Monday, March 28, 2011

The Stomach Pain Mystery

The stomach pain mystery continues, but hopefully not for long. My doctor doesn't do GI scopes, but another doctor in the practice does, so she set me up for a consult with him. I must say, this whole practice has rather refreshing ideas regarding informed consent, as in, they actually inform you, answer your questions, and then ask for your consent instead of just doing whatever they want with little explanation. So I am set for a good ol' esophagogastroduodenoscopy (i.e. EGD, or upper GI) on April 4th. It will be the very first time EVER that I've had any sort of sedation AT ALL. I'm a bit freaked out. I've never even had laughing gas at the dentist. Of course, it's not full on anesthesia or anything, just enough to make you loopy. I'd rather not be loopy, but I don't think I'm going to get out of it.

Gonna be looking for Barrett's disease, ulcers, H. Plyori, polyps, celiac disease, and anything else that might come up. This doc had already talked to my doctor, but he did a quick exam on me too after we were done going over the whole history. Gallbladder still isn't tender to palpation (which I'm hoping means we can just forget about that for a while). Upper left and epigastric regions are still very very tender. So we'll be spending the next week playing "guess what the diagnosis will be!" I asked the doc what we'll do if I have ulcers after having been on all these PPIs all this time and he said if I do, I probably have H. Pylori, so we'll treat for that. If there aren't any ulcers, we're looking at balancing the long term benefits and long term risks of taking PPIs indefinitely, because the higher dose ones work to manage the pain (assuming there isn't something else he sees that would be a source of pain). It's tempting to suggest we just treat for H. pylori anyway and skip the scope, but this has been going on long enough (over 10 years, off and on, it's just that this is the first long, sustained stretch) that it's time to look for actual causes and stop just treating symptoms.

I'm distracting myself from this whole "let us dope you up, slap on some monitors, and shove a camera down your throat" business by planning our first road trip of the spring. Can't wait to get out of here and into some warmer weather for a few days! Hoping Secora's history of being a good traveler holds up!

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