I’m back with a short update (here’s the last one). Over the last week and a half, I’ve had a hydrogen breath test as well as a colonoscopy and upper endoscopy, both with lots of biopsies.
When I saw the GI Specialist in October, he ordered some tests, including a fat malabsorption test, an A1C test to check for diabetes. a hydrogen breath test to check for SIBO, a colonoscopy with biopsies and an upper endoscopy with biopsies.
We already got the fat malabsorption test back and that was fine – yay! We also know for sure that I don’t have diabetes since my A1C is 4.9% (low).
I also got my basic food allergy panel back. It showed a slight milk allergy. I was already avoiding milk – now we know for sure that was a good decision.
I finally completed the other three GI procedures and tests the doctor ordered. Here’s how those tests and procedures went for me.
Hydrogen Breath Test
I was expecting the hydrogen breath test to be a piece of cake, but it was actually extremely hard for me to prepare for it. You have to fast for at least 12 hours before the exam (so essentially from the night before).
In the past, that hasn’t been a problem for me. But my blood sugar has been dropping a lot more lately and it makes me feel crazy when it does.
It’s hard for me to go more than 3-4 hours without a snack. I wake up in the middle of the night nauseous from low blood sugar. I can usually ride it out until it passes (aka steals enough energy from my remaining muscles), but it passes much more quickly when I eat or drink something.
My hydrogen breath test was scheduled for 8:15 am, which I was grateful for because if my appointment was later, I’d have to fast for longer. I got to my appointment on time and sat in the waiting room.
I sat and sat and sat until 1 hour after my appointment had passed and there was no one left in the waiting room but me. My blood sugar dropped super low and I started shaking and crying uncontrollably so I asked when I would be called back.
They finally took me back when that happened. I’m sure I looked like a hot mess. After drinking the glucose solution, the panicked crying stopped and I was able to get through the test.
It was a really long test. They start by measuring how much hydrogen is in your breath. Then you drink a glucose solution. They measure the hydrogen in your breath in 30 minutes, and then again every 15 minutes for 3 hours.
I was watching them record data and I didn’t see any huge spikes, so I don’t think we’re looking at SIBO, but we have to wait until my appointment on December 21 to see what the GI Specialist says.
Colonoscopy and Endoscopy
I had a colonoscopy and upper endoscopy last Thursday. I had to be on a clear liquid diet all day Wednesday, which I found easier than fasting because I could still have juice and homemade jello to keep my blood sugar up.
At 6 pm, I had to drink the GoLightly solution that was prescribed for me. It was definitely not a pleasant experience by any means, but it wasn’t quite as bad as some of the horror stories I’ve heard about the colonoscopy prep.
I got about 4 hours of sleep that night, then I was up at 6 am to drink more of the solution. Then we drove down the mountain in a snowstorm (thank you Brian). I was super nervous about the long drive to the hospital, but everything was okay.
After I checked in, they took me back to the procedure room and got me all connected to the machines and an IV. They gave me some fluids because I was dehydrated and my blood pressure was low.
Then they gave me the sedative and got started. I honestly only remember maybe the first 30 seconds and the last 30 seconds of the procedure. Then I remember seeing my husband and talking to one of the doctors for a few minutes before being taken to recovery.
I was only supposed to be in recovery for 20 minutes, but I was there well over an hour. I recalled later hearing the nurses talking by my recovery bed. One asked why I was still sleeping and the other said in a slightly scolding voice, “She’s so little and you gave her so much medication!”
Brian and the girls waited patiently for me to wake up.
So I guess I was over-sedated for the procedures. Fortunately I’m okay and I don’t remember the procedure at all because of it. I did have to take the rest of that day and the entire next day to recover though.
The doctor said that my esophagus looks great, but my stomach is inflamed. They took a lot of biopsies from my small intestine since that could be a source of my issues.
On a scale of 1-9, the doctor gave me a 9 on preparing for the colonoscopy properly. He said they got a good look around and were able to take multiple biopsies from each section of my colon.
Overall, he said that nothing looked grossly abnormal in either the colonoscopy or endoscopy, which is good. He said there are diseases like microscopic colitis that can’t be seen with the naked eye though, so now it’s in the hands of the pathologists to examine the many biopsy samples.
I’m trying hard not to worry or even think about it. That’s a challenge for sure.
I did have some side effects from the upper endoscopy. I had a sore throat for a few days, which is getting better.
I also got pretty severe rhinitis. I guess it’s relatively common with sedation. It was extremely annoying, but using a humidifier really helped it to pass more quickly. It’s almost all better.
We have an appointment with the GI Specialist on December 21 to get the results of all of these tests. Please pray that we get answers and a viable treatment plan at that appointment.