Monday, April 15, 2013

C Difficle, Crohn's, IBS, or None of The Above

Today, I went to visit my GI. My symptoms are somewhat bizarre. On one hand I am pain free 80%-90% of the day, have a good appetite (yesterday I felt like I was back in my Prednisone days looking up food), while on the other hand I have had diarrhea since early January 2013 (over 3 and ½ months). I have had minor cramping in my stomach as well. Sometimes I have to get up in the middle of the night to go. My energy level is lower than usual as well.  Speaking of sleep the one thing I have been craving is more sleep. On Saturday night I slept for 10 hours and still filled a little tired on Sunday (although this could be due to not getting much sleep the past week from being up in the middle of the night). For some reason I think more sleep has a positive impact on reducing symptoms since when I wake up it feels like my body has restarted in a way. A few times I have gone in my own bed and my mother washed the sheets. This brings me back to my hospital days when that did actually happen a few times.

My GI said he thinks it could be c.difficle, Crohn’s, or IBS. It was believed that I had IBS right before Crohn’s however my GI said it might have been something else. My internist said someone similar too. I can remember the IBS days of sitting in class getting cramps but also getting a bubble in my side (the kind you use to get in P.E. class).

 I did some blood work today and also did a stool test today that I will bring into Quest Diagnostics tomorrow. Actually, when I was doing the stool test I noticed some blood in my bowel movement which I have rarely seen. Personally, some entrepreneur could get rich making an at home stool test or a test that could be done on the toilet. I may have to go for a CT scan (the barium drinking game) but my GI wants to run the blood and stool test first before he does that.

This year has been somewhat of a struggle. I went on Dificid (which worked for about a week or so), then went back on it (only to learn it failed), then went on Questran (which worked for a while, then stopped working, then worked again, only to stop working eventually).  I guess I am tired of not knowing what is wrong with me which can be frustrating. My GI hopes its c.difficle (I do as well because if it is I will be doing a fecal transplant).

My parents and I talked about seeking out a second opinion. I live in Texas which has a decent Houston medical center however does not specialize in gastroenterology. The Mayo Clinic looks like it has a top notch program and I found Dr. Edward Loftus who seems to have extensive knowledge in Crohn’s and inflammatory bowel disease. As I write this he has over 174 publications in peer reviewed journals. There are of course pluses and minuses to doing this. The first is most likely spending a week or so in Minnesota and getting tests done so they can figure out what is wrong and then giving me a diagnosis.

Hopefully, doctors will figure out what I have so I can get better. I wish science had more answers when it came to Crohn’s. Although, I do know that each day we learn more about Crohn’s: what works, what doesn’t work, which will eventually lead to more treatments and hopefully a cure. 

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