Thursday, August 24, 2006

The Update

Aaaaaaaaaalright Donnie!

Well, saw the GI and got the blood test from yesterday back, and all signs point to wellness!

Lypase and White Blood Cells are back to normal levels in the blood.

I found out the tongue goop was a side effect of the wonderous Flagyl I was on, and have been given small pills to dissolve the goop.

After the Dr. examined the gut, he deemed it may just be inflamed intenstines from Colitis. Which pretty much means I need not eat fatty foods or drink alcohol for the next 2 weeks until I see the doc again.

I'm keeping a log of all I eat and drink, and will need to submit it to the Doc when I go back. They also did an Ultra Soun today, and they said everything looked normal(Liver, Kidneys, Pancreas, Stomach, and Small and Large I's)

The final step will be September 8th AKA Manning Day Minus 2. That is when I enter the world of the 50+ Year Olds, and get a Colonoscopy.

GI Doc wants to make sure any of the inflamed areas are all healed properly.

So, as long as I eat well and lay off the sauce for a spell, I'll be good as new.

I am getting negative reaction to the news though: 'Oh man, no drinking? THAT sucks.'

Yeah, it does suck in a way, but when you have this interation with your doctor, you feel just fine:

PhilSelway - "Essentially, I just need to know if anything we've discovered here points to something life threatening."

GI Doc - He Laughs. "(Phil) you're going to live."

Thank you, come again.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Month of Medical Malaise AKA The Story of Gizm 5(or is it 6?)

Greetings Fury Fans,

I just returned to the office from Part 2 of the PhilSelway Root Canal Project.

Yes, the ol' Toofs had a rebellious member, gone and got itself infected wit'tha badness.

Said badness has been removed, through 2 sessions conducted by the father-in-law of one of my bosses. I reccomend his dentistry to anyone I know! Here's what I heard when I would tell people I was heading in for a Root Canal:

"Oh my God, really? That was one of the worst experiences of my life."

"Wow, that sucks man. It hurt real bad for days after I had it done."

"2 trips? Good luck, I barely made it through one!"

Thank you friends! Make a brotha feel real nice heading into it.

Anyway, I'm not gonna say having a Root Canal is as if I've gone to Hawaii on vacation BUT, folks, save the drama for yo momma!

It wasn't that bad at all. First session was long, yes, but the pain was minimal considering the pain I was going through BEFORE the procedure.

Then tonight, was a 45 minute jaunt with a little scraping, a little filling-of-the-root-canals-with-fake-roots, and then, the best part. Out comes a lighter, a metal tool, and the burning began!

The dentist has to burn off the ends of the fake roots before it all gets sealed up together, so the melting begins! Hot flaming metal in your mouth, and I can't feel a damn thing. I'm still numb now. In fact, my left ear is numb! THAT is some good novacaine.

Which is another dreaded Dentist moment apparantly. People can't stand the 'HUGE' needle that is used to numb you up. PLEASE people, it's a second worth of feeling a pin-prick, then voila! No pain for the next three hours.

Ain't nothin' wrong with it.

So the Root Canal is done, I just have to go back for a crown in a few weeks to really finish it off.

However, the plot thickens! As you can see by the title of this post, I've had a 'Month of Medical Malaise'. It don't take no month for a Root Canal.

Three weekends ago, I awoke on Saturday with bad, sharp pains in my stomach. I assumed it was gas. As most of you know, I have always had the gas. The gas is an extension of my being. So, I got up, did my thing, and figured it was done.

The pain kept coming back, and as I kept retreating to the bathroom, less and less of 'my thing' was going on, but the pain was still there. This was worrysome. The jolts of pain did start to slow down throughout the day, they went from happening every half-hour, to every-hour, to a two hour span where I felt it might be done. Unfortunately, it came back again. At that point, it was 4PM, and I decided to call an 'Urgent Care' center to get their opinion. They advised I go to an ER to rule out Appendicits. The Girl had already gone to work, so off I go to drive myself to the ER.

Yeah, the ride was fun. I had an attack of pain halfway through and had to awkwardly unbutton my pants while making a turn to relieve the pressure. It was also 5PM traffic in Santa Monica on a Saturday, so it was NOT smooth sailing. All the tourists and locals were too busy trying to go to all the same restaurants and shops, so PhilSelway was left to hope to heck I didn't have an episode of pain large enough to cause an accident.

Fortunately, I made it without incident and parked. I then hobbled into the ER where a nurse promptly sat me down and started taking my info. They lead me to a room and there I sat for a bit.

At this point the pain hadn't hit since the car, which had been about 20 minutes prior, and I was feeling OK. They took a blood and urine sample and went away for a bit. They came back and said my White Blood Cell count was high, and they needed to do a C(a)tscan of my stomach. Of course, the 'C' word was the first thing that crossed my mind, and on came the butterflies. I was wheeled up and prepped for the scan.

The prep is the fun part, they inject you with something (didn't catch the name) that has 2 side effects:
1) You get a metallic taste in your mouth
2) You feel like you're burning for 30 seconds

Go ahead and let that settle in for a second.

