What happened to me after I drank a bubble tea...

Monday, 23 September 2019

Many of you have been asking me what's going on, why I've not been as social lately and whether I've fully recovered. So instead of repeating myself over and over again, here is what happened:

28/05/19 = Drank a bubble tea (standard milk tea with pearls) and had dim sum. Dad also had dim sum but no bubble tea. He was fine. We went home after and left again to celebrate my birthday with family. At this point, I still felt relatively normal. It wasn't until I got on the tube a couple of hours later that my stomach was churning and I urgently needed to go. On the tube, I kept on having to get off every couple of stops as I felt incredibly nervous about my stomach. Eventually made it to restaurant but went couple more times. :( Didn't vomit like usual food poisoning. 

29/05/19 = Better but not great. Knew I wasn't fully 100% but felt better than the day before. I managed to get on bus and run some errands. 

30/05/19 = My birthday. Felt ok, was alive but knew I still wasn't feeling great. Was very careful about what I ate. 

31/05/19 = We went out to see a musical and I remember eating a plain tofu udon. I do remember being very nervous on the bus as it was shaking and my stomach was feeling gassy and just not 100%. Was ok during the musical so thought I had recovered. 

03/06/19 = Went back to work. Work was busy that week so didn't have time to think about how I felt. I thought I had surely recovered by then.

12/06/19 = Went home from work. Stomach ache in afternoon

17/06/19 = Went to GP in the morning. First strong signs of nausea. Was told to keep a food diary and come back in 4 - 6 weeks if symptoms were still there. Felt better after the morning

Managed to go into work the next day but that week my bowel movements had already increased from my usual and I knew something wasn't right. Lost my appetite for 2/3 weeks or so and as a result, started losing weight because of it (3kg roughly. If you see me, please don't tell me because a) I'm well aware b) I'm trying to put it back on c) makes me feel more paranoid about myself).

24/06/19 = A repeat of last Monday - like deja vu! Went to GP in the morning. Felt nauseous again but didn't actually vomit. Took calpol and slept. Felt very weak. Diagnosed with IBS. Didn't think much of it as I thought it would go away after a while.

25/06/19 = Did a stools test

By this point, my brain didn't know what my body wanted. It was almost as if it had disconnected and I couldn't tell if I was unwell or hungry or whether I needed to go for number 1/2. Overall it was like my body had shut down on me and I had 0 energy left. I was no longer in control of my body. 

04/07/19 = Stools results received. Stomach inflammation - which explains everything above.

The months of June and July were definitely not the best of 2019 or of my entire life so far. In fact, it's been the worst! The nausea, the increased bowel movements, extra gas, churning/bloated/cramped stomach, my mental health and my mind telling me that I'll never recover was really not helpful. I don't think I've cried so much or been so emotional in my life. Looking back at it now in September, I feel like I was a drama queen about the whole situation but thinking back (I'd rather not tbh), it really was a horrific time in my life as my health is generally in a good state and it really set me back from doing every day normal things such as going to work. I stopped dining out and seeing my friends. I stopped my dance classes and climbing. A good day for me was surviving and making it to the end of the day. 

I didn't want IBS. Before this, I've heard of it but never really knew what it was about. Now I am fully aware of the symptoms and just what a pain it is to live with! 

My blood test came back normal but I still didn't feel like myself. I am pretty sure the bubble tea was what caused this because that was the only thing that I had which nobody else did. I also didn't eat anything too out of the ordinary. 

I started taking buscopan with recommendation from my GP. Started on 1 pill before lunch and 1 pill before dinner then increased to 3 pills the next week once I tested to see if there were any side effects.  It has helped - I noticed that I was less gassy. I also saw a nutritionist who did a bio-resonance test on me and told me from this, I am most likely lactose intolerant for 6 months or so. She gave me some good tips on what to eat and what not to eat. I cut out dairy (haven't had alcohol since end of May) and also cut down heavily on yeast products - which meant bye to my chocolate bars and pain au chocolats which I'd have for breakfast in the morning. I switched it up with Nakd bars and smoked salmon instead. 

August 2019 = I felt super anxious about travelling on a plane as a) you're in the air and I have no idea how my stomach will be that day b) didn't want to use aeroplane toilets c) have to sit for 2 hours or so (but I fell asleep really quickly and had Ariana Grande's song Boyfriend on repeat) 

I saw the nutritionist the day before I flew to Rome so I felt slightly better about what I could/couldn't eat. Before we walked into restaurants, we would look at the menu and decide what I could have. If the menu had potatoes, we would go in! I've been having potatoes a lot lately. 

August in general was an ok month health wise. Some days I'd have little flare ups which included crampy and gassy stomach and some nausea but less than before. 

There have been some weeks where I felt almost normal (I say almost because my bowel movements have still been more than usual but less than what it was initially in June/July) and back to myself and other days where I feel rubbish and still get a bit afraid after I eat how my stomach is going to react. 

September 2019 = Still keeping a food diary, re-did stools test which came back normal (good news!) but some days still have nausea. It's something I've got used to now and I try to live as normally as possible. At the moment, I've started on the buscopan again as I had a little flare up last week but there is progress and although slow, I'm glad I've made it this far!

My friends have reached out and also shared their experiences with IBS with me so it's a generic thing as our symptoms have been varied and it's made me feel less scared about it. Let's hope by the end of this year I'll be fully recovered!