He gave three possibilities: one, I had a stomach virus (extensive testing for bacterial, protozoal, worm, and fungal infection - I kid you not - was negative). He said that even someone with IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome, NOT to be confused with what I have, IBD, which is Inflammatory Bowel Disease - IBS causes pain and symptoms, but does NOT cause inflammation or damage to the intestines like IBD) can have a tough time getting over a stomach virus, so someone like me with such a compromised GI tract could take months to return to normal after a bug. He said that some very nasty stomach viruses have been going around this year (a fact to which I can attest, as a dear friend with IBD wound up in the hospital critically ill from a bug over Christmas) So that's one possibility.
I also have the issue of dumping syndrome, where everything goes straight through me. My intestines just can't seem to pick a speed - they are either in overdrive or stuck in a rut, spinning their wheels. ;) When that happens, I have to take meds to slow down my gut! So yeah, my body's nuts.
He said the next step would be to repeat some testing, but since I'm improving, he really prefers to not put me through that right now, and it most likely wouldn't even yield any useful information. The good news continues to be that the testing I had done in early January showed NO inflammation in my small intestine, so they are not worried about Crohn's! Overall, since I felt like my stomach was slowly doing better, he asked if I'd be okay with doing nothing right now, and I agreed. Dr. FancyPants has an infusion center that's about 3 miles away from me... I can get IV fluids there between 9-5 M-F instead of having to go to the hospital, which is wonderful! He did want me to take a supplement of potassium, since mine has been running low because of dehydration.
I am so glad that this appointment went so well - he didn't really DO anything, but he listened to what I had to say, didn't brush aside any of my concerns, and didn't give me any glib answers. An added bonus is that he's geographically very close to me (I drive close to an hour to see most of my other specialists).
|This is Potassium...|
|...this is NOT Potassium!|
She again asked if I couldn't just try taking the supplement, because otherwise she'd have to, like, call the pharmacy and ask the pharmacist about alternatives. I told her that the situation wasn't urgent; I didn't need the supplement today or tomorrow, but it simply does me no good to take extended release medicines due to my lack of colon, so I'd appreciate it if she would just call the pharmacy. I was mildly irked that I had to ask her to do her job, but to her credit, she did call the pharmacy and get the situation straightened out within the day - the med comes in a powder form! Hopefully it will be worth the hassle.
Thankfully, things have calmed down in my tummy! It's been a very slow process, and it's not quite back to normal, but things are SO much better than they were a few weeks ago. Praise God! Of course... for the last several days, I've been struggling some with intermittent blockages punctuated by dumping... it's ALWAYS something! Haha. But overall, things are much better in the GI department, so I am very thankful!