Abdominal Distention, Diarrhea, Colonoscopy and More

I am back to the same discomforts in my gastrointestinal system as experienced last year which finally led me to going through endoscopy. The diagnostic procedure revealed afterwards gastritis and hernia. I got treated with gastritis but the hernia remains because I refused the surgery which was recommended by a surgeon who followed me up after that trip to the emergency last year.

While constipation was one of the complaints I had then this time around it is diarrhea, now lasting over five months. The gastroenterologist I saw three weeks ago ordered for colonoscopy which I will undergo on October 30, the earliest schedule I was given. While waiting I continue to suffer the discomforts. My abdomen is now so distended I look like a woman in her last trimester of pregnancy. Nausea and cramps are being lessened by the tablets prescribed by my diabetes doctor. There is difficulty though in getting rid of the gas and as a result I experience chest pain intermittently. I also have now shortness of breath because of the distention pressing or pushing my chest and I easily get tired.

Despite all this I continue to go out often to visit different health facilities.  A few days after seeing the gastroenterologist at the Gastrointestinal Center adjacent to Amiri Hospital, I was again back to my diabetes doctor asking for a remedy for the discomforts I have long been experiencing brought about by whatever is wrong with my gut. She prescribed Motilium (domperidone)  and Buscopan (butylscopolamine) which helped tremendously in relieving me of nausea and abdominal cramping.

Was out again to meet my regular appointment with my Audiologist last October 9 and the following day to Khaldiya Eye Clinic for funduscopy (a special eye examination to detect early signs of retinopathy). I was not seen though and instead was given an appointment to go back October 13.

October 13, a Sunday, and the start of the week in Kuwait, was declared a holiday till Thursday because of the Eid, a culminating celebration of the yearly Hajj or Pilgrimage. The traditional celebration of Eid by my husband’s family members was held in our house last Tuesday, October 15. Had a little difficulty in hiding my discomforts and was upstairs visiting the toilet countless times the whole afternoon and by past 8pm, I excused myself and went straight to bed because of fatigue. The family stayed till midnight.

Today, I went back to Khaldiya Clinic to reschedule the October 13 appointment. Because of the one full week holiday, I was squeezed in to somehow ease the backlog of schedules. I came very early and was, in fact, ahead of everybody, including the staff of the clinic which was still closed at 6.35am on my arrival. Had I come late, I would have been scheduled for another day.

Funduscopy, although very uncomfortable to go through, has always been a welcome procedure as it assures me that I will never go blind as a result of my diabetes. Was again declared free of damage in both my eyes. Alhamdulillah! Was supposed to undergo refraction as I need a change of eyeglasses but this was not done in order to give way for a more important eye examination as funduscopy. I was instead given a new schedule to go back on Wednesday, October 23.

From the eye clinic, I went to my regular monthly appointment with my diabetes doctor. She upped the dosage of both my InsulinLantus (long acting) and Humalog (fast-acting), both in pens) – as per result of the strict blood sugar monitoring I did in the house three days prior. She asked me to see her as soon as I get the result of the colonoscopy and not to wait for the next regular appointment. She wrote prescriptions for my take-home meds and I left the clinic carrying thee bagfuls of medicines.

Tomorrow is my regular appointment at the Kuwait Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Hospital for my back problems. Then on Thursday, October 24, I will undergo a new diagnostic procedure – echocardiography – and on to see a cardiologist at the Amiri Hospital. The cardiac stress test (Stress/Rest Myocardial Perfusion Scan) I did last week of September came back with a report of “No scintigraphic evidence of stress induced ischemia”. The ECG report though read “on significant T wave inversion inferolateral.” When searched on the internet, the ECG findings point to cardiomyopathy. This could be why my heart is enlarged (cardiomegaly) as seen on the chest X-ray done during my confinement at the Casualty ICU. Anyway, I will have this confirmed by the cardiologist on Thursday and I make sure I ask him particularly about this because it has been persistently mentioned in all the readings I did that cardiomyopathy is hereditary. Could this be that heart ailment which runs in my father’s side of the family?

With all these health challenges that I continuously face, it is mainly my faith in God which keeps me going. He keeps me strong spiritually, strong enough to face my responsibilities over my family members and neighbors on a daily basis.  I sure have a very meaningful and blessed life despite the many ailments I suffer from. And as always I thank God because as ever possible as it can get – it could have been worse!

About Author

Freda Editha O. Contreras
Writing is a God-given talent which I try to utilize the good way. I used it as a means to earn a living, my very first job after graduating from college, when I got hired as an Information Writer by the Provincial Government of Antique through Governor Enrique A. Zaldivar in January 1982. By profession, I am a Registered Nurse, and was only able to practice it when I got recruited to work in a private hospital in Kuwait. This was in November 1987 and since then I have been living in Kuwait, now retired since June 2002. Because of my knack in writing I got hired in 1994 to write for Kuwait Times and later became an Editor of 'Pinoy News' a weekly supplement of KT. In March 1996 I published the very first independent Filipino newspaper in Kuwait and the Gulf bannered as Pinoy Expat News or PEN. The paper lasted for only 10 weekly issues. This was followed by another publication and came out first as an insert of an ad paper and later as a separate tabloid. I used then 'Pinoy News' as it was my idea the first time it was used for Kuwait Times. This again failed and produced only three weekly issues. I then turned to the Internet and in 1999 I got hired as a Contributing Editor of Suite101.com, a writers' portal on the web. The last of my articles was published December 31, 2002 but my topic 'Overseas Filipino Workers' was still visible until January 2006. All the 38 articles I wrote have been compiled into a book which I published in August 2007. I discovered blogging in 2006 but was not really serious about my writing. I wrote according to my whim. Having this blog under my own domain name is now a welcome development and I plan to concentrate again in writing. As is commonly said: "A writer will always be a writer." http://fredacontreras.com/

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