Posts categorized "Gut Pain Adventure, Year 1" Feed

That time I was called a Munchhausen Bitch - and more! Now with monetization!

I figure that if I can't respond, I might as well earn money from the hate I garner, no?  

PS.  This stuff is EXTRAORDINARILY HATEFUL.  If you are easily angered, go take your happy first and come back.   Also, I know the truth, I realize this is NOT my problem.  However, in the spirit of being open, honest and in my way of TMI -- you get to see what I see.  I also realize that 'haters gon hate,' and all that jazz.  But you might as well see it.  I don't want pity.  I'm not the one who needs it.  Clearly.

Today I was pointed to a forum that was loaded with all sorts of anger, some directed at me, quite pointedly.   "Why?"  I don't understand, to be honest.  There are some really effed up accusations, and I only read two threads.  I copied it all and sent it to my husband -- because he was involved in the hate -- and I was deleted from the forum.

  • "Hi Beth, you f-cked up Munchhausen bitch."
  • Continue reading "That time I was called a Munchhausen Bitch - and more! Now with monetization!" »

    Colonoscopy results (Classy, I am.)


    Procedure date     Tissue received     Report Date    Diagnosed by
    12/13/2011 12/13/2011 12/20/2011 DR. J. GOLDSMITH/ttl


     Sigmoid polyp, polypectomy:  Fragments of adenoma.

    Clinical: Left lower quadrant pain.  Abdominal bloating.

    Is one's risk of having colon cancer increased by having had an adenoma?

    An individual's risk of colon cancer is approximately double the general population once an adenomatous polyp is found. This individual's risk of developing colon cancer can be significantly reduced by removing the polyp and any future polyps.


    Still doesn't explain the pain.  But.  There's this.



    Leave it to MM to scare you out of a colonoscopy.

    *Please send hate mail to [email protected] ... because someone is BOUND to say it, "MM this only happens to you."  Also -- NOTE -- colonscopies CAN BE a life-saving procedure, they can find disease... Please get your procedures done.

    I got to the hospital right on time, was taken straight back to change into a gown for the test, and waited mostly patiently for my nurse.  I was given an IV of saline, and taken back to the procedure room.


    The nurse, Leslie (go figure, I REMEMBER!) gave me the run-down of what was to happen, and I waited for the GI doctor.  He came in, had me sign off on the procedure and away we went.  The nurse gave me medication through my IV --

    Screen Shot 2011-12-13 at 3.42.30 PM

    And the doctor started the colonscopy. 

    I felt every bit of it.  While I was slightly sedated, I could feel the scope moving through my system, and the water flushing as well.  I was able to turn and watch the screen, I watched several parts of my intestines flash in front of me.  That kept my mind off the discomfort, a little bit.

    I was under the impression that I would be ASLEEP for the procedure, or at least sedated to unawareness, AND have amnesia of the event. 

    Non-sedation colonoscopy IS performed, and it's NOT COMFORTABLE, but people do choose this.

    During the procedure, I heard the doctor and nurse discussing that I might need a little more medication because I wasn't responding to the initial dose.  At some point I started shivering pretty badly, and I remember them asking if I was cold.  I was, and I was also FEELING the scope INSIDE MY GUT. 

    I would assume I got a little bit more medication through the IV.    And, honestly, I think I had just enough sedation that I was unable to verbalize just how uncomfortable I was.  I could only get out basic responses.

    The GI found a polyp, and removed it to send to biopsy.  I watched it on the screen, a tool took this little pimply bit and removed it.

    I was about to scream, if I could, when the doctor announced he was finished. 

    Two medications, and I was awake and aware.  Go me.  What can I do with this skill?






    Screen Shot 2011-12-13 at 4.17.45 PM

    Now will you believe me that I FELT the upper ENDOSCOPY, TOO?   BECAUSE I DID. 

    "You can't POSSIBLY."

    BUT.  I did.  I do.  I am super-woman.

    Anyway - it appears that my lower intestine is "okay," aside from a polyp, it appears healthy so far as I can tell.  I'll hear more when I go back and swallow a camera.  Oo



    Fun with Magnesium Citrate!


