Friday, January 29, 2010

Answers...

Some of you know about my 7 year battle with abdominal issues. I have been told that I have Crohn's Disease, but there is no cure and there is no perfect method of treatment for it since they don't know what causes it. From February of 2003 until September of 2006 I tried dozens and dozens of different medications and we finally found some that worked. The medication that worked for me from September of 2006 until around September of 2009 has started to be less and less effective and the last few months have been agonizing for me. I am in constant pain and have constant nausea and I don't enjoy many things since I am suffering pretty much all the time.

In December I received my 5th colonoscopy so they could see if there were holes in my intestinal wall...but everything came back "normal". As grateful as I was that everything was "normal" I was also upset that I was going thru such a bad flare-up and I wasn't getting any relief.

My G.I. Specialist decided that it was time to do a test that I've never had to do before. It's called a Small Capsule Endoscopy and the gist of the test is that I swallowed a MASSIVE pill (seriously people, it was the size of two Jolly Ranchers stuck together) which was really a little camera that was taking pictures every few seconds and it transmitted pictures to a little computer that I wore for 8 hours.

It's been a week and a half since that test and I finally received a phone call from my doctor yesterday to discuss the results. He told me that for the first 4 hours after I swallowed the pill all of the pictures were from my stomach. The pill never left my stomach. Then after 4 hours I ate a small lunch since that was what I was instructed to do, and he said for another 4 hours the pill took pictures of my stomach full of food.

The average person's stomach empties every 60-90 minutes. He said that "worst case scenario" the soup that I had for lunch should've left my stomach after 60 minutes. But after 4 hours it was still there.

Knowing this won't solve all of my problems, but I am grateful that I'm not crazy :) and that we have a good starting point to know what I need next.

The next step will be to get an endoscopy where they'll look at the ulcers I now have in my stomach (another thing we discovered from this test), then they'll pull the camera-tube-thing back up, they'll wake me up, I'll sallow that dang horse pill again, and then they'll knock me out again, put the camera-tube-thing down my throat again and they'll guide the pill past my stomach so they can check out the rest of my intestines.

The point of this post wasn't to have people feeling sorry for me, nor was it to gross anyone out, but I just have to say that I am overwhelmed with gratitude at this moment. I am grateful that I have a boss who is trying to be as understanding as possible when I have to leave for an hour or two to get some medicine and lie down for a while, that I have a family who loves and supports me and who prays and fasts for me often, and that I have been blessed with amazing doctors in my life who don't want me to suffer anymore. I really am truly grateful that we can get more answers soon and that one day I can be some-what normal :)

(Below is a picture of one of the pill-cams available...mine looked a lot like this one, but it was bigger and it had different coloring...)

6 comments:

Down By the Bey's said...

Wow Chels that is crazy that it stayed in your stomach for so long. That has got to mean something. I hope they figure it out! Feel better bud. =)

Codi said...

Oh I am so glad that you have some answers.. maybe not solutions yet, but definitively a step in that direction! Hooray!

Angela Hansen said...

You were feeling so good, I hope that you can figure out what to do soon so that you will feel better. You are amazing.

Becky said...

Well no wonder I haven't seen you in seriously, FOREVER! You have been sicker than sick! I'm soooo sorry, and I am so sorry for being such a lamo friend. Seriously, what can I do Chels? I would love to be there for you, and it gives me a chance to see you!! Please p lease please call me!! I miss you!

Perschon Family said...

I agree with Becky! I wish I could do more to help...and I miss seeing you! I really hope you get some answers! I can't even imagine going through everything you've gone through!! You amaze me as always!

Brittany said...

I hope they can figure something out soon. That would be so difficult and frustrating. You are amazing!