Saturday, April 24, 2010

H.pylori, gallstones, and an upper endoscopy later....

My body is falling apart.  Sigh.

The heartburn has been increasingly worse.  My physician had given me a prescription for another round of 2x/day Prilosec to see if that would make a difference.  After a week and a half I wrote her an email stating that it wasn't working and I couldn't take it anymore.  From there, it made sense to try to rule everything out.  H.pylori test done. FAIL.  Abdominal ultrasound done to rule out gallstones.  FAIL (although I did manage to take a nice nap on the ultrasound table).  And then a few days ago, the mother of the GI tests:  an upper endoscopy.

I actually don't remember the exam.  I was 'semi-conscious' during the exam, which means they gave me happy drugs that not only made me drowsy but inhibited memory consolidation.  The last thing I remember before the exam was being asked if I was ready for the drugs.

Before going into the results of the exam, I do have to go off on a tangent.  The pregnancy and NICU experience affected me a lot more than I realize.  I joke that I must have PTSD, but that probably isn't too far off.  Once again I was gowned in a hospital gown, lay down on a gurney, had my vitals taken, and administered an IV.  For my abdominal ultrasound, I got to have that jelly smeared all over me and the probe pressed against my abdomen, very reminiscent of my 2 week hospital stay where I had that done two or three times a day over two weeks.  For both exams I ended up in tears trying very hard to stay in control.  Jason was with me during the endoscopy prep and he asked if I was ok...I lied (of course) and said yes.

I will never be able to get over feeling so out of control and lost.  I don't think about it but it really has permanently affected my psyche.  I dread the upcoming holiday season:  I'm afraid its going to bring back too many flashbacks of that time this past year and being in the hospital/NICU.

And perhaps this is part of the reasoning behind all these GI problems.  Because the endoscopy was clear.  Which is good and bad.  Good:  no ulcers, no physical damage.  Bad:  nothing we can do for you, have a nice day!  Not entirely true...I am now on a new medicine protocol.  I am weaning off the Prilosec and am starting Zantac while continuing with the Carafate.  My doc thought it would be a good idea to follow-up with the GI doctor who did my endoscopy (who did offer to see me regularly).  Unfortunately his first opening isn't until June.  I took it, and hopefully by then it will just be a nice chat, laughing about how much better I'm feeling rather than another desperate attempt to try something new.

I've done a lot of reading on GERD and how to treat it.  Other than meds (which I'm never a fan of, despite working in a pharmaceutical company), lifestyle changes are recommended.  No coffee, no caffeine, no de-caf, no chocolate, no spicy foods, no acidic foods, lots of rest and relaxation.  Hmmmm....  Unfortunately the caffeine/coffee/rest is a problem.  I have 4 month twins and a 2 year old.  Rest is variable, which makes coffee/caffeine a necessity not a choice.  Obviously I'll have to find some middle ground in here somewhere....  But I suppose this is a problem all working mothers have to deal with....  I just have the unfortunate temperament to ignore my need to rest, and my body decides to rebel.

One of my favorite fitness gurus (although he hates that term) has a saying when people complain about lack of progress towards their goals:  "Your body is smarter than you and hates you".  He is referring to the body's desire to stay balanced and how much work it takes to change physique, both in muscle gain and fat loss.  In my case, my body is smarter than me, and probably isn't too happy with me right now.  Gotta learn to take better care of it.  Another saying of his that I love:  "Life, she's full of compromises", meaning you can't always achieve all your goals simultaneously.  You have to pick one thing to work on in order to maximize your results.  This is also a good mantra...perhaps it will help me learn to slow down a little...


  1. I hope you get to feeling better!!

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  3. Thanks, Magda. So far today hasn't been so bad. :) Its a good lesson for me: have to learn to take it easy a bit.

  4. Hugs.. NICU experience sucks , i too realize now it affected me more than i iniatially thought. there are different trigers that come up almost every week that make you cry or shiver or just definately permanently changes you . I am lucky it doesnt affect me physically the way it does you ( although its harder than ever for me to lose weight, ha- minor complaint compared to yours ) , but mentally i am not the same person i used to be :( I only hope it will get better with years
    we should get together sometime again , once we both have ( make) some time :) Hang in there

  5. Thanks, Ju. You're right...things will get better over time. And we are both lucky: we got off we very little problems with our little ones. Rokas seems to be doing so well, and I am very happy for you.

    Def get together. Weekends are obviously my only time...we should just pick a day and meet up.

  6. I hope these test results and the realizations you are coming to mark the beginning of the improvement in your health.

    Did your doc have anything to say about how you should be eating or exercising?

  7. I haven't spoken to my doc about that. My GP is just an internal medicine doc, so it isn't her area. But I would ask the GI doc when I see him. And I've googled what triggers differs from person to person, so I just have to figure out what triggers mine.

  8. Sarah,
    I was in the same place with h.pylori and gallstones. I had to switch to coffee that was low acidity and that was fine. I also had to be aware of not allowing my tummy to be empty in the morning bc that would trigger it. The pain had begun to affect my daily activity on days that I'd have a flare up and there was always a lot of burping with those flare ups. Oh, and on those days I stayed away from citrus, onions, tomatoes, etc... I also had an endoscopy, but that was clean. Prilosec did not help me. I finally had my gallbladder removed and my gastro issues have been nonexistent since then. The GI doc said he'd seen that happen before. Who knows what are bodies of capable of!