    I have to take all three bottles of the fizzy, bitter goodness for my bowel prep.  Plus as much water as I can float.

    "Don't you have any shame?" 


    I poured the first one into a glass, added 1/3 packet of Crystal Light and some Splenda.  Almost drinkable.  But not.  I can feel every single bubble, and it feels like I've swallowed baking soda and vinegar as if it unclog a SINK.

    I'm a sink.  And.  Oh.

    Here we go.  Hold me.

    Colonoscopy Preparation is FUN!

    In twenty-four hours I will be in my hospital's Gastrointestinal Unit waiting room, awaiting the joy that is a colonoscopy.  Please note that the MM Sarcasm is currently dialed up to high.  Nobody really looks forward to tests, and for a test that involves forcing a camera up your arse, I'd better be a little silly about it or I'll whine.

    Continue reading "Colonoscopy Preparation is FUN!" »

    Year of abdominal pain -- Hydrogen Breath Testing

    Update -

    Mr took me into Boston today for the Hydrogen Breath testing.  I thought I took to be there super-early, turns out I waited in the wrong part of the GI unit for an hour before realizing it. 

    I had to drink a lactulose solution, and puffed into a bag with a syringe on it.  My air was injected into a super cool gas analyzer machine and that's that.

    I think I passed -- or I failed?  I watched the numbers of the machine during each breath sample collection and I saw an increase in the numbers, however the tech said that she didn't see "much change."   So, bacteria may not be my problem.  Interestingly, the drink triggered more pain.  Thanks!  I don't DO 'OSES for that reason.

    322513_284005378310544_105130816198002_837133_1095045421_oSmall Bowel Bacterial Overgrowth Syndrome (SBBOS) or Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth (SIBO) - the patient is either given a challenge dose of glucose, also known as dextrose (75-100 grams), or lactulose (10 grams). A baseline breath sample is collected, and then additional samples are collected at 15 minute or 20 minute intervals for 3–5 hours. Positive diagnosis for a lactulose SIBO breath test - typically positive if the patient produces approximately 20 ppm of hydrogen and/or methane within the first two hours (indicates bacteria in the small intestine), followed by a much larger peak (colonic response). This is also known as a biphasic pattern. Lactulose is not absorbed by the digestive system and can help determine distal end bacterial overgrowth, which means the bacteria are lower in the small intestine. Positive diagnosis for a glucose SIBO breath test - glucose is absorbed by the digestive system so studies have shown it to be harder to diagnose distal end bacterial overgrowth since the glucose typically doesn't reach the colon before being absorbed. An increase of approximately 12 ppm or more in hydrogen and/or methane during the breath test could conclude bacterial overgrowth. Recent study indicates "The role of testing for SIBO in individuals with suspected IBS remains unclear." [2]

    The excess hydrogen or methane is assumed to be typically caused by an overgrowth of otherwise normal intestinal bacteria.

    Tomorrow is marked with the most exciting of several tests in an attempt to narrow down my year of abdominal pain. This test could show the presence of Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth -- which is somewhat common in those who've got lower gut issues and also in those who have had gastric bypass or who have had abdominal surgeries.

    Bascially -- I breathe into a bag every so many minutes for a few hours.  The samples are collected and tested for the presence of excess gases.  'urp. Reading about these tests, and watching test videos and the excessive use of the word METHANE only brings to mind ... cows.


    If I get a positive result on this test -- I am starting a post bariatric energy company.  <sarcasm intended> There are far too many of us with broken guts who could probably power up our own houses with malabsorptive misfirings.

    Hydrogen Breath Testing

    The hydrogen breath test is used to identify lactose or fructose intolerance, or an abnormal growth of bacteria in the intestine. It is used to diagnose a lactose or fructose intolerance, which is the inability of the body to digest and or absorb lactose, the sugar found in dairy or fructose, the sugar found in a number of foods (fruit, vegetables, soda, etc.). Hydrogen breath testing can also be used to diagnose intestinal bacterial overgrowth. A breath sample will be collected and tested for the presence of hydrogen. To obtain the sample, you will be asked to blow up a balloon-type bag. Normally, very little hydrogen is detected in the breath. You will then be given a lactose, fructose, or lactulose solution to drink. Breath samples are collected every 15 minutes for 2 hours to detect any increase in hydrogen in the breath as the solution is digested. Increased hydrogen breath levels indicate improper digestion. The testing procedure lasts about 3 hours.

