Feeling unwell (part ii)

And the good news is that life is getting back to normal again. It seems likely that what had happened was that I had managed to overdose myself with Loperamide, completely shutting down my digestive system in the process.

Two days without any Loperamide, and everything is working (sort of) normally again. On one level it’s been both an unpleasant and worrying experience. But if I look on the bright side (always a good move) I can console myself with the view that my body must be continuing to adapt to the surgery that it’s been through, and is now needing less Loperamide to keep running smoothly.

From my perspective, I’m still hoping that I’ll eventually end up (in a year or two’s time) not needing to take any regular medication, so I can view this as another small step towards that goal. The only difficulty is that right now I need to find a way to take less Loperamide, without swinging wildly the other way, and being tied to toilets all the time.

I foresee some experimentation with both my Loperamide dose, and the scheduling of my tablet-taking in my near future!

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2 thoughts on “Feeling unwell (part ii)

  1. Hi Richard,
    I’ve just found your blog and thought I’d say Hi and thanks for writing it all! I’ve just had an emergency ileostomy due to a bowl blockage which has turned out to be cancer. I’ve had to have most of my large intestine removed but having had ulcerative colitis for 9 years and struggling with the urgency and frequency issues you seem to have faced I’m actually quite liking life with the bag! I haven’t read all your blog yet (but definitely will!) but am about to start chemo in 3-4 weeks once my wound has healed. What I’ve read so far has been really good and insightful, especially about the reversal (which I do have the option of in the future) and the struggles you’ve had. I’ll be reading through the chemo and initial diagnosis and ileostomy stuff in the next couple of days, so you might see some questions or comments pop up on older posts! You seem to have the same positive attitude I’ve tried to take and have had great support which I too have been blessed with 🙂

    I hope you’ve managed to find a balance with the Loperamide, I was constantly struggling with that for the 9 years I had colitis, but that was mainly down to diet etc that caused fluctuations which made things more difficult to control. Have you tried taking the tablets slightly before or after eating and seeing if that helps?

    Hope your returning to work is still going well!

    Andy

    • Andy,
      So sorry to hear of your diagnosis. This must be a very difficult time for you; I know it was for us. The biggest concern we had was whether or not the cancer had spread, and I guess that will be the same for you. Hopefully though, your surgeon will have removed all the cancer in the main operation, and taken a large number of the lymph nodes around the cancer too, both as a precaution, and to allow them to accurately assess the likelihood of the cancer having spread. I strongly suggest that you start reading as much as possible about cancer generally, and bowel cancer and chemotherapy in particular; the more you know the easier it will be to communicate with your consultant and your oncologist. You need to know enough to be able to ask them the right questions, and you should prepare questions and take notes when you meet them; it’s too easy to miss things otherwise.

      I won’t lie to you – the chemotherapy will be hard; it starts out easy enough, but it’s very cumulative. Towards the end of the course it will have you on your knees. It’s sometimes hard to remember that the chemotherapy is actually doing you good, when it makes you feel so ill – but that’s the way these treatments work. Also, ask the oncologist about supplements that might help to counter the peripheral neuropathy. I wasn’t told about it, but apparently taking folic acid can help to reduce the effects, which would have been useful to know.

      As for me, I’m doing fine thanks. Still playing with Loperamide doses, and sometimes getting them wrong… but overall I’m getting steadily better, both in the adaptation of my body to the surgery, and my management of the drugs. I will never be completely like I was before, but I already have most of my life back, and I can see that the future is looking bright. In the grand scheme of things, I’ve got no problems 🙂

      Keep in touch, ask anything you need, I’ll do my best to answer.
      Richard

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