Sunday, May 29, 2011

back to the philadelphia...

I went to meet with my gastroenterologist at Temple University Hospital this past week in Philadelphia. We had numerous things to discuss; previous test results and of course the possibility of my coming total colectomy – the surgery where my colon where will be removed.

This time we stayed at a different hotel; after three previous trips of not sleeping well I was ready to try a different hotel with different beds. I’m the kind of girl that can sleep anywhere - I can go back to sleep within a few hours of waking up. Sleeping isn’t hard for me. The past three trips to Philadelphia, I’ve not been sleeping that well; tossing and turning and waking up multiple times in the night. I learned before my GP diagnosis that if I didn’t get a good night’s rest, I just didn’t feel tired the next day, my GI tract suffered as well. I’m not sure why but that’s just one of my odd GP quirks. Our hotel was nice and comfortable. I had no trouble sleeping – all night long! I woke up rested the next morning and ready for Temple.

We got to Temple and basically walked into the examination room. I met with my doctor and he asked how I was doing. My reply was “Good”. I went on telling him briefly how things were going. His reply was “Well you’re really not good then, are you?” in so many words. I told him that I just tried to keep a good attitude… (I thought that trying to keep a positive attitude was a good thing or was I mistaken?)

He discussed my four day gastric emptying test that I had back in December. My stomach only emptied fifty percent. As for my small intestine, it was delayed and the food only made it through half of my colon within those four days. Overall, I am SLOW!!!! I told him about having the Smart Pill Test and he agreed with the findings. As for the bacteria in my small intestines, there wasn’t any. The test came back fine.

I went on to tell him about the possibility of me having total colectomy. His opinion on the idea of the surgery was different from my surgeon and GI doctors’ opinions. He said that where I have four organs (stomach, small intestine, colon and bladder) involved the risk was too much. If I only had one organ that was delayed, I might have a better chance at a successful surgery but I just have too many organs involved. According to him, I have a 60% chance that the surgery will not work at all and a 40% that the surgery MAY work but I still may be cleaning out. To him, it was too much to risk. I should just CONTINUE CLEANING OUT FOR THE REST OF MY LIFE.

He prescribed three things, two medications and one tea. The tea is called Smooth Move Tea. I should know within a few days as to if it is going to work. He also prescribed Magnesium Oxide. If those two things do not work, I am to take this last drug; ­­­­­­­­­­­Cytotec. I am not sure about whether I am going to take this drug or not. This drug is to aid with the abortion process; it is similar to the morning after pill BUT it is also used for GI purposes as well. I have no reason to worry about the abortion possibility but if this drug can do that, do I really want to be taking a drug of that “strength” once to twice a day? I have to go talk to my pharmacist. I’m totally undecided.

He wanted me to go do a series of abdominal x-rays to see how much food and stuff my colon was retaining. I’ve already done and paid for this series of x-rays before and my GI doctor at home knows what goes on in my colon. I ended up waiting an hour and I called it a day and left.

As for the second opinion on my surgery, I sat there and listened. I have the highest respect for my doctors but they do not live my life. They are not with my when I drink that terrible magnesium citrate and they are not there in the middle of the night when it wakes me up. In ten years from now when I have some child event to go to, I want to go and not have magnesium citrate on my mind. Even if I still have to clean out and the surgery is not successful, at least I will know that I tried and I gave it my best. This is my chance.

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