About Me: Female, 25, Shaker Heights, OH, member since Mar 2012
I am so glad I'm not alone. I'm 23 now, about to be 24, and this has been going on for years. My mother has told me she has had the same thing happen to her, but then she just blows it off. I've gone to multiple, multiple meaning more than four, doctors who have either
[More] told me that I'm fine and they don't know what is wrong or have given me two colonscopies with no results.
Last night was the worst episode yet. I was with my husband at one of the worst possible venues for something like this to happen -- a heavy metal concert. I was drinking a beer, leaning on the bar feeling just fine. Then I started to feel a little warm. I didn't panic because my stomach WAS NOT hurting as it usually would. I looked around for a seat, but the closest one was across the bar. After a few more minutes, I was way too hot with a serious cold sweat. I told my husband I was going to go to the other side and things went horribly wrong from there.
I took about four steps and got tunnel vision, where black seemed like it was coming in from the sides of my eyes. Usually when this happens I can make it to the bed and fall there or I'm already on the toilet and I can hold myself up. This was the first time I didn't have a place to fall. The rest of what happened my husband pretty much had to explain. I lost all visibility and I could not communicate. I ran into a wall...I RAN INTO A WALL! But, I still wasn't to the other side of the bar. My husband was having trouble keeping up with me as a swayed from side to side bumping into people and running into the bar, looking like the biggest drunk at 11 p.m. when really I only had one beer. I'm a small woman, but I prepared properly to have at least one beer at this concert.
When we got to the last corner before I could find a stool to sit down, I did get a glimpse of my husband asking me what was going on. Still, I couldn't communicate. I went dark again and the next thing I remember is telling myself to snap out of it over and over again. I had no vision, I could hear my husband talking to me but I still couldn't respond. When I started to come to, I realized I was sitting on the floor and my husband was kneeling in front of me. I don't remember making it to the floor at all, but my husband said it was a guided fall. "Falling" was the best thing that happened. I started to get some strength back but the cold sweat wouldn't go away. I stood up and grabbed the stool next to me and put my head on the bar. I could hear some random guy asking my husband what was wrong and if someone put something in my drink. My husband knew it wasn't the drink; he's seen me and the toxic poo episodes before.
I was able to lay my head on the bar for a few minutes before one of the bartenders told me I couldn't do that anymore...and she was right. Either I was severely tired or severely wasted; no one was going to believe I was having a bad bowel experience. But before that, I had to tell my husband that I didn't think I was going to be able to walk back to the car...it felt like I had to read the Gettysburg Address. Each word felt like all my effort. At some point I came to, got my head off the bar and the cold sweat was met with a cool breeze from nowhere. I really wished the band that was playing would have stopped though; it was so loud and I felt so weak...I thought my insides were shaking. My husband paid the bill and we got out of there to walk back to the car.
I made it to the car and was coherent on the way to the convenience store, but my husband seemed pretty shaken. He had never been with me in a public place with this happening. Once we were at Red Lobster and I got bad cramps after two bites of food and we had to leave. But it was just cramps; I don't remember actually getting sick. At my Channel 19 internship though, it did happen. I was holding the wall to make it to the bathroom and it was so very far away...literally. I started to get tunnel vision as I put the key in the door to just go to the hallway to go to the newsroom where the bathroom was. After the door was a big open space and I think I almost ran into the next door. Another door to unlock with a key -- great. Somehow I got through and held the wall until I made it to the bathroom. I sat down and after about 30 seconds, I asked the woman in the other stall to get my supervisor. When she got there, she had to hold me on the way back to the office and then she had to drive me to my dorm. I was so grateful and she urged me to see the doctor.
In the driveway of the convenience store, I got sick again. Luckily I was sitting down but I already had a cold sweat, I felt like I was burning up and my stomach pains were now in full effect. All throughout the night was having very hot, toxic poo smelling gas, but this was the first time my stomach didn't warn me. My stomach felt a little bloated, but there was no pain. My husband said the beer may have masked the stomach pains. Now all I wanted was to lie on my bed.
When we got home I was able to walk to the door and run to the bed and fall there. I didn't get the tunnel vision but all my energy was gone. I felt completely depleted. My husband went to do something and I ripped off my shoes and jacket. After another few minutes the room was freezing, when it really wasn't, and I got under the covers. My gastroenterologist prescribed me dicyclomine for my cramps, so I took one of those and went to sleep for about two and half hours. When I woke up, I went to the bathroom, had my diarrehea and found my husband asleep on the couch. I felt so bad for making him go through all that with me.
I'm a journalist. Now that I've seen what this thing is capable of, I'm afraid I'm going to be interviewing a source or having to stand at some political function and I'm going to have an episode. I'm more terrified of being somewhere alone and not having anyone around to know if I'd fallen or gotten hurt. I could've easily hit my head too hard on that wall or fallen too hard on the floor and gotten injured if my husband wasn't there or if it was just too crowded in the place for him to not be there. It could've been a lot worse.
When I couldn't see anything, I thought my eyes were closed and I couldn't open them. My husband believes he saw my eyes open when I ran into the wall and afterwards. I definitely thought they were closed, so that worries me a bit. The telling myself to snap out of it and why can't you snap out of it is also very worrisome since it wasn't doing anything to bring my vision or my ability to communicate back. This was absolute the most terrifying experience I have had to date. I've been worrying about it all day, wondering when it's going to happen next. But, I know anxiety isn't going to help and me being a very anxiety-ridden person is not going to help either. I'm going to try to stay calm and take deep breaths, that seemed to help once I came to. And, I'm going to try to remember to get something cool for my head. Once, I was on the toilet and I put my head on the edge of the bath. It helped my stomach problems a little and it made me feel a bit better in general. Also, I think I'm going to buy a heating pad for when I get the cramps but I'm not hot yet. I think that will help me go to the bathroom quicker.
I feel bad for all of us; this seems so unfair and doctors aren't finding an answer. I love bread; I eat lots of it. I've been told I should try gluten-free, but I really don't think it's going to work. I ate yesterday what I would eat on any given day. For some reason, it was like my body just decided it was time to turn on itself. It feels like your body found something that's not supposed to be in you and it wants to get rid of it. I hope someone helps us soon.
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