Monday, April 27, 2015

Are You Sure It's Not Knee Pain?

Super quick update before I start this blog, 1) I sucked it up and went through with the capsule endoscopy. Almost two weeks later and I was still waiting for that damn camera to come out. Three weeks later and still no word on the results, so yeah I'm super regretting doing it. Of course, it is Dr. Nodurft so the results might be in and just waiting in the outgoing mail bin...  2) I didn't go to the potluck. Life's tough.

Last time I left off, I had to wait six weeks for Mr. I'm Too Busy. Well May of 2014 finally rolled around and it was time to talk colonoscopies. Yay.

I remember this appointment pretty well. I barely made it on time, I tried to leave work early but left late. I was still losing weight and always tired, the pain I was in was becoming more regular and more severe. Plus I was dealing with Holden's medical issues/procedures and they were pretty bad during this timeframe. In all directions-I was STRESSED!  He asked me again about my symptoms. He went down them like a grocery checklist. it sounded more like he was trying to remind himself who I was and what my symptoms were. I was getting irritated. Then I described my stomach pain. At that time, about once every 6-8 weeks it was really bad. I would wake up in pain. It was like being shot in the middle of my stomach. Worst pain of my life accompanied by chills, nausea, night was horrible. "Every few weeks?" he said. "And you're sure it's not your menstrual cycle?" He said it as a statement more than a question. I was beyond irritated now. I struggled really hard to not call him a dumb ass. I can't wait for someone to rip his balls off, because I'm going to be the first one there standing over him asking, "Are you sure it's not knee pain?"

Hindsight is 20/20, and with that perspective in mind this appointment was a disaster! He never fully explained the procedure either so it was really not worth it.  I did finally get a detail explaination of the procedure and the risks involved, but that was a few days later when Scarlet had a follow up with the pediatric GI specialist.

He asked me what I did for a living. He asked if I had children. This was not one the first times meeting with this guy but now he decided to take a patient history???  Uhhh, pretty sure all this info is on the form I filled out the first time I came in. Excuse yourself into the hallway Boo and read my fucking chart. He touched on support, he said I would need a ride home from the colonoscopy. "you'll have to have your husband drive you." Support. husband. What??? "My what?" I asked. Maybe my irritation was starting to show because he did seem to try to regroup at this point. He scanned my chart looking for something and then said, "Michael." "Who?" I asked him back. Way to take notes guy. Real thorough. "Michael. He came here with you here before didn't he?" then I remembered. "oh, that guy. Yeah, he did come...I guess he had nothing better to do that day? He's not going to give me a ride home." awkward... Dr. Yee had told me I would need someone to take me to my first appointment. This turned out to not be the case. How many rides was I going to have to ask from people??!!

So then he told me about the procedure. Here it is: it's just like the endoscopy I had, you come in the nurses set you up, you'll be wheeled back into a room, we put you out and then you'll wake up a short time later. I feel like I'm missing a big piece of the puzzle. Like the whole puzzle.

This is the thought that got me in trouble-I should have had a cocktail before I got here.

I asked him to actually explain it. He proceeds to tell me the worst part is the prep, that I'll be up all night and my bottom will probably be pretty sore by the next day. He said something about a camera and picked up his stethoscope to show how wide it was.

I'm out, no thank you. "this seems unpleasant," I said, "I don't want to do it." Remember that cocktail idea I had? He said something about clear liquids only. "does that include vodka? Can I drink vodka?" this prompted him to ask how much I drank, another item we already discussed at my very first appointment. "well, I have three kids, so not enough." he harped on it a bunch more which irritated me to no end. Then he asked me if I smoked. Again, another question I've already answered. "no," I responded. "Should I start?" "Oh, no" he warned, completely oblivious to my sarcasm. and at no point did he write any of this information down so I figured my next appointment was going to be yet, another treat. He said something about a car service since I had no ride, but never followed up. He went to get paperwork and I was left to sit and stew in my own frayed nerves and irritation. He came back, brought up clear liquids again. So I asked, innocently, "So, is that a no on the vodka?"' "Well," he began, "We don't recommend it." I perked up, it sounded like maybe there was a chance it was no big deal. "I'm not hearing a no." and it was clear, this is where he met his threshold on dealing with me. Gotta give him props-his patience did last longer than most. "That's not exactly a glowing recommendation!" he hissed back at me. Mr. Roger's just yelled at me, guess its not such a great day in the neighborhood.

"Still not hearing a no." I replied. He just stared back at me. I left not fully committed to the colonoscopy idea. He said to try to wrap my head around it and call his scheduler. Try wrapping your head around the concept of actually helping your patient. He gave me paperwork and the prescription for the prep. Clearly he did not want me to call or come back for any reason. I left, happy to get out of that office while Dr. Nodurft ran down the hall to his office to rewrite my medical chart. I would be finding that out in the few short weeks that followed.

