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I'm My Best Health Advocate!

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That’s right, I have to be my own #1 advocate once again! Remember, how I have been complaining about my stomach distention and stomach pain for weeks? I had finally had enough and checked myself into Scottsdale Healthcare Shea to get some answers.

Many of you are asking why I decided to go to SHC a few days after I had just been discharged from St. Josephs. The day prior to my last discharge, the doctors did do an ultrasound of my stomach and didn’t find anything that “stood out”. From what I can tell from the notes, it looks like the docs were looking for some sort of inflammation of the pancreas or other organ. The conclusion they made at discharge was that it was probably a mix of constipation, fluid retention, and the steroids.

I was admitted to SHC Shea on Tuesday and yesterday finally spoke with the gastroenterologist. He ordered a EGD (Esophagogastroduodenoscopy) where an endoscope is used to inspect the internal anatomy of the digestive tract. The test took place this morning at 8am. I was under general anesthesia and the whole process took about an hour. When I woke up, I asked the nurse what they saw and if there was any major complications. It turns out that I have “obstructions” blocking my stomach and intestines.

Basically, because of the opiates that I am taking they are causing the intestines to move really slow and my body is having a hard time moving food through the digestive tract. Any stool softeners or laxatives wouldn’t have helped. I asked what would have happened if I hadn’t come to get my stomach checked out and they said that eventually I would have gotten really sick, been in more pain and ended up in the ER room anyway.

So the solution to this stomach problem is that now I have to take another medication called Relistor. It is a shot that I will have to take everyday or every other day. This is just fantastic! Now I have to take TWO shots for an indefinite amount of time. I am hoping that once I get through radiation and chemo that my pain will be reduced, I can get off of the majority of the pain medication and off of the shots.

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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.

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