Anxiety and stomach adventures — day 3

Well, I’m still broken in some way. I’m doing better, being as I can eat normal food now (though with some discomfort).

My diary entries are as follows:

0155 – Burping a lot. Stomach feels kind of tight, and mind is worried about work on Sunday
0202 – Feeling very cold (room temp. is low, though). Going to try laying down in bedroom (warmer)
0220 – Urinated; normal duration, no pain
0550 – Sleeping is hit-or-miss. Fell asleep a few times, but woke up shortly after. Had dreams. Stomach feels empty, partially hungry
0600 – Decided to make Eggo waffles. Used less syrup than usual, just to be safe
0625 – Finished eating. Stomach seems OK
0717 – Stomach still OK. Usually waffles make it churn a lot. Jaw feels tight a lot of the time
0840 – Bath time
0842 – Urinated; normal duration, urine a bit thick? No pain
0905 – Done with bath. Stomach growled a bit; occasional burping
1135 – Went outside; dropped off mail, went to co-workers’ place to talk about work concerns
1207 – Home. Drank some Glaceau vitamin C water
1530 – Made and ate some crescent rolls. Stomach briefly felt uncomfortable. Small amount of anxiety, then as a result of that, felt better
1645 – Called mum to discuss what had been going on for the past few days
1730 – Took 0.25mg of Xanax. Talking has stressed me out
1955 – Off phone w/ mum. Stomach occasionally churning, but feels more like hunger? Not sure. Going to try resting due to stressful phone call
2017 – Logged in to work, wrote boss Email with current health status. Asked about possibility of him or someone else helping out as 3rd person on shift during week
2032 – Feeling a bit nauseous, not sure why. Going to try laying down in living room
2243 – Called friends on phone to keep mind busy. Finished. Stomach still upset; going to try eating few small slices of turkey
2256 – Took Zantac and Prilosec, ate turkey + water. Within minutes stomach began growling and churning. Feel very tired in general. Stomach still feels uncomfortable; afraid to take Pepto Bismol due to lack of BM in 2 days. Going to try resting

0442 – Woke up. Back of head hurts, probably from couch or sleeping wrong
0448 – Took 2 ibuprofen for head pain. Also urinated; normal duration, no pain. Still feeling tired despite sleep. Going to try laying down in bedroom instead. Burping also continues
0514 – Feeling very anxious, slightly jittery, general uneasy/unsettling feeling. Also feeling cold, could be due to room temperature
0526 – Bedroom is too cold, back into living room where heater is on. Jaw feels tight and stomach too. Mind feels focused on lack of BM; great concern
0849 – Woke up. Had dreams as before. Mind is thinking about personal computer projects. Considering using computer for a while
0915 – Decide to eat some mashed potatoes, gravy, stuffing, and water
0940 – Finished eating. Stomach is constantly churning, very audible
1000 – Stomach still upset, and strong pain felt on left side of abdomen region. Pain is especially worse if sitting down (standing OK, laying down on stomach OK). Very tight feeling, and left side hurts even if gently pressed. Hoping all of this is sign of upcoming BM. Also read Zantac can induce constipation
1010 – Logged in to work to read reply boss sent; agrees use of Sunday as a test day (if need to go home, no problem), and will possibly get someone as third person on Monday shift. Tue-Wed will have to be 2-person deep. Boss has great concerns over my health, and agrees recent workload is too heavy/high for me, says after holidays I need to take 2-3 weeks off
1020 – Decide to try and keep busy to see if stomach calms down. Work on upgrading computer hard disk in workstation with new one
1045 – Disk upgrade ongoing. Earlier stomach pain has mostly disappeared, but still growling or churning, then feels OK for few minutes
1100 – Finish disk upgrade. Some stress as a result, but did a very good job keeping anxiety under control; feeling of pride and control
1125 – Stomach still upset, going to try playing Wii games for a bit, then maybe rest. Have work tonight at 2200, feeling both positive and negative anxiety over it

It might be too personal, but my main concern at this point is the lack of bowel movement in the past 2-3 days. I’ve had very little food (the chicken sandwich, Eggo waffles, some turkey, and some mashed potatoes/stuffing), but it seems like I should’ve passed the sandwich already.

This situation isn’t new to me, however. Wikipedia has an article with a diagram that is similar to what I go through, sans the painful defecation part (that happens very rarely these days; it was much more common 2-3 years ago, where I had a case of haemorrhoids, which my doctor at the time stated was a very big concern due to my age (31); I was given fibre tablets, which did nothing other than increase stool size). I’ve never experienced “an accident” in public, but there have been two times in the past 2-3 years where I’ve been very close to (the most recent required me to leap out of the car and run off into some bushes; boy was I thankful for the huge maple tree above me, haha… now I carry a small roll of TP with me everywhere I go, “just in case”)

The cycle I seem to be in: eat food –> uncomfortable stomach –> worry about having a BM in a place which lacks an accessible restroom (this is my biggest fear/anxiety), even if I don’t have to go –> mind and body inadvertently get trained to hold everything in. It also doesn’t help that I don’t have a consistent eating schedule (due to working graveyard), nor is what I eat consistent. I do not eat 3 meals a day, nor do I eat “6 smaller meals” a day either. I more or less eat one, maybe two meals a day. This is where having a wife would probably come in handy. :-)

Anyway, the vicious cycle results in complications when it comes to travelling (especially in vehicles) — but up until recently, cycling (usually) was not susceptible to this. But in the past 5-6 months though, the times where I’ve had to go have been inappropriate: usually right before I have to leave for work (when I’m already late). I then get anxious over whether I should call into work late and try to do my business now, or bike to work as quick as possible and try to do it there. I do not have a phobia of public bathrooms (I’ve gladly used them many times), which is at least a positive.

I wish I could “train” my body to either go at a specific time (e.g. 0200 in the morning, or after I get home from work), and every day. But it just doesn’t want to cooperate. I refuse to use laxatives for a lot of reasons, mainly because some in the past haven’t worked at all, while others do work but the timing is unpredictable.

So, that’s my current situation, with a bit more detail than most readers probably want. :-) This is mainly documentation for me, or my doctor, but I’m sure there is someone else out there in the world who has a similar problem, being as Wikipedia has such scenarios documented all over the place…