Updated on December 30, 2016
My GI story, part II
You may read part I here.
September 2016 – October 2016 In September I started to feel unwell, lots of brain fog off and on. Going to work & daily life were increasingly stressful because some days I felt so sick, but I was determined to live as normal as possible. It progressively got worse as time went on. Then one day a friend said I wonder if there’s something in the water at home that is making you sick? That’s when it dawned on me, it had to be something I ingest every day so I thought about it… it was probiotics. The doc I wrote about yesterday doubled my probiotics from 50 billion a day to 100 billion. I didn’t connect it to that because it took a week or two to start feeling crappy. The good news is, once I cut back I felt a lot better within 2 days. But my troubles with this janky ass GI system were not over. I still felt nauseous, bloated & sick after each meal even with high quality digestive enzymes. I also had a sensation of pressure or fullness under my right rib where the gallbladder used to be every time I ate any kind of fat. I could literally feel whatever it is, expand.
So in early October, I made an appointment with the surgeon who did my gallbladder surgery. He ran some blood tests and referred me to see a gastroenterologist. I made an appointment with a well known GI specialist in the Bay Area, but he couldn’t get me in until mid-December. I worked with him before and knew he was worth the wait so I decided to wait it out.
November 2016- December 2016 I was hanging in there until right after Thanksgiving. My health started to spiral out of control. I could no longer eat a meal without feeling a severe wave of nausea, upper & lower GI pain. I could feel whatever was expanding under my right rib spasm and pain so searing under my sternum that wrapped around my right side, to my upper back, that made the gallbladder pain I had before surgery seem like a walk in the park. There were times I could not move, not even wiggle my toes without increasing the pain. It was so bad, there was no way I could even get out of bed to go to the ER.
In early December I called the gastroenterologist to see if he could get me in sooner. He personally called me and apologized that he could not, but was happy to order tests over the phone. Thankful is a complete understatement.
He put a rush on a shit ton of lab work, our insurance company will surely love. He also prescribed 2 drugs, one of them is possibly the most magical pill ever invented, Zofran. It has enabled me to get some much needed nutrition because at this point, I lost about 10 pounds I couldn’t afford to lose.
We did blood testing for pancreatitis, bile duct blockage, liver enzymes and a bunch of other stuff, abdominal X-rays & an abdominal ultrasound. Everything came back absolutely perfect, which is good, but still so frustrating because there are still no answers.
On 12/16/16 we did an upper endoscopy which revealed a few issues:
Finally we have some diagnosis, but the treatment is very limited. Prescription drugs that treat these conditions come with a 30% chance of causing terrible diseases like Parkinson’s. So yeah, no thanks. Or in Mike’s words to the doc: “Well we aren’t doing that. I don’t wanna sleep next to shaky shaky”
He thinks I have Sphincter of Oddi, but will not test for it because the only test for it (ERCP) has a 30% chance of causing life long pancreatitis and treatment does not work most of the time.
So that brings us to today. In the Western medicine world there are problems, but no real solutions. His theory as to why I feel so awful, is that my body is just having a hard time adjusting to the gallbladder being removed and IBS. He thinks I will feel better (never cured) eventually, but that could take months to years.
I respectfully disagree with my GI specialists prognosis. I truly believe there is another/or multiple underlying condition(s) that Western medicine doesn’t specialize in. So on 12/23/16 I saw a Functional Medicine doctor who does Acupuncture. She ordered a SIBO breath test kit, a couple more extensive blood tests for wheat/gluten & vitamin/mineral deficiencies and did my first acupuncture session which was so relaxing.
So that brings y’all up to date. I promise most future posts won’t be so serious. I wanted to fill you in on the past. I look forward to cracking lame poop jokes and sharing more of the lifestyle side of things with you soon.
Have you tried acupuncture? I’m curious about your thoughts on it.
Have you worked with a Functional medicine practitioner?