Tuesday, August 18, 2015

One more test down

This is probably a key test in figuring out the cause of my anemia.  My small intestine isn't absorbing iron, it's not due to the normal cause of celiac disease, so we need another reason.

Today, I had an upper endoscopy test done.  I've had this done once before, and I have to admit that today's test was quite unpleasant compared to the test 12 years ago.  In the past, patients were allowed to use lidocaine to numb the back of their throats, and this made the insertion of the tube much easier.  I guess doctors decided that carried some risk, so it's no longer standard protocol.  So, I had the standard mixture of Fentanyl and Versed.  And, as they tried to insert the scope, I gagged and choked at least 10 times, to the point where I almost yanked the thing out of the doctor's hand and simply removed it.

Afterward, when I mentioned this to the doc, he said I had a very strong gag reflex.  I felt like asking him why he didn't respond to that, but instead forced the tube down my throat anyway.  But, I was too angry to say it tactfully, so I said nothing.

The basic test showed no signs of bleeding anywhere, no signs of Barrett's esophagus, esophageal cancer, or stomach cancer or stomach ulcers/bleeding.

So, the answer is hopefully in the bipsy samples they took from my upper small intestine.  I should hear more about that by the end of the week or so.

Tomorrow, I get my hemoglobin measured again and I get another iron infusion.  I won't be surprised if my hemoglobin is better.  I feel a little better, but I'm simply not handling heat at all right now.  We've had a few nights where I might have tried the CrossFit workout, but the heat has just been too much.

On Sunday, a very hot day, I alternated between getting stuff done around the house and taking naps in my air conditioned bedroom.  I cooked a lot of the day and not one thing I cooked was appealing to me, which was disappointing.

On Monday morning, my weight was 191 - the lowest it's been since the fall of 2009.  I've now lost about 37 pounds this year and there is no sign that it's letting up.

In three weeks, I have a colonoscopy, but given my iron absorption numbers, I'll be surprised if that test gives us any useful feedback.  But, I'm overdue for the test, so I should have it done.  It will be done by the same doc that did my test this morning, and I think I'm going to emphasize that I'd like a bit more pain medicine next time around.


Harriet said...

I hope you get to the bottom of this soon.

Damon said...

Thanks. I told the nurse this morning that this is tougher to deal with than the prostate cancer was in some ways. There, I had a schedule, I had a recovery timetable, I knew what I was up against, and I knew the things that could go wrong. Here, I feel like I know nothing at all almost 4 months into this mess. We have a huge number of "no, that's not it" answers, but nothing close to a known cause and nothing close to a timeline.