Thought I would update you as to my recent visit with the gastroenteroogist, as well seeing the gynecologist.
We went up to Portland on the first of July (Canada day), and my first take home message from my first “second opinion” is not to get the first opinion to refer you to the second opinion. This guy basically read the letter from the first gastroenterologist and really asked me nothing, no history etc etc... That did not stop me from adding my own, but I did leave feeling rather unheard. I have 2 gastroenterology problems. The radiation enteritis, which is the radiation damage to the small bowel that makes it hard for me to eat any food with fiber, I get nausea and abdominal pain, which has gotten worse lately. My other problem is the rectal effects of radiation, which involves rectal bleeding which seems to be getting worse all the time. It is going to need some form of treatment soon, I am just fearful of the treatments the previous doc had suggested.
So this doctor asked me which of these problems is more of a concern to me, and I said that the small bowel enteritis, and it was clear that the OTHER problem is more of a concern for him. He seemed to think the rectal problem needed to be treated soon.
He did suggest that he felt the better test for the radiation enteritis, is a small bowel followthrough, which is a barium xray where they follow the barium on a screen with technology called flouroscopy. It is an older form of xray, used before we had CT scans.
CT scans are just a second in time, so would not show any functional problems, whereas the barium small bowel followthrough will show the function of the small bowel.
So I am going for this test tomorrow in Portland. He has said he wanted to done there where he could go over the films with the radiologist at OSHU. You have to fast for 8 hours before the test and it can take up to 3 hours.
ALthough the treatments he suggested for the rectal problems are the same as the other doctor, and he did admit that the treatment often has to be done over and over again and can cause rectal ulcers which take forever to heal, HE DID say he would work with me with regards to the higher strength of hyperbaric oxygen treatments. However like the other gastroenterologist, he really was not familiar with it.
The thing about getting the rectal area treated with the heat argon, that still leaves the small bowel area, and if I were to get the hyperbarics, it would be treating both areas at the same time.
I will be hearing from him after this test tomorrow.
I saw my gynecologist this morning about the vaginal bleeding. She said it all looked OK, except that the vagina was getting shorter and narrower. It is essentially scarring inwards. I have the dilator and try to use it several times a week, but I guess it is just not enough.
This blog is taking me awhile to write, but now I have been for the test at OHSU and I am back.
I have not yet gotten the results back.
We are getting ready to head out the the Oregon Country Fair (OCF) tonite.
I went out to the fair with Mark yesterday and it is totally amazing, the day before the fair begins it is already fully functional. Most of the booths are open and in business.
Ken is working at the university today, so we will be going in after he gets off.
Josh arrived from Canada yesterday and WOW, he is appearing quite "svelt" . Now as I am writing this, he is "off to the fair" for his first real experience there. (he will likely never be the same) I did tell him not to take pictures of scantily clad women without asking them first :)
Our band is playing on the blue moon stage at 11 am tomorrow ( Saturday) and 12:10 on the Shady Grove stage on Sunday.
The weather has been in the 90s for the past few days, something Ken and I have not experienced for many many years. I WILL have to dig out summer clothes that have been sequestered away for the 13 years of living on the coast, seldom even wearing shorts in the summer.
My garden has just taken off in this weather, with my cantaloupe starting to climb the cattle panel trellises , and we have had several meals of zucchinis already.
We have discovered a quite a unique way to use up a lot of zucchini, grilled zucchini pizzas
I use the barbeque to saute zucchini and mushrooms and fresh thyme, and then add a little balsalmic vinegar (I make sure that the mixture is cooked long enough to get rid of most of the moisture)
Then the dough I make into the shape of pizza and put oil on both sides, put on the grill until it is bubbling (about 2 mins) then flip it, and put the topping on the pizza and then tomatoes and cheese and put the lid down on the barbeque and cook for about 4-5 mins (until the cheese melts). I know everyone is always looking for clever ways to deal with zucchini this time of year.
I still have about 70 tomato plants but thus far, none have ripened, I expect that to change over the weekend.