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Thursday, October 8, 2009

Limbo

Yesterday was a little weird. I'm not sure what exactly to think.

I had my scope yesterday, and the results are good, but confusing. My colon actually looks pretty good -- it appears to be healing! No one is sure exactly what this means.

My surgeon is totally on board with doing surgery soon -- I'm scheduled to have it on Wednesday. He said that regardless of how my colon looks, he believes it's clearly not functioning properly and is making me very sick. The fact that it looks good will make surgery easier than anticipated, and I'll probably be able to have it in two steps instead of three. If ulcerative colitis is all that's going on, surgery will bring resolution to my stomach problems, pain, fatigue, and arthritis.

Here's the difficulty: my GI doctor now seems rather uncomfortable about doing surgery, since my colon looks healthy, but I'm still pretty sick. His concern is that I may have some other medical condition in addition to UC. Removing my colon will cure me of ulcerative colitis, but if some other problem is what's causing my symptoms, surgery won't make me feel much better. Since all my labs and tests and scans are negative for pretty much everything, he has absolutely no idea what else might be causing my symptoms.

So . . . on the one hand, surgery is still the right choice. All the doctors agree that I have UC which is not responding well to treatment, and the colon will need to come out. On the other hand, my GI doctor wants me to understand that I will have this huge surgery, be cured of colitis . . . and still might not feel good. I may find that many of my symptoms are actually being caused by something else. Something else that doesn't show up on any scans or tests. Something that they don't know how to treat. That's frustrating and disappointing.

I have a list of reminders to myself on my desk. One of them says, "Trust in God, not the means and gifts He provides." While doctors and tests and treatments and surgeries help many people, God is always the one controlling the outcomes. Yesterday was a good reminder to put my faith in God, not in the means He may use, like doctors and medical technology. I'm not sure what the outcome will be, if surgery will make me feel better or not. Hopefully so. Hopefully all that's going on is my body reacting to the stress of a sick colon. But if not, if something else is going on, and I continue to be sick despite surgery, I'll trust God to give me strength to deal with that possibility!

The current plan is for me to go home today (yay!) and try to survive at home until I have surgery next week. Please pray for wisdom for the doctors to decide how to treat and manage my symptoms until I have surgery.

Hannah ;)

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