I literally don’t know how else to add humor to the situation…sooooo…..that was it.
I have mentioned over the past year-ish that I’ve been having a lot of digestive issues; mostly that my gut is super rumbly and noisy for no apparent reason. I had a weird stomach virus last January that lasted forever and made me miserable and ever since, my stomach never seemed to return to normal.
I also figured all the stress I was under last spring and summer were likely just adding to whatever was happening and maybe once some of the stress died down, it would get better.
Not so much.
I take probiotics daily, which do help a lot with a lot of the discomfort but it wasn’t healing the issue.
In October, I finally decided to see a gastroenterologist. The first things that were done were blood tests and an ultrasound of my stomach to make sure everything looked okay. Thankfully everything did…well mostly.
It was uncovered that I have a fatty liver, which is not related to alcohol and not super threatening as long as my liver enzymes are normal (which they are). It basically just means I need to watch some of my fat intake and lose a few pounds. It’s also completely unrelated to anything I have going on, but nice to know. And the upside is the liver is the only organ in the body that can actually fully repair itself, so as long as I’m aware and don’t cause anymore damage, I can actually fully heal it over time.
But nothing else was abnormal in any of the testing.
Because so many of my issues began with this stomach virus, my GI doctor decided to try an antibiotic first in the hopes that it could have just been some bacteria stuck in some part of my gut that was festering. He put a warning on this treatment though; that he was willing to try this, but if it didn’t work he was going to have to do an endoscopy to really see what was going on inside of my digestive tract.
That didn’t sound pleasant.
So, I did two weeks of this (really expensive) antibiotic and I was A LOT better. Like….85% better.
That’s a high B average; that should be enough to not need anything invasive, right?
It was enough to have me try the antibiotic for two more weeks but again…if it didn’t work, I need an endoscopy.
It was still about 85% better after the second two weeks.
So, I had an endoscopy scheduled for December 14th.
Now, if I were an evil person, I’d show you, visually, what an endoscope looks like…but I’m not that evil.
Essentially, what the procedure is, for those that don’t know, is you’re put under light sedation (I had propofol; beautiful stuff – so you’re asleep but not like…unconscious) and the put a long tube down your throat with a camera attached to it, so they can literally look at your digestive tract. While they have this tube in you, they can blow air into your stomach if they need to see certain areas (which hurts a lot later) and they can biopsy areas of concern.
All of this, literally, takes like 20 minutes. The pre-op stuff took longer than the actual procedure.
However, if you’re me, the thought of all of this is still nerve-wracking, especially if you’re being put on a gurney when you’ve never actually been on one before. It made it seem a lot more severe than it was.
Luckily for sedation, I know nothing that happened during it. I just remember them rolling me onto my left side (because they have to) and then I remember them waking me up in recovery and Devon standing there laughing because apparently I was saying “I want pancakes” as they were waking me up.
Propofol is a hell of a drug.
Thankfully, my doctor came out a few minutes later and gave me the relief of saying that he didn’t see anything wrong with any organs, there were no tumors, no ulcers, no abscesses, nothing there that shouldn’t be; everything looked perfect. Which is great. He said he did a few biopsies for bacteria and whatnot which he would know the results of in about a week, but to not worry because anything it could be is a lot easier to treat than if he had found anything that I mentioned above.
That helped to calm me down while we were waiting for the results.
I will say though, while the procedure is pretty painless (just weird to think about) the next like….12-24 hours is kind of uncomfortable. Especially if they blew air into your stomach, like they did me. That eventually hurts so much because there’s all this air that you need to…well…expel and it’s stubborn about passing. Plus, if they do biopsies, those areas are going to burn a bit because of the scraping of them. AND, your throat may be sore from the tube.
So afterwards isn’t comfy, but the procedure isn’t the worst ever.
Then…the results came back.
Almost everything was negative….except for one thing…..
I biopsied positive for Celiac.
Thee actual hell, though?
Bread doesn’t bother me, pasta doesn’t bother me (obviously). All of that actually makes my stomach feel calmer.
I don’t get it. I still don’t get it.
He followed up with a blood test to confirm it; however the blood test came back negative….so…..
Again….Thee actual hell…?
I don’t want a life without bread; that’s sad.
Apparently even without blood test confirmation, it could still be a gluten sensitivity, which was triggered by the virus I had last year (stupid germs).
So, guess who has to live gluten-free for awhile?
Damn that camera!
I’ve lived with this news for…about two weeks now and while it was like catastrophic to me initially, I’ve calmed down a little and realized it’s not the end of the world. Plus, at this moment, in my head, it’s just for awhile to see if it works or not. If it doesn’t, I’ll take a piece of white bread into my GI doctor’s office with me and devour it in front of him.
That’d be funny, I probably wouldn’t do it though.
But if I do feel better, I’m hoping I’ll take that as…I feel better, maybe it’s worth it. I can guarantee, regardless, I’m not going to be someone who claims bread and gluten are the worst things to ever happen in society if I can’t eat it anymore. They’re still lovely and delicious, without question. It will just make me a little sad.
I am trying gluten-free foods already. They don’t taste bad…but they do taste different and anyone who says differently is lying. Gluten-free pizza tastes different; it just does. Not bad, I mean it’s pizza, but it’s different. Be okay with the fact that it’s different.
If anyone has any great gluten-free options or substitutes, please feel free to share. Right now, I’m open to all the help I can get!