Wednesday February 25, 2009

The last year or so has been like I’m living in a really badly written, way too long House episode.

Don’t get me wrong, I love me some House. Just don’t want to feel like I’m living in the show anymore. Especially considering the episodes should be only an hour long and I’ve been facing this issue for more than a year.

I’ve talked about it some with folks, but not a whole lot. For one thing, I don’t like to complain. I also don’t like to worry people. But another reason is that much of what has been happening has been either very personal and INCREDIBLY frustrating. As bad as this sounds, I didn’t want the stress of talking about it with lots of people. It doesn’t help to be asked about how a situation is going when it’s going worse, not better.

I still don’t want to talk about it much, which probably makes writing a blog about it seem a little silly. But writing is how I express myself, it’s how I process and it’s how I project what I’m thinking and feeling. I figure if there’s been a situation in my life for more than a year, it’s worth discussing.

So what’s been up?

Well, in December 2007, I had my gallbladder removed. It was an easy surgery, and if I remember correctly I was back at work in about four days. I healed quickly, felt great. For about two weeks.

Then the trouble started.

I’ll try to be as delicate as I can with all the following information, but it isn’t fun or pretty. What started happening was I was having these well, “attacks.” I don’t know what else to call them. It felt like I was having a severe gallbladder attack and it would hit me suddenly, and very hard. Then it would go away just as fast. They never seemed to be correlated to a specific time of day or be related to any food, drink or activity. And it was obvious I wasn’t having a gallbladder attack because well, NO GALLBLADDER, remember?

Anyways, I went to the doctor who thought I had a condition called gastroparesis and I was given medicine, as well as sent to a specialist to confirm the diagnosis and do further testing. There was additional concern that I might have a left over stone stuck in the bile duct.

So I went to the specialist and well, fast forward through about seven months…I went through several invasive procedures under general anesthesia all to confirm…NOTHING. OK, well, they did confirm that I supposedly have acid reflux, which proved to be more of an irritant to the actual process because it got blamed for all my symptoms. When my symptoms didn’t improve, it was blamed on my less than 100 percent compliance with the super-duper acid reflux medication. I never bought that explanation but I didn’t know what else to think or do. At least it was proven that I don’t have gastroparesis, so I got off that correlating medicine.

As all this was going on, John and I figured out on our own what was causing the attacks. The problem was, we still didn’t know what was causing the problem that was causing the attacks. My specialist agreed on what was causing the attacks, but my other digestive symptoms weren’t getting better. We (John and I) finally figured out that some medicine I was on was causing the original symptoms that was causing the attacks. That was good to know, I guess…considering I no longer was on that specific medicine!

That’s when things got even more fun. I started having completely different problems that, instead of being random and sharp, were pretty much constant and consistent. I don’t know which is worse. OK, I disagree with myself. The last month or two have been worse because the new problems took over my ability to live life normally. Fortunately God made me pretty tough and I managed to still live a productive life at work, home, etc. It was just well, tough.

I never went back to the specialist because I knew I might scream, cry or just give up trying if I got told one more time to eat more fiber and yogurt while taking the stupid acid reflux medicine. So what did I do? I quit taking the anti-acid medicine. What horrible thing befell me? Nothing. That proved that I was on an overpriced medicine for really no reason.

I got completely fed up with all this but didn’t know where to go or what to do. I knew I needed to start over with a completely different type of specialist but I didn’t know what kind, who to see or where to go.

So a few days ago, I went back to my regular doctor. After a few minutes of hearing my symptoms, he not only agreed with John and me about what we thought was going on, but he gave me a simple, cheap medicine to solve it. I’m not saying I’m 100 percent, but I’ve only had two doses of the medicine and so far it seems to at least be heading me in the right direction.

I mentioned that the doctor listened to John and me. This is where I have to say how supportive John has been through all of this. He still married me knowing that I would be this problematic. He has been by my side through every step of this process and on Monday he took the entire day off to go to help me deal with the doctors’ visits (I had more than one). I feel so blessed to have this man in my life, a man who truly understands and lives by “in sickness and in health.”

Now I’m just hoping and praying that now I’ll have more of the “in health” part.

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