Tuesday, July 31, 2012

mostly well

Yesterday afternoon was the last of my follow-up appointments.  Since we've been home I've been having tests, seeing doctors and getting test results:

* The ovarian cyst has disappeared.  My CA-125 test was normal also. 

* The enlarged, persistent cervical lymph node is still there but hasn't changed.  It has none of the hallmarks of a cancerous node.

* My blood work made all the doctors happy.

* The gastric emptying study was interesting.  There was no sign at all of gastroparesis, with transit out of the stomach completed by 60 minutes, which is relatively fast.  However, there was significant reflux at the same time.  This finding is consistent with how gross I felt lying on the table to be scanned so soon after eating. 

The stomach/reflux issue is the worst thing I'm dealing with now.  Having the Prilosec (omeprazole) doubled to 40mg twice a day hasn't helped.  I think it has actually made it worse,  particularly since I was taking so much ibuprofen while we were away.  I may have given myself an ulcer(!).  I am frustrated also with my weight, which keeps going up even though I am not eating horribly and I haven't been just sitting around.  I really thought that spending more than 12 hours prepping, painting, and reassembling DS1's room last weekend would have helped me lose a pound or two, but instead I gained a couple. 

I did research last night and have decided to try the advice/protocol here: Get Rid of Heartburn and GERD Forever in Three Simple Steps.  I am fairly confident that my internal flora is in order, so I'm working on the diet and supplement angles.  I am encouraged by how much the Yogi ginger tea I found last week at Trader Joe's is helping, particularly since the ingredients there are listed in the "Bitters" section of the discussion on Kresser's site.

I'm also starting an exercise regimen, combined yoga and strength training for about 20 minutes a day to help with overall fitness and stress reduction.  School is starting tomorrow (students return next Wednesday) and I know that is increasing my stress levels, which isn't helping.

The RA?  I'm on a waiting list at my rheumatologist's. Since I haven't seen her for over a year, I need a 30 minute appointment, and she's not doing them now.  (When I explained this to my endo, she said, "That sucks."  Yes, yes it does.) I'm hopeful that the gut and the RA are related, so if I can get the stomach in order, this flare will finally subside.  

On the other hand, nothing is stopping me from doing what I really want to do.  I don't feel great but I'm not incapacitated and I do feel marginally better than when we first got home, thanks to the ginger tea.  I wish I felt better for the beginning of the school year, but I'm functional, and that will have to do.

1 comment:

nina said...

I'm happy that you're trying to address the reflux itself rather than the symptoms. Bittman in NYT got it right, I think. There's a lot that can be accomplished with diet rather than with PPIs (like Prilosec). I say this as one who has been on PPIs for nearly twenty years. So many unexplained secondary issues -- including anemia -- can be traced to PPIs these days. So, I'm really cutting milk to almost nothing and coffee as well to just one tiny one a day. And no meds! It *mostly* works.

I have to say that age is a curse in terms of weight. You eat well, you move and you still gain! I feel your pain here. It's an ongoing battle. I find that a little movement helps a lot. So yay for a little movement!