18 September 2007

Sniffles & Stomach Matters

It's been awhile since I've shared anything on the health & wellness front, so I thought now would be an opportune time. Rest assured the adage holds here that no news is good news, but I do have some updates.

I find it only mildly ironic that as I sit here typing this, I am sniffling. Coughing. Clearing my throat of phlegm. Filling my trash bin with an inordinate amount of crumpled plain white facial tissue. So I'm eating some hot homemade soup, drinking my multi-green Kombucha, and enjoying the effervescent magic that is Airborne.

As far as gastrointestinal issues go, I've enjoyed many months of increased energy levels, little to no stomach trouble, and maintenance of a healthy weight. I'm still gluten-free and dairy-free and don't feel like I'm missing a thing. I'm able to enjoy meals out with more and more ease. And if pressed to assign a number to gauge how improved I feel, I'd say I'm anywhere between 80-90% better.

At first, this large an improvement was enough. But both my primary care doctor and I wondered about the remaining 10-20%.

While my energy and overall feeling of physical well-being has improved dramatically over the last five months, lab work reveals that all is not as it should be. I am still severely anemic, still experiencing lower-than-normal calcium levels, and there are days -- despite taking all the proper supplements and following the restricted diet -- where things are just off and noticeably not as they should be. I'm currently waiting on the results of labwork that will tell the naturopath whether or not I may be losing blood (however trace the amount) through the colon.

I recently sought a second opinion from another gastroenterologist. Where the last doctor seemed to be attempting to break records for how quickly he could usher patients out of his office, the new doc took his time with me. My first office visit lasted at least an hour. I felt taken seriously as a patient. There were no pat answers, no just take this antidepressant. The new doc postulated several theories as to what my ailment might be, and the battery of tests he would run in a very particular order so as to make that determination. I am grateful the least pleasant of all these tests (the colonoscopy) will be saved for last (and only if absolutely necessary)!

Tomorrow I go in for another endoscopy. This is the same test I had in early March, but this time the doctor is going to take a biopsy of the tissue. I will have my follow-up appointment with him on October 1 at which point I will either have a diagnosis or will move to the next test.

So I will continue to keep you all updated. I am increasingly hopeful that a proper diagnosis will enable me to pursue even better physical health!!

But for now, it's time for this stuffed-up blogger to take a nap ...


  1. glad to hear all this, kirsten....and i will continue to pray that the rest works itself out. so great that you found a doctor that made you feel 'heard'.

    hope your sniffles go away soon....

  2. Oof . . . so sorry to hear you are sick! How are you liking the Kombucha tea?

    This update was great to read. It's cool that you and your primary care doctor wanted to know about that remaining 10-20 percent! I really look forward to reading the updates as they come along, too.

  3. Thanks, Blue!! It's so great finally to be heard & taken seriously as a patient. This doc is definitely redeeming his profession (as far as I'm concerned). :o)

    Hi Christianne! I LOVE the Kombucha tea. I've been drinking it on a regular basis (probably 3-4 times per week) since I read about your raw foods fast. I love it. I do feel an improvement in my overall health & am convinced it contributed to the wonderful disappearance of those abnormal cells that came up on my annual
    exam in April.

    I'm glad my doc encouraged me in this direction too. She really insisted a second opinion would be a good idea & I'm finally on board with that assessment, so I look forward to seeing what the findings are!

  4. Oh my goodness -- I LOVE YOUR NEW PIC!! Very evocative of mood and setting. Makes you look like a real thinker -- which you are!

    So glad you've been enjoying the Kombucha. It's yum!

  5. I LOVE YOUR NEW PIC AS WELL - not that I didn't always think you were, but dude, you are hot!

  6. Glad you like the new pic. I took it a couple weekends ago (with my camera phone of all things) of a 'do I got done for a friend's wedding. I'd say it turned out alright!

    Ilse - you crack me up!!! And than you for the compliment. :o)

  7. Glad to hear your update. I hope you'll be on the mend in all ways soon. And, yes, the pic is lovely!