Suppositories: Useless Against the “Scares”

21 Apr

WARNING … RED ALERT! This blog entry may include references to bodily functions. If you are squeamish or prefer to pretend these things are not part of the endowment we received from Mother Nature, then maybe you’d best read no further. I’m likely to mention delicate issues that you may find, if not offensive, at the very least disgusting. But ask Mother Nature … that’s life.

I’m not easily bothered by much of anything, except spiders maybe, so a rousing discussion of bodily functions in the nurse’s lounge at lunch was no problem for me or my nurse colleagues. While some don’t understand how we could have those conversations at lunch, others simply can’t understand how we could EAT lunch. In the end it’s all relative.

The “Scares” is a term used somewhat loosely (& that pun WAS intended) by some southern folks to describe diarrhea. I guess that terminology sprang from the fact that if one is “scared” badly enough, diarrhea may result depending on the nature of the fright. It’s also sometimes referred to as the “Runs,” the “Trots” & even in some northern circles, “The Coney Island Quick-step.” We’re all familiar with the terms & many more I’m guessing,  but what it boils down to is that a rose by any other name remains a rose … unless it’s the “scares,” which is a degree worse on the scale. Suffice it to say, if given a choice most of us would opt NOT to have this condition in any form unless it’s worth dropping 4 pounds in 2 days, which I did recently… & it wasn’t.

Eosinophilic Esophagitis is my diagnosis. I’m a huge believer in the doctrine that if you can’t PRONOUNCE it, you shouldn’t have to HAVE it but Mother N. doesn’t work that way.

Way back when I was having chemotherapy in 2009 I had my first attack. I actually had two attacks that year & we just chalked it up to the changes that occur from the chemo attacking everything … the bad stuff & the good. But it has continued without pause in the years since … two or three episodes a year.

I start off with burps that taste disgustingly like rotten eggs. Within a few hours I have my first actual encounter with the “scares.” This lasts unabated for 24 hours or as much as three days until the rotten egg taste goes away. Then the “scares” go away. Until the taste is gone NOTHING, not Imodium, Lomotil or a cork the size of Cleveland will stop the “scares.” I’ve tried them all… well, mostly.

While I have yet to find a physician ANYWHERE who has heard of the egg burp symptoms, hundreds of us flock to the internet to share our horror stories with other sufferers. We haven’t come up with a solution but we do find some measure of comfort knowing there are others like us “out there.”

Last summer I set out on a quest with my gastroenterologist to end these attacks, which are limiting, not to mention temporarily debilitating & just plain “scary” (sorry, I couldn’t help saying that). I had upper GI x-rays, gallbladder ultrasounds, a gastroscopy & enough blood work to keep a forensics pathologist busy for months. The diagnosis came back as EE, which is caused by a food allergy. I’ve unknowingly had EE long enough to have done some serious esophageal damage. My GI Guy believes that the EE plus some esophageal reflux is causing the egg burps & resulting “scares.” I’ve eliminated foods & food groups from my diet & even tried going gluten free, which involved purchasing very expensive cookies that taste like mud & macaroni that is surely made of cardboard. In the end, gluten wasn’t the problem for which I was thankful. Gluten free food is only slightly better than the “scares.”

So the GI Guy put me on medication that seemed to be working. Nothing even vaguely frightening has reared its ugly head since September … until last Thursday.

This attack was perhaps my worst to date with the inclusion of a new twist … nausea & vomiting. The worst part of this attack was that it came on a weekend that my club was having its 30th. Anniversary Party. As president, I put the party together to say “Thank You” to our members who work so hard all year long fundraising so we can support, among many other things, 3 welfare children & 2 senior citizens at Christmas, help keep the Salvation Army Food Pantry stocked, donate to local animal shelters hoping to give the tossed away animals in residence there a second chance at a “forever home,” & in many cases a second chance at a decent life. It also funds our annual contest that sends a local middle school student to Space Camp for a week. Having an attack of EE & the subsequent “scares” kept me from attending the party I’d been working on for a full year & that is one of the regrets of my life.

If I am at home with no commitments or plans, I can prepare for the siege since I usually have several hours before the egg burps turn into the “scares.” That gives me plenty of time to prepare my arsenal; to make sure my home is well stocked with ginger ale & aloe impregnated TP. If I have a commitment, a special event or an appearance out of town, my plans are shattered. Last year I spent a day in bed in a hotel in Charlotte, NC where I’d been invited to do the second book signing of my life after my book came out in January. I was able to sell & sign my books on Friday & Sunday & be on a couple writers panels but I missed Saturday altogether… my biggest day.

I spoke with my GI Guy on Saturday morning who suggested I should go to the hospital for IVs but I was too ill to travel. I have an appointment with him next month & I will do ANYTHING to avoid another of these attacks. Once they become life altering, something has to be done.

If I can find some humor in this most recent attack it’s that when I spoke to my doctor on Saturday morning he increased my current medication dose from one to three doses a day, which seemed to help. He also sent me a prescription for an anti-nausea drug. He was “on call” & I called him very early in the morning. I was very sick & had been up for most of the night for two full nights so neither of us was thinking just right. And here’s that bit of humor … for my nausea he ordered a suppository, told me what he was sending me & it just didn’t register with me or apparently him that suppositories are totally useless against the “scares.”







9 Responses to “Suppositories: Useless Against the “Scares””

  1. John Irvine April 22, 2014 at 12:32 am #

    Not much point in sticking anything up there when one has the squits! Common sense should tell people that… oh yes, that rare commodity common sense!


  2. Leslie Miller April 22, 2014 at 1:14 am #

    We sure did miss you at the dinner Linda, everyone did. I’m so sorry that you have been so sick. When I was a little girl I used to get sick right before we would go on vacation, I was always so excited that we were going to the beach yet here I was getting sick, years later I would not remember this until I started to get sick whenever something important was going on. Anyway, my GI guy said that your brain and Gut and very much intertwined..sound familiar? Love u


    • heimdalco April 22, 2014 at 1:37 am #

      If I only got this when something exciting was happening I might think it was my head & gut working against each other but 9 times out of 10 it’s just on a normal day … sigh


    • heimdalco April 22, 2014 at 1:39 am #

      Thanks so much, Leslie …I still can’t believe I wasn’t there & I missed everybody SOOO much


  3. Leslie Miller April 22, 2014 at 1:16 am #

    As always..loved your Blog..very the term :The Scares”


    • heimdalco April 22, 2014 at 1:36 am #

      Actually the “scares” is a term I learned from your brother … LOL


  4. Willy April 22, 2014 at 4:02 am #

    Is there nothing sacred? I knew my name would float to the top sometime.

    Glad you’re feeling a little better.


    • heimdalco April 22, 2014 at 5:57 am #

      LOL … not ONCE did I mention you …………. except to Leslie


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