Sunday, December 14, 2008

Apologies for not posting

As some of you have noticed, I haven't been posting news lately, and this blog hasn't been updated in a while.

The reason is that I've been having health issues. By mid-January I'll have a definitive diagnosis.

Until then, don't expect too many updates.

Have a nice Yuletide.



Fernando Cassia said...

I hate doctors, I hate hospitals, I hate having blood tests.

I hate having a fatty liver.

I have having a crappy digestive system.

It turns out female doc says I've got "just" a case of IBS. And she gaves me a prescription for some pills I must take before a large meal.

I read the side effects and it says "Dry mouth, foul taste, nausea, drowsiness, dizziness, fatigue or headache may occur. If any of these effects continue or become bothersome, inform your doctor."

But that's not the worst, here comes the best *not*!: "Notify your doctor if you develop: a rash, anxiety, difficulty urinating, painful enlargement of the breast, hearing trouble. ".

The only thing I want to know is if Incisive Media will pay for a miniskirt and high heels if I grow boobs. :-P

Oh well... life goes on... I guess.

Bina said...

You have a crappy digestive system? Join the club, I got diagnosed with the same thing at 19. Didn't get any meds for it, though, outside of a sample pack or two of Colpermin (basically, prescription-only peppermint oil capsules. They cost a friggin' fortune, but they make your poop minty fresh!)

Happily, it's a manageable condition. Unhappily, the management requires finding out what foods irritate your gut the most, writing 'em down, and then avoiding those foods. Which can really be a bitch if, like me, you like dishes loaded with little hot chile peppers. They improve my circulation and make my sore joints happy (I've had rheumatism since I was 15), but my colon--not so much. It's horrible having to choose between a stiff sore neck and an all too literal pain in the ass!

(On the other hand--no brussels sprouts or lima beans either, which is fine with me. I'll just take my chances with the peppers and leave those gassy inedibles alone!)

Hang in there. And don't forget to write down what you ate in the last 24 hours whenever your gut acts up.

Fernando Cassia said...

Bina, appreciate your comment.

I always wanted to maintain this blog as "politcally correct" and IT-centered as possible, yet here I am, talking about my bowels with a total stranger from another country, and for all to see. Oh well... :-P

It seems my problems are a bit more complicated than those which can be solved with peppermint oil, as I was told to take this drug.

I read a very good book on IBS a while ago and I learned there that there's three types of IBS. Maybe yours is different than mine.

What really irks me is that I once managed to convince my doc around March last year that I wanted to get this awful procedure done once and for all to rule out any other disease or extra thing that might be in there (by taking a peek inside you have little doubt of what's wrong with you after the doc watches the recording).

Then she signed an order for the study, rubber-stamped it (the system down here), and handed it to me to do it "during the week". But such orders expire in 30 days.

I failed to execute it in the alloted time and thus I struggled for another year with the same symptoms. Changing my diet with little if any change in results..

Symptoms being basically "feeling like eating spicy mexican food" every day, even when you eat a tomato salad and grilled chicken -or boiled fish and mashed potatoes, for that matter-" and feeling exhausted after a meal -as much as falling asleep and sleeping 5 hours straight at 2pm after lunch, having awakened at 8:00am .

So, I return this month to the cute gastroenterologist woman (is there something more awful than talking about your guts to a member of the opposite sex?), hoping to return home with the order for the ugly camera procedure, and she says "no, that's too extreme. let's try this medication first" and "here's another round of blood tests".

It's like damn... if a car engine is malfunctioning I fucking tear it apart and look inside. But no, she suggests the "let's try this fuel aditive and see if your engine works any better". GRRR

I suspect -but I can't prove it- that the reason for refusing to do the awful camera test is because of cost. i'm sure that in the current economic climate there must be an order from the health insurance honchos to "delay until further notice all unnecessary imaging studies" (which are expensive by definition).

I guess that, in the end, I'm in denial and expect there's something in there which can be "fixed" once and for all by the use of the knife, and the reality is that I'll have to cope with this **** forever going forward.

As of right now, I'm lucky I "feel OK" one or two days a week, at most. Medication helps but doesn't totally eliminate the pain and hassle.

To quote fellow writer Copper Harding: GRRRRRR!!!!

PS: There won't be further discussion of this topic here. :) Now I'm compelled to post anything to make this scroll by fast.... [very big grin]

Bina said...

Well, there IS one thing worse than talking about gut problems with a cute doc of the other sex (and believe me, I can relate to that one, too)--and that is having a gigantic and very cold speculum stuck into your nether regions by a male doc with no clue as to just how much those things can pinch, or how many nerve endings are actually in a woman's genitals (PLENTY). 'nuff said there.

My own IBS is relatively mild, although it was especially bad in my university years (all the stress, no wonder!) It's mostly the "D" type--when I'm really worked up or have eaten the wrong thing, my guts turn to water. I suspect this is the real, shameful reason I never backpacked all over Latin America when I was at that age. (That, and the fact that it saps your energy something awful, as you're undoubtedly aware.)

Anyhow, health is an important subject and worthy of discussion, even if it seems embarrassing at first. At the very least, you'll know you're not alone in having an antisocial condition like this one. Mine erupted most memorably on the day I took my entrance exam for journalism school. I spent over half an hour in the washroom at Union Station in Toronto, wondering if it was safe to leave the stall yet--ah, good times. LOL!