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6 pounds down: seeing the difference in small steps

Thursday, November 07, 2013

These were taken less than 10 days apart.


When is it time to give up on trying to find an answer?

Tuesday, June 04, 2013

When do you stop searching for health answers? When do you decide that for whatever reason, your body has decided to function in an entirely different way and there is nothing you are going to be able to do about it? When do you stop trying to find relief for the nearly daily pain or discomfort and just live with it?
My biopsy results came back. Inflammation of the stomach. No explanation. No cause. The doctor was able to get me in today as I have been feeling worse since Friday. Pain, burning sensation, discomfort, strings of food in my stool. The doctor really has no answers. Says to go my dietitian appointment, start the low-FODMAP diet, see if it helps.
Gave me two new meds, while my family doctor prescribed me a stronger pain med to get me through the wedding weekend.
Running tests for c-dif and something else I can't pronounce. Did blood test for pancreatic and liver function.
Some quotes from today's appointment "I think it's the food you are ingesting."
"Maybe it's the salad."
"How did those antibiotics I prescribe you work." (this one is awesome because I took them three months ago and I have told him twice now, that I was actually sicker while on them)
"How'd that anti-fungal work on the yeast?" (another awesome one since without another stool test how the heck am I supposed to know if there is still yeast in my stool?)
"Did they check your gallbladder?" (I have been seeing this doctor since early February and he has asked me every single time. The answer: yes they did...twice)
"I want to maybe reinvestigate your gallbladder."
"Have you been eating Activia?" (why no doctor, I have gone lactose free in milk and yogurt)
I have spent 4 months with him as my GI doctor and I am really no further than I was in January.
He won't say it is IBS, because I am chronically inflamed, which doesn't happen with IBS. I have had rashes. I have had headaches. I have thrown up. Meds have given me nosebleeds. I have run low grade fevers. My BP won't regulate. I have tachycardia. I have multiple bowel movements a day when previously I was a 1 every 24-36 hours kind of gal. I have pain in my upper abdomen, mainly upper right quadrant. I can't eat apples, grapes, corn, popcorn...milk, ice cream, yogurt, some cheeses. I can't eat too much, spicy sometimes doesn't work, sometimes it's fine. I can't have rich food.
I am vitamin D deficient. I have bouts of extreme fatigue.
When do I stop searching for an answer?
I was 4 pounds away from being under 200 for the first time in a while. When I have the pain attacks, it hurts to exercise. Walking, running, biking, all of it aggravates the upper abdomen. Also, as the number of times I have bowel movements increase, my rate of dehydration increases. My appetite declines, my energy declines. In other words, I feel that it stops my momentum in its tracks.
I just don't know if I am hunting for a ghost or if there really is something. I have pain. Doctor pressed on upper abdomen...not hard...just fingertips and "tender" doesn't quite describe that pain. More like "hey don't touch that."
What are my next steps? Start the diet, spend 6-12 weeks ruling out food and re-introducing? Seek the help of a different GI doctor? Ask for a specialist in undetermined motility disorders?
Frustration. That is the only emotion I feel right now.
So what's my next step? Physician and nurse practitioner say I have to lose weight, lower BP and have the stomach condition under control before kids...and I obviously have show no ability to manage my symptoms on my own.
I am supposed to call doctor next week and tell him how I feel. Considering my FODMAP meeting isn't until Monday I don't know if I will even have that answer next week.
Another thing, my new stool test to complete for C-Dif...has to be water, loose textbook diarrhea. I have stick, frequent loose stools, but not watery diarrhea. Couldn't provide the proper sample on my own last time, doc had me take laxative. Made my bowel seize for three days and then release when i was back at work...made me very ill and uncomfortable. I can't do that this week. Thursday is dress rehearsal for my sister-in-law's wedding and then Sunday is the wedding...which I am in. I obviously can't be guessing when a laxative is just going to do its thing.
I have no idea what I am doing, and I hate to say it...I don't think my doctor does either.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SHARBEAR100 6/4/2013 6:44PM

    Do not give up! But don't stay with this doctor either as he obviously has no clue. Something is making you sick. It sounds like you need to move on to a specialist, and the sooner the better.

