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Helicobacter pylori: An Introduction To My Experience

September 8, 2008

When he is raging, when being completely unpredictable or foreseen, my most primitive thought is to take a sharp and pointed knife, no, a dagger, a hyperbolic Shakespearean dagger in the Black Adder sense and thrust it deep into my upper gut, hoping for a pressure release similar to popping a balloon. Day in and day out his intrusive and bilious life occupies and devours the same spot (like Henry VIII demanding a designated throne to eat and shit on).   Roughly the size of a half dollar piece, dead-centered-body, six inches above my navel, —-an uninvited guest, a party crasher, a menacing squatter for over five years now. Living deeply embedded and thriving in a normally hostile environment, an environment that he has managed to manipulate and alter to his benefit, he inflicts uncontrollable malevolent oppression with his barbarous torture. Once my dagger pierces his nucleus, I will eradicate his entire colonising sprawl by abrading all his webbing-extenders with the determined fierceness necessary to scale a Polypterus senegalus. When he is fully extracted, including all of his gluttonousness tentacles and fornicating and fecund cells, I will gleefully cheer as he plops to the floor in a pool of my sacrificial blood. I will then stomp his remaining cells into the crevices, afterwards, mopping his battered remnants away with a bleach and ammonia compound.

In other words, I want to fuck that little demon bastard up.

One thing about growing up poor, being around poverty most of my life and watching people struggle with aching backs, stiff joints, headaches, perpetual coughs, undiagnosed and untreated depression, addictions, forced to work with cold and flu, etc, one tends to rationalise and dismiss one’s own physical pain. Poverty does not allocate time to trifle over pain.

Often it is not uncommon for family members to minimise a love one’s cries of pain as an attempt for sympathy or a reason to take the lion’s share of compassion. Of course this is just the poverty talking, because there is no lion’s share, no utopia of kindness and consideration available that will erase or ease a pain forever, there are just turns, whose turn it is to feel the most broken down that day. If one person monopolises the sympathy, or it is perceived that said person is monopolising, then others may become insensitive to the point of resentment, so much so, that compassion is withheld and/or used as a tool. Alternatively, one becomes so accustomed to the daily complaints that the compassion is understood to be there if not routinely expressed.

Because of the possibility of igniting a squabble over a chronic complaint or suffer accusations that stem from such a complaint (not a physical complaint in comparison to people who live outside of poverty and are not subjected to daily physical pain (not saying more-privileged people are never with pain), but complaining in a sense that it makes others who are also in daily pain feel like his or her pain is being cheated, overshadowed, silenced and dismissed ), one attempts to quiet their own complaint of pain. There is a perception among some that the loudest complainer is gaining something or getting away with something when he or she frequently reminds everyone of his or her pain. Perhaps knowing that a hierarchy is easily constructed, (one could possibly win a top position of deserving more sympathy than the rest), one tends to live with that pain and eventually no longer realise she or he is actually experiencing pain or at least no longer consciously acknowledging the reality of the pain’s intensity. All scraps are fought over even the intangible scraps. The its all in your head, what do you have to complain about look at me, and there are more people in far worse shape than you, are all internalised.

In addition to it being internalised, which can already debilitate, external forces (more-privileged people) often use the narrative of the underprivileged’s chronic complaining and rewrite it by overusing and mislabeling it as hypochondria, laziness, an excuse not to work, contribute, or even to lose weight. This mislabeling aids in the privileged sect’s (the power brokers) rationalising, which leads to their justification to ignore, thus invalidate the reality of an underprivileged’s pain. Hence, creating an excuse not to care, not to change the status quo, and not fight for or make humane resources available for everyone.

  1. September 16, 2008 12:54 am

    I can empathize.

    When did you first get this?

    What prescription drugs were you taking before diagnosis of it, (and may still be taking.)

    Seriously. Please answer me.


