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My drug of choice…

18 December, 2014

Yesterday I had my appointment with the gastrologist. It was an exorbitant fee for about 5 minutes time but he’s nice and I’m not paying for this exploration today.

Anyway, I found out my ferritin levels are low – as in, “in the floor low”. When I asked him what that meant in relation to my recent trip down anaemia’s road he went on to say ferritin is flour and haemoglobin is the bread.

My haemoglobin was back in the normal range but I think that was boosted by me taking 3 tablets a day over a month and a half ago and me being stubborn and quitting it two weeks ago. So my iron was slowly improving but now it’s in decline again (I think).

So back to the “flour and the bread”… My (dumb) understanding of this is that ferritin is the building block for the haemoglobin. If the haemoglobin runs out of ferritin then the red blood count will reduce and cause anaemia – you with me so far?

So this means (in my “lay” understanding) that I might still have an internal bleed. It’s not in the large bowel or in the stomach (that he could see when he scoped) and therefore could be in the small intestine.

He fitted me up this morning with the probes (on a Velcro belt which go around my waist) and then plugged that into a shoulder pack that you sling overhead. It’s bulky on my hip but I’m at my desk all day and don’t find it too bothersome.

Swallowing the little flashing “pill” was certainly less daunting that I thought it would be. It’s a bit of a freakish moment when you swallow and my colleague exclaimed at my matter of fact description. She actually asked me if I’d fish it out of my poo as her mother had fished pins out of her daughter’s poo following an incident in her youth.

The preparation for the camera wasn’t too arduous. Except for the fact that I had to forgo a planned dinner and had to have clear liquid only instead I was ok. My problem was missing out on my early evening coffee and my bedtime mug.

In saying all of that I did sleep ok – thanks to the ever present Largactil, but I woke up around 5am and my head was thumping due to caffeine withdrawal pains. When I took two Nurofen on an empty stomach though it revolted and threw them back up.

With no excuse to bail on work – I had to swallow the camera at 8.15am and return the computer to the office at 4pm, I knew I could wile away the day doing my preparation for tomorrow’s work ahead.

The good news was that I was told that I had to wait until 2pm until I could eat and then I could eat normally. I seriously hope the little bug had travelled down it’s merry way to the end by then and hadn’t been waylaid!

2 o’clock never looked so good as I avoided the lunchroom and my midday walk. I left the office and ended up wasting time in a bookshop looking for potential presents instead of making a beeline for my coffee shop.

I also had a fair idea that I would have missed the best of the lunch food in our local Japanese café and I was right, they were sold out of a pretty basic set of rice and chicken. Lunch was a banana, some rice cakes and, of course, a coffee.

About 11.30am I gave in and had another two Nurofen with water (which I can drink freely) but it didn’t shake off the pain. Thankfully getting out for a walk and some fresh air did help by the end of it and with some food in my stomach now I’m feeling better.

I don’t envy the doctor having to watch the video of the intestine though – how do you compress 8 hours of video or pictures taken at a rate of twice a second?

Report to follow…

Pip

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