Pathology, etc.

Sunday night was another bad, bad night. Don't know what it is about Sundays that cause me so much pain. We ended up back in the ER. This time around they didn't wait around and ignore me like they did the first time. The nurse took one look at me, palpated my stomach while I cursed (it hurt like a bitch), and they took me right back into an exam room. The doctor has had her gallbladder out and she first thought it was my gallbladder. So she did an ultrasound. No stones. She doped me up and sent urgent faxes to my doctor's office to urge them to do a HIDA scan. She sent me home with some pain meds, and we were out of there by about midnight.

I went back to work Monday morning and worked a 10 hour day. Ugh. Pretty tired and out of it. Called the doctor at 9 and she got on the phone with me personally. Said she would call for the pathology results and would rush them for me, and would also call the Nuclear Medicine dept. of the hospital and get me in for the HIDA scan. She called back shortly thereafter and told me the results were normal. So I do have the redness--some gastritis--in my stomach. She doesn't think it's bad enough to be causing me this much grief. It's likely related to too much NSAIDs over the years (I've had 3 knee surgeries and take a lot of ibuprophen for swelling and pain). The HIDA scan will be Wednesday morning, so tomorrow.

I am not particularly religious, but please please pray that when they inject the CCK after the radioactive tracer that I have bad pain, and that my gallbladder ejection rate is very low. If that's the case, I'll be getting it taken out. I've been having a terrible time since Veteran's Day, and I'd really like this to be over and done with. If the gallbladder is fine, I'm going to scream. They've tested me for cancers, malabsorption diseases, H. Pylori infections. I don't have acid reflux. They're running out of ideas, and if they turn around and try to tell me I have IBS I will scream.

At first they thought ulcer or gastritis from the NSAIDs. They put me on a typical GERD and gastritis diet. It did not work. The only thing that works is a virtually fat free diet. I do notice that even on fat free foods, if I eat until I am full, I end up having pain. I don't have the stereotypical gallbladder upper right quadrant pain, but I have upper mid abdominal pain that gets to be very intense, and then it radiates outward so my whole abdomen is just terrible feeling. Applying pressure to my stomach produces pain only in the upper middle and upper right areas, though. So I'm hoping it's gallbladder. I just want an answer, and I want a solution. I've surpassed the 10 pound mark for weight loss. I'm so frustrated with not feeling well. I really hope it's my gallbladder.

I'm Sorry, I'm here...

Hey everyone. Thanks for all the emails. I'm doing ok. The endoscopy went well. Deneen was right, I didn't remember a thing. They put the mouthguard in and the next thing I knew, I was in recovery.

The only thing that the GI said was that I had "mucosal abnormalities" -- lots of irritation and redness that they cannot yet explain. He took biopsies. I don't have esophogeal reflux, nor do I have ulcers. I told him I still cannot eat. He upped my dosage of Nexium to twice per day but it's not making any difference. I need to call next week to have the HIDA scan scheduled. I'm still kind of betting on gall bladder. My follow up is 12/10 so I will have pathology results by that day at the latest.

Thanksgiving was a terrible disaster. I got greedy and decided I would try to eat. Now, keep in mind I had about 1 teaspoon of each dish--a teaspoon of mashed potatoes, a teaspoon of squash, etc. Seriously, 1/4 cup max, but I'd be willing to bet it was more like 1/6 or 1/8 of a cup. It was really just a tiny amount. And I was doubled over a ridiculous amount and we had to leave. The only thing keeping me from the ER was the Bentyl, which I probably took too much off because it knocked me out. I ended up going to bed at 7:30 last night and slept until 8:30 am this morning.

So, as long as I don't eat I'm ok. When I eat I get into trouble.

I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving!

Endoscopy

Endoscopy is tomorrow. I was ok until today. Now I'm just a nervous wreck. I don't want a tube shoved down my throat into my stomach. It's making me so nervous.


I'll let you know how it goes. Thanks for all the kind emails.

Keeping Busy

I have a handful of WIPS and FOs that I've been busy working on for the past week and a half or so. But before I get to those, here's my weasel. She's adorable. Everyone seems to love the Homespun bed I made for the cats.

On my 21st birthday my boyfriend at the time (otherwise referred to as "What was I thinking?") bought me a ferret. She was cute and teeny. I've had her now for 7 1/2 years. She is very, very far past her expiration date. She grew up with my 2 cats, and she thinks she is a cat. I had her litter box trained. She used to not stay in a cage. She never ate anything or did those horrible ferret things that they are known for. She just curls up with you and gives you kisses, and she romps with the cats. She even loves to get a bath. She's a good girl. But older than dirt. She's going blind and therefore is only out of her cage under strict supervision. But she's a cutie regardless. I'll never get another ferret again so long as I live, but for a pet that I didn't want in the first place she is definitely part of the family now and I wouldn't trade her for anything.