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

I ❤️ Colonoscopies

I put off updating this blog to explain the next link in the chain after completing the lab tests my doctor wanted me to do. I didn't know it at the time, but this was the point where my health and well being really took off on an unexpected trajectory.  If I could go back and do things over, I would choose this point.  But, that's the thing about linear time, there's no moving backwards.

This was April 2014.  Have you ever been standing at your kitchen counter sifting through the days mail of mortgage statements and junk mail, only to open a letter from your Gastroenterologist telling you that there might be a real big problem with you and he's narrowed it down to like three really horrible scenarios and hey, like why don't you just come on down for this thing called a colonoscopy?  No! I'm pretty sure no one's ever been invited to their colonoscopy like this, if you have please let me know so that my faith in physicians can be somewhat restored.  Another god damn letter...

I sat on this letter for a couple days.  I had a general idea of what a colonoscopy was, but I don't do them every day so I wasn't about to just call up and blindly sign up for some unknown procedure.  Quite frankly, I was a bit irritated.  I see the word colon, and its one of those high alert terms, so I'm already not liking the idea!  Finally I call his office.  His scheduler Amy, who is completely unexcited about her job answers the phone.  The conversation went like this, "Yeah Hi! Uh, I got a letter in the mail telling me to schedule a colonoscopy?"
"Oh, did you want to schedule it?"
"Not really, Amy.  I don't know anything about a colonoscopy, so I'm not too super on-board with this idea." 
"Um. Well. Um. Let me ask him. He's actually standing right here, let me just ask him."
He's at the reception desk? Is he answering phones now? Finally putting his time to some good use...Then I realized I called at the worst possible time! What if this guy got on the phone with me!What the hell was I calling for! I didn't want to talk to him, I didn't want to schedule this thing!  Could I hang up now and pretend like I had never called?  Just as my panic about this colonoscopy peaked, she came back on the line. 
"Ok, he says to schedule you for a consult appointment. The next available appointment is in 6 weeks."

Six weeks? Hope any one of those three really horrible sounding scenarios aren't on too much of a timeline.  Whatever! Obviously not the highlight of my day to inquire about this procedure, but this Bo is standing right there and could have just taken a patients phone call and answered a question.  Wait six weeks to put my mind at ease.  Perfect. Maybe he could just write me a letter explaining the procedure.  But I knew Amy would not understand my sarcasm, so I scheduled the appointment.  Another damn appointment. 

Jumping ahead to present day. There's a potluck at work.  I made a gluten free dish. I want to go and participate, but I know I can't eat anything. I hate that awkward moment when you have to explain to someone why you can't eat a dish, or that doubtful look you get when they challenge you, "It's fine, it's just veggies." Obviously, I wouldn't know if the veggies were cut on a gluten-free cutting board, and also why would I want veggies when I know there's gonna be some delicious, decadent looking dessert that I know is just made with a ton of flour...So my dish is in the fridge. Still debating.

Here it is: See Recipe Below

1 Package Gluten Free Pasta 8-16 oz (Bow-tie or Fallfalle)
1 Bottle Italien Salad dressing 16oz.
1 - 2 Sweet Peppers Chopped
2 Cups Chopped Chicken
Cook pasta according to package.  Sautee sweet peppers with cooked chicken. (I also added frozen peas this time)  Transfer cooked pasta, peppers, and chicken to a large bowl.  Add bottle of salad dressing and toss to coat evenly.  Refrigerate 8 hours or overnight. 

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Alice In Wonderland Swallowed A Pill, and it Didn't Do Her Any Good!

So today I find myself at a bit of a crossroad. I'm supposed to have a capsule endoscopy. I don't want it! I guess you're not supposed to admit that you've given up, but I'm just too exhausted to give a shit anymore.

I'm not really sure why I have to do it either. It didn't sound as though there was any value in doing this latest procedure except that it seems to be one of the few left that I haven't done. It sounded fairly easy at first, basically just swallow a pill (camera), wear some device around your waist for 8 hours while you go about your day and then turn in the device in the evening. Doesn't sound painful or invasive, so less reluctantly than usual, I agreed. A woman named Mayra called two weeks later to set up the appointment. She was nice but she informed me there was a prep. It's basically the same as a colonoscopy prep but with over the counter meds. What?! Okay, two agenda items: 1) Colonoscopy - please never say that word to me. I'm trying to forget mine, enough said. 2) Fasting with self induced diahrrea - this is the exact opposite of what I am trying to accomplish health wise. I already have these symptoms and I'm actually paying a ton of cash in copays and percriptions in an effort to get these symptoms to stop. Now I'm gonna do it to myself?

So, decision making time. Do I cancel or show up. I have two weeks to weigh my options. This ones not so easy for me. I hate going through all these procedures and lab tests. I know they're going to hurt and/or waste my time, but ultimately I suck it up and do it because I think, maybe at the end of this one there will be some sort of relief. Well, fast forward to today, there is never any comfort or relief. Just a bill from Scripps at the end of a billing cycle.

And on that note, I will leave you with a recipe for gluten free comfort food. Just kidding, gluten free food sucks - have a glass of wine and enjoy.

Until next time!