Adhesion Related Disorder (A.R.D)

Illness Army: “A.R.D – Living With My Chronic Condition”

Been a few days since my last post, as really didn’t feel up to it. So today im going to try to explain in MY words, how ADHESIONS affect my everyday life. One thing I will say, is that ADHESIONS can effect people differently due to severity, where they are located, and the density to name a few.

Personally, I had no idea the consistency and location of my ADHESIONS until the surgeon noted them in his post operation report. Consequently this had informed me that I have ones which are thick and dense covering pretty much my whole abdomen and chest. As ive said in a previous post, this includes my bowels, pelvis, and some sticking organs to other parts of the body.

How do these sticky, webbed, and incredibly versatile overgrowth impact the host? Sometimes they don’t, and the person may never have an issue (or at least know its ADHESIONS causing them issues). Then there are many like me, who went years with no major pains and complications, then out of the blue things take a sharp demise, leaving you confused to what the hell is happening. Some have issues almost immediately after surgery/inflammation/trauma.

There are many aliments which get attributed to ADHESIONS including –

Digestion problems (Ranging from slowed digestion, narrowing of bowels, loops in the bowel, Gastroparesis, and much more).
Organ functionality issues (especially when an organ is being pulled away from its natural position or being encased in ADHESIONS).
Pain (ADHESIONS have their own blood supply & nerve endings, so when they are tugged or pulled on via movement etc. It can cause intense pain). This is a limited example, and is much more complex, though I shall go into this in more depth another time.
Nutritional complications.
Nervous system implications.
This is not an extensive list, just an overview.

Getting back to the title of this post, I should really explain how ARD affects me, what I do & use to try to keep the conditions implications minimal as possible.

Bowels sticking together so tightly, that it’s as if 2 pythons are trying to suffocate each other is how it feels daily. Also parts of the bowel looping back on itself = digestion bloody kills. When it first started, I was advised by my doctor to up my fibre intake to help build up my roughage helping to keep things moving. NO NO NO, it absolutely brought me to my knees crying in pain, the extra bulky stool was now ripping through my constricted system.

So now it is at the stage where I can no longer eat normal. No meat unless its white meat like Turkey, Chicken or fish. No veg except when super soft in soups (only certain veg), and many more restrictions. I was referred to a dietician and now have up to 3 Ensure (nutritional shakes) if I am unable to eat any solids. Unfortunately due to the digestive issues it means I can have severe constipation, which backs up the system causing even more pain (and at times partial bowel blocks). Constipation can also reverse and then its the complete opposite. It literally feels like having serious gastric flu when this happens. On those days even drinking water to keep hydrated is a challenge. Those days its bed rest (not to conserve energy as there is none to conserve lol).

Lol enough of blighting you with my intricate bowel issues.

Daily chronic pain erodes the mind after a while, ever heard of brain fog? Well this causes pain fog! One of the reasons this post has taken days to be written is precisely attributed to pain fog. You start with the plan in your head, then everything gets jumbled up due to pain receptors interfering with the neurons trying to fire up to get this wrote 🙂

With the pain can come anxiety mixed with Depression, as you wonder whether the pain will ever diminish enough to allow you to live in somewhat a “normal” way. I have and still do suffer with Anxiety, Depression, & mood changes directly influenced by Chronic Pain, fatigue, & PTSD (from my accident and surgery). This along with the pain means sleep is very hard to come by, with insomnia at times becoming a regular occurrence.

The pain is not limited to one certain area for me. It can range from all over the pelvic area up to my belly button, to all over abdomen, to chest, & at times all over these areas. Everyday is different, the bowel pain is pretty much all the time, though other afflicted areas varies daily (don’t know why, so wont even try to explain it).

ARD is kicking my butt again, so will leave this here as just an overview of my daily struggle.

When I can, I shall go into which meds I’m currently on, have tried or have heard of in relation to others with ARD, the current therapies offered (and some which are not!). A more detailed blog in regards to the Depression etc. will be posted.

Apologies for not covering everything I wanted too in this post, though hope it helps put over some of the tribulations ARD warriors live with.

Till next time, keep your heads up WARRIORS, and carry on fighting the battle.

You can find the author of this post at
Darren is an Adhesion Warrior trying his best to raise awareness of Adhesions/A.R.D to as many people as possible. It’s rarely recognised even though 93% of people who have abdominal surgery will develop adhesions.

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