Sometimes I don’t know what to write, but I write anyway. This is because I know I should write. This leads to the more of a train-of-thought style blog entries that end up going wherever chaotic place my mind decides to take me.
Today is not one of those days…
So much has happened since my last post just under a month ago that my head is spinning and I’m not sure where to start. However, I guess I’ll just go in chronological order.
At the end of August, on the 26th, my abdominal pains problem reared its ugly head again. Sharp pain started in the left lower quadrant along with a burning inflamed feeling all throughout my lower abdomen. A bit of nausea and bloating were present as well, along with some diarrhea. Fun stuff!
So, after four days of it getting progressively worse to the point of not being able to sleep or work, I went back to the Urgent Care Centre. Fortunately, as is often the case at my town’s site, the wait was almost nil and I went right in.
Oddly enough, they put me on strict isolation precautions because of the diarrhea since this is a rare, but real, symptom of COVID-19. So, I got to wait with my eBook in my own private room.
They did blood work which proved infection, and decided that the previous suspicion of diverticulitis was still the likely cause. The difference is that now it’s not a one-off problem, but a reoccurring problem being that the flare-ups were only three months apart. With this, they decided that it was much more important to have a confirmed diagnosis. She sent me for an abdominal x-ray and handed me requisitions for an abdominal ultrasound on Monday and CT scan on Wednesday. Of course, I went home with a prescription of Cipro and Flagyl.
Twelve hours after the first antibiotics, I started to rapidly improve, but it still took about a week for the symptoms to completely go away.
On Monday I went for the abdominal ultrasound. It was easy peasy, but on the way home, they called me back since the radiologist wanted to see a few more things. This, of course, freaked me the fuck out! All sorts of crazy things went through my mind, but I just tried to keep my cool. The fortunate thing that came from this is that while the tech couldn’t tell me anything during the ultrasound, the radiologist who did the repeat scan could. She just wanted to take a closer look at the area that I was having pain. She said that what she saw is pretty consistent with diverticulitis, but that ultrasound isn’t a definitive tool for confirming this. However, those simple words really made a huge difference in my anxiety. I went from thoughts of giant tumors and perforated bowels to thinking that it’s probably just diverticulitis…not that that doesn’t come with its own set of problems.
So, after another couple days of recovery, it was time to head for my CT scan. They sent me out to the beautiful town of Canmore since apparently it’s faster and easier to get an appointment. This was definitely evidenced by the fact that I had an appointment four days later.
Having a CT was very strange. I have taken countless ICU patients for a CT scan, but have never had one myself. I was excited to find out what that hot flash feels like that they warn everyone about. I can confirm, it is HOT! It felt like I was stuck in a very hot dry sauna and breathing in the fiery air.
The plus side of having my CT scan in Canmore is that it is absolutely beautiful there! So, I spent some time being touristy. I wandered the streets, bought a new essential oil diffuser, and got myself a Sea-Monkeys kit. Of course, I enjoyed all the mountain views.
Later that night, my doctor called and said, “Yup, it looks like diverticulitis.” She said I should go see my family doctor immediately and get a consult for a gastroenterologist. The only problem with that is that I don’t have a family doctor.
So, I have been on a hunt for a family doctor. They are almost non-existent in my town, but I have been calling and putting myself on every waiting list I could find. I even started looking in the city. Finally I found one in town and have an appointment in a couple weeks.
In the meantime, I have been making lifestyle changes. I am working out 30-60 minutes a day and counting calories with a 1000 calorie deficit again. Even more importantly, I am counting my fiber intake. I always assumed that with all the vegetables I eat, I would get enough. Nope! Even with supplements, high fiber cereal, whole wheat breads/pasta etc., I still have to pay attention to make sure I make it. But on the plus side, my poops have never been healthier! All these measures should help prevent/improve flare ups.
Everything was going well until today when the abdominal pain and diarrhea returned.
Deep breath. Count to ten.
We will see what tomorrow will brings.
The hard truth is that this could end up in surgery sooner than later. Something I’m not interested in.