As many of you know, Christen was in the hospital in late September of this year. When she came home she was on a bunch of medications, which seemed to work as she was getting progressively better. The doctors said she wasn’t healing as quickly as they would have expected, but even though she was going through cycles of getting better and worse (get better, then a little worse, then better, then a little worse, etc), we weren’t too worried because at least she was getting better.
That went on for a few weeks, but about a week ago she started into a dip of getting worse and hasn’t really pulled out of it. Instead the last few days have been really rough on her. She’s in a lot of pain and has been quite nauseas, so we went in for a followup appointment with the Gastrointestinal Specialist that she was seeing while she was in the hospital. First we were quite impressed with Dr. Rodriguez because he was able to remember every detail from the hospital a month ago (not just stuff he could have learned from reading reports, etc). Unfortunately, he was definitely worried because if the problem had just been an acute infection (as had been diagnosed at the hospital) it should have long since gone away with the antibiotics.
After talking to him for nearly thirty minutes answering questions about her medical history, the frequency and location of her pain, the timeline since the hospital, etc, he gave us his plan of action. Now let me stop here to say that this is my kind of doctor. He didn’t say “let’s try the antibiotics again” or even “it’s probably just _____, we’ll treat it with ___”. Instead he laid out several tests and a real plan for action.
He said that while he did think this was serious, he wanted us to know that he didn’t think it was any kind of cancer. Instead, the three most likely things would be Crohn’s disease, Celiac disease, or Ulcerative Colitis. He ordered a CT scan stat (she had one with contrast and one without in the hospital, but this has something different that will let him better see the intestinal walls), and the hospital called us this morning and scheduled it for today at 4pm. She will also go in for a colonoscopy on November 19th, and she has a lab-test list that’s two pages long*.
He gave Christen a few medications to try to help with the symptoms in the short term; Phenergan for nausea, Librax for the cramping pains, and Flagyl to make sure there’s no lingering infection. He stressed repetitively that if the pain and nausea are too much to handle with all these tests, he will admit her to the hospital for a few days and handle everything inpatient. Hopefully Christen will feel a little better with these meds, because I’ve had my fill of hospitals.
*The lab tests he requested that I was able to get down (I’m sure you’ll want to know Stacie):
- IgA level
- Tissue Transglutaminase IgC/IgA
- Iron, Ferritin, TIBC
- Stool O & P
- Iron Saturation
- Anti-sacharomyces cereviciae Ab IgA, IgG, and IgM
- Stool electrolytes (Na, K, CL)
- Folate Level
- Chromogranin A level N
- vitamin B12
- CBC W/DIFF