Let’s be honest, the last time I cried was yesterday. And before that, the day before yesterday, and so forth.
But yesterday was an extra bad day for me, I had doctor’s appointments and dentist appointments, and a migraine that would make a grown man cry.
Yesterday was my Meckel’s Scan, to look for my cause of bleeding and symptoms in my stomach. I had to get up at 5:30 to be ready for my appointment at 8, with no food or water past midnight. I couldn’t even have coffee when I woke up, which meant an already bad start to my day.
I arrived for my scan early, around 7:45, and completed the dreaded pregnancy urine test – Negative, as per usual, even though I am on cycle day 35 as of today. Damn Moon Sickness.
I went in for my scan around 8:30, and was taken to a room for a consultation, with questions from doctors as to why I was receiving this rare test. I thought this room was where my scan would be, so I prepped with lots of photos to share, of course. (Below)
But, I was in the wrong room. I was transferred to a different area, with dozens of machines being run.
After my consult, I was given my injection and placed in their machine, I was NOT allowed to take a picture because of “government rules”, according to the doctor. I did manage to try to steal a selfie. (Below: You can only see the monitor that I got to watch during my hour scan. The black area showed me my stomach and bladder lit up on screen.)
After my scan, I had to wait for radiology to read my scan, which showed some questionable areas in my stomach. There looked to be a specific area of question, so he requested more scans be done. We took lateral (side) views of my abdomen which took no time at all compared to the others.
And then we took more images – 128 more – with a machine that circled my body, taking an image every 30 seconds. This scan was supposed to take 20 minutes, and then I needed to leave – I had a dentist appointment scheduled in Georgetown at 11 (I was in Lexington), and it was already going on 10:30. I had already been there for 3 hours!
For this scan, I got to lay my hands above my head on a metal headrest, with their emergency lights glaring in my eyes. I was just beginning to get a migraine at this point, and I knew this 37-minute scan was going to cause it. I tried to lay as still as possible for the scan, but towards the end, my mind had lost it. I was agitated and fidgeting on the table, trying to cover my eyes from the light, and trying to force a migraine away.
I had even mentioned to Philip that morning that I should bring my migraine medicine, just in case, but I decided against it. BIG MISTAKE.
By the time the scans were done and I had spoken to the radiologist, I was ready to tear apart my skull to remove the pressure from my head. It was at this point that Philip also gave me the bad news that his Grandmother had passed away this morning, adding even more bad news to our day. Please send your thoughts and prayers to the Horsley Family, Ruth was a wonderful, kind person.
My scans were considered “normal”, go figure, but that doesn’t mean the Meckel’s diverticulum isn’t there, it just means another scope is going to be done on me; a Double Balloon Enteroscopy. This will allow the GI clinic to see further into my small intestine, to get a look at the ulceration’s in my terminal ileum, to see if Meckel’s diverticulum is the cause. This scope has to be done by an outside source – either UC or IU, whichever performs the procedure because the VA in Lexington does not offer it. I’ll probably have to wait a month until the VA wants to set up this scope appointment, so updates are ‘to be continued’. (See Another Week in My Crohn’s Life & My Crohn’s Journey )
After the scans, Philip and I headed to Georgetown. He had already notified the dentist office, and my appointment was now at 3, along with Philip’s appointment. I tried to call my mom, but I continued to feel worse, and I was getting very car sick on the way home. Philip dropped me off at the house to lie down, and he went out to grab lunch for us before our next appointments of the day.
As soon as I got home, I was sick. I physically had to run into the house, without even saying hello to my Bilbo, and I had to puke. Immediately. It was as if I could taste the Saline they injected for my first scan, and I was violently throwing up bile due to a lack of food or water – Remember I couldn’t have any before the scans? My appointments and scans took 4 hours, and my migraine wasn’t helping. I tried to lie down until Philip got home, and I could not even stomach one bite of my lunch. What a waste.
When it was around 12:30, the dentist office called to let us know that we could come in early, which was not ideal for my pounding head, but we decided to go in around 2 instead of 3. At that point, I had already taken 2 of my migraine pills, Imitrex, and I couldn’t have any more until 24 hours had passed. My head was still hurting, but my eyes weren’t hurting as bad, and I hoped it would go away.
In my appointment with the dentist, we planned for a deep cleaning and the laser treatment – I had some bacteria with one of my back teeth and needed to fix it. The dentist had me sit in their reclining chair, and leaned me all the way back, and placed the light over my face. I had to get glasses to wear because I knew the light would just induce my migraine back to full force. She ‘pressure washed’ my teeth, which was not completely unpleasant. There were a few moments of pain, but she used ‘normal’ tools for my pain areas. After the cleaning came the laser.
I had assumed that I would be sitting, open-mouthed, with a light glaring on my teeth. NO. This was a physical laser, and I knew it would hurt. I asked the dentist and she told me it was “like tattooing your gums or the inside of your mouth”.
