I haven’t reported on my health issues lately.

So….here’s why – I still don’t know very much.

When last we visited this chapter of my life, I had a hurting stomach and according to all of the tests, I am healthy as a horse.  Let’s run down the list of tests – shall we?

Sonogram in the ER for gallstones – negative

CT Scan in the ER for infection – negative

Blood work from the ER – negative

Pregnancy test from the ER – negative

Blood work from the doctor’s office for H. pylori bacteria – negative

Hida Scan ordered from the doctor’s office for a non-functioning gallbladder – negative

As you can tell, I am again proving my primary physician correct – I’m a difficult patient!

She then refers me to a gastroenterologist to figure out what is causing my stomach problems.  It took over a month to get an appointment in his office.  Finally saw the specialist 2 weeks ago and he suggested that we scope (EGD) my stomach so he can see exactly what’s going on down there.

The appointment for my scope happened last week.  Mandatory day off from work due to the sedation – WOOHOO!

Scope results – I have a hiatal hernia.

Also had a biopsy of the area – inflammation of the stomach is the result I just received today.

So – what’s the next step?  Have another CT Scan – this time with both oral and IV contrast, and follow up with the specialist in 4 weeks.

I had the CT Scan today.

Oh.my.god.

That was one of the worst things I have ever gone through!  And I have gone through a LOT!

First – you have to drink this bottle of barium.  Sounds easy right?  NOT!  It is like drinking thick, mucusy milk that tastes like pureed bitter orange peel.  Mild citrusy taste my ass!  I was instructed that it tastes better cold….ummm….yeah…I’d hate to know what worse is!  I was also instructed to chug it as fast as possible – just to get it over with.  That took me over 15 minutes and by the last ¼ bottle, I was trying desperately not to gag.  I got it all down, but just barely.

Then I was left to suffer through the night – nothing to eat or drink after downing the horrid concoction.

If that wasn’t bad enough, I had to go through the suffering again and drink ANOTHER whole bottle of the vile stuff an hour before my appointment.  Only this time, by the time I got to the last ¼ of the bottle, I was actually gagging and I didn’t even bother drinking the rest.

Show up to the appointment and get settled into the machine.  The tech instructs me on what she is doing and what I can expect to happen.  She’s inserting an IV for the iodine contrast to be delievered – oh, by the way, are you allergic to iodine?  Not sure?  I guess we’ll find out.  Once the iodine is pushed into your body, you’ll feel a slight warming sensation beginning at your ears and traveling down your body.  You may actually feel like you have wet yourself, but I can assure you that you haven’t.  You might have a slight headache.  Don’t worry, it’s just a side effect.

Wait….what?

I’m going to feel like I peed myself?  WTF?!?

Who designs tests like this?

Tech again – now – before we begin the test, I need you to take one last thing.  It’s kind of like pop-rocks and you’ll drink it down with more barium.  The pop-rocks might actually burn a little going down, but it’s not harmful.  They will create gas and air in your stomach for part of the test, so it’s very important that you not burp while the test is going on, try to hold it in.

I never in a million years thought I would be grateful for drinking barium, but those “pop-rocks” burned like acid and the barium actually tasted good after having that nasty stuff in my mouth.  I’m becoming a champ at chugging it seems.  I thought I was going to gag it all back up, but somehow kept it all down.

Test finally begins and after the second pass of the scanner, the iodine contrast was started automatically.  Holy shit the tech was right!  I thought I peed my pants.  Only that part started first, not my ears getting warm – and when they say warm, I felt like I was on fire!  Not just in my ears, but from my head to my toes!  It took almost 3 hours after the test for my body temperature to actually feel normal again.

And the request not to burp during the test?  No problem….I didn’t even feel like burping while I was in the building.  However, after returning to work, I burped and belched for 2 hours with no control over when it would come out or how loud.  How lovely.

So…now I’m sitting here waiting on the results of this latest test.  And my follow-up appointment that was supposed to happen within four weeks of the scope?  It’s scheduled at the end of July –almost 6 weeks after the scope and 5 weeks after today’s scan.

I’m thrilled the office schedule is so efficient.  NOT!

Oh – and my pain level?  It’s still registering between 1-3 on the scale.  Not bad enough to skip work, but just annoying enough that I feel like I have a brick in my stomach at all times.  It leaves me feeling on-edge more than I’d like to admit.

{sigh}  I’m just ready for the pain to go away.

Advertisements