Bloat. Its one of those fun possible “bonus-features” that can come with endo. I believe it’s considered a result of the inflammatory response to the aberrant tissue. With the increased pelvic pain over the past year, I’ve had increased abdominal bloating.
Below is a chronological look at my bloating, complete with pictures- some of my uncovered abdomen. I’ve put it beneath the break, in case it is something you don’t want to see.
It started off with just a little bit of bloating, mostly in my upper abdomen. This photo is from sometime in the end of October or early November, 2013. You can see, it’s just a bit of bloating, as a weird bulge near my belly button. Back then (as if that was so long ago) I didn’t bloat all the time, just randomly on and off.
Then we move into 2014. This photo is from either January or February. By this time, I was at least a little bloated all the time. And when my bladder was full, the bloat was even more noticable. You can see the difference between my rounded bloat with a full bladder (on the left) and the weird bloat going on after I peed (on the right). Honestly, I don’t know why it looks so weird there.
I actually showed these to photos to the gastroenterology resident, when I was visiting the gastroenterologist. I wasn’t bloated that day, and he was quite surprised about how swollen my abdomen had been getting.
By May I had actually noticed there was a pretty big connection to how bloated I got when my bladder was full, compared to when it was empty. Still bloated pretty much all the time though-I was wearing a maternity band and not buttoning my jeans, so even in the after urinating photo (on the right) my belly is still bigger than it used to be.
This series is from June 20th. (Ignore the weird blue lens flare, there is something messing with the camera on my phone and I can’t figure out how to clean it.) In both the before and after pictures, I’m bloated, but when it’s bloated like in the first photo it’s hard to the touch, like a drum. And, boy, that bloating caused a lot of very sharp, lower right sided pain.
Now, that top photo is a bit of an extreme example, I don’t get that bloated all the time. But still, all the bloat sucks.
Luckily for me, no one has mentioned my bloating, or asked me any awkward questions like “are you pregnant?” I’m not sure how I would respond to comments or questioning… to tell a simple lie, or a vary complicated “truth”- which I don’t exactly know (why is my bloating so bad, especially when my bladder is full?). Isn’t that always a dilemma?