Now, I like my tattoos and all, but not on my teeth and gums. I don’t cry getting tattooed and I try not to get my tattoo work done with a migraine from hell beating me up.
The laser treatment hurt like something I hadn’t experienced, and I had to have her numb one side of my mouth from the pain. I wanted to numb my whole entire mouth, but the Epinephrine has caffeine, and it can induce a headache, go figure. So we opted for my most painful area, but even after the numbing, I could feel it. She shook my head as she inserted the numbing needle, but stopped once she remembered I had a migraine.
At this point, I cried. I could barely catch my breath due to all of the pain at once. There was the pain in my tooth still, and it sent ‘nerves’ up my spine, and I could feel it in my already hurting head. I was lying in her chair, with these dark green sunglasses on, wiping my numb mouth and drool, with tears running down my face. Philip was done with his appointment first, he didn’t need the laser, which means he got to come watch this happening. Lucky him.
I tried to be stoic, and let the dentist finish her lasering of my teeth, but I had to have her stop a few times to regain myself. My mouth hurt, my stomach hurt, and my head felt like it was ready to explode.
When we got home, it took everything I had to find a comfortable position on the couch where my head wouldn’t hurt. We took baby Bilbo outside, and I had another episode of vomiting hit me like a brick wall. Have you ever had an episode of vomiting to where you couldn’t regain your breath and you felt like Regan from The Exorcist in her vomit scenes? That was me yesterday x2.
Philip and I sat in the dark most of the evening, and I wore sunglasses inside when the lights had to be on. I was useless yesterday evening, and even Philip had to make dinner – a rarity in our home. I have only had a few episodes to where my migraines completely debilitate me, and yesterday was one of my better days if you can believe it.
I know some take my complaining as attention seeking or seeking pity, but my stories are the opposite of what I am trying to accomplish. People usually see the bubbly, outgoing and boisterous Mary, but rarely do people get to see the sick side. Rarely do people get to see me ripping at my hair to stop the pain in my head or the vomiting and nausea I experience. Rarely do people get to see me immobile on my couch, unable to move for fear of making it worse, covering my eyes from any light source, and fighting to find relief from my symptoms. Rarely do people see me catching myself getting lightheaded, trying to hold on to anything near before I almost faint. And all of this can happen in a day. It is EXHAUSTING.
I have pains and feelings and emotions that I can’t explain. I have to try to put into words all of the things that are going on when there is no way to fully describe it. I have to find a way to vent about this because keeping it to myself is doing no good, and I hope others can relate and find the humor in it all.
I’m not sure if everything I am experiencing is systemic of Crohn’s Disease, but everyone’s battle is different.
So yeah, I may be a big baby, crying at the dentist office, but there is so much more going on INSIDE of me, things you can’t possibly see on the outside. But, I guess, it could be worse.
My Crohn’s Disease Update: I will be scheduling my next scope – the double balloon – as soon as my GI clinic reviews the Meckel’s scan imaging. The Budesonide treatment, which is currently day 34, has not begun to work for my bowels. I am still questioning whether or not it will fix my symptoms are not. I finally have a dermatology appointment scheduled in a few weeks, but watch all of my symptoms disappear before then. I still have to wait until May to see my fertility doctor, but Philip did get a consult for his SA! He will be ‘locked and loaded’ for it soon. (See Infertile Myrtle and the Nurse Who Assumed and My Crohn’s Disease Journey To Diagnosis).
Side Note: I have been asked by a few blogs and sites to contribute some writings about relationships, beauty tips and products. Look out for those soon!
More Info On Crohn’s Disease at www.CCFA.org & CrohnsandColitis.com & crohnsdisease.com
For more information about infertility and the VA, please visit Resolve & VA.Gov
Also Found: Huffington Post
All Photos Mine or from My Pinterest
Hi Mary. One of the things (I think) that makes it possible for my partner to live with Crohn’s (it’s over 25 years since he was diagnosed) is stoicism. The shadow side of that of course is that people don’t realise the extent of the uncertainty, pain, and general life-disruption that goes along with Crohn’s (and yes, I understand this is even worse for women than men). I think you’re doing a good thing in telling your story. Go girl 🙂 (and thanks for stopping by my blog)
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Thanks for stopping by and sharing. I know it can truly disrupt every aspect. Its definitely not been fun so far. I’m so glad you read my story, I look forward to reading your future posts!
GOSH! I am so sorry to hear this. For someone going through such hell, you are very stoic and strong! I will add my voice to the many that are wishing you good health in days ahead.
I noticed your follow and decided to check your blog out. You’ve got a new follower here!
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I can’t thank you enough for taking the time to read my story. I do appreciate all the wishes for good health in the days ahead. I do appreciate the follow, I can’t wait to read your future posts. Thank you again!
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