I hadn't been blogging about the outcome of all the testing for a lot of reasons.
For one, I needed a break from thinking about it. And I certainly didn't want this space to become all medical, all the time. Then the diagnosis, while a diagnosis, was still preliminary, so I didn't want to jinx it by talking about it -- I figured I'd get my prescriptions filled (a combination of antibiotics and probiotics), start treatment, and await the results before mentioning anything here. Things were looking good too! No nasty GI symptoms for a week and a half. I was stoked.
But this morning, I woke up to a gastrointestinal mutiny.
What the hell happened??? Of course my brain shifted into analytical mode and started counting off possible causes. Last night's leftovers? (Not likely, barely two days old, quite properly refrigerated, and without effect on D.) Side effects of the antibiotics? (Doesn't make sense -- wouldn't they have made themselves known early on?) How about the shellfish from two weekends back. (Again, doubtful, given the time lag.) That leaves -- uh oh.
Did I mention we picked up two foster kitties on Friday? And that one of them recently tested positive for giardia? I had no idea until after I'd gotten them home and had time to read their medical files thoroughly. Kitty's been treated, but still. Gulp.
I've always been very, very careful about handwashing after handling any of our fosters. These parasites, however, are especially tenacious -- you have to boil them to death. Unfortunately, as much as I'd like to, I cannot plunge my hands into boiling water every time I finish grooming our furry guests or scooping their litter.
Please, after these last nine months of GI evil, let me not have gotten giardia.
The problem is that its symptoms, from what I've read, are essentially indistinguishable from malabsorption resulting from other causes (the issue I had to begin with). In my case, Dr. Specialist was guessing I had a bacterial imbalance in my small intestine. And a significant reduction in symptoms after this course of antibiotics would mean he was probably right.
But now, now there's this new variable. Possibly throwing off this test, as it were. Does it mean further months of not knowing for sure what's wrong? Are we going to be playing the watch and wait game all over again? And which doctor am I supposed to call -- Dr. Specialist, who is nearly impossible to get hold of because of the system he works within, or my local GI guy, who seems to be a bit more conservative (read: in no rush to get an answer) in his diagnostic approach?
I know, I'll call both -- Dr. Specialist first thing tomorrow and as many times as is reasonable (it's too late in the day to reach him now). If no answer after a day or so, I'm moving on to local GI guy. That's the best I can do. I just wish I could do something more in the here and now to help me feel less frustrated.
Well, in a way, I suppose I already have. I bought myself some potted gerbera daisies last week because they caught my eye at the grocery store. Took them directly to our bathroom, our makeshift spa for plants. They're hanging out at the edge of the tub, the first thing I see whenever I walk in there.
In hindsight (yep, back to the poop humor again), flowers were a great idea.
13 hours ago