Warning: This post isn’t for the feint-hearted

Yesterday I missed a blog because I wasn’t well. This happens every now and again. I get a dodgy tummy, I feel nauseous and so tired I could drop. One night during the week I was in bed for 9.30 and last night I went to be when I got home.

It would appear that I’m following in my mum’s biological footsteps and her father’s before her. Our digestive tracks are not working properly.

I was diagnosed with Irritable Bowel Syndrome when I was 16, put down to the stress of my O Grades. Aside from the stomach cramps and crazy swings from constipation to diarrhoea, my tummy rumblings were uber-embarrassing and were mistaken more than once for a plane overhead.

As I time went on I learned what aggravated it – extra fibre made it worse, spicy things cramped me up for days and after a few bad mistakes I realised that the Canadian Club I drank wasn’t causing raging hangovers, it was the rye in it that was causing my stomach to complain in all sorts of ways.

Then I had children. Nothing could prepare me for the pain of the heartburn during each pregnancy. I used to slug Gaviscon straight from the biggest bottle the chemist could give me. The midwives told me it would disappear the minute the baby was born and it did – the first time.

The second time it didn’t. MiniHim had been a big baby at 8lbs 13 and a half. It was the extra pressure that killed the bit between my stomach and oesophagus and now I’m on tablets for the rest of my days to stop the reflux.

Now is the bit where you may want to stop reading but I’ll continue writing so that fellow sufferers in silence may find the courage to go to the doctor.

I’ve had two endoscopes in the past four years, just to check that I have nothing more sinister than piles. I don’t, but a scope is not a nice procedure to go through. The twice I’ve been they’ve recommended eating more fibre, which as you know I can’t. The last time the consultant even said that eating my 5-a-day wouldn’t help, what I need is bran flakes and brown rice and pasta. I didn’t have the heart to tell her that I spent years eating all that and drinking 2 litres of water a day and, not only did it aggravate my IBS, it didn’t help with anything else.

So I’ve just been putting up with the discomfort, except now I can add fissures to the mix. All I can describe it as is like passing broken glass, sitting on sandpaper and they wake me up in the middle of the night screaming at me.

On talking to my mum I’ve discovered that she’s on medication to stimulate part of her gut because it’s working slower than the rest and now it’s all fitting into place. So anyway, long story slightly shorter, yesterday the doc gave me a prescription for lactulose which should make everything easier to pass and an analgesic (no pun intended) which will help with the pain, although the instruction leaflet and side effects list were so long it rolled out the box like an ancient Greek scroll.

All I’m saying is don’t suffer in silence. Yes, it’s embarrassing and yes, I did go very red talking to my doctor but she’s seen a lot worse and judging by her reaction she could even be a fellow sufferer. The relief has been almost instant, although now I have bursts of a raging headache and mad dizzy thanks to the medication but at least I can sit without fidgeting and will have an unbroken sleep tonight.

On a lighter note when I went to pick up the prescription I noticed a sign on the wall saying that ‘The responsible pharmacist today is Michael Chung’. I wonder who the irresponsible one was and what medication they were dishing out.

As an aside this photo is just for my friend and colleague Lindy who didn’t believe me the other day when I posted that I’d tidied my desk. I have to admit that by 5pm on Friday it was covered in papers again but they are stacked in neat(ish) piles.

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Today I have learned:

  • going to the doctor can be embarrassing
  • sometimes the side-effects of some medicines are worth putting up with
  • in some professions you get a framed certificate for being responsible

Today’s recipe (if you can stomach it after that post!)

Rainbow cupcakes

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Pictures of rainbow cupcakes appear on Facebook every now and again so today MiniMe asked if we could have a go at making them. She made the cakes, unsupervised (very proud!) and I attempted the frosting. my piping isn’t very good but I think you’ll agree these little crackers would cheer up the grouchiest of grinches 🙂

Ingredients

For the cakes

100g softened butter

100g caster sugar

100g self-raising flour

half a tsp baking powder

2 eggs

For the topping

300g icing sugar

80g softened butter

25mls whole milk

a dash of vanilla essence

blue food colouring

rainbow jelly ribbons

Method: Heat the oven to 200C/Gas 5.

Sieve the flour and baking powder into a bowl and add the sugar. Beat the eggs in a cup then add it and the butter to the flour. Mix with an electric hand mixer till soft and fluffy. Divide between 12 paper cases in a baking tin.

Bake for 10-15 minutes till a skewer comes out clean then remove cakes and cool on a cooling tray.

For the frosting put all the ingredient in a deep bowl and mix with an electric hand mixer. Remove about a third to a separate bowl. Add blue food colouring to the big bowl until it is the right shade and using a teaspoon top the cakes with the sky.

Using a piping bag, with a small nozzle attached pipe the clouds either side of each cake. Trim the jelly ribbons to size and anchor to the cakes in the clouds. If you make the rainbows too long they’ll sag in the middle and we can’t be having saggy rainbows 😉

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