ME’S PERSONAL STORY

I almost feel silly writing this but I am going crazy and need to get it off my chest. I’ve dealt with chronic constipation since I can remember. As much as I try to manage it, I feel like it just gradually gets worse as I get older. Colon cancer and GI problems run in my family, so I’m just lucky. It’s a very difficult problem to have because it’s disgusting and nobody wants to hear about it so it’s hard to feel supported. When I became a teenager it was so bad I started having fecal impactions. I went to the emergency room once for one because I couldn’t go to the bathroom for three weeks. I was in so much pain and so scared and the hospital staff were so cruel to me. They disimpacted me but very roughly without any kind of pain medicine and I was screaming repeatedly for them to stop because they were hurting me so bad and they wouldn’t. The shame and disregard of that memory still haunts me and has made me not want to seek help from doctors at all. Impactions can be very dangerous but I just deal with them myself because that experience traumatized me. However, my colon health continues to digress. I recently had a c section and gave birth to a beautiful baby girl. Shortly after I had her I got covid, followed by two stomach bugs, and mono. Being so sick and having major surgery has made my constipation so bad that I’ve had two impactions in a month’s time. I have severe anal fissures that constantly spasm all day and night and I feel like my bowel never empties. I can’t even really go to the bathroom I have to manually remove it because the pain is so excruciating. And now I find myself leaking diarrhea throughout the day and have to wear an adult diaper at 27 years old. The pain from the fissures and spasms is so bad that it wakes me up in the night and I can’t sleep. I am 8 weeks postpartum, sick and exhausted, trying to care for my newborn, and go back to work full time. These digestive problems have made me miss several days of work and my boss is already threatening to fire me. I am completely overwhelmed and don’t even know how to tell them why I’m sick. I’m scared for people to get close to me in case they can smell my diaper. It’s a lot. I finally made an appointment to see a gastroenterologist the other day and I’m ready to finally face this. But it’s been so hard and people really underestimate how difficult and debilitating these kind of problems can be, you just always feel like the a$$ end of a joke (pun intended), and it’s isolating. I’m praying I can be helped.

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