So for the past week or so I have been in a full-blown Crohn’s flare. Being sick as hell all the time anyway, even when my GI symptoms are relatively minimal (meaning, minimal for me as a person with a chronic and debilitating autoimmune and GI disease) I guess I had forgotten how bad things can actually get! Despite having recently worsening symptoms like crippling fatigue, arthritis in my fingers, toes, shoulders, hips and spine, dizziness and trouble walking, my GI symptoms have been at a blessed minimum lately, consisting merely of having to ruthlessly police my own diet and avoiding most foods available in the supermarket or anywhere; waking up nauseated every single day and having to lay (well, writhe around) in bed for an hour every morning trying to fart (apparently extreme bloating makes one nauseated? Who knew!); being hit randomly throughout the day with stabbing abdominal pains, gas and bloating, “heartburn” which is really esophageal spasms that feel more like a cardiac event than a gastrointestinal one, pangs of nausea and other distressing sensations, and being glad I live alone so I can accomplish this daily ritual/grind in peace.
Other than that (!!) I felt relatively okay until about 10 days ago when the dreaded intestinal gurgling began. As far as I can tell the gurgling starts as I become more and more inflamed and less and less able to control my symptoms — is it masticated food trying to bypass an obstruction? Because that’s what it seems like to me. In short order I was in a full-blown flare in which my abdomen feels, looks and is like a bloated whiskey barrel overstuffed with boggy loaves of bread, broken glass, 190 proof alcohol, and poison. The broken glass, alcohol and poison are self-explanatory (severe sharp/gnawing/grinding pain, burning, smothering malaise). The boggy loaves of bread are my inflamed intestines and that’s exactly what it feels like — for instance, instead of moving and/or bending easily at the waist, bending over becomes grueling and distressing and literally feels like I am working against a waterlogged loaf of Wonder bread where my appendix and terminal ileum should be (abdominal right lower quadrant). There’s another loaf where my ascending colon should be and so on. If I drop something on the floor whilst in this sorry state it better be something I won’t be needing for awhile because I literally cannot bend over (or reach!) to pick it up again.