The Mysteries of the Gastro-intestinal Tract or How I Survived My Husband’s Ulcer

Nadine - Hadley, Massachusetts
Entered on November 20, 2007
Age Group: 65+
Themes: family, illness
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The past two years have been eventful ones. No exotic trips to faraway places but lots of local excursions to the emergency room at Cooley Dickinson Hospital. At first, I found the trips broke up the ordinary evenings at home with a little mild trauma in the emergency room. Several hernias later, a few arthroscopic surgeries and we were home free.

Then the big pains started coming. Adhesions? More hernias? Who knew. We could have consulted our tarot reader and got more information.

Maybe IBS? A dairy allergy? Let’s try tylenol. In extreme pain, hydromorphone. My kingdom for a diagnosis.

Soon that wasn’t enough. Stress maybe. Hey, if you aren’t stressed already, you soon will be when the pain goes to ten. Usually it’s around five.

Finally, a week of intermittent agony brought us once again to the doorway at Cooley Dickinson E.R. You are back again? Now what’s wrong? Several doctors later, dilaudid is given. I go home. He stays.

Next day I go back. Nothing by mouth. Endoscopy – a tube for looking right into the stomach and beyond to the little woodsy places in the duodenum. Guess what – a huge ulcer.

To check the nether regions of the mysterious zones, a camera is introduced that travels all through the system, sending interminable plotless images of the interior. Dr. Meyers watches this for hours. Later he prescribes broth and custard – for the next two months.

In the meantime, I have covered the classes missed by Professor of the Nether Regions. I have brought the laptop and the papers to the hospital. I have gradually restored my inner peace to its prior condition.

Ernie is home, enjoying his consomme and his yogurt. He is not in pain thanks to Prilosec. His ulcer should clear up in a month or two. If you experience any twinges in your gut, demand an endoscopy right away. Don’t wait for two years. You could bleed to death or poke a hole in your duodenum making quite a mess in your interior. Honest.