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I forgot how comfy these shoes were

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

So I can only find one of my pink sneakers. No idea where the other one went since Sunday...which I think was the last time I wore them. As I am digging through the closet, with no luck mind you, I find my old running shoes. For a quick 30 minute set on the stationary bike, they will do. They need relaced (tried myself and majorly screwed up my laces) and they are a little worn out, but I put them on and went "wow I forgot how comfortable these are." They are shoes specifically made for pronators, so they fit my feet well. I think my next stringer check from work will be used to buy me a new pair of running shoes.
The 30 minutes on the bike went great (especially considering my legs were so sore from the inadvertent three hours of leg pressing I accidentally did on Sunday). Worked up a light sweat, raised my heart rate but not too high, and the 30 minutes went quickly as I played Angry Birds and watched the Indians game (it's now rain delay and they are losing unfortunately).
I am trying not to think about the endoscopy and biopsy results. It will be a couple weeks before we know anything. I know the doctor is looking specifically at celiacs, I just don't want to focus on what that means. I need to make a lifestyle change for my health, I know that, I just don't know if I am prepared to make THAT lifestyle change. We will see though.
In the mean time tomorrow I am going to try my lactose free Keifer. I was skeptical when it was suggested to me, but then again I was skeptical of the Lactaid milk too. I love the lactaid milk, so I hope when I have my Keifer with my fresh fruit and homemade peanut butter rice crispy balls tomorrow morning I am pleasantly surprised.
I tried to stay as stress-free at work as I could. That's easier said than done, especially when every single department is slammed and behind schedule and you are being asked to fill in at almost every position. This week it's graphics, next week it's editorial. Who knows when I will get my own work done (probably this weekend unfortunately).
The good news is tomorrow is Thursday already and the rest of the week will go pretty quickly. Then it's weekend and trips to the gym, Kohls to buy a new watch and the Indians v. Reds game in Cincinnati on Memorial Day with my sister, my cousin and the foreign exchange student living at my aunt and uncle's house.
OK well it's going to storm here and it looks like we are going to lose power so TTFN (ta ta for now)!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

TDICOIO 5/24/2013 7:37PM

    My husband doesn't drink milk, at all, but he uses it in cereal. How is the taste of Lactaid compared to the real deal?

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Endoscopy Day

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Well today was the day. I had my endoscopy this morning bright and early. I was really nervous so they sedated me more heavily than they did for my colonoscopy. I fell asleep shortly after they numbed my throat. I guess later when I was coming to in recovery I wasn't making much sense and my husband started making comments about unicorns. Even under the influence of drugs and not able to speak correctly I guess I gave him an unamused face. The doctor says my esophagus looked good. The lining of my stomach was inflamed a little so they took a biopsy there and the walls of the fold of my small intestine were "smoother than I like to see" according to the doctor, and they took a biopsy there too, but I promised I would do zero research. So this is me NOT googling it.
The sedation always makes me feel a bit queasy and of course it makes me tired beyond belief so when we got home (way ahead of schedule) I collapsed on the bed and slept for several hours while Chris peeked in on me every once in a while. Eventually I felt OK enough to be vertical for short periods of time. And then even later I felt OK enough to shower (but it made me feel queasy) and eat.
My follow-up appointment is June 24.
My dietitian appointment (that I have been waiting a few weeks for) was supposed to be next Tuesday and the clinic had to call and cancel because apparently one of the dietitians is on vacation and they don't have enough people to cover all the patients. I could either go this afternoon (which wasn't possible due to endoscopy) or June 10...the morning after my sister-in-law's wedding, which I am in. So now I get to be up bright and early the next day AND wait three more weeks before getting the dietary advice to start my low-FODMAP diet.
I will hopefully have my biopsy results in 2-3 weeks.
I know the doctor told my mom and husband he was specifically looking for celiacs in the small intestine (even though blood work was negative, I guess that it can still be a possibility).
OK that's all this cranky girl has to say (sedatives have that affect on me).
Good night!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

TDICOIO 5/22/2013 10:10AM

    Good luck! My husband is scheduled for a colonoscopy, but he's dreading them saying endoscopy! I'm not sure why one is worse than the other, but I think he doesn't want to be intubated. I hope it all goes well for you!

