A Medical Update

Last modified on April 24th, 2008

After originally being denied access to see the specialist, St. Paul’s contacted me the other day and said they could fit me in this morning. So I went down to the hospital and went over my last test results and had a chance to talk to the doctor.

The good news is that my test came back c. diff negative, and although that’s not a fail safe test, it’s at least partially good news. Based on my symptoms and my tests, the specialist is fairly certain that I’ve developed either irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) or lactose intolerance, both of which can temporarily arise after fighting a gastro-intestinal ailment. So, short answer is that I need to just wait this out, and possibly try changing my diet to exclude diary for a while.

On my way out the door, I picked up a copy of all my records from St. Paul’s Hospital over the last two years. It’s a strange thing going back in time and reading some of the things I went through put onto paper. Here’s my favourite blurb, penned the day after I went through that window back in November of 2006:

A left zygomatic arch fracture is identified, which is only minimally displaced. Also [..] the left zygomaticofrontal suture is fractured.

In the region of the left orbit, there is an orbital floor fracture, with fluid and [bone] fragments herniating into the left maxillary sinus. Some of the intra-orbital fat has herniated downwards, however the [muscle at the bottom of the eye], which inferiorly displaced, has not entered the maxillary sinus.

There is also a fracture line in the posterolateral orbit, extending into the wall of the pterygopalatine fossa, with a 1mm x 3mm [bone] fragment which sits within the lateral orbital cavity.

There are also fractures of the anterior and lateral left maxillary walls.

The funny thing is that it was identified that I had an orbital floor fracture at this point, even though days later they didn’t mention it, or that it needed surgery. When I finally got surgery a few weeks later, the operating surgeon made the following comments about the fractures:

There was a significant comminuted [bones broken into multiple pieces] fracture of the patient’s orbital floor [the bone under my left eye]. The medial segment appeared to be unstable because it was attached to the patient’s slightly mobile zygomatic piece. The lateral orbital wall did not appear to be completely aligned but the lateral segment was stable.

Which seemed to indicate that it was a large fracture that was difficult to fix because some of the bony shelfs were not stable.

Anyways, I have to re-read all this stuff when I have more time. Looking at my blood work back in September, I was really sick in the hospital with pneumonia. Most of my numbers were outside of limits, and of prime concern was the state of my electrolytes and the fact I had blood in my urine. They noted that I was so dehydrated that my blood was taking up far less volume than normal, which usually leads to a state of shock. I’m glad that’s behind me.

** Update – after reading them again at lunch, I realized there’s a gap in my records during a period where I know I met with doctors. I called down to the hospital, and sure enough they have those on file, but didn’t include them. So I think I should be receiving those sometime soon.

2 responses to “A Medical Update”

  1. anonymous says:

    If it IS IBS, let me offer a bit of advice. I went through 2 years of tests and drugs and diets and all kinds of hoops, nothing helped me. And it was already known that I’m lactose intolerant, so that wasn’t it. Finally, I tried something basic, cheap and simple. 2 citrucel tablets, 4 times a day. Sonofabitch, it worked and I’ve been 98% normal ever since. I also was able to really tell what foods made me sick – things that have a lot of sulfur compounds in them, like raw onions and garlic.

    So that’s my advice. Citrucel. Not Metamucil, it’s a different substance that can make IBS worse. Citrucel. I use generic. It can’t hurt (just dont start at 2 4x a day, work up to it)

  2. Dan says:

    Your story is a difficult one to read about. I’m glad you’ve made it through it as well as you have!

    I know that nothing really needs to be said. But still, it was such bullshit! You’ve handled it amazingly well given the circumstances… I don’t think I could ever be as comfortable and relaxed about it as you seem to have come to be.

    Thanks for writing about it.

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