Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Just call me "The Lab Rat"

I saw Dr. GI yesterday. I didn’t have to wait very long for my appointment which was good. He is backing me off the Prednisone (I’m now down to 3mg) which is good. He is holding out hope that things will get better which is good. I have to do a ton of lab tests including blood, urine and stool which I guess is good because that means he isn’t giving up.

The bad part was when I took the orders for my labs to the lab tech and she actually had to look some of them up and call in reinforcements because she had no idea what they were for. Here’s the list of everything he is checking.

VIP

Gastrin

Serotonine

24 hour urine collection 5-HIAA

Stool for ova and parasites

Stool for culture and sensitivity

Stool for Giardia antigen

Stool for acid fast stain

72 hour stool collection for fat & weight

Stool for Na+ K+ and osmolality

Celia panel (again)

Free T4 and TSH

Stool of C. Difficile toxin

I think most of these are for some weird kind of parasites that you only get if you drink the river water in Africa though. That and some kind of pancreatic cancer. A nice variety of "last resort" testing I believe. Dr. GI looked at me and said he had no idea what was wrong with me. That's comforting.

So I asked Dr. GI what happens when all these test results come back normal – which they will because all my tests always come back normal. He said that would be a good thing because that would tell him that I have irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). Yes, actually you can get that on top of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). He said that since I have had part of my small intestine and part of my colon removed if I do have IBS it will be a pretty severe and complicated case. (Go figure) He said it will be a challenge to treat it and I am sure that will involve some dietary changes of which Brightside and I were working on last week – DUH! He said not to change anything about my diet just yet though. He also said that the IBS would be something above and beyond my Crohn’s so I would have two separate problems.

But let’s not get the cart before the horse here. It is still not known what exactly my problem is. We do know, however, what it is NOT – it is not active Crohn’s disease and it is not microscopic colitis. I do not have avascular necrosis either. We also know that I am in no better physical condition than I was seven months ago when I started Prednisone…except now I am almost 40 pounds heavier. That doesn’t help anything.

Meanwhile, I get to try and work full time, have a youth service tomorrow, watch my husband's softball game on Thursday, celebrate my daughter’s 10th birthday this weekend and try to catch all every last poop in various containers. Ahhh, the joy of my guts. Don’t ya just hate’em?

1 comment:

BrightSide said...

Yeah, I was told that I have IBS on top of my Crohn's. I think that's why managing my diet and avoiding many foods helps me so much. It's the IBS that it helps. *shrug*

But I think these doctors are kind of confused. If you have an inflamed section of bowel, doesn't it makes sense that that section would be 'irritated' at some foods?