Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Remember the Scope

The latest chapter in the Mr. Clean Saga is that Dr. A has yet to return my phone call. I'm not exactly holding my breath. ;) I'm in the process of obtaining saline syringes from my GI Dr's office - they have been great and are taking care of me even when it's probably outside their umbrella of responsibility! In the process, however, is the search for an internist who can oversee my care. I'm not excited about gaining another doctor (see here for a glimpse into my last experience with an internist), but I understand that it's necessary for me to have a general doctor.

I had a sort of last-minute scope of my stomach today. My GI Dr wanted me to have the scope ASAP, and his counterpart (who is smart and nice and I really like - he talked me through the Remicade decision when I was inpatient one time) agreed to fit me in today! Wow! This is amazing, as it can literally take months to get in for a scope. I feel like GI Dr. really went above and beyond for me, which I do not take for granted and truly appreciate.

For those of you who are interested, I think this was either scope #15 or 16... I've totally lost count at this point, but suffice to say I've been around the block a time or two with the whole scoping nonsense. You know, the receptionist greets me, first and last name. See, she has a granddaughter named Hannah (who lives in England. She buys gifts for her through eBay and and has call her husband every time to help her convert dollars to pounds). Every nurse on the floor said hi, since they all know me.

This was, however, only my second time with a scope down the throat... The other time I had an EGD, it was no biggie and they also scoped in Squirt while I was out. The only hitch this time was that my GI Dr was NOT doing the scope. See, at this point, I'm such a druggie and they've sedated me so many times that I probably need enough drugs to put down a large animal to make me yawn. Since I look so small and innocent, ;) doctors usually have a hard time believing this and tend to think that a tiny amount of sedation will probably knock me out cold. GI Dr forgot to pass this information on to his counterpart. I told Dr. Counterpart that sedation doesn't actually sedate me at all. To his credit, he offered to bring in an anesthesiologist and have them put me totally out, but they were already running way behind, and I didn't want to make my poor mom wait any longer than she was already going to have to wait. Plus, he told me he'd give me a little extra sedation, and the test was only going to last about 5 minutes. So... in what was probably not the best decision of the year, I opted to just go for the sedation.

The test did only last a few minutes, but it was unpleasant and the extra drugs unfortunately did not really phase me, as I was pretty well aware as they shoved a camera down my throat. I coughed and gagged and retched through the whole thing, but the good news is that my tummy looks okay. The bad news is that we therefore have no clear idea as to why I'm so nauseated and stuff. And my throat is really sore now from my body's (unsedated) reflexes fighting the scope. ;)

The plan is to try a special antibiotic for GI infections as well as some antifungal stuff and probiotics. The line of thinking goes something like this: I'm immunocompromised, have been on long-term antibiotics for pouchitis, then had hard-core antibiotics for the infection after surgery. So I may have some bad bacteria/yeast in my GI tract. There are some holes in this theory... they were hoping to see evidence of this infection in the scope, but they did not. Also, the drugs that are the typical mainstay of treatment for this sort of problem are ones that I have been taking consistently since November. So I think they are just treating so they have something to try... but it's worth a shot, I guess. I am nervous because in the past I've had a run-in with the antibiotic they want me to try... and the antibiotic won. So please pray that the rematch will go to Semi Colon. ;)

The other issue is that we are aware that my stomach simply doesn't work properly. I've been told I have gastroparesis... balanced out with dumping syndrome. Basically, my stomach, at times, decides to NOT empty, causing nausea and pain. At other times, it empties way too rapidly, causing a drop in blood sugar, stomach cramps, nausea, and malabsorption. It's apparently unheard of for these conditions to coexist (but since when has that stopped my body?), and the medicines to treat one issue will make the other issue worse, but either issue can cause nausea. Since my body can cycle from not emptying to emptying too rapidly within a few days, I have no idea how we can treat both. But, at some point, the doctors would like to do a test to see how my stomach empties. I'm not really sure how that will be useful... they could do that test every day of the week and come up with that many different answers for how my stomach empties!

Anyways... I think that my GI system is just totally traumatized from all it's been through since I got sick in 2006. All the little nerves are a little bit freaked out. Once they get over their PTSD, hopefully they will get their act together and start working properly. That's my theory, and I'm sticking to it! ;)

Please continue with the Romans 5:1-11 challenge!! Hopefully you are through verse 10 by now... but if not, don't lose heart! If you never actually started, that's okay, too - but why not start now? If you're too intimidated, why not at least read through these verses every day? It will take you less than 5 minutes. God is using these verses to help remind me to keep things in perspective. I was God's enemy! My sin makes me repulsive and offensive to God - there's such a huge contrast there between my sin and His perfection purity and holiness, yet He DIED for me! Wow! How can that not make you feel amazing? What a tremendous blessing that I am totally unworthy of receiving... puts a little thing like being awake for a scope seem pretty insignificant. I think that's what Paul was talking about when he said in Romans 8:18: "For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed to us."

Hannah ;)


  1. Psalm 71:19-21

    Your righteousness reaches to the skies, O God,
    you who have done great things.
    Who, O God, is like you?
    Though you have made me see troubles, many and bitter,
    you will restore my life again;
    from the depths of the earth,
    you will again bring me up.
    You will increase my honor
    and comfort me once again.

  2. Hi, Hannah. I have been praying for you. I am a friend of Tom Nannarone's, living in Cincinnati. I know a bit of what you are going through as I have had Crohn's disease since I was 20. Thanks for being an encouragement to others even as we hope to encourage you. I am going to take the Romans challenge.