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DELIA38961 5/22/2013 12:45AM

    hope everything turns out good for ya

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I am bad at softball and other random tidbits

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Today my best friend sent me a text asking me to come to her softball game and keep book, go out for lunch after. She had a baby in January and is trying to get back to pre-baby shape and then some. We are both struggling some with our second time around. I arrive just before the game and one of their ladies was a no-show. It's a co-ed league so when a girl doesn't show up it usually means forfeiting the match. I had worn my work out clothes so I would have one less excuse to not go to the gym on my way home. Facing forfeit Tab looks at me and says "Jess looks like you are playing." She tosses me a glove and says there is a spare set of cleats in the trunk of her car. They got so as the team looks at me I find myself agreeing to play. Now, I haven't played softball competitively since highschool more than nine years ago. Even then I wasn't very good. I could catch a fly ball or two, my throw was mediocre at best and I popped up more times than I hit a ball on the ground. I have also never been a good runner.
Well I can tell you that a decade of not playing regularly plus being overweight and out of shape do NOT improved softball skills. It was slow pitch so I could play catcher without squatting or posing too much risk to the team. I walked three times (once on my own and twice due to some of the rules they have for mixed gender teams) and hit a bloop single over third base. I still suck horribly at running and it took two innings before I could throw the ball back to the pitcher accurately.
Amazingly this team, who are pretty serious about their league softball even with the beer cans on the bench, was totally cool with the fact that I am not exactly a finger. I got pats on be back and high fives just for participating and shots of encouragement each time I had to run the bases. The pitcher was a pretty good sport about the many throws he has to chase. After we won 20-4 (the other team had lots of players like me I think) several of us went out to the sponsors bar. They were just glad I had agreed to play so they could get the game in.
All I can say is it felt really good to be a part of a team. Not only that but unlike when I was a below average 16-year-old player, I wasn't mocked for generally sucking.
I was also glad I didn't wear a dress like I originally planned, especially since Tab said she still would have made me play.
After sitting at the bar for hours (no alcohol for me but I did have more diet soda than I care to admit) I drove home and stopped in at the gym for half an hour on the way. I was over heated and had a pretty decent headache (allergy season) but I still put in those minutes. Two things I discovered while there: the elliptical machine hurts my knees ALWAYS. My stride is too short for the machine. And my heart rate still gets too high when using the treadmill even for a brisk walk. Stationary bike it is until I get into better shape!
Tuesday is my endoscopy and I am just hoping to avoid a full blown panic attack at the thought of a tube going down my throat. Every time I think about it, all I can picture is people being intubated. I don't even know if I will just be sedated a little or completely under. Anyway I have to be there at 6:30 and my procedure is at 7:30 a.m. My mom is taking me there and then when I get home around 11 my husband will be around to keep an eye on me.
The dietitian at the Diabetes Clinic (this confuses people since I do not have diabetes actually) meets with me on May 28 to go over the low FODMAP diet. I have purchased some lactose free milk and yogurt and I bought a handful of gluten free items when I was down at Jungle Jim's international grocery near Cincinnati. It has the largest gluten free selection in the midwest. This essentially means four or five rows of non-perishable items (pasta, snack bars, drinks, salad dressing, bread, etc.) and a row or so of frozen items as well as a few from the refrigerated section. I haven't yet determined if that selection is worth a trip every 4-6 weeks or so to purchase gluten free foods. Probably not considering a loaf of gluten free bread is crazy expensive. It's half the size of a regular loaf of bread and costs 4-5 times as much. The salad dressings and all that will be interesting to try. I even found a calorie free dressing made with vinegar, apple juice and lots of seasonings.
Anyway, I will know more about the types of foods I need to buy after my appointment about my nutrition.
OK now it's time to say adios for the evening.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

TDICOIO 5/27/2013 9:05AM


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