Yep, you read it right, makes you feel like you're burning. I figure this might be fun.

So they do it up, and the burn came on. To be honest, they play it up worse than it is. I was on fire for 10 seconds, tops, and I'll say this. Every orifice felt like it was on fire. Every one of them...some, more than others. That's all I'll say on that, but in the end, not as bad as it sounded like it was going to be.

The scan takes all of 15 minutes and you're done. They wheeled me into the hall, and I sat there outside the door waiting for an orderly to take me back to the ER.

As I waited, I saw a greiving family walking behind what I can only assume was their deceased relative on a covered gerney being wheeled by two hosptial employees. This was a strange image and experience.

They came to get me after about 10 minutes, and off I went back to the ER. I sat in the ER for an hour afterward and the Dr. came in, asking if I had been sent up for the scan yet. When I told her yes, about an hour ago, she was surprised and left the room, stating she needed to find out why they haven't given her the results yet.

She came back 30 minutes later and said it looks like I have diverticulitis (small pockets in your intestines develop with age, and food that is hard to digest can get stuck, and become infected). Which is strange and rare in young folks like me, but they said it can happen, so I was cleared to leave.

The pain hadn't happened for hours at that point, I was in the ER from 5PM to 12:30AM. So The Girl came and got me, I picked up my prescription of Cipro(yes, the Anthrax drug) and went home to rest. They told me to see my primary care doctore in 2 days to follow-up.

I go to my Good Doctor and she proceeds to scare the crap out of me.

She is VERY skepticle that this is Diverticulits, and she says these two sentences to me:

1) I'll be relieved when the follow-up blood tests come back and they are normal
2) I mean, we have to make sure you don't have Colon Cancer or anything(chuckle)

Yep. She dropped the 'C' bomb with a chuckle. I was left to wonder if it meant one of 2 things:

1) I just joked about Colon Cancer because I know it's a last thing it could be and I want to ease your tension
2) I just joked about Colon Cancer because it's a way to bring it up as a possibility without being grim

Yeah, you try to guess which one. F'n A man.

So, anyway, the pains were gone, I still had some gas, but it was improving, and I felt OK. They had me continue the Cipro for a few more days, and added Flagyl to the mix. When she prescribed the Flagyl she said this to me:

"This makes you feel bad, the next few days are going to be miserable for you."

Yep. She said THAT too. Now, I know she might sound like a monster, but she's really a nice doctor, I mean that. I just haven't gone to her long enough yet to figure out what the heck she's saying with sentences like that.

Anyway, the first night I took the Flagyl was the worst. I was home alone with Rocky the dog and when it kicked in, I felt really stoned for a while. But not the good stoned, it was the slightly paranoid 'did I just go crazy?!?' stoned. I was literally standing in the doorway of the bathroom for a few minutes wondering if I was about to have a panic attack with only the dog to witness. Luckily that didn't last long, and I was able to mellow out by taking a hot shower and watching some TV. From there on out, the Flagyl only made me feel bad for another day, then it settled in and I was fine for the fnal 3 days of it. I COULD NOT wait to get off the pills though, the other side effect is bad poopin'. That was not fun, and hard on the bottom. Thank you, Aloe.

A few days later, the blood test came back, and they said, all was clear! All was back to normal! I was extatic. This meant it was Diverticulitis after all, and all I had to do was watch that I don't eat too many foods with seeds in them, and I'd be OK.

But of course, it doesn't end there. Flash to Monday, 8/21. Two days ago. I had a bout with the poops again, no pain though. I knew this was to last for a bit as my intestines, and this is another quote from the doctor, "Will be angry for a bit." The bout though, came with a headache, some nausea, and my tongue had a thick coat of goop on it.

So, off I go again to the Doctor today, and here's what she tells me.

It turns out on my follow-up blood test that was 'All Clear' and 'Fine' not 2 weeks prior, was in fact, NOT fine. The lab DID NOT send my Lipase Enzyme count over to her, until YESTERDAY. That Lipase count was part of what was High during my ER visit, so, they pretty much ignored half of what was wrong with my blood until yesterday.

And yes you read that right, I saw the doctor today, got this news, gave blood again, and THEN went to get my root canal finished. Oh sweet day.

Throw in the fact that my cell phone barely works anymore, and I've had quite the month.

The saga will continue tomorrow, I see a Gastro-Intestnal Specialist at 9:15AM and he will try to figure out what the heck is wrong with me. Here is what my search on High Levels of Lipase turned out:

"A high lipase level may be caused by:
Diseases of the pancreas, such as pancreatitis or cancer of the pancreas.
Problems with the gallbladder, such as gallstones and inflammation (cholecystitis).
Chronic kidney disease.
Problems with the intestines, such as bowel blockage (obstruction) or tissue death (infarction).
Infection, inflammation, or cancer of a salivary gland.
Peptic ulcer disease.
Alcohol or drug abuse. "

Wish me luck, Fury Fans. Talk to you all soon!