Friday, January 7, 2011

Cycles, aka 'If It's January, It Must Be GI Problems'

My body's unpredictability has gotten almost predictable. 

Let's see -- it's January, and I'm having GI issues again. (And my gastroenterologist's assistant is once again not returning my calls asking to schedule an appointment. Sigh. I've been seeing that specialist since 2000 and I adore him, but I've been frustrated ever since his small practice merged into a large one.)

For four consecutive years, I developed weird new symptoms in early springtime (February to mid-March) and have had an intense flare up of my "usual" symptoms. So I'm bracing myself to see what happens this year and reminding myself not to get freaked out the way I usually do when something new goes wrong with my body. (If the Powers That Be are reading, I'd be thrilled to have my "weird new symptoms" this year be the disappearance of all my old stuff. Any chance you could make that happen?)

Then summer comes, and the heat blows me away despite our central air conditioning and air-conditioned cars. 

Autumn has historically been a good season for me, but with Ellie now attending a Jewish day school and therefore having way too many short weeks of school at the start of the year because of all the Jewish holidays, I'm guessing Autumn will no longer be my "good" time of year. 

By the time those holidays (Rosh Hashana, Yom Kippur, Sukkot) are over, we're approaching Thanksgiving and the December holiday season, which combines with Ellie's birthday, and I'm pretty sure the November/December/January craziness is the cause of my early spring flares.

I'm not really sure what I'm getting at here. But I find the realization that, for instance, it's likely I'm heading into a flare-up that will knock me on my butt for the fifth year in a row to be distressing, if only because if it's predictable, I should be able to do something to avoid it. Right? And yet it's not like we're attending tons of holiday parties in December. (We got invited to two Chanukah parties this year, I attended the first and reluctantly sent Scott & Ellie to the second without me. And I think that may be the grand sum of holiday party invitations we've received since I got sick ...)

Ellie's birthday party is this weekend, and we make it as stress-free as possible by having it at another location and timing it so that all we provide are snacks, cake and drinks. No having to clean the house before and after the party. There's always an activity as part of the party; this year's is a ballet party, last year was gymnastics, previous years we've done the bouncy places and arts & crafts parties. All of the parties have always had activities led by someone else. This year, my goal is not to repeat last year's experience of passing out in the bathroom at the end of the party. Possibly the grossest thing ever was waking up with my cheek against a grungy bathroom floor, and then not having the strength to sit up for awhile. Ewww, it makes me shudder just thinking about it again! 

I guess it's one thing to recognize a pattern, but something else to know what to do about it. 

And on the other hand, it seems like on shows like Mystery Diagnosis, it's the "startling new symptom" that develops that finally gets the patient diagnosed and, ideally, cured. So, if I have to develop another weird new symptom this spring, let's all hope it's the one that helps the doctors figure out what's wrong with me and how to treat it so it's manageable if not cured. (Powers That Be? You still reading? If my symptoms can't all just disappear miraculously on their own, how about giving me the symptom that helps my doctors diagnose me? And, if it's not asking too much, can the diagnosis be something that's fairly easily cured? Pretty please?)



WinnyNinny PooPoo said...

I'm very sympathetic to the GI issues. Also know what it is like to wait for a specialist...sigh...

Sally said...

I too am having a GI flare & find myself taking valium & compazine to slow it down to a "liveable" level. Also, I crash sometime between late Jan./feb.every year. Yippy! Most of my team is at OHSU, but, I also use a small clinic, too. OHSU has electronic support & multiple ways too find your