Thursday, April 5, 2012

Answer: You're interesting, you're weird, and you can't be figured out in fifteen minutes.

Question:  What are three things you'd rather not hear from a doctor at urgent care.

So.  It's been a weird week here in CilleyLand.

Saturday I was hanging out at home, holding down the couch, when I lifted myself up slightly to grab something off my lap and felt a slight tugging sensation to the left of my belly button followed by the feeling that you get when you've been needing to pee for a really long time, so long that it's now painful to move.  Which was weird because I had just come back from the bathroom. 

That pressure eased off but on Sunday it was a little bit more of a pulling/pressure sensation -- again, about two inches wide and to the left of my navel.  Monday I worked way too freaking long because we had a deadline and I was going to take the day off on Tuesday.  Tuesday was more holding down the couch and still that weird pressure/pulling in my stomach.  Wednesday morning I woke up for work and the pull was really strong so I called in sick to work with the idea that maybe I'd go in to urgent care if I still had this odd thing going on.  I slept in for a bit and got up to find that the problem had mostly gone away.  Except now I looked like I had a tummy tuck but one that instead of sucking stuff out they put stuff in.  Like gel.  A flat tummy but one that is four or five inches deep.  Like I'm wearing an umpire's vest.

Now understand that my mom had a bladder prolapse several years ago (your bladder pops through a wall of muscle inside you) and my grandmother had an abdominal aortic aneyrusm (the big blood vessel in your stomach that is directly connected to your heart pooched out, pretty serious stuff).   So the swelling in my stomach was freaking me out. 

No wait at urgent care, which was nice, but as I expected they had to do a round of Q and A and then relay that to the doctor to see if they were going to immediately haul me off to the ER.  I didn't have pain per se and it wasn't on the right so I figured it wasn't my appendix, and everybody seemed to agree so they checked me in. 

And then the fun started.  The nurse and I -- a cute guy named Nick, Nurse Nick -- did another bout of questions and then I did it again with the doctor.  Poor doc learned pretty quick that yes, I am medically interesting and I am medically weird.  By this I mean these problems are usually caused by A, B, or C -- but I'm an R or maybe a T kind of a gal.  I train for and run marathons but when doing so my triglycerides double in a year's time.  They think I've got a problem caused by a poor diet -- but my diet is about 85% pretty good, even by the doctor's Conventional Wisdom (meat no more than once a day, the size of a pack of cards, no red meat, yadda yadda yadda) standards.  They think I don't exercise; nope, sorry, training for at least two half marathons and a marathon this year.  That's when I got the "well, I can't figure you out in fifteen minutes" line.  Which, I understand.  Insurance only lets you spend so much time and then they move you along.  So at the end, basically I got prescribed salad.

Oh, and that's because the top two choices for what's going on with my belly is an umbilical hernia or diverticulitis.  Or possibly both, because while divertic -- hell, I'm going to call it DV -- is the more likely candidate she could feel a ridge in my ab muscles that indicated I'd had a hernia.  

Dr. Google and I think DV is more likely overall because it would also explain the weird thing going on with my appetite/how fast I get full over the past five or six months.  I think I mentioned it here a couple of times, but since about October my appetite has changed.  I can't eat as much as I used to easily be able to.  Which is good, kind of.  At first, at least.  I seemed to be normally hungry, just fuller faster.  But the past couple of months my appetite has been declining.  Again, kind of good.  Except for the past few days I have had zero appetite.  Not even for beverages.  And that's not any kind of good.  I have to consciously eat and drink right now.  Loss of appetite is one of the DV symptoms.  I have all the others too.  In particular, the random bouts of nausea I've been having since about last October. 

The good news is, unless I hear otherwise from the lab tomorrow any DV pooches are not infected then the attack should pass -- and I feel a lot better today -- in a few more days.  I need to eat more roughage and hopefully my appetite will start to come back.  I'm okay with being a lot less prone to overeating in the future, but I would like to enjoy food again.  Lately I've been seeking out salt and spice in my food, it's the only thing that sounds good.  I wonder if maybe I didn't have a minor hernia, which is what happened on Saturday, but that all along I've had the DV and this just got someone to ask the right questions.  I think I mentioned that my appetite had changed to my regular doctor in January but it wasn't like this back then so maybe not.  I had figured it was just a factor of getting older.  To which the urgent care doc laughed and said I was still just a baby. 

Good to know.

So, how was your week?

the CilleyGirl


  1. Free medical consult:
    "lifted myself up.. felt tugging sensation left of belly button"
    ...likely muscular since related to muscular movement or abdominal hernia
    ...gastrointestinal things not necessarily related to movement

    "feeling you get when you've been needing to pee"
    ...first thought in a female is UTI but not usually near naval

    "Wednesday morning woke up and the pull was really strong"
    ...UTI still possibility intestinal trouble less likely hernia?

    "mom had a bladder prolapse"
    unlikely unless you've given birth...

    "No wait at urgent care"
    ..please try to avoid urgent care.... get a primary care doc/nurse and go to them for minor emergencies...

    "I am medically interesting and I am medically weird"
    ...I doubt it. We see all kinds.

    "my triglycerides double in a year's time"
    has nothing to do with exercise. Too many carbs. Low carb diets are the best way to decrease triglycerides...

    "but my diet is about 85% pretty good, even by the doctor's Conventional Wisdom"
    conventional wisdom is wrong...
    Meat is fine. I suggest you eat more. Red meat is fine. Eggs, chicken and fish are great.
    Salad is great, but most dressings are bad. Most have sugar or vinegar.
    Blue cheese dressing often has the lowest carbs. Check out the labels in the supermarket of all the salad dressings.
    Find the ones with the lowest or no carbs.

    "she could feel a ridge in my ab muscles that indicated I'd had a hernia"
    Certainly possible. Especially if you have any previous abdominal surgery which may have left a small defect in the abdominal wall.
    A general surgeon can easily diagnosis whether or not you have an abdominal hernia. If so laparoscopic repair is a same day quick procudure to fix it.

    "Dr. Google and I think DV is more likely"
    Maybe. Maybe not. Check with your primary care doctor...
    Abdominal hernia may be more likely...

    Good luck!
    massachusetts doc

  2. I read the WebMD page. While it doesn't sound comfortable ... at least it isn't the traditional WebMD diagnosis of "Hey, you better finalize your will because that paper cut isn't a paper cut and you are going to die from a very rare form of cancer."

    I hope that DV nonsense goes bye bye soon.

    My week has been all sorts of vertigo and minimal appetite. But that, sadly, means no running. I've run two whole miles. Impressed?? Yeah, I'm totally about to go pro at this rate!