Tuesday, May 13, 2008

You May Not Want To Know This About Me...


....  BUT, I have been poked and prodded by the medical community for the last four years, specifically the Gastroenterologists in south Florida.

It is a long and crazy story, but long story short, I have Crohns Disease.  Crohns Colitis located in my colon, although Crohns can effect anywhere from the esophagus to the tushie.  (sorry, ew).  The first doctor woke me up from my first "procedure" to tell me she found a mass and that she was sure it was cancer. I should get my affairs in order.  Dummy. Why would a doctor tell a patient that before biopsies return?  Results came back negative for cancer.  

I fired her.

Then I found a nice Jewish boy with a sense of humor.  He repeated the "procedure" and told me I have this Crohns Disease which is incurable, but treatable....yadda yadda.  I do not want to bore you with all this depressing medical crap.  But I want to tell you about the very interesting thing I did two weeks ago with him.

I was experiencing extreme pain in my gut and since I was on the highest dosage of colon medication (which is where my inflammation has been occurring), my doctor wanted to see my small intestine to see what problems may be in there. He told me that an endoscopy goes down the throat and sees only so much.  The colonoscopy goes up the bottom and doesn't go past the colon, so the small intestine is pretty much "untapped"  He said that 12 feet of intestine can't be looked at with those conventional seekers.  So, he set me up for a capsule study. Whuh?

I was to swallow a pill which had a strobe and camera and would take two photos every second for a total of 70,000 - 80,000 photos of my innards.  This way the doctor could see what was going on.  Watch it like a movie!  Cool, right?

Well the pill was a honker of a horse pill, I had to wear a dorky strap-on gizmo that held the battery of the monitor and the monitor and those electrodes on my belly. Before I swallowed the pill, the technician waved the pill next to the monitor so they would initiate conversation, and then... poof, they were chatting the whole way down through my body.


Technology.  Who'da thunk?

This is me, posing my stylin' monitor-wear.





Doctor called me the next day and said they saw ulcers in my small intestine and to switch my medicine and it would be okay.  Yay.  I have been on the medication and I feel great! Inflammation is harder to treat.  Ulcers heal, and I love technology.

Hopefully this wasn't a "too much information" post that'll scare  you away.   Just keeping it real.

17 comments:

Anonymous said...

pill cam, that is crazy!! so do you have Crohns or just ulcers?? hope you feel better.
once agian, pill cam = crazy scary technology.

Anonymous said...

p.s... thanks for keeping it real.

Joanna Schmidt said...

Yes, I have Crohns Disease, which can include inflammation AND ulcers.

Carrie ~ Gigi said...

Joanna- I know several people with Crohn's disease. It seems alot of times it is only diagonised when another problem persists.

Glad to hear to "fired" one doctor, and found another you are comfortable with.

Although, I don't know a whole lot about this disease, I do understand that it is frequently misunderstood, & there is pain involved.

Hugs to you~ for sharing...

And oh my gosh~ that pill in your hand~ how did you ever get that down?..Technology is something else.

sherrieg said...

That is by far the coolest diagnostical tool ever. Way better than boring old x-rays or ultrasounds! I'm very glad that you're feeling better. :)

egassner said...

I love your strap on shot! Lol. My hubby's aunt also has Crohns...she has some ridiculously expensive procedure done every month, but I forget the name. Hope your pain in minimal and that you don't have to choke down another horse pill, camera and all!

Suds to Love said...

I hope the new meds are helping you! Get better soon, so you can make lots of cool soap.

dcyrill said...

Praise God that you are a fighter and proactive and fired your first doctor. ;(

Joanna Schmidt said...

Thanks guys. I really thought you would run the other way. People don't like hearing the bad and ugly. I really am fine. I have bad days, sometimes a week....then I am like new and nothing bothers me... I do not consider myself a sick person, just plagued with some pain every so often.

Don't I look 80's stylish?

LoveMichie said...

Thanks for sharing, Joanna. I'm glad you're feeling much better. That pill is amazing! Why didn't I think of that? Hehe.

Lots of hugs and kisses so you can feel even better! :) xoxoxoxox

Lol! Love the pictures! :D

Heidi said...

I'm so sorry you have Crohns...I've known a few people who struggle with it too. I'm glad you can keep it under control.

That pill cam is so cool! What a neat experience...do you get to look at your innards too = )

Anne-Marie said...

So cool! I had heard of this type of technology but only in magazines - I love that it's in the real world, making a difference. Congrats on getting on better medication for you and your symptoms. =)

Heather@Twin Birch said...

Holy OHMIGOSH!! That pill is Ginormous! I'm so sorry about the Crohns, so happy about the meds, and so p-o'd about that stupid doctor in the beginning! Having a scare like that as a mom is the worst nightmare!
Having been through it, I can say that the grass was never so green and the sky never so blue as the day they told me that all was well!

You look adorable with all of your equipment on! You could do modeling for the horse pill company!

Kim said...

My friend's sister has it. Not fun.
You've got such a great attitude! Rock on, girl.

Henna said...

It was not too much sharing at all! Thanks for sharing your experience and I think you did it in the perfect way. Technology has come a long way! We're with you, take care!

Eat Well (was Teresa R) said...

Heather's right! Geewhiz, how do you manage to look so model fab with that equipment??

I'm just glad that you're feeling great now! Coincidentally, I read an article at lunch about Crohn's disease, but my senior brain has totally forgotten already. You probably already know everything there is to know about it, but the article recommends checking out ccfa.org

Hugs!

Anonymous said...

you are a strong gal and i am so proud of you. love ddl