Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Medical Woes and Adventures with Radioactive Food

Yesterday I spent the morning in the hospital getting what I hope will be the last in the long line of medical test I’ve undergone since November. I've been having stomach pain and difficulty digesting since August and have had many tests to get to the bottom of it, with no real answers yet. So far, they're ruled out Lupus, Scleroderma, Diabetes, ulcers, and acid reflux. An ultrasound revealed gallstones, but no sign of swelling or infection of my gallbladder, so the doctors don't think that is the culprit. A scope of my stomach showed signs of gastroparesis – that's what the test yesterday was for. It will show how fast (or slow) my stomach empties after I eat. I’m also waiting on results on tests for giardia, Celiac Disease, and bowel infection, and bowel inflammation. Hopefully yesterday’s test, a gastric emptying study, will be illuminating. So, yesterday, I started my day (at 7:00 am) eating radioactive beef stew and orange juice. Yes, that’s right, they made me eat beef stew at 7:00 in the morning. Yucky, canned beef stew…bad in the evening, ten times worse in the morning. It may have been the most difficult thing I’ve ever had to choke down. I definitely won’t be eating beef stew again any time soon. After eating what may have been the worst meal of my life, they started scans of me abdomen every thirty minutes, each lasting 1 minute. The whole process took about two and half hours, which was mostly spent in a tiny little waiting – that was well stocked with magazines from 2007. Thankfully, I had Harry Potter book 4 with me (and my magical ability to fall a sleep anywhere). I’m so tired of being poked, prodded, scoped and x-rayed (so far I’ve given 15 or so vials of blood). But most of all I’m tired of not feeling well and not being able to eat normally. It would all be worth it if that radioactive beef stew had somehow given me superpowers…but there are no signs of x-ray vision or superhuman strength. An even better outcome would be some kind of a diagnosis and treatment plan. Hopefully, I’ll hear something today.

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