Brief break before the last Camp installment. I wanted to update folks about my health or lack thereof. In the week after returning from Camp Bliss, I found out that I was both gluten intolerant and packing kidney stones. I’ve had ongoing GI issues which my doc’s office wanted to treat by giving me anti-acid drugs. I’m funny about wanting to know WHY there’s a problem before conceding to take drugs to mask the symptoms. Imaginary friends have been urging me to take a GI test from Diagnos-techs b/c it’s super complete and tests for everything from h. pylori to lactose intolerance to giardia. However, doctors have to have an account with them to order the test, so I had to cheat on my office and take up with a new guy. but I got my test, dammit. I pooped on plastic wrap and I spat into a tube and I mailed it off (bad job: opening those boxes).
Turns out I am gluten intolerant. And not just a little bit, like “hey, maybe cut down on the bread, dude.” I am tin shack in the back swamps of Mississippi intolerant. Deliverance intolerant. Also, I have but the tattered remains of an immune system in my gut. Whee! So I’m on a super pro-biotic protocol and avoiding gluten like the poison it apparently is. No bread, no pasta, no fun.
Then, as if that weren’t enough, I was up all night Wednesday night, moaning and shuffling from bed to toilet to couch to toilet. Terrible back pain, constant need to pee. Oh yes, kidney stone. Trip to the ER on Thursday, blessed, blessed pain meds, and….nothing. The scan showed that the stone causing the trouble is 6mm, which is like the Hope Diamond of kidney stones (I win at Calcium Deposits!) and that it was about 2/3 of the way down the ureter. I was to expect some more “discomfort” (oh, is that what we’re calling it?), and was given some lovely percoset. However, I was cured by diagnosis. I took some ibuprofen at home and that was it. No pain. Also: no stone. I’ve been peeing into a bucket ever since and nothing.
Saw a urologist today. When I said that maybe I’d missed it, he assured me that no, I’d know it if it passed and I’d “hear a ping.” But he also said that the opening to the bladder is only 4mm and he doesn’t think it can get through. So he started pressing on my back and my sides, clearly expecting me to wince b/c he said “doesn’t his hurt?” no. “Well, I don’t know WHAT is going on.” he says. Love that. Also, he said “how much soda do you drink?” None, ever. “iced tea?” Nope. I have one cup of coffee in the morning and a glass of wine some nights and other than that it’s water. “Do you drink a lot of water?” My pee looks much the same going out as it does going in. loads. “Then this should’t happen to you.” I couldn’t agree more. I told him about the gluten dx. “Ooooohhh, ” he said, “then that’s it.” The leaky gut, caused by the gluten, makes it so that my body does not absorb minerals correctly. Calcium meant to go elsewhere ends up forming stones (so I can now expect all my teeth to fall out and my bones to break, I assume).
So he sent me away for a week. Keep peeing. then get another scan to see if it’s still there. he doesn’t seem to think there’s any way it’s NOT there, but cannot figure out why I’m not all sore if it is. I’m hoping God has called it home. But if, when I go back, it’s still just squatting there, I will face a decision about whether to zap it and pass the bits or have him go in there and get the little devil (and its smaller friends). The second option apparently involves leaving a stint in my ureter which “will cause some discomfort for a few days.” Discomfort my hairy yellow butt.
so. I’m glad that my falling apart bits all seem to have one cause. And I’m annoyed that I didn’t get this test back in Feb when I first started noticing all the GI stuff. And I’m irked that it was such work on my part to get it in the first place. And I’m grateful for friends who told me what to do and pestered me until I did it. And for modern medicine, however flawed, that has diagnosed and given me pain meds when I need them.