Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Celiac Sprue Is Poo & Drinking Barium

Yesterday I rode my bike for a visit to the GI Doctor to check in on my Celiac Sprue, and since I never recovered properly on the Gluten Free diet they are now wanting to probe for the possibility of something called "Refractory Sprue". Bleh. Which meant a whole bunch of tests to be run - I gave blood and then was then given a huge BIO HAZARD bag with a milk jug sized container to collect poop in - WTF? Immediately I was like "Hey I don't have to fill this do I?" and the nurse was like "No , just everytime you use the bathroom you put the 'nun hat' on the toilet seat (she held up a plastic contraption) and you go in the 'cool whip bowl'." Uh, nuns and cool whip and poo all together made me queasy to think of.

But not as queasy as....... the appointment they made for me at the hospital for a Barium MRI. I was like "Isn't barium a metal?" and the nurse tells me "no", so I say "I am allergic to alot of meds I don't think this sounds good for me, is there an alternative?" and she says "we don't think you'll have a reaction". So I came home and used the trusty rusty internet to tell me what I already knew- they want me to ride my bike 3 miles to the hospital after fasting, then on an empty stomach drink a metallic milkshake that will dye my insides so they can take snazzy med pics and tell me something I may or may not want to hear. I am also the perfect candidate to have a bad reaction, reactions that can include going unconscious, migraines and vomiting.

So here's my list of ...

Terrible things I rather do then drink Barium! :::

1. poo on a Nun's hat (pun intended)
2. poo on a real nun (or be the recipient of nun poo)
3. slash a nice person's tires
4. kiss a clown (and/or be spanked by a clown) ....gawd I hate clowns!!!!!
5. rob an old man on crutches of $20
6. stick my hand in the piranha tank at the New Orleans aquarium for over 10 seconds
7. give my cat a cold bath
8. give Dr. Phil a hug and let him tell me what he thinks is wrong with me
9. have 20 roaches crawl on my naked body (or alternately be naked in a room full of mosquitoes)
10. have someone's vomit splash on my fav wool sweater
11. spray myself in the eyes with pepper spray
12. go on a blind date at night to a remote unlit area with no phone
13. put a slug in the sun to bake
14. watch Fox News 3 nights in a row
15. have sex with Morgus the Magnificent (with Chopsley watching).

Would you drink Barium?


Lou Cheese said...

I had a barium MRI. Before the docs finally came up with the MCS diagnosis they didn't know what I had and focused on the GI stuff first. You should probably have a friend drive you home after the MRI. Even though it's not a very long distance for a ride, you won't want to be on a bike the same day you consume barium.

The barium won't mess with your head, make you feel sluggish, or alter your senses like what a prescription medication might do, but, ehh, how should I put this? You'll drink the barium in liquid form. And it stays in liquid form, from start to finish. So for the rest of the day after the MRI it's like having a real bad case of Montezuma's Revenge, but with barium. Welcome to the amazing world of modern science.

Once home, have some high fiber snack food, a comfy blanket, your favorite pair of fuzzy (or hemp fabric) slippers, and a handful of DVDs ready and just take it easy for the rest of the day. But have a friend drive you back from the hospital and save the Cajun Knuckle for another adventure.

I don't know if size or body weight makes a difference in how much barium they give you, but accordingly, I may have had more than a standard dose. And they had to give me even more barium halfway through the first MRI to get a better look at some stuff, so you'll probably have less barium to drink and experience much milder side effects than what I did.

You'll be fine...back on your feet and blogging in no time.

The Oko Box said...

oh Lou-
now i definitely dont want to do the barium thing! lol I didnt mention in the post my freakish fear of being closed in the machine, plus the fact that i have seizures.....NO WAY!
Just say NO to barium!!!! Each moment i become more averted. :0

Lou Cheese said...

Are you kidding? You'll be fine, seriously...

I was a tubby ex-weightlifter with an engineer's ability to describe every GI abnormality to the doctors in infinite detail, and my doctors had no idea what they were looking for or what my problem might be. Nor did I know enough about MCS to tell them what was up. My doctors were willing to fill me with barium because they didn't know what the answer was or where they would find it. But they figured if they fed me enough of the stuff that the answer would become clear, and that I could handle a beer bonged sized swig of the intoxicating brew. In retrospect, I'm surprised I didn't see a nurse walk in with one of those crazy hats with a can of barium on each side with a straw hanging out of each one, or that there wasn't a freshly tapped barium keg and a bunch of red plastic cups waiting for my arrival.

You're a petite delicate pixie who is only there for a specific test, and the doctors know exactly what to look for. You'll be fine. If you decide to ride your bike back home, just ask them to give you one of those nun hats for the trip back. If you don't need it you can always recycle it into something else ;>

Megan said...

Good luck! Does not sound fun, but hopefully they will have some good/progressive news for you. I'm sure they wouldn't give you anything they don't think you can handle.

The Oko Box said...

Hey Megan- Thanks!

Lou- LOL!! On the MCS front, the doctors office was filled with enough perfumed ladies to kill someone - and for the first time ever I said something terrible about it outloud in the waiting room (to myself no less)- "I cant wait till all the old ladies clear out of here and stop choking me with their f-en perfume...."
OMG! Must have been the perfume making me talk like that.
The first of the series of 2 barium tests is tomorrow...I am undecided.

Lou Cheese said...

Think of it this way, you'll be able to call yourself "The Barium Drinking Beauty From The Oko Box".

It's got a nice ring to it, and it kinda sounds like you'll have super powers or something.

The Oko Box said...

Lou, do you have stock in Barium mining? ... JJ...
I wonder how beauty queen I'll be while gaggin on strawberry floavored metal?! lol
Ok but seriously, My instincts have over-ridden my fear and I am going tomorrow morning - and got them to squeeze the two appointments into one....
we'll see.

Anonymous said...

Don't do the Barium sweetie.
When i was in Atlanta my gut went wild and had a difficult time coming back.
I related it to the water bottles..I believe they sterlize them by irradiantion. Once i cut palstic containers out of my life and I grew and organic garden and ate nothing except from my garden
(I ate a lot of okra). It all went away. Filter you water with charcol filter. You can make you own charcol filter with some work from untreated natural wood grinding it and stuffing it into a food grade stainless steel tube with sand at each end (not PVC). Sunlight will kill germs in water sit it in the sun in a glass bowl with organic cheese cloth over it.

Get recycle of all the plastic.
Orcas Island

The Oko Box said...

Thanks Edith for the cool water filter idea!
And I didnt end up drinking barium cause i had an allergic reaction to the "pop rocks" junk they give you before drinking the barium and had several convulsive seizures. it sucked and has made me have seizures again since...
no more for me!