1 1/2hr flight from the nearest city, or a 7hr car ride over WA outback roads to the closest regional hospital, so getting to an ED quickly is not an option. I fly to work on a Thursday and there's no more plane's until Monday.
When I first thought something was wrong was on one of those fly in Thursdays. I felt constipated and extremely tired, I went to the site medic who gave me some laxatives and sent me back to my site accommodation to rest. I ended up staying in my room feeling worse and worse till Monday morning when I could back on a plane. When I arrived home, I went straight to the ED and after waiting a lengthy amount of time I was sent home and told to take lactulose. I asked the doctor if we could do a scan to see if constipation was the problem, she was reluctant but agreed to an x-ray. The x-ray showed I was backed up three ways to Thursday which affirmed to the dr I was constipated. 2 trips to my GP later and he put the constipation down to hemorrhoids.
I've never been so sick in my life
I was crook. I had gone from being reasonably active to couch bound. I hadn't been well enough to go back to work for a month so my partner "politely" suggested a trip back to the ED. Being a pig headed stubborn "bloke" I said nah I'll be ok. The next day I was in the car and off to the hospital, I couldn't take it anymore.
Anyway, long story short, I was admitted that night, CT scan (found major inflammation in my bowel) and bloods done. The next day I had flexible sigmoidoscopy done by the resident GI and was diagnosed with IBD by 3pm. I started on IV steroids and antibiotics straight away. I feel really sorry for those who struggle through for months/years, just trying to survive without a diagnosis.
Like I said, I'm one of the lucky ones.
What has been the most helpful for managing IBD symptoms?