Sunday, May 8, 2011

the smart pill test...


The past few weeks have been interesting to saw the least. I got to experience the Smart Pill test. My GI doctor had warned me that it would be a hard test to endure and he was right, ten days without motility drugs – it was rough. I went the hospital on Tuesday to swallow the pill and I got to meet the inventor of the pill I was swallowing (or at least that was my impression, I was a bit preoccupied). My GI doctor was there along with the inventor and two nurses who were being trained. I am the second person to have had this test at Baptist. I had to eat a ‘bar’. When I think of a bar I’m thinking of a food bar that is about the size of a Special K Bar. This bar was the size of a sandwich almost, it was quiet large to me. They gave me a half of a small cup of water to wash the bar and the pill down with. I struggled to get the food bar down. I never eat breakfast because of nausea and I’d been without meds for several days so I knew the odds were already against me – my stomach would fill up quickly. I was cramming as quickly as possible. Luckily it tasted good, cranberry apple. They brought over the pill, oh my goodness it was huge! I have seen who knows how many pills from working in the pharmacy but I have never seen a pill that big. He told me to put the pill as far back as possible and swallow. I’m the girl who couldn’t swallow an Advil until I turned fourteen. However I got it down first try!!

I had to wear a wear a monitor that measured different things that the pill was recording; pH levels and temperatures. It had to be within five feet of me at all times. I kept a diary of whenever I ate, slept, went to bed, and had any pain or nausea. I was doing fairly well without my meds until Friday. I started feeling light headed and nauseated. I was working Friday and I felt a wave of heat come over me and I thought this is not good. By Friday evening whenever I drank or ate something I experienced pain followed by nausea. This persisted all weekend. I could not wait for Monday. I could clean out on Monday and have my meds back.

Monday morning Jacob took me back to Winston to return the monitor. I was dragging. I came home and started drinking my magnesium citrate. It took me an hour to drink that nasty stuff! It didn’t take long for me to feel the effects of the magnesium citrate. I was miserable was nausea. I had been through five Zofran by 3:00 and they weren’t cutting it.

I still felt really bad on Wednesday so I decided to call my general physician instead of going to the emergency room in Winston. They decided to give me an IV to help with the dehydration. After six veins and no luck they decided that I was the worst they had ever seen. They ask if I was open to having an IV in my foot – sure why not? It worked but oh did it hurt. The IV did help rehydrate me, it just took forever.

I got my test results on Friday. The whole goal of the test was to see how much motility I had in my small intestines.


Stomach 5 hrs. 5 hrs. 15 minutes

Small Intestines 6 hrs. 9 hrs.

Colon 58 hrs. 126 hrs.

(Normal Person) (Me)

The upside with my stomach was that I hadn’t had anything in my stomach the day before and I spent the day of the test walking around. Walking I’ve found helps me. If I feel full or if I need to get the magnesium citrate working I walk. The delay with the small intestines isn’t good. My GI doctor said I could have complications with my colon surgery. The option of having surgery is up to my surgeon. He would review my test results. As for my colon, I never even lost the pill and that was the goal – to see how long it took to get through your GI tract. It never left my colon. We knew my colon was damaged and extremely slow. My doctor believes that a majority of my issues are coming from my colon. They could be lessened with surgery but I still have a whole bunch of issues to deal with. I told him that I want this surgery – I am young, I can deal with the complications. I don’t want to drink magnesium the rest of my life. He was very understanding and said that it is what it is, talk to your surgeon and explain how you feel.

This past Monday was not a good day emotionally. I was talking to Jacob about the possibility of no surgery and I had a pity party. I felt bad about the idea of being in the bathroom for the rest of my life. I felt like the idea of drinking magnesium citrate three times a week was a huge mountain that I could not climb. Between Jacob and my mom they made me feel better. My mom said something to me that I never even though of – change products if you don’t get to have surgery. It may seem minor to some people but the whole magnesium citrate thing is huge to me.

Since then I have been better. I still want the surgery but I am more open to the idea of not getting it and staying how I am now. It will be extremely hard to except some days when everyone else is out having fun living life normally but I haven’t lived a “normal life” in quite some time. I just have to get through today, tomorrow is not my concern. God knows what is in store for me and He is in control. I once told a friend who also has GP that if we knew the future, I don’t think we could take it.


My heart may fail and my spirit grow weak, but God remains the strength of my heart; He is mine forever. Psalm 73:26

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