Tummy Problems

So, picking up no place near where I left off . . .

Something’s wrong with my gut. Not my instinctual gut, but my actual gut. I’m pretty sure I got food poisoned last weekend by a rogue custard-filled pastry, and it’s been a rocky week since then, digestively speaking. Monday and Tuesday were awful—fever, aches, nausea, cramping, etc. No vomiting, though, which is good, I suppose. Then, after a day or two of feeling almost normal, I spent Friday night from 10 to 3 in the ER with a bloated, painful belly and sore lower back. I’m not one to head for urgent care unless something really doesn’t seem right, so this was kind of a big deal. Havarti was out of town, but thankfully his parents were home, so my father-in-law took me in while my mother-in-law stayed with the kids.
There’s a lot of waiting in the hospital. Waiting to be admitted, waiting for the doctor to come, waiting for the radiologist, waiting for test results, repeat as needed. It’s quite boring, actually, once they give you something to take away your pain. I wished I’d brought a book. Watched a little late-night Oprah, which I don’t usually get to do, so that was a plus.
The results of the blood test came back normal, with the exception of elevated levels of lipase, which is an enzyme in the pancreas. So the doc’s first thought was pancreatitis, but my pain was lower in the abdomen than it would be for pancreatitis, and the main causes (excessive drinking, high cholesterol, etc) weren’t even on the radar of possibility. He said gallstones can cause the lipase elevation, too. So they did a CT to check my pancreas, and then an ultrasound to check my gall bladder, and both looked good. The only thing that didn’t look normal were some enlarged adenoids in my stomach. He said that was probably from the infection I’d had earlier in the week, but he was a bit confounded by the elevated lipase levels. Comforting. He put me on a 24-hr clear liquid diet to let all those organs rest and told me to follow up with my doctor.
    Just a note of advice – when the ER doctor mentions something like “pancreatitis” it’s probably best not to whip out your iPhone and Google it as soon as he leaves the room. Otherwise, you start seeing possible causes, like pancreatic cancer, that get you all freaked out (especially when you’re lying in a hospital bed).
    Anyway, my tummy’s still not good. I’m still pretty bloated, and I just don’t seem to be digesting well. So I’m on the hunt for a local doctor, and hoping this is just the last remnants of a bad pastry encounter. I don’t have room in my life for serious health concerns.

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Annie writes about life, motherhood, world issues, beautiful places, and anything else that tickles her brain. On good days, she enjoys juggling life with her husband and homeschooling her children. On bad days, she binges on chocolate chips and dreams of traveling the world alone.

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