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Summer Update

Hey all! As you may or may not have noticed, I’ve been taking a break from blogging for most of the summer. In about two weeks the fall semester starts up and I’m excited to get going with my classes. So here’s a recap of my summer:

MAY

  • Finished spring semester.34859953_10155858655286785_2505407728319463424_o
  • GI appointment- started taking acid-reducing meds and stopped taking all NSAIDs on the assumption my abdominal pain= peptic ulcers.
  • Neurology appointment – talked about trying new migraine drug Aimovig when Dr. L get access, follow up in August for that purpose.
  • First appointment with Urologist because of frequent UTIs.
  • Got job as freelance transcriptionist with Rev. Started doing that.
  • Also got job as freelance copywriter, started doing that as work is available.
  • Went kayaking for the first time!

JUNE

  • Working and stuff.

    IMG_2455

    We did forget to wear our Gandalf costumes though… Next time.

  • Turned 23 (I know, I know, I look like I’m 18 still).
  • Got a sinus infection that took 5 weeks of antibiotics + 1 week of steroids to clear up.
  • Went horseback riding for the first time! What?! It was awesome and it turns out
    I’m not even allergic to horses!
  • Cystoscopy. Umm, yeah not fun, but not as bad as I worked it up to be. Of course everything looked fine so back to square one (no idea) on the UTIs.

JULY

  • Working and stuff.
  • Yeah not too much to report from July.

AUGUST

  • Came to the parental’s for a couple weeks.
  • Appointment with Dr. C (allergist/immunologist). Because of Dr. C and his staff’s tireless efforts and benevolent harassment of Aetna personnel, I got approved to switch to Cuvitru! (I did a free trial of Cuvitru in April and I tolerate it much better than Gamunex)
  • First shipment of Cuvitru, first Cuvitru infusion. No more 3-hour infusions! No more infusion hang-overs and migraines! Woot woot. I really love Cuvitru if you can’t tell.
  • Appt. with Dr. L (neuro) again- got ball rolling to start Aimovig. It’ll probably be 2-6 weeks before I get to start and then it takes 1-3 months to see full effects, but I’m excited to try it!
  • Watched a bit of my little bro’s JV football scrimmage – he scored 3 touchdowns, like a beast, but only after we’d left of course.
  • Next week: get to move into new place at school.
  • Two weeks: fall semester starts!

 

So yeah there’s my summer in a nutshell. It’s been good. Not the most exciting summer, but good. I’ve especially enjoyed working as a freelancer – remote work where I choose my own hours has been so awesome and allowed me to work over the summer for the first time ever!

My tummy is doing better, but after three months I’m still having to take acid-suppression meds morning and night, and stay away from all NSAIDs. Thankfully, I have found some natural remedies that help a ton. I’ll write about those next time maybe.

Hope your summer is going well!

Gallbladder Pain, But No Gallbladder…

A few months ago I started having episodes of intense abdominal pain, often accompanied by nausea, that were reminiscent of the gallbladder attacks I had last year. The only problem is, obviously, I had my gallbladder removed. So it shouldn’t be hurting…

It Feels Like a Bad Gallbladder, But Doesn’t Act Like It.

This pain was a little bit different than with my gb. There were no consistent food triggers I could find. Sometimes any food would cause pain, sometimes lack of food would cause pain. This is in contrast to gallbladder attacks being fairly predictably caused by food, especially fats.

Like gallbladder attack pain, this pain almost always started in my upper right abdomen, under my rib cage, but would spread towards the middle and to the left. And I swear it felt almost exactly like the intense, stabbing, bursting/pressure type pain I would get from my lousy gallbladder. It was seriously so weird.

By April I was waking up every night with pain that would keep me up for at least 30 minutes, often a lot longer. During the day my stomach seemed to disagree with everything and I was taking Zofran just about every day to manage the nausea.

I even ended up in the ER for an episode of pain and nausea the evening before my finals started (around the same time of year I went to the ER last year for gb stuff, though I didn’t know it was that at the time). The folks at the ER were also confused, because my pain sounded just like gallbladder pain, but… no gallbladder…

Hmmm, Ulcers Maybe?

867FF43D-D3F6-4849-8020-98D406B7BD07.gifWell I got in to see my GI shortly after finishing my finals. I experienced some serious dejavu–one year later, same time of year, same office, same GI, same symptoms. She even said basically the same thing as she had one year before: she suspected ulcers. So she wanted me to try acid suppression medication to see if it helped and we would also schedule an ultrasound of my biliary system.

The thing is last year I tried the acid suppression medication and it didn’t help. In fact it made me feel lousy. And then we found out she was wrong and it was my gallbladder. So I was not surprised, but not thrilled when she said the same thing again.

This time though, the trial ulcer meds really helped. The first day I was on them I slept through the night, without being awoken by pain, for the first time in weeks and weeks.

So we’re doing a month worth of treatment with Prilosec in the morning and Zantac at night and then we’ll see where we’re at. If my symptoms return I’ll probably need to have an upper endoscopy to actually see what’s in there and test to see if I’m infected with H. Pylori–one of the most common causes of peptic ulcers.

No NSAIDs For Me. Good Thing Tylenol’s So Effective…

In the meantime I’ve been instructed to stay away from all NSAIDs. My frequent use of NSAIDs for migraines is one of the things that has caused her to suspect ulcers (twice). Certainly they could be a problem. But staying off them is no easy thing. Even though my migraines are doing better with a preventative regimen of Prozac and Verapamil, and especially since I started Concerta for my ADHD, my head still hurts a lot. And Tylenol is not super helpful. But so far I’ve been able to manage. Thank goodness it’s summer.