21 February 2007

Gastrointestinal Update

Yesterday I was finally able to see my gastroenterologist, Dr. Stiner (for those of you needing to catch up, click here & here for a description of my stomach troubles). As expected, the appointment was brief as we went over the types of symptoms I had been experiencing & describing at length how those were affecting me.

Sadly, I wasn't surprised to see that when they weighed me in, I had lost an additional 3 pounds since I was last weighed at the doctor at the end of December (this makes a total of 12 pounds lost since this ordeal began back in June; 10 of these pounds have been since November 2006). If you haven't seen me since my college days, I had already shed a few pounds & pant sizes from working out regularly & good, healthy eating. I maintained a healthy weight for years until the stomach troubles started. With my DNA, I never thought I'd have the problem of not being able to keep the weight on! It concerns me since my body may not be absorbing nutrition from the food I eat & whatever my condition is also has resulted in a greatly decreased appetite.

I have been scheduled for an Upper Gastrointestinal Endoscopy on March 7 (two weeks from today). Basically, they will give me some drugs to knock me out, take a tube with a camera & go through my esophagus to get a view of the whole upper GI tract (this includes the esophagus, stomach, and the upper portion of the small intestine). This way they can see any lesions, ulcers, or other abnormalities that could be causing the stomach pain I've been experiencing over the last several months. This should only take about 45 minutes to an hour after which someone will be driving me home. I will be taking the following two days off of work since I tend to stay loopy longer than the average patient after taking narcotics!

He listed a few multi-syllabic medical terms indicating what he thinks it could be given a description of my symptoms, but the forthcoming tests will really be the only indication of what's really going on down there.

I will keep you all updated as I found out more!


  1. Kirsten, thank you for sharing this. I had been wondering how that whole ordeal was going for you. I'm glad for the update but sad to hear you're still losing weight. Body troubles can be the most unnerving, not just because it often takes so long to get into the right doctors, but also because it takes so long for them to administer all the tests and finally determine what's wrong. All that time, you continue to feel like your body's for some reason betrayed you. You keep living with it day by day, even though the significant moments that help illuminate the real issue are few and far between. I look forward to hearing what you find out. And I'm glad you're going to rest easy afterward!

  2. You hit the nail on the head, Christianne! Are you sure you can't read minds?? :o) You captured my frustrations & concerns perfectly. It does feel a bit like my body has betrayed me since I do my utmost to take good care of it.

    Anyway, I genuinely appreciate your concern & empathy. Thank you!!

  3. yuck, kirsten...i hope they get you all straightened out...sounds miserable! my husband had the UGI procedure done a couple of years ago- his ended up being his gall bladder, though. prayers for you and keep us updated!

  4. Oh Kirsten, I am praying for you. I know how miserable it is to have these issues. Don't worry about the UGI. I had one the day after my gall bladder was removed to remove the remaining stones in my common duct. They warn that your throat may be soar afterward, but mine wasn't. I woke up not knowing any difference. Anesthesia is great, but it does do weird things to your brain. Keep us posted. We want you healthy!

  5. Kirsten, we are praying for you. Would you mind if I shared this request with my Sunday School Class?

    I hope that this time of pain ends soon and that you will someday be able to look back on it as a season in your life that led you deeper into the grace of God.

    II Cor 4:16-18 Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.

  6. I know we are all scattered across the country & living in different states, but could we all get together sometime?? :o) Blogging is wonderful, but sometimes I just wish we could all get together in person!!

    Thank you all for your prayers, encouragement, & concern. I wish I could adequately express how deeply blessed I feel to have connected & reconnected with each one of you.

    Rebecca - please feel free to share this request with your class. I am both honored & humbled by your asking.

    May you all be blessed!!

  7. I say you all come visit me in sunny Florida for a week . . . :)

  8. It's 37 degrees here & raining today. I'm all for it!

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