Those of you who pay close attention to this blog may have noticed that no food journals have been posted for the last couple of days. This wasn’t a result of mere laziness. I was spending the weekend prepping for my first colonoscopy (which kinda sounds like the title of some tragic children’s book!). Part of that preparation was a good 36 hours consuming nothing but clear liquids. I guess it was fortunate that I was making a giant batch of chicken stock this weekend anyway!
So today was the big day. If you’ve been reading this blog, then you know I’ve been in a bit of a holding pattern with my Crohn’s treatment because without knowing whether or not my gut was inflamed, I was not comfortable making any choices about managing the condition without knowing exactly what I was treating. As of today, I have a much clearer idea of what my innards look like, and there were some surprises in store, with a mix of good news and otherwise.
First the good news. My colon is healthy looking and free of inflammation. This is terrific news! This means that, so far, SCD is controlling my disease well enough that I believe I am not in need of further treatment at this time. I couldn’t be more thrilled!
Not all is tea and almond flour crumpets, however. In addition to a colonoscopy, and at my request, my gastroenterologist also performed an upper endsoscopy, examining my esophagus and stomach. While my esophagus looks good, he found ulcers in my stomach (I don’t know how many.. The report uses the plural, but only contains a picture of one). He took a biopsy of the inflamed tissue, presumably to determine whether or not they are Crohn’s-related. I’m sure we’ll be discussing this at the follow-up appointment. I have some suspicion that the ulcer might have been a result of the pancreatic enzymes that my ND prescribed for me. I talked to him today and he suggested that I stop taking them for now until he can get a copy of the full report and biopsy.
In about two weeks, I’ll be meeting with both my MD and ND to discuss the findings of today’s video probing. Something I’ll definitely be wanting to discuss with each of them is how it is that so many things could go so wrong in my gut without any significant pain. Isn’t Crohn’s supposed to hurt? Isn’t an ulcer supposed to hurt? What the hell else might be going wrong that I’m not feeling? How can I ever be confident about my gut health if I can’t tell when things are going wrong? As thrilled as I might be about the fact that my colon looks healthy right now, I’m deeply concerned about how to move forward with disease maintenance if I seem to be unable to detect problems. I suppose most Crohn’s folks would be thrilled to be without pain, and I’m certainly not all that excited about having pain either, but at the same time, pain is important.