DIARRHEA SAGA

Earlier this month I wrote a post that explained I was suffering from a bout of diarrhea. It turns out that wasn’t a one-time thing. About four days prior to that post, on January 2, was the first day I was hit with the watery stools. Recall that during that time, I was also fighting a very bad sinus infection. So I was dealing with both maladies at the same time. Suffice to say, I was not enjoying life.

The diarrhea was affecting me anywhere between once to four or five times a day. As bad as that may seem, the sinus infection was way worse because I couldn’t breathe. Sure, having loose poops ain’t fun but not being able to breathe sucks. The treatment for my sinus infection included antibiotics and I was hoping that whatever was causing my diarrhea might be a bacteria because it would be killed by the drugs. No such luck as 24 hours after I started the antibiotics, I continued having the loose poops but my sinuses felt so much better.

Once my sinus problems were behind me, I could concentrate more on fixing my gastrointestinal problem. Everyone has had such issues before but this one was different for me. There were no cramps nor pain associated with it. I would be fine and then all of a sudden, I’d have this massive urge to go, as if it just snuck up on me. Sometimes I could feel things working through my body way too fast. I would have a drink of something and I could feel my intestines letting that liquid go really quickly through me, where only a single muscle (that critical one) was holding it back from escaping into the world again. Sometimes I’d have the chills before and after releasing my bowels.

This went on for weeks and of course this is not normal. As I was approaching four weeks of this madness, I decided to go see my family doctor and not some walk-in clinic physician. Unfortunately, my own doctor was on vacation until February so I had to settle for his stand-in. I told her about my four weeks battling this, the sinus infection, and all the gory details of what was coming out of my butt. She also got me to lie down and she pressed on my abdomen in a few places and asked if it hurt. It did not. After all this, she said she suspected that I was suffering from some sort of viral infection, which was causing all the mayhem. Something like this has been going around and no medication nor drugs could help me. I would just have to wait for the virus to poop itself out of me and run its course. She guessed that I would have about one more week of the diarrhea before getting better. The doctor told me to continue to stay hydrated and to return if the symptoms got worse. I thanked her for her time and left the medical clinic.

It made sense that it was viral since the antibiotics didn’t do anything. I was a little skeptical of her estimate that I had one week left before it would get better. Like how could she guess that? Well, I saw the doctor on Monday and I had my first solid poop of 2017 on Friday morning. It was quite a milestone for me and I haven’t been that happy in a bathroom in a long, long time. I had another solid, non-diarrhea poop Sunday morning so everything indicates my gastrointestinal system is returning to normal. It’s crazy that it took about four weeks into the new year before I pooped normal.

Now I can have some perspective on this, I’m trying to compare it to the other times where I’ve been felled by a gastrointestinal malady. I’ve had norovirus (or norovirus-like symptoms) at least three times in my life. The intensity of the discomfort that norovirus brings is an order of magnitude (or several) worse that what I’ve been dealing with this January. With that, you’re going to the bathroom ten times a day or worse. There’s also vomiting and an overall intense feeling of nausea. With my recent illness though, I didn’t have to miss work or anything, nor was I in pain. It just sucked having diarrhea for a month. The times I had norovirus though, I was better after a week or so. Quick but intensely painful or mild but an extremely long timeframe, what’s better? Hard to say. I think I might prefer to the mild diarrhea for a month but only by a little bit.

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