Thursday, November 12, 2009

Endoscopic UltraSound Day

Pre Procedure Torture Chamber

Had my Endoscopic Ultrasound done today, at a hospital outpatient center I had never been to. The people there were great, the doctor doing the EUS was great, but the room I had to wait in after getting into a gown and getting an IV in was a headache sufferer torture chamber.

The Headache was pretty bad this morning. Woke up with it already at a 5 on my pain scale. I've been getting spoiled with it hovering around a three to four most days, but yesterday I had driven to Kansas City for my immunologist appointment and I think the drive was just too much, even though my brother drove part way back for me. That appointment when great, with the plaquenil I am taking to slightly suppress my immune system working for the most part to eliminate my chronic hives. I don't have to go back for six months! Yeah for that!! The Headache was starting it's little dance with me yesterday afternoon, and continued today.

The room today where they took my history and inserted the IV was brightly lit with flourescents and there was this electrical buzz that was constant. After an hour of torture I called a nurse in and asked her to turn off the light, thinking that it was a bad ballast in the overhead light. Nope. The door right behind the head of my bed apparently was a utility closet with some type of electrical device that buzzed loudly and unwavering. I asked if I could have an ax and I would open the door and chop it to bits, but the nurses wouldn't let me. I told them I was sorry they had to work with that noise. After the other patient in the holding room was taken out for his procedure, a kind nurse wheeled me over to that side as far away from the noise as she could get me. I told her I should have brought earplugs and an eye mask! Luckily after another 30 minutes of excruciating nauseating buzzing they came and took me back to the endoscopy room.

I'm what is know in the healthcare biz as a "bad stick" meaning I am hard to get an IV started on and hard to draw blood from. My veins roll, my veins are tough, my veins disappear as soon as a needle starts towards them, and will dry up when they finally get something started. I'm so bad the bloodmobiles don't want me to participate as I take up too many resources just to get a pint of blood! Today I was slightly dehydrated which made it worse. The average for me is three tries to get an IV started, today it took four and two nurses. I told the nurses I was going to get targets tatooed around the spots that I know they can get an IV started, and when these become no good I will have a big X tatooed across them. They laughed. I never tell people the first time they try to stick me, as some think it jinx's them, but at the second and subsequent sticks I try to point out where we had success the last few times. I'm very patient because I know it is as frustrating to them as painful to me.

They gave me versed to knock me out and I think fentanyl for pain. Unfortunately the fentanyl wore off at about 10:30 tonight, and I'm trying to calm down my aggravated pancreas with some trammadol. It's not strong enough, but it's what I have on hand so it will have to do! If this post is a little disjointed and my typing and spelling stink, I'm gonna blame it on the pain meds. Between The Belly pain and The Headache and the not so effective pain medication I'm not doing so great.

The GI doc was quite funny and nice, but not as cudley cute as Dr. Gnome. I think I am going to call this one Dr. Hawkeye after the Alan Alda character on MASH. Dr. Hawkeye came out and talked with my brother (who was the designated diver) and me afterwards. I don't remember, but my brother said that there were no signs of tumors, psuedocysts, stones, calcifications, or necrosis. The pancreas did show up as inflammed (no surprise there!). Dr. Hawkeye thought perhaps my GI motility issues from radiation is causing malabsorption issues that are damaging the pancreas. Hadn't thought of that but it could very well be possible. The sphincterotomy was in great shape, so I don't have to have another one done to fix it (no return Dr. Gnome visit I guess).

Dr. Hawkeye did not recommend any changes to my diet ( very low fat) or enzymes. He was thinking about scheduling me for another test on digestive mobility where they have you injest food and they time it through your system. My usual is about 20 minutes from entrance into the body to exit from the body. Pretty quick transit. He thinks we may be able to prescribe something in addition to what I am taking to slow this down. He didn't give my brother a diagnosis other than saying there was inflammation, but someone wrote chronic pancreatitis on the envelope that had my ultrasound images in it. I suspect that will be the diagnosis, but will wait on the final report.

I'm afraid taking the indomethacin and toradol too long after pancreatitis started while waiting on the installation of the stimulator probably helped to push my picky pancreas over the edge. It was my choice to make, and I had actually tried to withdraw from the indomethacin in December last year while inpatient for pancreatitis, and the headache pain was so bad, they had to reinstate it. I guess I'm paying for decreased head pain with increased belly pain. Thank heavens for the stimulator!

Hoping to go to work tomorrow. I think I have had a few hours sleep today because of the pain relief and versed so hoping I will be full of energy and vitality in the morning. The last trammadol is starting to work, so I will be going night night in just a bit.


  1. What a horrible day. I hope that after all the tests are read that they can give you some hope for a new treatment that WORKS. You are in my prayers.

  2. Thanks for the prayers! A treatment that works would be fantastic. I'm running out of parts to break! Dr. Hawkeye was a nice doc tho. Used to be over the GI dept at KU Med Center.

    Today is bright and sunny, and surely will be a better day!