Alright, onto the FOs: First up is the 5 1/2 hour Throw from the Lion Website. They have quite a few variations of this. I used the version that calls for a huge 19 mm hook and 3 strands of Jiffy held together. I did not use Jiffy. I substituted RH Soft. I have to say, I'm irritated with RH Soft. Is it just my store or is there never a good selection of colors? I couldn't find a nice blue or green to match Mark's parents living room, so I had to settle with a cream color. It's nice though. Took me 2 afternoons a week apart.



Here is another Moda Dea scarf. These work up so quickly and I really have a fondness for this yarn. This will be the last girl scarf I make. I have 2 more for Christmas to do: 1 Red Sox inspired scarf and one manly wool scarf.


Here's one of the Red Sox scarves. It's for Mark's grandfather. I'm going to crochet 2 teeny little red socks and sew them onto one of the blue corner edges. I may take the fringe off and use some blue. It doesn't look right with all red, but I was out of blue and hoped this would work. Not so much. I think I need one more skein. This is Vanna's choice for the blue and Wool-Ease for the red. I couldn't find any one single brand of yarn that had a good red and a good blue to use together so I just bought to worsted weights that looked good together.



And here's just a little shot of the progress on the Granny Ghan. I beleive when I last photographed it I was just starting the second section of dark pink. I haven't touched this really, I've been more trying to get the small stuff done. This will be the last thing I finish. And ultimately if I don't finish something, it should be this one that is still a WIP come Christmas. My parents of all people would understand unwrapping half of a blanket that I take home and finish. I hope I don't have to go that route though!

I spent Sunday night in the hospital. Stupid. They didn't do any tests except bloodwork and a urinalysis. As soon as I told them I was having the upper endoscopy and biopsy next week, they pretty much just gave me morphine (it may have been dilaudid, I'm not sure) to make me feel better, and then sent me home. Waste of 10 hours, I'll tell you that much. I wanted them to do an ultrasound or CT scan but nope. The reason I wanted those things is because in theory, if I do have a gall bladder issue, it's not gallstones, it's sludgy bile getting trapped in my gallbladder, and causing pain. When I am in pain, I would have sludge in there that was stuck, and they would be able to see it on the ultrasound or CT. When I'm not in pain, there's obviously no sludge and obviously they won't see anything. But they didn't seem to want to run tests, they just said to follow up with the GI. It was a bit disappointing. Anyhow, the GI put me on Bentyl which is helping me be able to eat rice and oatmeal without crying. She's also going to schedule a HIDA scan after the endoscopy. Unless it shows severe gastritis or ulcers, the HIDA scan will be the next step.

Fragile

It's the only word that can describe me right now. I feel emotionally fragile.

I did not think that a stupid stomach problem would make me feel this way, but it does. Food is my biggest enemy and I'm starving.

The GI is taking it very seriously. They've scheduled me for an upper endoscopy and biopsies to rule out stomach and intestinal cancers, and various malabsorption diseases. I have that on Tues 11/20. Thanksgiving will likely be a bust. She has 3 ideas kicking around in her head right now. Ulcers, Celiac Disease or a gallbladder that's not functioning properly. They'll schedule the radioactive dye test after the biopsies come back to test my gallbladder function. I have most of the symptoms of all three, so now they get to weed out what I do and don't have. I'm pretty freaked.

Crochet Me

Holy crap. So it finally got here. Finally! I ordered this book back in June or July on Amazon and have waited and wiated while so many other bloggers have received their copies.


I haven't done anything except flip through it briefly, since I am at work. I can tell you that I saw 2 patterns I didn't really like. 2 out of the whole book. A handful I would never make but I like. And most of them I want, and I want them now.


Tons of sport weight and DK weight yarns. Crocheted sweaters that have drape?! Very nice.

***

Spoke with the doctor's office. The "Best GI" in Derry is booked solid for the next 5 weeks. They have deemed me a sort of emergency since I can't eat. I see them tomorrow at 2. I have never been to a GI before. This should be fun.

Thank You

Thanks everyone for your replies yesterday.


You've all reaffirmed what I believed before I saw the doctor, and what I was told at the doctor's office: it's my gallbladder or it's an ulcer.


