Friday, November 10, 2006

My little friends have worn out their welcome

I have been dealing with an upset stomach (general indigestion) for many months. It really only bothers me when I eat something, so food has been an enemy, and the condition has been constant with no relief. For months. I've been trying to tough it out, hoping maybe it will go away on its own. Also tried eliminating dairy, gluten, alcohol, spicy foods, etc. from my diet with no help and all OTC meds and herbs have done zilch.

I hated the idea of going to the doctor with it, because... well... going to a gastroenterologist is something I try to avoid for various reasons, not to mention the $$$$$. OK, so not too smart on my part so I broke and saw the doctor.

She had my blood tested for Helicobactor Pylori, and I'm not sure why the blood test was necessary since the next day she put a scope in my stomach to look for it, and found it, yes. It's a bacterial infection that causes all sorts of problems, they work themselves into the stomach lining and become happy campers. If untreated they can bring about ulcers or even cancer.

Today I had another test that may or may not be related to the little buggers, but I still had to do it. No needles and tubes with this one, I was expecting it to be something like a barium swallow, egg was mentioned, so I was imagining some gawdawful nasty drink. Instead, the tech takes me to the waiting area and says he's going to cook me a sandwich. It's going to be radioactive egg-beaters (scrambled) on toast... asks if I want grape or strawberry jelly. There are salt and pepper shakers there if I want them. I also have to drink a half cup of water, must finish the whole thing in 10 minutes, and must wear rubber gloves while eating so I don't crap up the machinery with greasy fingers. Then they track the nukes as they go through over a couple of hours.

I tell the guy that I usually don't eat eggs as an entree and avoid them if possible, and he says, "Well you don't normally eat barium either", so I figure he has a point.

A woman patient passed through the waiting area and was very puzzled, remarks "Salt? Pepper?" I hold up my hands with the rubber gloves already on. She shakes her head with an "I'm outta here" look. So after a couple of tedious and annoying mornings I am being treated with antibiotics for these damned little buggers that have been messing me up for a long time.

I was looking for more info on these things on the net (that must drive the doctors crazy but I still think it's a good idea), and found this really bizarre and unique shop called "Giant Microbes". It's a collection of plushie stuffed microbe toys, representing such things as athlete's foot, mad cow disease, halitosis, ebola, syphilis... long list. You can even get a plushie "scum". All this just in time for the holiday gift-giving season and they would be excellent gag gifts anytime! Pictured is my very own microbe H. Pylori, which is being sold there under the name "Ulcer".


Undeniable Liberal said...

So, are the buggers in your belly gone yet?

Anonymous said...

Oh, Blueberry, I do so hope the docs find the right meds to make those litle nasties go away. And soon, too.

Blueberry said...

I've got a 2-week run of antibiotics here, and hope it gets them all.