Sunday, May 13

Time to Get Personal--Again

Hello All,
This will be a very personal posting in regards to my health. I didn't know whether to call this post "Letting it All Hang Out" or "Feeling Fragile." As you can see, I went with neither one even though when I first started on this little venture I'm going to recount, I felt more of the latter. (See my posting on fibromyalgia for more on why that happens if you want to.)

I've shared with a couple people that about a month ago I became severely constipated (told you it would be personal!!!)--as in concrete. I won't go into details as they weren't pretty and I didn't like living it the first time and sure as heck don't want to relive it but let's just say I never understood the word "constipation" prior to this and that I also have even more respect for anyone that have given birth.

Shortly after that, as in within days, I began to have these horrible spasms that would literally take me to the ground writhing in pain. It felt as though it were from right behind my breastbone going down through my intestines and up through my esophagus. This was happening every couple of days and there were a couple times I nearly went to the ER. 

However, given that it came right on the heels of the whole bowel issue, my mom and I thought I might have caused a hiatal hernia. I tried time and again to get a hold of my gastroenterologist but could only get an answering machine and no one called me back. Sooooo, I called around and got around and ended up getting an appointment with a doctor at Eastside Gastroenterology near Evergreen Hospital. 

In the meantime, I tried to see my primary care physician who, of course, happened to be on vacation. So I saw another doctor who thought that perhaps it was simply an esophogeal spasm caused by the trauma of the severe constipation. 

However, I part of the reason I thought it was a hiatal hernia was that I had also discovered a large (1 1/2 inch)  lump in my lower right breast but I thought maybe it was a lump from the hernia pushed up so that I could also feel it in my breast. I do self exams every month or so and have no idea where this freaking big lump came from!

The doctor I saw did a breast exam and said he didn't think I should worry about the big "C" word. 

But I was a smart girl and kept the appointment with the GI doc on April 30th. He was awesome!!! I really, really liked him. He impressed me at the appointment and then impressed me some more by actually calling me at home later that evening to double check a few things!!! So if anyone needs a good gastroenterologist, Dr. Arjul at Eastside Gastroenterology near Evergreen! 

After talking with him and being examined by him, I learned I needed to: 
1) Have an ultrasound of my gallbladder to rule out any issues with it {had this done Monday, May 7th}
2) Have a colonoscopy to check for pulyps in my colon and to confirm Irritable Bowel Syndrome (as I've had symptoms since childhood but never been officially diagnosed) {scheduled for June 28th at Evergreen Hospital as I will be under full anesthesia}
3) See my PCP to have my thyroid tested as constipation can be a sign of a thyroid problem (as well as get a referral for a mammogram) {did this Thurs, May 10th. Side note: she thinks lump in breast is caused by an underwire bra}

In the meantime, I had a couple nights of having nightmares over and over again that my body was riddled with cancer and that I was going to have to have my friend Donna shave my head and have a wig made for me for when I underwent treatments! Or that I died and my precious niece and nephew would never remember me. So, yeah, I was feeling a bit fragile

By May 9th I learned that I needed to:
1) See a surgeon ASAP to have my gallbladder removed ASAP as it is full of stones and contracted and diseased
2) Have the colonoscopy  as scheduled, after recovering from surgery
3) Have a mammogram done as soon as I can  after surgery despite the fact that 2 doctors don't believe the lump is anything to worry about.

Oh goody!!!! 

 By May 11, I'd met the surgeon and scheduled my gallbladder removal surgery for Tuesday, May 15th.

Should all go as planned, it should a be a laparoscopic, and be over in a couple  hours. And I should be able to go home that very day, unless they have to do full blown surgery.
They will only have to open me up if one of the following has occurred:
-Gall-stones have moved towards my pancreas and become stuck there
-Scar-tissue from one of my prior surgeries have adhered to any of the areas they need to reach 
-Some other weird, unforeseen event occurs ;-)

As we discovered via my hysterectomy that I am allergic to the adhesive bandages they typically use after surgeries, my surgeon is going to use superglue.

So there we have it in a nutshell...a really big nutshell.

As if all this weren't enough, I'm supposed to see a new rheumatologist May 30, revisit that neurologist on June 18th so I can tell him off regarding the medications he put me on that he knew I was allergic to, and meet with my sleep specialist on July 9th. Shaping up to be a great summer!

So if you remember, could you pray for me? Probably mostly for my emotions!!! But also for the surgeon. LOL 

Love you!

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