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Bedside manner…

September 14th, 2008 · No Comments

I paid (yet) another visit to the doctor’s office about three weeks ago. The day before had ended in my being removed from my trip because of what felt like a fever and chills with a dull ache across my lower back. Fortunately for me, I was able to leave the trip in LAX, where my wife came to get me. By the time she got me home, my fever was at 101 (though we’re not exactly sure how accurate a reading that was…the thermometer has a plastic Spongebob on the end of it) and I was shivering uncontrollably.

My doctor looked at all the usual suspects and determined that I had the beginnings of a sinus/throat infection as well as a possible kidney infection. But what concerned the doctor the most was my complaint at feeling fatigued all the time. He decided to take some blood and run some tests.

The following week, he got back to me. Almost everything was within the normal range (even my cholesterol, surprisingly) except for the fact that my blood iron levels were about 7% of normal. Of course, the low iron levels explained the fatigue, but the doctor was concerned about finding the explanation of the low iron levels. He referred me to a gastroenterologis, thinking I might be losing a small amount of blood into my digestive tract somehow.

A week later, I’m being told by the stomach doctor that he thinks I might have a peptic ulcer that’s slowly seeping blood into my¬† stomach. He schedules me for an esophagogastroduodenoscopy. That’s where they send a creepy-peeper down my gullet and take a gander at my innards. My only trepidation about the procedure came from the fact that I’d be under general anesthesia for it. I’ve never been put out before, and I didn’t know what to expect.

I am blessed to have been assisted through this by my wife. She was there going in and was holding my hand when I woke up. It sure did make things easier, and I’m glad and lucky to have her with me in life. I also am fortunate to have had a doctor and several nurses who have about the most amazing bedside manner. Not only were they all very gentle and compassionate, but they even put up with my good-natured wise-assedness, which is sort of a coping mechanism for me I suppose. I really do appreciate their caring bedside manner, though.

No ulcers, but a bit of gastritis. I’m waiting for my follow-up appointment where the doctor will discuss with me the results of the biopses he took, but I imagine that the gastritis is being caused by a bit of a reliance I’ve had on OTC anti-inflamatories like Aleve. Perhaps once a week, I’ll take a couple to keep an ache or pain at bay. No more of that, for sure.

Unfortunately, the excursion into my gut didn’t immediately uncover the cause of my low blood iron. Fortunatley, an iron supplement has given me back all my energy (amazingly so). We’ll know more in a couple weeks.

Tags: Personal

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