Banner photo of Larry Eugene Meredith, Ronald Tipton and Patrick Flynn, 2017.

The good times are memories
In the drinking of elder men...

-- Larry E.
Time II

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Who Is that Old Man Dogging My Steps?

You're walkin' along, hummin' a song, when outta a clear blue sky; wham! Bam! You're feelin' like some old guy.

In case you missed it in a previous post, I recently underwent an emergency endoscopy and colonoscopy, not to mention a stat, immediate blood test of my hemoglobin. My hemoglobin was down, but not critically so.

The reason for all this was the day after Easter I had black and sticky stools, road tar, as the doctor called it. I know, discussing a bowel movement is a gross subject, but we're all adult here so man or woman up. What it meant was I was bleeding somewhere in the digestive tubes. This isn't exactly the thing you say, "Whoopee, look at me," about. After an initial reaction of, "Yeuw!" your next thought is, "Am I doomed?" Then you call the doctor. Well, in my case, ever optimistic, overly proud of my super-active immune system (I mean the blasted thing has never known when to stop thus giving me psoriasis, arthritis, Grave's Disease and a bummed up [now dead] thyroid, but also pretty well zapped colds and healed wounds quick) and phobic fear of people sticking needles through my flesh, I waited a couple more days. After all, if history proved correct, it'd go away.

Stupid history, it didn't go away.

And so I made a visit to Dr. Sue (my primary physician) who arranged the emergency oscopies a week later with a Dr. Beswick.  That is my primary
doctor pictured on the left. My friend Ron did not want to believe that my doctor looked like that, but indeed she do. Dr. Beswick is on the right. He looks like he looks, too.

Anyway, the upshot of all this inner perusing of my body showed I had an ulcer in the distal bulb, and obviously it's a bleeder.

It's also a rare little varmint. Naturally, I am always in the unusual minority in these things. Most people who get psoriasis don't get it to the extent I have. Many more women than men get thyroidism and almost nobody had it flip from hypo to hyper within a year. There are only about 5% of people who get an ulcer in the distal bulb.  (Where is this kind of luck when I buy Powerball tickets?)  95% of the duodenal ulcers posit themselves up at the top near the stomach. Mine decided on the more remote area to the back of the duodenum. The duodenum is the first section of the small intestines where food is further broken down after leaving the stomach. It isn't real long. The ulcers toward the top, near the stomach, perforate; those to the bottom where it narrows just before the next section of small intestines, bleed.

My guess is I am suffering from anemia, which is why I tend to tire easily and why my walks have
gone from four to five miles to a pathetic two. Apparently my anemic condition isn't dire enough to be too threatening or I'd be in the hospital, as Dr. Sue had warned she would do if my hemoglobin was too low. I am not experiencing any shortness of breath or confusion, beyond my normal confused state. I just get weary much sooner when I do anything.

Exactly what we do about the creepy old man dogging my footsteps I don't know yet. I meet with the doctor, the guy on the right, not the pretty one on the left, on May 1 and find out what we are going to do. I guess he'll have the biopsies' results then and we'll see if I got bacteria in there. If I do then antiboptics are a-comin' my way, do-dah, do-dah!

They use to think ulcers were caused by what you ate or by stress. Now they know there is a sneaky little creature named Helicobacter pylori (alias H. pylori) that's the culprit. I hate to tell you this, but he and his ilk are floating around in your guts too. It's a bacteria natural to those environs of our body. I don't think they know why old H. (can I call him H. for short) goes all postal on some of us.

Of course, the little beast has put police tape around a lot of foods I can eat. If they don't cause the ulcer, they do agitate it once it's there, so no mo' of certain foods for me for a while.

(Translation: if you like it, you probably can't eat it.)

On left, hoagies and chips, native foodstuff - can't eat!

Is that downright criminal, or what?

No hot dogs, no pizza, no cheesesteaks, no chili, no spice, no mustard, no ketchup, no tomatoes, no oranges, lemons or limes or grapefruits or pineapple or juices thereof, no carbonated beverages, no coffee, no tea -hot or iced - no chocolate milk, no chocolate period, no peppermint, no alcohol of course, no French fries - no fried anything, no black pepper and certainly no red pepper, no onions, sauerkraut, bell peppers, cauliflower or broccoli, no pickled vegetables, garlic, ginger or nutmeg. There is one bright spot - no Brussels sprouts!

I can have seafood, but I don't like seafood.

I can have cabbage juice; really, CABBAGE JUICE!  Yum!

Whoever that old man is dogging my steps, he has terrible tastes in food.

Man, don't that cabbage juice look good? (right)

Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori)  duodental

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