Well, we made it through winter…not that we’ve had much of one. It was a good excuse to break out the jackets and drink more coffee, but I don’t think I so much as touched a heater. As we start creeping toward the end of another year, I start wondering whether I might make the leap from here to Christmas without an admission. The last two Novembers – and possibly a third before those – I spent at least half the month in a hospital. From infections to transplants to IBD flares, it’s becoming a bit of a pattern. After last week’s consultation with my gastro specialist, it’s looking like I’ll be able to avoid a hospital bed this year, but I can see one or two hurdles.
I just cannot stop eating! I’m pretty sure it’s the pred, but before I even finish whatever’s in front of me, I’m mentally preparing the pipeline of food that will ensure I look at least 6 months pregnant and spend most of the night in the bathroom. Consequences don’t stop me, this hunger is a beast! Other than that, the past few weeks haven’t been incredibly eventful. I had my clinic appointment with gastro, which was good in some ways, but ultimately resolved nothing.
Something has changed. I don’t know if it’s the reduction in medication or the two bags of blood, but I have more energy than I’ve had all year. It’s unreal! I’ve been able to go for walks without starting to black-out or getting light-headed. I can climb stairs without feeling exhausted at the top. I’ve been able to go back to work and haven’t been shattered when I get home. And it’s not just my energy that’s returning. I’ve been ridiculously hungry. Two weeks ago, I was lucky if I could eat a full meal, now I could eat two! I don’t think I’ll have loose clothes for much longer.
And after 10 days of waiting to see some improvement in my neutrophils (the things in my blood that show smart people how likely I am to get sick), I’ve been sent home. Unfortunately, my results still hadn’t reached the level my specialists were hoping for, but they were happy for me to recover at home as long as I took appropriate precautions (basically wash my hands and don’t get coughed on). Regardless of how long I manage to stay out for, it’s great to be back at home – those beds are not made for long humans.
After six days in hospital, it looks like we have a plan! My blood test results are slowly returning to a stable level and with no other immediate challenges, we are starting to look at the longer term management of the ulcerative colitis. There still seems to be some reluctance from all of the doctors I’ve spoken with to make an open call for one path over another (medical therapy vs. surgery to remove my large bowel), but their preferences are not well hidden.