Chapter Twenty-Nine: Oh, Deer!

Or: Lions and Tigers and Be(zo)ars, Oh My!

I had an appointment on Thursday. Since then, I’ve been unable to eat much of anything due to a lovely gastric bezoar (see alternate chapter title), possibly caused by gastroparesis. For the medically disinclined, a bezoar is an obstruction of the gastrointestinal system, usually found in the stomach, made up of indigestible… stuff.

In my case, it was undigested food that had built up because of a delightful little side effect of surgery and/or a similarly pleasant side effect of my subsequent pain medications. That being the stomach failing to recognize the presence of food (which would ordinarily trigger the digestive process) and so emptying very, very slowly.

The solution? A Monday esophagogastroduodenoscopy (also known as “you win at Scrabble” – more on that later), which essentially entails lightly sedating the patient (me, in this case), placing an endoscope down said patient’s esophagus and into the stomach, using water (or in some cases, Coca-Cola… y0u can’t make this stuff up) to wash and/or break up the undigested mass, which then allows it to exit the stomach or to be removed via a larger tube, inserted under heavier sedation.

It sounds about as fun as it is, to be honest. Hardly a wonderful time, but thanks to the sedatives, not unbearable. The amount of material they removed was actually much less than expected, as some of the bezoar had cleared itself. Once the mass was out of the way, an injection of botox (yes,that botox) was given, again via endoscope, to help prevent further blockages until the nerves in the stomach recover. (Don’t ask me how a toxic product of the bacteria that causes botulism helps with this. I decided against med school, remember?)

Before we left for the clinic, Dad and I played another game of Scrabble with the theme of “medicine” (double points for theme words) since we’re both painfully familiar with the subject. I won this game, 478-376. After the game, Dad pointed out the window – a family of deer were running across the lawn behind the hotel parking lot (and worryingly close to the train tracks that are responsible for waking Dad up at all hours of the night). He grabbed the camera and I took a few pictures (hence the chapter title) and noted that spring seems to have finally arrived (knock on wood).

While at the Clinic, I was able to use the iPad (thanks again, dance moms!) to get onto the guest WiFi network and download some books to read with the Free Books app, and also to try out UrbanSpoon (possibly my new favorite application) and Evernote. The iPad will come in particularly handy during trips to the Clinic, as I can record my daily vital signs on my Evernote account and access them during my appointments, so that I can show them to the doctors instead of relying on my memory, as I had to do during the last two visits. It’s also excellent for killing time, of course, which is nice because I am (by necessity) the last appointment of the day – a fact which can translate into a lot of waiting time.

Dinner was had at the Boneyard again, and I again ordered their fish and chips (they really were that good). Unfortunately, the side effects of one of the medicines I’m now taking for “motility”, as well as the predictable side effect of having botulism forcibly injected into one’s stomach, have resulted in near-constant nausea and stomachaches, and occasionally worse. Needless to say, this has put a damper on my appetite slightly. While I would ordinarily just eat bland food for a few days, a shipment of Omaha Steaks is scheduled to arrive today and Dad will be grilling a couple of them tonight.

And a late-breaking news flash (to me, anyway): I’m scheduled for another bronchoscopy on Thursday. I thought the next one was scheduled three weeks after the last, so this is a bit of an unpleasant surprise. Hopefully everything goes as well as last time.


4 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Uncle John and Aunt Beverly
    May 21, 2010 @ 12:05:16

    Hi Mark! Congratulations! Uncle John just told me you are on your way home!!! What great news! We will be going to Mass in Sept . so will see you then! You are a very special person. I do not do Facebook and I don’t think Uncle John does either. So look forward to you posting again on WordPress! Congratulations to you and we are looking forward to what great things you are going to do now with your wonderful new life! Uncle John and Aunt Beverly


  2. auntie joanne
    May 08, 2010 @ 13:04:06

    There’s never a dull moment with you guys! I love you………hang in there……..xxj


  3. Chris
    May 07, 2010 @ 04:34:19

    Coke-a-Cola? I actually believe it. I’d also imagine this campy sing-songy commerical popping up halfway through featuring the cowardly lion as the leading melody.


  4. Emily
    May 06, 2010 @ 17:15:24

    I never thought that Scrabble board would see so much action. I guess there is not much else to do around the hotel. Glad you are enjoying it, I will have to challenge you to a game next time I see you.

    Keep up the good work :)


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