Thursday, June 20, 2013

I Am The Bionic Woman.

For real, I am.  I have my very own remote control...don't believe me? Here it is:

And I carry it around with my in a sparkly pink coin purse.

The truth is, this is a hard post for me to write.  It's about something most people are embarassed about, but it's become such a huge part of my life that I feel like I am living a double life when people don't know about it.  I explained the background of my GI issues here, so read that if you haven't yet. I carry the diagnoses of IBS-C and colonic inertia. You can read about those in the links because I really don't want to explain either of thos things.  I have no idea how I ended up with either of these things.  I first notied a problem when I was on a trip to Guatemala and everyone I was with got a parasite- so did I, but my symptoms were different/opposite than everyone else. That year I also had jaw surgery and was on a liquid diet, which when combined with pain killers really took a toll on me. 

I explained in the post linked above that I tried to modify my diet, increase my already active lifestyle, tried over the counter and prescription meds, and many holistic & herbal treatment routes as well.  I had lots of labs drawn, lots of very uncomfortable testing, and several rounds of biofeedback therapy.  Nothing worked AT ALL.

Last summer I went for my annual OB/Gyn and she referred me to a urologist because she had worked with a similar patient who had a sacral nerve neurostimulator implanted that helped her.  She said that most people with bowel problems also have bladder problems even if they don't know it- and she was right.  I was feeling "bloated" all the time because I also had pretty severe bladder retention.  I'm actually lucky about that, because my implant isn't FDA approved for either of my GI diagnoses, but it is for all urinary condtions- so I qualified to get the surgery.

Last fall I had 3 surgeries to implant this bad boy.  It took 3 because they do a "test phase" first, which I had to do 2 of, before they put the permanent device in.  During both test phases, I had multiple wires sticking out of from under my skin (gross!)that were connected an external device, which was kind of like a really huge pager that I had to attach to my waistband.  The whole process lasted about 3.5 months.

Now I have a pretty sweet scar on my lower back/upper butt, and I have a rock-hard spot where the device is that you can easily feel if you touch it.  I control the settings with my remote control, so I can turn it up or down, or switch which lead is working (I have 4.)  So weird right?  I still have to take daily medications, but this device has made me feel a lot better!

I bet you didn't know that you had a bionic friend...well, now you do!!


  1. So glad that you have found something that helps you. I have Crohn's so I am secretly jealous since I have the exact opposite problem as you. Maybe they will come up with something like this for me too! A girl can dream. I'd love to be able to control it with a remote - there's no shame in that! Go bionic woman!:)

  2. That is so cool! You are tough as nails - three surgeries? Whoa!

  3. I used to work in durable medical equipment at Mayo and I was continuously blown away by how amazing modern medicine is. I was able to help aid patients in all sorts of ways. It was a very rewarding job. Your story is just so amazing. Thanks for sharing all of this. I think it's great when a blogger can open up about something a little personal. It makes you more real.

  4. Seriously...I've said it before...but you are such a rockstar. You have had to deal with so many health obstacles and you just take the punches as they come and keep on going. You are such an inspiration sweetie!!

  5. I had no idea! Thanks for sharing! And like Jen said above, you'd never guess that you've been through so much in the area of health. You do awesome!

  6. It's amazing what they can do now to help people. That's awesome that it makes you a little more comfortable.


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