  2. The Fabulous Kitty Glendower permalink
    September 16, 2008 7:24 am

    When did you first get this?
    I’m not sure because I’ve read that a person most likely contacted it in their childhood, and from family members. Although doctors and researchers have claimed it is contagious, they are not certain how it is transmitted, they are not even close enough to say almost definitely. H.Pylori has been found in the water supply all over the world. This is from wiki: More than 50% of the world’s population harbour H. pylori in their upper gastrointestinal tract. Infection is more prevalent in developing countries. The route of transmission is unknown, although individuals become infected in childhood.
    I can tell you when I first started having pain behind it, and that was 2003. I unfairly thought I must have gotten it from a little baby that I cared for when his mum was in Iraq because a few times he was sick with vomiting and diarrhea would make such a mess that we both would just keep in the tub. I would comfort him while I washed us both off. But that was in 2004-2006 and by Spring 2004 I was needing the Achipex. It was early March 2004 when a doctor started me on the Achipex. I will not own as an adult that it came from my (or our) lack of sanitation. That point is moot around here. However, I cannot attest to the same as a child with my family, my family didn’t exactly practice the best hygienic conditions.
    What prescription drugs were you taking before diagnosis of it, (and may still be taking.)
    Before the diagnosis (just two weeks ago, because before that it was assumed without tests that I had GERD, which I don’t believe I have now), I was taking the Achipex. Before the symptoms began (Fall 2003), I did not take any medicine.
    There were so many possibilities thrown out there at me, I was consuming too much artificial sweetener, I was stressed, I was not eating properly, etc, etc, and of course I examined my mental state the entire time, conditioned as a woman, I allowed myself to believe it must be psychosomatic, when in fact it has been physical. I’ve have little day to day stress and I am not depressed (I’ve been depressed before, I know depression, I am so far from that black hole) but still I examined my mental state all this time even though I insisted it had to be physical. They were beginning to convince me that it was not physical. Today, I feel so much better that I want to cry. Cry in disbelief that I may have my body back.

  3. Jack Reynolds permalink
    April 11, 2010 9:40 am

    So, it’s been about a year and a half, how are you feeling now? I likely have an ulcer that showed up after taking ibuprofen for a couple weeks. I am having a camera shoved down my gullet next week to evaluate the situation, and if H Pylori is present I will undoubtedly be treated for it. I read a study that showed you are several times more likely to get an ulcer from NSAIDs when you have H Pylori, which is why it only took a few weeks of the stuff to give me problems.

    Anyways, I’ve read some real horror stories from people who were treated for H Pylori and spent the next couple years suffering from symptoms much worse than before treatment. I understand that this is probably a small percentage of people who’ve received treatment (People aren’t likely to flood medical forums with messages like “Yeah. Did the treatment, now I feel great and eat spicy food all the time without a problem.”), but I would like to see at least one positive experience to put me at ease.

    • April 11, 2010 3:59 pm

      My stomach and I are new people after treatment. I feel about it the same way I feel about my sinus surgery over fifteen years ago, it makes an amazing difference. I am so grateful that I found a doctor who had the sense to test me for the H. Pylori. I feel 100% better. I too had an ulcer from the H.Pylori. But, I am sure it is heal now. I say sure instead of know because I have not been back to the doctor in some while. I make a horrible patient, I know. I tell doctors this too. I do take a medicine still, Omeprazole instead of the Aciphex. I understand it is milder and I take less than the amount of Aciphex.

      Although I no longer have pain (it was the concentrated pain that was the nightmare) or heartburn, for the most part I am not free to just eat anything and at anytime. For example, I forget this sometimes, and the other night I had dinner late, and at 3:30 in the morning I woke up with a horrible taste in my mouth and pain in my gut (but not where Carl lived). I think though it has more to do with simply eating too late and then going to bed. I know some people can do this, but I cannot. I have to have at least 3 hours after dinner before I lay down. Even without the sleeping on a full stomach issue I have to mind mixtures like a meal with coffee, fried foods, pepper, and salt such as what comes on processed foods and junk food. If I had a day of “junk food”, I am going to have a miserable evening. I’m not sure if I can blame that on the residuals of H. Pylori. I think it is my body demanding to be treated better.

      My stomach is happiest when I eat fruits and vegetables and water, usually cool water. It sucks, but it is the Truth. One would think I would be in great shape and/or health, one would be wrong. I am slowly learning to submit to my stomach but it has been a fight. I am beginning to wonder why I ever entered this fight. I should just succumb and feed the damn thing fruits and vegetables as it prefers.

    • April 11, 2010 4:02 pm

      There is a breathing test (you blow in a bag after drinking a horrible mixture and waiting for 20 minutes), a urea test that they can do before they have to resort to the endoscopy.

      I have two more entries to this tale.

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