Thursday, July 25, 2013

Test results are in!

It is during our darkest moments that we must see the light-
Aristotle Onassis

Earlier this week I had to travel to North Carolina to Wake Forest Baptist Hospital for a CT scan with contrast and a four hour gastric emptying test.  The CT scan consist of an oral contrast as well as an IV contrast.  The prep and test only took a couple of hours.  When you get a phone call from your doctor herself the next day you know something is up.  The CT findings showed numerous filling defects and fecal material throughout my colon. I have at least two areas of narrowing in my transverse colon which is most likely due to peristalsis.  Lack of peristalsis is basically lack of movement/contracts in my transverse colon.  Sometimes a lesion in the colon can have a similar appearance but given the fact that I had a colonoscopy that did not reveal a mass in January of 2012, my doctor believes this was peristalsis on the CT imagine and not mass.  Due to the CT imaging they are requesting for me to have another colonoscopy soon. So my question is why do I have narrowing parts in my transverse colon? What the cause and will it progressively get worse?  What are the treatments? Is it something that I need to be overly concerned about? I know when my last colonoscopy was done by my pervious doctor there were areas he couldn't get into.  This makes me wonder if I have had this problem all along considering the narrowing areas.  However, it would explain the pain I seem to always experience.

About a one and a half years ago I had a two hour gastric emptying test done.  The results, I had mild gastroparesis with 30% of my food remaining.  I recently had a four hour gastric emptying test, results showed mild delay and 12.8 % retained at four hours.  Gastric retention percentage at approximate times are as follows:
0 minutes: 100%
30 minutes: 99%
60 minutes: 92.9%
120 minutes: 67.7%  (after this image I started experiencing pain in my stomach)
180 minutes: 26.7% (pain might be my stomachs way of showing digestion since the percentage decreased a fairly good amount.) 
240 minutes: 12.8%

To sum it up, abnormal 2 and 4 hour gastric retention time.  I still have two more tests scheduled in August, Electrogastrogram and an Endoscopic.  In my opinion, I am going to keep pushing on.  I've got to keep reaching out for help and get better.  I crave to be healthy again.  I crave to be more physically active and not loose out on family activities because I am so fatigue.  I refuse to give up.  So with my darkest moments with all the negatives from my health, I have to stay positive and see the light.  The lord is my light and my salvation.  

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

What you reap is what you sow.

 If you weep due to the difficulties , you will dwell on pain, suffering and sorrow.  If you desire peace, our Lord will give you the peace you need.  Understanding why things happen, why some suffer from diseases, the answer will not come to you as if your having a conversation across the table.  Understanding comes to you over time when our Lord sees fit.  When I was diagnosed with this disease, my life crumbled.  I didn't understand why me but over time I have seen some glimpse of hope and reasoning.  I believe ones road must be broken to build a better you, how we should serve our Lord and blessings will come to those who follow.  These past couple of months my spirit has been really tested.  It has brought pain, suffering and depression.  I knew who I was and knew I didn't like the route I was on by dwelling on my pain and sorrow.  I really needed to trust in our Lord.  For he will decide when you receive blessings.

Since my gastrologist gave up on me, I went and sought help from my family doctor.  After our long discussion he highly recommended a second opinion regarding my stomach disease.  I was a little hesitant only because I didn't want another doctor to kill my hopes and dreams of getting better or hearing the doctor say again there is nothing more we can do for you. My doctor referred me to Wake Forest Baptist Digestive Health Center in North Carolina.  After our 3 hour drive to North Carolina and speaking to my new doctor covering all my symptoms, we became very impressed with the depth that the doctor listened and what she had to say.  She believes I have at least two other major conditions going on as well as my gastroparesis worsening.  The doctor was extremely surprised that no additional tests had been done by my pervious gastrologist.  With just listening to my symptoms and doing a few leg lifts and sitting up trying to localize where my pains are, she indicated I could possibly have problems such as pyloric sphincter, pyloric stenosis, bile duct obstruction, possible pinched nerve due to scar tissue from my gallbladder surgery and my gastroparesis worsening.  When the doctor walked out for few minutes, I looked at my boyfriend and started to cry.  Bless his heart he was trying to comfort me and said, "This seems very positive Sherry".  I smiled at him all teary eyed and said, "I'm not crying because of that, I am crying because I am happy.  Happy that someone is helping me." Years of worrying with very little positive results was heart breaking. I was where I needed to be.  Our Lord gave me a little glimpse of hope that I needed. 

I am scheduled for four tests, two at the end of July and two in August.  CT Abdomen Pelvis with infusion.  Nuclear Gastric Emptying which will take about 4 hours. This will provide them useful information of if my gastroparesis is worsening.  Electrogastrogram, will determine stomach stimulation. Basically its like an electro cardiogram for my stomach. And finally Esophagogastroduodenoscopy aka EGD/Endoscopy.  My medications were changed slightly.  I was told I needed to slowly stop taking domperidone since it really wasn't helping me anymore.  Started taking Bentyl 10 mg 4 times a day, Zofran 8 mg every 8 hours, Carafate 100 mg 4 times a day and Ativan 5 mg every 8 hours. All this on top of my other medication I already take. 

My blood results were decent.  Blood count, kidney functions and liver functions are all normal.  My ferritin level which is my iron transport protein is low.  Vitamin B12 is also low but will receive a vitamin B12 injection on my next visit.  My TSH, thyroid stimulating hormone is also completely off.  Which for me is nothing new considering I have Hashimoto Thyroiditis Disease. 

On another note, my precancerous cells on my cervix has returned.  Due to my body going through extreme changes over the past couple of years, it makes sense that my immune system is weak.  I am schedule a procedure this Thursday.  Please say a little prayer for me in hopes that the biopsy results are negative. 

Even though I am only 39, I can't help but to feel like my body is falling apart. It is extremely difficult going day to day but I have to keep reminding myself that I can do all things through him who strengthens me.