July 11th, 2010

Family May 2012

update on my health

 Friday was a complicated day.   It was supposed to be my first (half) day back at work, but the best laid plans of mice and men...

I saw my gastroenterologist in the morning, and he's beginning to think the best thing to do is to consider "gastric pacing" for the gastroparesis, because it is thus far not well enough controlled via medication.  I'm still losing weight, but not at an alarming rate thankfully.  I'm in pain all the time, nauseated all the time, and can barely keep food down.  When I do keep food down, the pain is excruciating and I spend hours worried I'm about to throw up (and often do).    Gastric pacing is, well, kind of what it sounds like.  It's essentially a pacemaker for your stomach.  It's done laparascopically, but I don't know whether it's inpatient or outpatient.  Frankly, I'm getting tired of having to learn new medical terms.  My google-fu is extremely good these days and I really wish I weren't so practiced at it.   Anyway, I'm thinking if this really is the direction we end up going in, I want to wait until the end of the summer to deal with it.  I've already had enough surgeries to last me for the summer.  Meanwhile, he wants me to go get a second opinion from the chief of gastroenterology at GW.  Her schedule, unfortunately, is booked out until February.  So he's going to call her directly and see if she'll squeeze me in, because obviously waiting until February is not an option.  Right now I can't keep down a bite of food without taking four (4!) different medications before eating.  No way I can survive like this until February.

I love my gastroenterologist.  He really cares about how I'm doing, he's extremely sympathetic.  It's important to him that my pain be appropriately controlled and that I get better.  I mostly joke with him about my crap luck when it comes to all things medical - I mean, I can either laugh or cry about it, right?  And I'm tired of crying.  And he said to me, "I know you're sitting here laughing about it, but I also know that underneath that, you're really suffering and I want to make you better."  He emphasized that sending me to GW for another opinion was in no way suggesting that he was releasing me as a patient, which is good because I love him and he's my best doctor (and I have a lot of really awesome doctors) - he's not allowed to get rid of me that easily.  He also said if I start losing weight at a faster rate, he'll probably put me on TPN - something I'd done my best to avoid through my entire pregnancy, but probably not a terrible idea if this goes on for too much longer.

When I left the GI's office, I called my surgeon's office because my abscess was getting worse and when I'd talked to them on Thursday about it, they'd said to check in Friday morning.  Not any better, and I was running a low-grade fever, so they brought me in to see my doctor's partner (my doctor was at the surgery center).  When I got there, the doc tried to aspirate it, but said the best thing to do would be to go back in there, either through the existing incision or another one, so they called over to the surgery center to see if Dr. C. could fit me in.  Luckily (thanks to the magic of gastroparesis), I hadn't eaten anything, despite the fact that it was almost lunchtime.  So I called a friend and asked if she could pick me up after the surgery (can't drive after general anesthesia) and thankfully she was free.  Then I called Seth to tell him he'd need to find his own ride home from work (I had his car and had been planning to pick him up).  Then I called my boss and told him I wasn't going to be in after all and that I'd see him on Monday.  Sigh.  

So that makes three emergency surgeries in three weeks.  See why I want to put off this gastric pacing thing?  

I have a post-op appointment Monday morning, and then I'll be at work for the rest of the day.  You know, assuming that I don't have another surprise surgery.   (Maybe I shouldn't even tempt fate by saying that!)

That's all for now.  I think it's quite enough anyway.