The reason it's taking a few days to get all the results back is because my doctor no longer does anything it seems. I went into the office and they checked me out and said that first and foremost they wanted to run bloodwork and do an ultrasound. They no longer do those things, so I got a RxN for both. I went to the lab (in the same building) for my bloodwork, and then to the imaging center (also in same building) for the u/s. Typically bloodwork takes a few days. Then they have to send it to my doctor's office. The u/s will be read by a radiologist within 72 hours. Then they send it to my doctor's office.


The Nexium is making no difference after 3 days. Maybe I'm not giving it enough time, but my understanding was that it would help after 1 to 3 days (if it's an ulcer aggravated by acid).


I cannot eat anything. I'm frustrated. I feel hungry, but when I eat I get this horrid burning feeling above my navel within a few minutes, and yesterday it lasted about 2 hours. I had 1/2 cup of bland soup and it caused that much discomfort. Other than water I don't know what to drink. I know caffeine is a no-no, so I stay away from it. Milk supposedly is bad so I stay away from that as well. I thought about herbal tea but the kinds I like are citrus, and the thought of citrus in my stomach right now is a huge turn-off. This morning I bought some instant oatmeal and a loaf of bread. I figured those were the blandest things I could possibly find. I will try some plain oatmeal at lunch. If all goes well, I'll try some bread. I'm hungry, but scared to eat anything.


Andy, in response to your question: I'm not a terrible eater. The meal I had right before my attack Sunday night was not that bad. I baked some chicken (it was not boneless or skinless though) and had some rice pilaf and some veggies. I had no dessert or sweets. I typically eat chicken with the skin on it, so I'm accustomed to that sort of diet. The pain came on within 30 minutes of eating and just continued to escalate. That day for lunch I had had some homemade vegetable soup which was very healthy. I did have a few homemade cookies in the afternoon, but again that is not out of the ordinary for me to have occassional sweets. It wasn't a day that was filled with sweets or lots of fat. If it was, it would have made some semblance of sense to me. It doesn't though. It seemed to come on for no good reason.


Anyhow, I'm waiting for the doctor to call me. Since I saw her Monday morning I haven't eaten much because I've been in pain that whole time.

Something is Very Wrong

I have been having some heartburn for about 2 weeks now. At least, that is what I assumed it was. It's a burning just above my bellybutton, that radiates outward. Sometimes it radiates to the upper right part of my belly under my ribcage, and into my back. I've never had GI issues. I have sort of a nervous stomach, so when I'm super upset I'll be off for a few days. But I've never had any serious issues otherwise. I wasn't even sure what I was feeling was heartburn. So anyhow, I started taking Tums and felt little relief. So I bought some Prilosec OTC and started taking that once per day. This past Sunday night around 7 pm I started to feel heart burn. It kept getting worse and worse. By 10 I was in so much pain I could not stand up to walk. I could not speak. My body visibly shook. Mark was a sleep or I would have made him take me to the ER. I was sweating profusely. I am not being dramatic when I say that the pain was so bad I could not stand up off the couch and get into the bedroom to make him take me to the ER. The pain was so bad that had I had a gun I would have shot myself. No lie. I thought I was dying. I thought it must be cancer. I must be bleeding internally. It had to be something very severe. It wasn't like gas pain that came and went, it was constant, and it was terrible. It lasted from about 7 pm Sunday night until 5:30 am Monday morning. I did not sleep 1 second during that time. I sweat so much that when the pain suddenly, and I mean very suddenly, stopped at 5:30 am and I stood up from the couch, there was an April-shaped sweat print where I was sitting. I sweat so much from pain that there was a huge wet spot. I couldn't believe my eyes. I have had 3 knee and 1 tonsilectomy/adnoidectomy surgeries. None of them went "well," in that I was in terrible pain afterward. I would do those things over 100 times before I would ever experience that kind of stomach pain again. I truly thought I was going to die.

So I went to the doctor Monday morning. They said it sounded like one of two things. Either a bad ulcer, or gallstones. They scheduled an ultrasound for this morning. The ultrasound technician said she thought everything looked good. Which would mean no gallstones. The blood work is still waiting in the wings. I should get a call from the doc by Friday or early next week letting me know what's going on with me. If everything is inconclusive, I need to have an endoscopy. The thought of something in my throat, that is probably the worst thing imaginable to me. I am so wimpy when it comes to that kind of stuff.

I'm pretty freaked out. Since it happened on Sunday, I cannot eat without feeling really ill. My stomach is uncomfortable at all times. I'm really worried. I've never had GI problems before and it's pretty freaky.

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