    Super-fun, but likely the easiest of the tests because nothing goes inside me.  See? 

    Next, is the capsule endoscopy. Then, the colonscopy for the holiday. 

    Dear Santa, I thought I'd been good...

    On the first day of ...

    Something....the gastroenterologist gave to me... three Super Fun diagnostic tests that I probably needed done 11 months ago.  Okay, so I'll never write songs.  Shut up.

    "Why would you ask for this kind of torture?"  (Well, because like one of my favorite commenters haters says, "Melting Mama Has Munchhausen's Syndrome."  Take THAT, keywords.)

    Because, at this point? Any. answer. will. do.

    Like I told the doctor today: I have forgotten what it feels like to feel good.

    I go to bed with this discomfort -- and it wakes me up. Every day. Every stinking day.  Even on the best days where I walk all day long and can "forget about it" for a while, it comes back when I am sitting, stopped or in bed.

    Even if we get through the testing to find out, you know, it really WAS just a hernia (which has already been confirmed, I have a small hernia near my bellybutton) and/or a bacterial overgrowth problem, or even celiac... Crohn's -- something -- GOOD!

    At least I have an answer instead of THIS. Constant dull pain -- constant discomfort -- constant reactions to food -- that I cannot predict. I can't tell if one stab is related to the digestive distress, I just have no idea. I only know that it hurts every day, and I am quite sick of it. 11 months.

    Colonscopy - check.  Capsule endoscopy - check.  Bacterial overgrowth breath test - check.  PS.  Biopsies for extra fun.


    "Yay."  Testing starts in two weeks.

    Pill #2.

    I just took my second third Bentyl pill in-a-row-as-prescribed.  

    12 hours of Bentyl'ed intestine.  Do I feel a change?  Not... exactly?

    BUT!  Here's to the possibility of my gut pain being JUST irritable bowel or related disease!  I hate to say that it would be a relief to know that it's ... all?  It would be.  

    Symptoms of IBS include --

    Abdominal pain or discomfort for at least 12 weeks out of the previous 12 months. These 12 weeks do not have to be consecutive.  Plus all sorts of other icky things...

    I've had pain for about 50 weeks.

    I know that IBS has triggers -- and that I could work on removing them from my life.  "Goodbye food, goodbye stress, goodbye... GASP!"  

    I hadn't started taking it right away, since the prescription was called in to the Pharmacy next to Mr's work, which is not exactly close to home. Even so, they didn't have it in stock, and I only got a few pills while they ship more in, special for me and my broked.

    Dicyclomine is used to treat the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome. Dicyclomine is in a class of medications called anticholinergics. It relieves muscle spasms in the gastrointestinal tract by blocking the activity of a certain natural substance in the body.

    The GI is just guessing that my pain is bowel related, because it's where the bowel IS.  This is what I've been saying for a year.  *points to the pain, that's my large intestine, right?*   He says probably, unless something worse shows it's ugly self during further testing that we haven't seen yet.  I told the GI that if this was just a hernia -- should I not be carrying my intestines in a sandwich bag by now? One would think  a herniation would be more visible - which leads me to believe it really is just a broken gut fail.  Or not.  But I really don't care -- SO LONG AS THE PAIN STOPS NOW!  KTHANX.

    PS.  I'm at the bartering stage -- I'll trade these tests for a diagnosis and relief --

    1. Food/Nutrition/Malabsorption:


    Choose Your Own Adventure - Intestine Pain Version!

    Thanks to the internet I can play Choose-Your-Own-Adventure-With-Gut-Pain!  

    What could it be?  Is it rectal prolapse?  Nooooooo!  Is it a hernia?  COULD BE!  Is it divertic....STFU?  May-BE!  It's all so EXCITING!  


    Thanks, WebMD!

