It’s 2006. I get to work at 8:30, sick-as-a-dog-but-I’ve-already-missed-three-days-this-month. There’s an electrician working on cables in the ceiling panel behind my cubicle. I see his ladder as I set up my laptop and check my email. Whoops, not gonna make it. I grab the trash can and start my stomach-cramps-down-to-my-toes-throwing-up. My coworkers all jump up from a meeting space twenty feet away and come rushing by cube. “He’s being electrocuted up there. Somebody get help!”
Nope, nobody’s dying, It was just me throwing up. I’ve got FGID (functional gastrointestinal disorder). The University of North Carolina says that FGID is a common disorder “characterized by persistent and recurring GI symptoms.” Thanks, UNC, but no dice.
For me, FGID is the following:
- Insane heartburn. Doesn’t matter if I eat, what I eat or how much I eat. If I miss my Prilosec in the morning, I’m going to pay all day.
- My intestines stop working. As in, I can’t get food from north to south.
- What I call “nasty burps”, at least when I’m describing them to others. When I’m talking to myself, I call them farts in my mouth ‘cuz that’s what they taste like. Yep, taste. All y’all searching for “sulphur burps” online, yeah I’m talking to you. Let’s start calling ‘em mouth farts though, cuz that’s what they are. I’d love it if all they smelled like was a rotten egg.
- Gas and bloating that make it hard to stand up at times.
- Finally, release of all that gas, food & pressure with a vomit session that would make any horror movie proud. I’ve woken people up in the dead of night in other houses. Not rooms, houses.
- Rinse and repeat. Roll the dice and eat dinner, see if it all happens again.
I’ve seen my share of doctors, had cameras put places where cameras should not go, been poked, prodded, scanned, irradiated. There’s nothing wrong physically. Every new doctor starts with tests, and ends with this conversation: “We don’t know what you have, but there’s something wrong with your GI tract. We can’t find it though, so we’re going to diagnose you with FGID.”
Hmm, FGID. OK. A we-don’t-know diagnosis. The fancy term is a “diagnosis of exclusion”, but that just is a doctor’s way of saying we don’t know. I’m cool with that now. Over the years, I’ve had tummy troubles, a “bad case of the flu,” a “bad case of acid reflux,” IBS, and now I have FGID. OK, I get that sometimes there are no answers.
Hence this blog. I’m gonna start putting my info out there. Conversations with my doctor. Things I’ve tried that have and haven’t worked. I’m hoping a few of you will join in. Last, I wanna go on record and say that I have FGID, but it doesn’t ruin my life. I enjoy life, and part of this blog is going to be expressing the joy of living life, even with FGID.
Let’s get this party started.