Thursday, November 19, 2009

The Long-Anticipated Doctor's Visit!

I had my long awaited doctor's appointment on Wednesday, finally, after months of delaying it because of insurance worries. I started off (after waiting half an hour for the doctor) by telling him what's been going on for the past five months. Remember, his initial diagnosis of my problems was gastritis. 


He now believes I have irritable bowel syndrome. Plus reflux. With a little heartburn on the side. He would like to refer me to a specialist, and have an endoscopy and a colonoscopy done (oh joy!), but we will wait until I have insurance because those are expensive. 

When he heard how I can obsess over things (like worrying about people dying) and how I stress a lot (to the point where I make myself sick over a test) he nodded and said that he wanted to try something that he had found helped patients with IBS that have this problem. 
He wants me to try anti-depressants. (I'm on dem CRAZY PILLS!) These will provide a filter between my obsessive worrying brain and my delicate as a flower stomach.

My initial reaction was "What?! Crazy pills! I'm not crazy! . . . am I crazy?" I did not actually say any of this out loud. Dr. Amazing gave me some free samples (love. my. doctor.) of Lexapro, which treats for, among other things, General Anxiety Disorder. And . . . huh. I took a test (not intended to be a diagnosing tool!) on the Lexapro site, (yes, I do research all of my medicine. I read the fine print), and gee whiz, I do have some of those . . . quirks. I was still kind of skeptical, in the realm of "I don't want anti-depressants. I'm not depressed! I'm a happy person!" but when I told Nick, right after my appointment, he said that was the first thing he'd heard that really made sense. 

Because I do stress out over ridiculous things, and have some obsessive/compulsive behaviors when it comes to worrying, and sometimes I can't stop. And if these pills can calm that part of me down so I can focus on getting my damn stomach healed, so much the better. 

For my stomach, my doctor sent home a few weeks free of Kapidex 60mg once a day (It is nearly the same as the Prevacid was, except it's two times the dose and this one is a delayed release capsule, so it lasts longer). I started that Wednesday night. So far, it is working much better than the Prilosec twice a day was, but I'm going to wait a few more days before giving it a really positive rating. (Plus, I had a micro test today that stressed me way out, which equals worse tummy and reflux. But it wasn't as bad as it has been! Yay!) 

He also suggested I think about seeing a therapist to discuss ways of coping with stress, besides rerouting all the bad to my stomach. I had tossed that idea around before but didn't ever do anything about it. Now I will. 

Last but not least, (oh, definitely not least), he thinks that I can start eating normally again, just obviously omitting foods that upset my stomach. People. I HAD EGGS FOR BREAKFAST. I LOVE EGGS. They were the most delicious damn eggs I've ever tasted. If my stomach is still behaving, in about one week I'll start adding dairy in again. (She says, after just eating caesar salad and alfredo from the soccer banquet for Quentin. Oops). 

So! To summarize that hodgepodge of information! The Kapidex should control the crazy acid, which should help the irritable bowel. The Lexapro (1/2 a tab once a day for one week, then one every day) should help me control my stress and worry, which will definitely help my stomach and irritable bowel. My doctor does not think these are forever things, just until my stomach is healed up and I learn better coping techniques. 

I, for one, have learned some very important lessons:

First, if your doctor tells you five months earlier that you should not take hard classes because it will stress you out, LISTEN TO THE MAN. Don't take chemistry and microbiology (and music!) and expect to have an easy time. 

Second, if you are having problems with some aspect of your life, be it coping with stress, or grief, or just plain aaaaackness, get help early, for God's sake.

Third, start a blog because it is very cathartic. 


Andra said...

You know! I was actually going to say IBS!!! It's really common, many people don't know how much so. BUT YAY!!!! I'm so glad they are helping you!! But don't rely on the anti-depressants, they are just treating the symptoms not the problem, you need to talk to someone. And! I'm always here if you want to talk, just call me!! So go eat a huge piece of chocolate cake! With a glass of (rice) milk! Now! :) And I'm taking music too!! ok sorry for my novella, but I'm home for the weekend also!!!!

Katie said...

YOU ARE?!!?! Girl, you should come hang out with Nick and I! :) I had some carrot cake . . . does that count? ;) Thank you! I know I can always talk to you, it's just hard to carve out the time. but I need to! Mwah!