    • Stomach flu (enteritis): Inflammation of the small intestine. Infections (from viruses, bacteria, or parasites) are the common cause.
    • Small intestine cancer: Rarely, cancer may affect the small intestine. There are multiple types of small intestine cancer, causing about 1,100 deaths each year.
    • Celiac disease: An "allergy" to gluten (a protein in most breads) causes the small intestine not to absorb nutrients properly. Abdominal pain and weight loss are usual symptoms.
    • Carcinoid tumor: A benign or malignant growth in the small intestine. Diarrhea and skin flushing are the most common symptoms.
    • Intestinal obstruction: A section of either the small or large bowel can become blocked or twisted or just stop working. Belly distension, pain, constipation, and vomiting are symptoms.
    • Colitis: Inflammation of the colon. Inflammatory bowel disease or infections are the most common causes.
    • Diverticulosis: Small weak areas in the colon's muscular wall allow the colon's lining to protrude through, forming tiny pouches called diverticuli. Diverticuli usually cause no problems, but can bleed or become inflamed.
    • Diverticulitis: When diverticuli become inflamed or infected, diverticulitis results. Abdominal pain and constipation are common symptoms.
    • Colon bleeding (hemorrhage): Multiple potential colon problems can cause bleeding. Rapid bleeding is visible in the stool, but very slow bleeding might not be.
    • Inflammatory bowel disease: A name for either Crohn's disease or ulcerative colitis. Both conditions can cause colon inflammation (colitis).
    • Crohn's disease: An inflammatory condition that usually affects the colon and intestines. Abdominal pain and diarrhea (which may be bloody) are symptoms.
    • Ulcerative colitis: An inflammatory condition that usually affects the colon and rectum. Like Crohn's disease, bloody diarrhea is a common symptom of ulcerative colitis.
    • Diarrhea: Stools that are frequent, loose, or watery are commonly called diarrhea. Most diarrhea is due to self-limited, mild infections of the colon or small intestine.
    • Salmonellosis: Salmonella bacteria can contaminate food and infect the intestine. Salmonella causes diarrhea and stomach cramps, which usually resolve without treatment.
    • Shigellosis: Shigella bacteria can contaminate food and infect the intestine. Symptoms include fever, stomach cramps, and diarrhea, which may be bloody.
    • Traveler's diarrhea: Many different bacteria commonly contaminate water or food in developing countries. Loose stools, sometimes with nausea and fever, are symptoms.
    • Colon polyps: Polyps are growths inside the colon.  Colon cancer can often develop in these tumors after many years. 
    • Colon cancer: Cancer of the colon affects more than 100,000 Americans each year. Most colon cancer is preventable through regular screening.
    • Rectal cancer: Colon and rectal cancer are similar in prognosis and treatment. Doctors often consider them together as colorectal cancer.
    • Constipation: When bowel movements are infrequent or difficult. 
    • Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS): Irritable bowel syndrome, also known as IBS, is an intestinal disorder that causes irritable abdominal pain or discomfort, cramping or bloating, and diarrhea or constipation.
    • Rectal prolapse: Part or all of the wall of the rectum can move out of position, sometimes coming out of the anus, when straining during a bowel movement.
    • Intussusception: Occurring mostly in children, the small intestine can collapse into itself like a telescope. It can become life-threatening if not treated.

    PS.  Disclaimer - I'm just messing around, do not take your medical advice from the internet because that would be bad.  I have no idea what the hell is going on in my gut, all actual medical tests pointed to nothing in particular so far.  I am simply waiting to implode or explode so that I can get medical attention.  Thanks.

    ISO - Dr. Willing To Scan My Gut. PLEASE?

    As much as my gut wants me to think I am dead on the inside, at least from sternum to colon, I am still alive.  *Confetti!*  

    I'm writing this more for myself -- to get the current State Of My Gut down on 'paper' -- I'm not seeking advice.  I know what I need to do, I'm in the wheel of doctors again.

    Continue reading "ISO - Dr. Willing To Scan My Gut. PLEASE?" »

    I could have bought a car.

    Yesterday was spent chasing paperwork to finalize my lease agreement for the apartment.

    In a torrential downpour of huge black rain cloud proportions.  

    Yesterday afternoon, the lease was signed, after I asked to see the unit to make SURE it was in the same condition as the model I had been shown.  Since we are in a high-rent area, things aren't Always What They Seem, and people will pay anyway.  

