So, as we all know, there is a pandemic at the moment. As someone with a chronic illness (and as someone whose partner has active asthma), I am concerned. I don’t want to catch coronavirus and I certainly don’t want my partner catching it. If we did, it would be extremely serious for us both.
I work for the NHS and so am classified as a key worker (as is my partner). Where he can work from home, I can not. I am currently at home due to an IBD flare-up (which I’ll get into in a bit), but I will eventually need to go back to work. The thing is, even though my work’s Occupational Health has advised I stay away from patient interaction, my job is patient-facing, so I’m not sure what I’ll be able to do when I do go back. And on top of that, what if I pick up coronavirus on my way home or from an asymptomatic colleague? There’s not a lot I can do other than opt to self-isolate. This will have to be something I discuss with my manager when I return to work.
As for the flare-up, it started about three weeks ago. We had just got back from the Netherlands and I was starting to experience stomach cramps. I put this down to having tensed during the flights as I dislike flying, namely take-off and turbulence. I thought they’d go away after a bit but no, they kept getting worse. Two weeks ago, it got to a point where I was having to sit down because I would get nauseous if I was stood for too long. That’s when the fatigue began to set in, to a point that my colleagues where starting to notice. They would tell me that I didn’t look well and that I should go home. I didn’t want to. The fact is, I haven’t been at this job for a year yet and my probation period had already been extended due to two instances of sickness (both of which I was hospitalised). If I called in sick, that would be three instances within the first nine months of my employment and I didn’t want to risk losing my job (despite all the reassurances from my colleagues to the contrary).
Come Friday of that week, and I am feeling awful. Thankfully, Friday afternoons are quiet for me at work so I didn’t have to do a lot. I decided I would use the weekend to rest and evaluate my condition Monday morning. I think they saw it coming as my manager was not surprised when I called in. I was signed off for two weeks. That two weeks is almost up and, unfortunately, I am not feeling much better. If anything, the pain is worse. I’ll be speaking to my GP again Monday to extend my sick note. It sucks but I have been advised by my GI to stay at home if I am experiencing flare symptoms. Hopefully, things will settle down soon and I’ll feel well enough to return to work.
Anyway, to everyone who reads this, whether you have a chronic illness or not, stay safe.
I’ve had an xray on my stomach which hasn’t shown anything bad. They want to see if I react positively to the steroids over the next couple of days but if not, they’re going to do yet another flexi and possibly change my infusion drug. The doctor said it could be due to hypersensitivity within my gut after being inflamed for a while.
Also, my cannula is hurting when they give me my steroids through it so they’re going to change it in a little while.
Thank you to @natsufatsu and @sabinasanfanfic for your kind messages.
Feeling like death warmed up. I’ve been feeling worse and worse over the last four days so I’ve called the helpline in hopes of getting some answers tomorrow. I’ve barely eaten anything today and I spent most of it sleeping.
So I got a call back from my IBD nurse and she’s said I need to drink more water, try eating more grapes (brcaise they are good for aoftebing stools) and stop taking the colesevelam for a couple of days before starting again on half the dose. She said colesevelam can cause constipation so I need to be mindful of that and call again if things don’t improve with the half dose.
I’m feeling really tired today despite having had about nine hours sleep last night. I’m trying to have a chilled out day today but I realised I need to go out to drop off a prescription request at the doctors and get more grapes.
I’ve been self-destructive again this week. I tried to have me-friendly food but I have eaten a lot of things that I shouldn’t have. I had a korma last night (which stayed down) but it inevitably hurt last night and this morning. I’m going food shopping tomorrow so I’ll be able to get more of what I can eat. I’m going to try and have sandwiches for my lunches at work again provided I can find a gluten free bread I like.
I’m a little nervous but also a little numb. I think it’s because I know what’s coming and there’s no point in getting upset about it. I still feel nervous though.
I went back to work today after a (somewhat) relaxing week off and I think I was mostly ok, but now I’m feeling terrible again; I’m rushing to the bathroom, having cramps and pains in my stomach and side, and I’m starting to feel really tired already. On top of that, my prescription isn’t at the pharmacy yet even though the doctors said it went on Monday so now I’m out of mercaptapurine. I know I’ll be ok without it for a couple of days (maybe) but I could really do with not missing too many doses. The hospital also want to do yet another flexi this week but they haven’t told me when yet. I’m not looking forward to it but if it means they can finally do something to stop this flare, then fine. I do not want Christmas to be ruined because of my stupid gut.
I spoke to my IBD nurse yesterday and she said to try a mild laxative like milk of magnesia. I gave it a go last night and it seems to do the trick but it’s too early to tell if it’s helped with the pain in my side. The nurse has also said someone will come talk to me on Monday when I have my next infusion. I’m apparently on the highest meds they can give me so they probably can’t do anything else except maybe change the frequency of my infusions. I guess I’ll find out Monday.
I’ve had a very lazy day today. I didn’t sleep in as late as I usually do on my days off but I have been doing very little. I’ve eaten a few bits that aren’t especially flare-safe but most of my food today has been safe (cereal, scrambled egg ect.) Unfortunately, the pain in my left side has increased over the last couple of days to the point I’m taking Zapain. I don’t normally need such a strong (for me) painkiller. I’m going to call the helpline tomorrow; I think this classes as becoming worse.
In entirely unrelated news, we’re making huge progress with our rats; we’ve managed to pick them both up and hold them (re: allowed them to run around our shoulders) outside the cage. This makes me very happy.
Been a little self destructive today; I’ve eaten things I knew would be a bad idea and am now paying for it. I wish I had better self control. Still, I’ve a week off work now so I’m going to try to stick to my flare foods as much as possible. Wish me luck!