Monday, April 22, 2013

Health Issues

Before I dive into some of the details of what I've been dealing with since the beginning of the year, please note that I'm doing okay from a CF-related standpoint. The lungs are doing just fine, it's some other areas that aren't holding up as well.

My issues all started in early January when it felt like I never had any energy, wasn't seeing any improvements in my running (despite running every day), and could easily sleep 14 hours a day if I let myself. Additionally, I was losing weight.

I finally went to the doc to see what was causing this "chronic fatigue" and after running the gamut of blood tests, he decided that anemia was the culprit. This totally made sense and I was happy to finally know why I was feeling like crap all the time. It was decided that I would need a colonoscopy to see if there was any internal bleeding that was causing the anemia.

In meeting with a couple of specialists prior to the procedure, they didn't agree that I was anemic, and after they showed me my the blood-count numbers, I could see that my original doctor was just grasping at straws when making that diagnosis. It was still a good idea to have the colonoscopy, as well as an endoscopy in order to look for any abnormalities in my digestive track that could be causing the weight loss and fatigue.

Last Monday I went in for both procedures, and when reviewing the findings with my doctor immediately afterwards, I was shown where there are several severe stenosis in my large intestine, a couple of which were nearly impassible with the doctors scope. These areas are blocked with bulging lumps of aliens-esque weirdness. Hard to tell if they were cysts/tumors or just massive swelling. Additionally there were some funky black marks on my colon wall that couldn't be identified.

These items alarmed my GI doc enough that he wanted me to go straight to the hospital for a follow up CT scan and so I could meet with a surgeon, if need be. This sense of urgency was lost at the hospital when - after being admitted for 2 days - the doctors finally release me saying: "CT scans aren't really good at showing soft-tissue imaging, we can't proceed without your biopsy results". Geez. It would have been nice to know this before being admitted to the hospital... not looking forward to that bill.

So as it sits now, I'm awaiting biopsy results in hopes of finally finding out what the heck is wrong with me. I'm tired of feeling like absolute crap all the time, and regardless of the diagnosis - even if it is Crohn's or cancer - I need to know what's wrong with me so I can start taking steps towards getting right again. Right now I have lost 11 lbs, and am dealing with incessant stabbing pains in my stomach. I was supposed to have the biopsy results on Friday, but I still haven't heard anything as I write this.



GZ said...

Damn man, wishing you the best.

Seriously - I have always been impressed with your positive spirit - I am certain that will be a strength you can call on in going through this.

Your story is starting sound a bit like some of the stuff that Aaron Kennard has been posting.

Shelley Flones said...

Shit, Brooks!! Please, please keep me in the loop! I work in Oncology now and work with Hematologists as well. I have become rapidly educated on anemia for my job. And for that matter, you and Holly were there to see me through the worst of the worst. Good juju headed your way.