    Continue reading "I could have bought a car." »

    Mystery Diagnosis + Positivity Button Installation

    Good news?  I have pain, for a legitimate reason!  Positive!  Real, honest-to-dog pain!  I'm positive!  Happy!  Look!  I'm positive that I have pain!  Happy, shiny, MM!  Smiles, happy, sunshine!  Unicorns, rainbows!  


    "I love my WLS.  I love my surgeon.  "Nothing feels as good as thin feels."   I've lost weight!  Oh my goodness I feel so fabulous."

    Continue reading "Mystery Diagnosis + Positivity Button Installation" »

    Surgery is always "fun."

    I had an appointment with my former bariatric surgeon today to discuss my gut.  Last Friday, I underwent a CT Scan with contrast in both ends (try it, fun!) and today we were to talk about Why I Was Sitting Like A Pretzel.

    I suppose I was a little more than surprised when first, the surgeon asked if I'd changed my name.  I actually did.  In 2005.  I hyphenated.  I took my maiden name BACK and added it to my name.  In 2005. 

    Because, they couldn't find my chart.  O-O  However, I seem to recall a conversation about my chart having been purged (last year?) when I went back for a check up, as they "did that with files over five years old," or something.  This was when I asked for files to be "sent" to another hospital, I was told that they were totally off-site.  This was likely last winter?  (I could look back into my archives, I know I posted about it... this was when I was seeking a new surgeon for revision last year!)

    I was inpatient in this same hospital, what, two weeks ago?  My brain stabbed at the thought, but I am in a state of "I don't really give a shit at this point, I will be Jane Doe if we don't figure out what's wrong, so I am whoever you want me to be."

    Obviously, I haven't been a very-often-seen patient at this practice, to see a bariatric surgeon, my visits have been limited to a few follow ups: an emergency endoscopy last winter, and endocrinology referrals for hypoglycemia after gastric bypass.  I haven't been there for any routine "stuff" at all, because I deal with hematologists, neurologists, endocrinologists and whathaveyou outside of them, I didn't really need a surgeon.  Actually, my last visit to the surgeon ended with a suggestion to see a nutritionist.

    I weighed in, and gasped at the number on THEIR scale and sat down.

    The surgeon hadn't seen my CT Scan.  He pulled it up in front of me, I squinted to read as much as I could, though I wish I asked for a copy because I know what it's going to take to GET A COPY of it from their medical records department.  "We can't find you."

    I saw "Possible Petersen's Hernia."   SCORE!  ANSWER?

    He scrolled through my guts, filled with contrast.  He suggested that the CT Scan is not a definitive way to diagnose a Petersen's Hernia, so don't think much of that. 

    The surgeon asked if I was aware that I had fibroids.  Uh, maybe I did? <shrug>  Do those hurt?  'Cause, OWWWWWWW!

    I was recently told I had a ovarian cyst, so why not!? 

    Let's have all the gynecological issues we can find!  MORE FUN!

    Upon reading the signs and symptoms NOW at home, "Hey, that fits, too!  Thank you Dr. Google, please forward a hysterectomy!"

    And then Beth stops, and plays with Google and researches the history of HYSTERIA!


    I told him that I've been pretty much sitting in a pretzel-fashion and holding my guts up on and off for two or more months.  (Yes, the pain started after the alfafa sprout binge in December?)

    I mention that I am simply waiting to vomit blood or lose my bowels.  He says that "not necessarily," that you don't HAVE to be very sick to have a problem like this.  I am actually pleased to hear this, because the hospitals have made me feel quite ridiculous since I wasn't retching if something abdominal was the cause of my pain.

    He first mentions that if I am to feel anything worse, I should go straight to them, skipping the local hospital next time "because they have no idea what they are looking for."  I agree.

    Then, he gets the paperwork prepared for exploratory surgery, to dig through my gut and either prove or disprove that their is something intestinal causing this.   The plan is to be explored, surgically, within a reasonable time frame. 

