Be grateful that I'm showing you all my new bling instead of the photo I showed my gastroenterologist when I saw him on Monday. :-)
Yep, I photographed my bloody diarrhea, and then put it on my iPod to bring with me to my appointment. And unlike my husband, my doctor was actually happy to see it because it showed that it wasn't bright red blood, but darker and therefore a little farther in. Anyway, Dr. C confirmed that he definitely wants to do a colonoscopy on me to see if he can determine what's been causing my GI issues lately.
He says there are several things he will be looking for signs: ulcers, diverticulosis, inflammation, scar tissue, etc. Since I have a history of peptic ulcers, it's possible to get them in my intestines also. There's also a possibility it's ulcerative colitis or Crohn's disease, both things I've read about online and knew he would be looking for signs of. I was a little surprised when he told me that lupus can also cause these symptoms and problems. I knew lupus can attack anywhere in the body, but the most common places it shows up are the kidneys, lungs or skin.
I asked how he would differentiate between, for example, an ulcer caused by lupus versus damage caused by ulcerative colitis. He says biopsies are the only way to tell, and apparently they can differentiate the cause of an ulcer (sometimes) by the cellular architecture once they get the biopsy into a lab.
I'm a little worried that by the time I have my colonoscopy on March 3, there won't be any sign of what was causing the problem, or exactly where it was located. And Dr. C says that happens sometimes, that the colon has healed by the time they get a look at it. So I'm torn between hoping that I'm close to being healed and hoping my problems last long enough for him to get a good look at and biopsy.
He also is going to do a regular endoscopy on me, looking at my stomach and duodenum because I've been having really bad reflux since my trip to the ER last month as well as increased stomach pain. I don't think it's bad enough to actually be a new peptic ulcer, but I'd like to know if I'm heading that direction again.
On the good news front, I've lost 13 pounds since my tummy woes started on Jan. 6. I'm finally just about rid of my last round of Prednisone poundage, and I can see my cheek bones again. Woohoo! :-) (Of course, with my luck that means I'm due for another round of Prednisone since it seems like every time I take it off, I get put back on it. Sigh. And my lungs are junky, and my internist has been threatening it again...)
Oh, and that bling up top? That's an amethyst we bought for a song while honeymooning in Brazil back in 2001. For the last few years (maybe even 5? I've lost count ...), Scott and Ellie have been buying the teeny-tiny diamonds for me one by one for each occasion (birthday, Chanukah, etc). The jeweler who made the pendant for me also made my engagement ring and both our wedding rings. When I received the insurance settlement for my 2006 uninsured motorist accident last fall, I told Julie that I was finally ready to get the piece made. And I picked it up today. Wow! It looks so much more sparkly than it did before those stones were set!! Now I just need a place or occasion to wear it ... :-)
Oh, and I've officially made it two weeks of being gluten-free. :-)