Summer of Falling Apart

Life has been endless doctor appointments lately. At least we seem to have ruled out rheumatoid arthritis today. But the real fun is just around the corner!

Danger signSo this summer has been a little… odd. The moment we move, I suddenly feel like crap. Back in June, just as we were in the process of starting to move, I had a bunch of weird things happen. Sorry, some of this is a little gross, but I like to speak frankly! The inside of my mouth was suddenly full of canker sores/ulcers/whatevers which made it highly unpleasant to eat and it was even messing with my ability to speak clearly (at least without sounding like Sylvester the Cat – thufferin thuccotash, indeed). And then: THE RUNS. Oh the diarrhea. I’ll save the details, but the short of it is that I’ve lost about 20lbs since this all started. And finally the pain and swelling in my ankles. I suddenly had Hobbit-like ankles and I could barely walk in the morning before taking a bunch of ibuprofen. Not to mention extreme fatigue. I’m not someone who regularly takes naps (see: work, toddler, etc.), but I was having to lay down after work and at extreme early times in the evening more often than not.

At first I wrote the beginnings of it all of to stress over moving and the various other pressures of life, but it just wasn’t letting up. And then The Medical Team (also known as my mom, a registered nurse, and my aunt, a nurse practitioner) started to notice how bad it was getting (giant bruised ankles will do that). I went to see my doctor (and I had to establish with someone new since we had just moved, of course) and she ran bloodwork and things got worse and I started taking prednisone to stop the inflammation. I’ve been on that for a couple weeks now and it’s made a huge difference. And the mouth sores went away too, so I’ve been able to eat normally again.

But we’re still not sure what’s going on. I saw a rheumatologist today and he doesn’t think I have anything like rheumatoid arthritis (which was a possibility with a family history). One of the other things that showed up in my bloodwork (besides excellently low cholesterol levels!) was some pretty notable anemia. I saw a gastroenterologist on Friday and now I get to have a colonoscopy and gastroscopy in a couple weeks to check out what’s really going on inside. They think I have a slow bleed (re the anemia) and the other symptoms might be pointing to IBD/Crohn’s/colitis/something like that. I need to have a little more bloodwork done too to rule out celiac and sarcoidosis. Or maybe it was just a fluke one-time confluence of issues?

I’m curious to know what I’ll feel like if/when I stop taking the prednisone (which I can’t take forever, obviously). I’m torn about whether I want the colonoscopy to actually find “something” as I don’t want to be A Person That Has That Ailment but I also want to be able to treat whatever is happening properly. It’s just been weird as, apart from somewhat frequent migraines (which, oddly, I haven’t really had since this all started), I barely even had a primary care doctor and now I’ve seen three different doctors in the course of two weeks. This stuff takes up way too much time! My WorkWork and MyWork schedules are all a-jumble – especially the MyWork stuff as the time I’ve usually had to spend on freelance stuff has been the time that is most up for grabs (when it wasn’t being affected by the symptoms themselves).

The big question now is whether to live-tweet my colonoscopy prep, a la Katie Couric…

3 thoughts on “Summer of Falling Apart

  1. Yikes! Sounds terrible. Hubby had a bout of something really nasty like that a few years ago, esp. the stomach issues. They tested for everything, found nothing, and eventually he recovered. Hopefully you’ll have the same experience.

    The meds they gave him for the colonoscopy made him pretty hilarious. Might want to live tweet after you come out of it!

  2. Q & I can’t believe we didn’t know you had a blog!!!!!!! We are shocked, excited & want to strongly reprimand you for not telling us but we will wait until you are feeling better. ps-Glad to hear things went well in surgery! Keep us updated you toad 😉

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