Tuesday, March 6, 2012

I thought morning sickness was for pregnant women...

The week of January 22 I was really sick to my stomach. I couldn't keep any food down except gluten free rice crispies and when I ate those I felt nauseated. On top of the nausea, I have this horrible upper abdominal pain, the only description I can come up with is either heartburn times 1000 or that I swallowed an SOS pad and it scratched the heck out of my insides.

Finally, after a week I went to the doctor. When the nurse checked me in she asked is there any chance you could be pregnant?
Let's see, I'm nauseated all the time mostly in the mornings. Just the thought of some foods makes me gag. Besides 7up and crackers, I ate a Cafe Rio salad 5 times last week because it was the only thing my mind thought I could eat without throwing up. I have heart burn x 1000. I'm tired all the time and cranky... Sounds like I could be, but oh with the whole no sex thing I'd have to say, "Nope, no way I'm pregnant." 
After the visit I tried to get blood taken (the only guy in the lab to take my blood must have been a newbie. He poked me in both arms and both hands only to miss the veins in my arms and collapsed the ones in my hands. I had bruises for weeks!). I then went back the next day to get my blood taken again and the results were... drum roll please...normal.

So, the doctor gave me some medicines for acid reflux and ulcers to try for a week and see if it helped. It didn't so she ordered me an ultrasound for gallstones. No gallstones. So, she ordered a HIDA scan. This was an interesting one...

  • A nuclear medicine Hepatobiliary scan (Hida scan) is used to evaluate the function of your gallbladder and sphincter of oddi dysfunction (SOD).
  • Once I got into the procedure room, I got onto a little table and it moved me under a half cat-scan looking thing. 
  • They put an IV in my arm and that put a radioactive material into my body that tricked my liver into producing bile. 
  • After that had gone through me (there is a screen there where you watch it go through your body) they inject another hormone into my body that tells my gallbladder I just ate. My gallbladder will then be monitored to see how well it gets rid of the bile. 
  • This whole process took about 2 hours. The second thing they injected in me made me really sick to my stomach so I just slept for most of it. (Even though the screen was super interesting to watch.) 
After all of that, as strange as it sounds, I was hoping they would tell me my gallbladder wasn't working so they could take it out and I could go back to feeling good. Welp, the doctor called and the ol' gallbladder is working at 97%, better than average. Since I am still feeling like crap, she changes up my meds a little, takes a little more blood (this time the person was smart enough to warm up my hand before taking the blood out of it) and ordered an endoscopy. I had never had one before so I had no idea all the strings attached to such a request. 

  • The most surprising part of the test was that when I got to the hospital, I had to pay $100 upfront. Goodbye rent money... 
  • I had to inconvenience someone to take me to the hospital and stay for 5 hours. Not only that, but I live on the other side of town and she had to come pick me up at my house and take me back after. (I was so out of it I didn't even think until right now to give her gas money...)
  • The longest part was waiting. I waited in the waiting room. Then I changed and got hooked up to monitors and IV's and waited. Then they took me into the procedure room and I waited.
  • The doctor came in and I was finally given the anesthesia. (Before she gave it to me I wanted to see how long I could hold out and not be effected. As the nurse stood over me and said "this could take 45 seconds" I was consciously trying to stay awake and I lasted about 3.5 seconds. That was at 1:15pm. After, I remember waking up with the doctor behind me talking to my friend and then it was 1:40. 
  • The doc said he didn't see any ulcers and that I needed to follow up with my primary physician. 
  • Once I was awake, I felt pretty lucid but they made me stay there to get fully woken up. The nurse said that I shouldn't make any phone calls because I could end up leaving the equivalent of a drunken message on someone's answering machine. 
  • Once I was home, I stayed up for quite a few more hours then I had an unrestful night of sleep. But in the middle of my 9 am class I was so tired I thought I would pass out, so I headed home and slept the entire day. 
With all those tests and a month and a half of not feeling well, turns out I have Irritable Bowel Syndrome and I am depressed. What the hell, can I get my 100 bucks back? 

1 comment:

  1. That is an intense bunch of tests! I had two months of t
    esting at a freaking cancer hospital only to be told, "this is just the way you are." Then I had to fight the insurance for 6 months because they tried to tell me it was a pre existing condition.I would do it again rather than deal with all of your tests. You poor thing! I hope you feel better soon.