07 Feb For Those Who Are Wondering …
For those who are wondering where I’ve been lately, I wanted to finally go ahead and give an update here. It’s actually been a dim few weeks of uncertainty about my physical health.
I mentioned a little bit in my last post about how I was feeling physically, but that was way back in week 1. Today marks week 4 of not feeling well at all!
As I’ve gone from one doctor appointment to another, they’ve thought everything from diverticulitis to the most recent, and probably right, diagnoses of “gastritis with some erosion” (meaning it was on its way to becoming an ulcer) and colitis.
That’s the short story. It’s had me down physically for 4 weeks today, and as anyone who has gone through an uncertain illness or even a known disability can tell you, it’s been difficult to truly rest because of feeling miserable and uncertain.
One very good thing that came of all this is that the colonoscopy caught a polyp that turned out to be pre-cancerous, which means it had a chance at turning into cancer. Guess there’s a lot to be said for early screening, even before 50 years old (I’m 44).
For those who are into details, feel free to keep reading, but start from the bottom in this post to get the progression. What you’ll see are the emails I’ve sent to family and a small circle of co-workers and friends as the journey has progressed. It’s sure to be TMI (too much info) for some, so feel free to skip it.
Appreciate your prayers!
Sent: Thursday, February 04, 2010
Sent: Thursday, January 28, 2010
Sent: Monday, January 25, 2010
Just got back from the upper endoscopy. Doctor says it showed moderate gastritis and a small hiatal hernia. He took several biopsies to make sure it’s not being caused by some kind of bacteria that’s not supposed to be there.
He has decided to also do a colonoscopy, which is scheduled for this Thursday, January 28 at 1:00 pm.
For now, I get to eat a soft diet today and tomorrow and then back on clear liquid diet Wednesday and nothing on Thursday until after the procedure. He is doubling the dose of Prilosec I’ve been on from 20 mg to 40 mg. Hopefully, that will calm the gastritis enough to at least get back to some semblance of normal activity, though I’ve heard many very good-hearted warnings to be careful to take it slow.
Yesterday was a little better pain and discomfort-wise, but was also my lightest day in terms of movement and activity. I was good through this morning, though very weak and light-headed, but also couldn’t have anything to eat because of the procedure. Usually, as soon as I put anything in my stomach in the morning, the pain begins. As soon as we started driving to the appointment, the stomach started stirring again. I’m hopeful the added Prilosec will help that, though the 20 mg the last two weeks hasn’t provided any relief so far.
That’s all for now. Will keep you posted after I either hear more about the biopsies (don’t necessarily expect to until Thursday) or after the colonoscopy.
Thanks again everyone! I know some of you are dealing with issues larger than this, and please know that the one benefit this HAS provided me is an opportunity to sit and think and pray, even though the concentration sometimes doesn’t last long.
You are loved and appreciated!
Sent: Thursday, January 21, 2010
Well, the preliminary report of the CT scan shows that there is NOTHING abnormal, not even diverticulitis! I am praising God for that, but on the flip side wondering, then what in the world is going on?
My doc sent me to a gastroenterologist that had an opening this afternoon, and I just got back from that appointment. He is going to do an upper endoscopy (camera down throat into stomach) to check for any sign of ulcer or anything else there. He has also ordered stopping the antibiotics. (“If they’re not doing anything and the CT scan shows no diverticulitis, what good are they?”) So I suppose it was a good decision to not go in the hospital last night for IV antibiotics, which would be more powerful than the ones I have been on this week.
Th endoscopy is scheduled for Monday at 1:30 pm. They put you out for it and it only takes 5-10 minutes. He will know right away from the camera whether or not something is there.
If there is something there that is not an ulcer, he will take a piece to biopsy it. If the upper endoscopy comes out all clean, the next step is a colonoscopy.
Until Monday’s procedure, rest and clear liquid diet remains. I’ll keep you posted on Monday’s results (once I’m awake enough from the procedure).
Thanks again for praying!
Sent: Wednesday, January 20, 2010
Wanted to give you a quick update after today’s doctor’s appointment. Haven’t felt any better since seeing him Monday, and the pain has actually been added a little to the right side as well.
He gave me two options: 1) Go into the hospital tonight for more powerful IV antibiotics and get a CT scan done, or 2) Have a CT scan done in the morning and continue with the current 3 antibiotics at home pending those results tomorrow afternoon.
I opted for staying home overnight with the CT scan scheduled for 11 am. He’ll call me with results tomorrow afternoon and I’ll see him for a follow-up on Friday at 11 am.
He said if he saw any closed diverticula (pockets) on the CT scan tomorrow, in the hospital I go. If the CT scan does NOT show any closed pockets, but on Friday I don’t feel significantly better, it’s into the hospital probably for the weekend.
Obviously, my hope and prayer is that the current antibiotics do their job over the next couple days! Still on clear liquid diet for now.
Thanks for your prayer support!
Sent: Monday, January 18, 2010
I saw my doctor today. He thinks I have something called diverticulitis. You can click the link to read more about it. Apparently, one or more of the pockets has become infected, and that’s what my body has been fighting for the last couple weeks now.
He has me on 3 antibiotics and I have a follow-up appointment on Wednesday at 3:00 pm. Until then, he wants me on a clear liquid diet and little movement. The more movement, the more irritated the infected part of the intestine becomes, which now makes sense as to why I feel OK when I get up in the morning, but quickly feel drained and stomach-sick.
This actually draws back to Christmas Day, the day we left for Texas. I woke up at 5 am with severe pain in my left side that lasted for about 20 minutes. It occurred 3 or 4 more times that day while we were on the road with less intensity each time. My doctor thinks that was my initial “diverticulitis attack”.
I’ll keep you posted.