    I hope there is a trigger easily found, and that I'm not going to become a constant cycle of gut pain with no diagnosis, because I don't need that plus my malfunctioning brain.  One or the other HAS to go.  I was actually giving the brain surgery some consideration, but I can't even think about making the appointments for follow-op for the testing and surgery for my seizures when I'm SITTING LIKE A PRETZEL!  How do you screw holes in a head of a person that's squirming into a pretzel?


    Choose a Number from 0 to 10 That Best Describes Your Pain.



    I was just sitting here in a pretzel-fashion as my gut twisting fun has decided to amp up again, and I was, well, pondering.  I see the surgeon tomorrow in regards to the CT Scan I had last Friday.  

    I am prepared to HEAR,

    "You have a hernia, it needs repair, let's schedule that, okay?"


    "You have an ovary that's decided to implode, twist, but do it ever-so-slowly that you're feeling every step, let's send you to the GYN and fix that!"  

    I'm even prepared to hear,

    "Well, it's bad news, it's broken, there's a tumor, you've been colonized by aliens and you need to take your guts out and place them on the table."

    But, my concern is that "There's nothing we could see on the scan.  Go home."

     This is what happened in the ER after my XRAY.  "You're full of shit.  See?"  I couldn't really... see, I was half-doped up on morphine.


    I avoid doctors, I avoid issues, I hate feeling sick.  I've been in a fog of neurological-brain-numbing drugs for the seizures with no diagnosis for so very long, that a new symptom is often ignored.  

    "What's this new problem?  Must be from the drugs.  Just read the side of the bottle!" 

    Have you ever read about the side effects of neurological drugs?  Just saying.  You didn't need that liver, nor to feel awake, or to not jump off the side of a cliff at any given moment, right?  Medication is EVIL.

    If I called a doctor every time I had a "concern," I'd never leave their office.  I have a hard enough time getting to an appointment as it is -- it's only when I am serious about something wrong.  I probably wait too long for many things.  I know that.  For example, I am overdue for my iron infusions.  I know this, I'm bad.  Slap me.  I actually didn't know I was super anemic again until I was in the ER.  But things take precedence in order of pain, you know?

    If it appears that there isn't "anything wrong" when I get the results tomorrow -- then?  What?  More waiting, more phone calls, more pain.  "Fun."  I'm left feeling like a hypochondriac with the heating pad on my gut.  Which makes me want to avoid going to a doctor until blood appears in a dramatic fashion from a bodily orifice.  I can do that, but it hurts in the meantime.

    Will trade.


    Are you the cause?  Probably not.  But I need someone to blame.  Damn it.

    I have a pile of goodies to review.   But, I am stuttering and failing to start reviewing because I fear that I will give a product a poor review because I am still rotting from the inside out and I don't to take it out on the product.  Does that make sense?   I have ONE here that I love entirely, and can't wait to write about, but, I don't want to drink it right now, because I am afraid it's going to make my guts turn inside out.

    I finally called the bariatric surgeon's office for a follow-up to my hospital visit, to ask for scans, or removal of my lower intestine.  (Don't knock it, my grandmother has no colon, it's worked for her.)  

    This is finally getting ridiculous and interfering with Daily Life.  I realized that I have been walking around, holding my guts in place and sleeping like a pretzel since about mid-December.  

    I have several post op RNY friends that have Undiagnosed Gut Pain similar to this, some have had sort-of-diagnoses and sort-of-cures, but most have cylical pain that comes and goes with no rhyme or reason.  That makes this really fun to think about!  That, it could have No Reason, and No Cure!  (Wait, I already have THAT!)

    That's sort of why I  had ignored it, because I know that many people have gut-reactions (l i t e r a l l y) to stress, and I thought "Well, sure!  Stress equals no potty, no potty equals pain."  It could very well be that simple, but as a post gastric bypass patient, we must be concerned of the possibility of obstructions, hernias and other Fun Things.  

    I might have threw the word BEZOAR at the surgical resident at the hospital, and he might have looked at me like I had LOST MY MIND.  Although he did respond to say it was quite unlikely in WLS patients.  <shrug>  

    All I know, is that there has been a BOO-BOO of some type since I ate those GOD DAMNED ALFALFA SPROUTS, DR. House.

    Will trade free advertising for life for diagnosis(es).