Friday, January 28, 2011

Bellyaches: I'm Not Out of the Woods Just Yet

Just when I thought my gastritis was healing nicely and behaving well, the bellyaches started up again, even though I'm still faithfully taking my Dexilant every morning.  The ironic thing is that just last Monday, I called into the wonderful gastroenterologist who prescribed the Dexilant for me and reported how great I've been feeling.  He told me to keep taking the proton pump inhibitor for another month, and if I still feel well, to start tapering off by taking it every other day, then every three days, etc. and see if I can get off the drug.  He warned me that, unfortunately, most patients do start to see a return of symptoms as the dose decreases, so I should make sure I note any changes in how I'm feeling. 

But I haven't even started decreasing and I'm starting to feel kind of icky again.  Luckily, I haven't had the dramatic bloating and cramping episodes in the past few days (thus far), but I've awakened with moderate abdominal discomfort, sometimes with headache, sometimes with nausea. 

It started with a restless night on Wednesday morning.  I have been able to sleep relatively well (for me) about a month before this all started up again.  But Wednesday morning, I felt miserable and had to call in sick.  I had a busy day planned for Thursday and went ahead with it all, despite feeling worse than my usual level.  And today I managed to drag myself to work despite feeling a bit distracted with pain and discomfort of various kinds.  I have plans to see my parents tonight, too.  Even though I am not really up to a social visit tonight, I'm going to force myself through it because they haven't seen me since Thanksgiving and are begging to see me. 

The worst part about the bellyaches being back is the worry that the gastritis isn't healed, or that the reason I developed gastritis has not been addressed and perhaps it's getting more agressive to compensate for the lower acid levels from the Dexilant. I still worry about that faulty gallbladder of mine and whether it's the cause or just another effect of something else going on. Will I need to change meds?  Will I have to start thinking about the possibility of removing my gallbladder again?  The mysteries of my own body continue to confound me.

In the meantime, I need to cope.  I feel like I've dropped the ball on my coping mechanisms.  Am I forgetting some lesson that I'd learned earlier?  I am still keeping up the baby steps workout (I'm on week 10 now!) despite my symptoms.  Perhaps I need to remember how to pace myself again.  I have been busy for the past couple of weeks with extra commitments and things.  Maybe I need to take the weekend off and try to relax a bit so I can recover for Monday. 

What a life!