I had the day off from work today, as I was just put on some new medicine that can have some pretty crappy side effects, and I didn’t want to start tossing my cookies at work or anything like that. To be honest, it feels like I’m playing hooky. I am being productive though!! I am getting lots of homework done. And snuggling with Dwight.
Anyway, why am I on this new medication you may ask? (Or, maybe you don’t care, and in that case, feel free to skip this post.)
If you’ve been reading my blog for a while, you probably know I like to complain a lot, haha. You probably also now that over the past year, I’ve had some health struggles and haven’t always felt the greatest. But, finally, in November, everything was figured out. I think I waited so long to post about it because I think I was kind of in denial about it. I just didn’t want to be true. I’ve been wanting to write this post for a while, but just didn’t have the time. I figure since I had the day off, I would get started on it!!
I won’t draw it out, I’ve been diagnosed with Ulcerative Colitis. But I will tell you the story on how this came about. Some of it’s not pretty, but I found that reading stories like these have really helped me, so maybe my story will do the same for someone else.
It all started in April of 2011, when I started getting horrible stomach/abdominal pains. They hurt so bad that sometimes it hurt to walk, and they even woke me up at night. I was going through a busy time in my life with lots of changes, so I brushed it off as stress. After a week, they were gone. I did notice however that every time I ate my stomach would become upset. I tried an elimination diet, eliminating many of the most common foods people are intolerant too. After about 6 weeks, I thought I had my answer. I always had horrible headaches, and took Excedrin every morning. I thought it was the aspirin that was upsetting my stomach.
In August of 2011, I went to North Carolina to work on an Alpaca Farm. After only being there a week, I got hit with horrible stomach pains again. This time, I couldn’t walk, I couldn’t eat, and I couldn’t sleep. I also started having constant diarrhea, back pain, and a fever. After a week of this unbearable pain, I ended up in the emergency room. The doctor’s there did some tests, and told me that although it wasn’t an emergency and didn’t need to happen right away, but I was having a gallbladder attack, and I would need to get my gallbladder removed. I left North Carolina the next day.
When I got back to Indiana, I set up an appointment with a surgeon right away. The Ultra sound results they had done in North Carolina didn’t really show anything, so my surgeon ordered a HIDA Scan, which would show how the bile in my gallbladder was being excreted. These results were borderline, so in order for my insurance to cover the surgery, my surgeon sent me to a gastroenterologist to rule out anything else.
My G.I. Doctor did an endoscopy (Where they send a scope down your throat to look at your stomach, and upper small intestine.) He didn’t find anything unusual, and concluded that I should have my gallbladder out. He did mention that there might be other problems, and if my symptoms persisted, I should come see him after my surgery.
So my gallbladder was set to come out at the end of December, 2011. Between Thanksgiving and Christmas, I had another horrible attack, was still having diarrhea, I was going to the bathroom a crazy amount of times each day, I was even waking up 4 to 5 times at night. Life was a mess.
Finally, it was surgery day and I got my gallbladder removed, there were no complications and everything went smoothly. I went home to recover, and started to feel better after three days. The fourth day after my surgery (Which of course, had to be New Year’s Eve!!) I woke up feeling terrible. That afternoon, I took my temperature, and I had a fever of 103. My mom being a nurse, knew that having a high fever after surgery was dangerous, so off we went to the emergency room. (For the second time, if you’ve been keeping track).
In the emergency room, they did a ton of test. Ultra scan, X-rays, and a CT scan. They also did a bunch of blood work. They couldn’t find anything, so they admitted me to the hospital, at the instructions of my surgeon. They wanted to do another HIDA scan, but the technician wouldn’t be in until the holidays were over. My surgeon said that I couldn’t go home until they figured out where the fever was coming from, or the fever stayed below 101 for 24 hours. I was in the hospital for 3 days. When they finally did the HIDA scan, it showed nothing interesting.
I went home, and everything was normal for several months. And by normal, I mean normal for me. Diarrhea, stomach aches, and weight loss. I lost twenty pounds in just a few months, and we didn’t know why. I was also having fevers. It was weird, once or twice a month, I would get a fever of around 101, and I would be totally wiped out. I was so tired, just for a few days, and then it all went away.
This is where I’ll leave you today… it’s a lot of writing. I feel bad for the lack of photos, but it’s a hard story to illustrate, haha. I’ll post the rest of the story early sometime soon!