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Thursday, June 9, 2011

Dr. Saturday

Well, as you know, I've been having tummy issues - I am basically feeling the same way I was before my April surgery - nauseated, small appetite, lower abdominal pain, just feeling "off." I've also been having quite a bit of pain when I pee (and no, it's not a UTI...). To review: Because of these symptoms, Dr. Saturday ordered a sonogram three weeks ago, and some more labs. The sonogram was inconclusive -essentially, it's just not a good test for looking for abscesses. He decided that if my labs were still off, he'd have me get an MRI to further check things out. I got labs with Rheumy, and was supposed to call Dr. Saturday with the results. They came back with my white count even higher. I called the office, but Dr. Saturday was out of town for a few weeks. The nurse told me that he just wanted me to come in for an office visit, and she'd call me to schedule it. I never received a call. To their credit, however, when I called on Tuesday afternoon saying I wasn't feeling well, they gave me an appointment for 9:00 on Wednesday morning.

So Wednesday I go in and report how I'm feeling, anticipating that he'd send me to get the MRI. I'm feeling exactly the way I was before surgery, so it makes since to me to think that I might be having the same problem again. He disagrees, since I'm not having a fever and the ultrasound didn't show obvious abscesses. Unfortunately, that was what everyone thought all winter and spring when my ultrasounds were normal and I was fever-free. Finally, an MRI in February did show the abscesses, despite the normal ultrasounds. I'm worried that that's what's going on again, but Dr. Saturday doesn't think so.

Dr. Saturday thinks that I have Crohn's disease, and my symptoms are from that. He wants me to get an upper GI series done to investigate that. Well... but... I had this test done last summer, and it was fine, I don't think that my pain is INSIDE my intestines, I don't want that much radiation (this test involves quite a bit) and mainly, for several very good reasons, I just don't think that I actually have Crohn's disease.

We also discussed doing this super cool (radiation-free) test called capsule endoscopy (you swallow a camera, and it takes thousands of pictures of your guts and transmits them back to the doctor!). It would be very useful in determining if I am disease-free or if I have Crohn's or some residual inflammation/ulcers on the inside of my intestines. Unfortunately, with my frequent small bowel obstruction issues, this could be very dangerous. The camera has a high chance of getting stuck, and would require emergency surgery to remove! So we ix-nayed that test!

So we are sort of at a stalemate. I won't agree to the test, but he can't really decide what to do without it. I really just think that the abscesses are back, and we need to do a better test to make sure. Please pray for wisdom as I don't know what to do, but I know I just don't feel quite right.

He did provide insight into the bladder stuff. Apparently when there is inflammation, your tissues get "sticky." My absceses were down in my pelvis surrounding all my pelvic organs, including my bladder. Since I have no colon, my remaining intestines kind of fall down into my pelvis. With all that inflammation, the organs start sticking together, called adhesions. He thinks that I have intestines adhering to my bladder, so when it stretches or shrinks, it pulls on stuff, causing pain. I am also (gross alert) still having to go to the bathroom to "poop" stuff out of my rear end. He said that this will continue forever, since they opened me up down there to drain the infection. Fun times.

Finally, my brother, Andrew, wins above and beyond kindness awards... he sprained his ankle on Monday. I was just hanging out, and he was elevating his ankle. Suddenly, I started having this intense salt craving... this happens to me a lot, especially when I mess with my steroids or when my body is stressed. I was also feeling a little lightheaded, and so I knew that something salty would make me feel better. I was going in to check on him and see if he needed anything at the store. Unfortunately, I had stood up too fast and about blacked out on his floor. I was super dizzy and kinda sweaty. He very kindly hobbled to the store (and Sonic!) and brought me salty snacks and a Sonic slushy... what a good brother! Please pray for his poor ankle to heal up!

Hannah ;)

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