All this week I have been feeling really poorly with an upset stomach – very painful stomach cramps and very tender and painful around Kermit (my stoma). My hubby was getting more and more concerned as the days went on, and said I really should see someone – I phoned the stoma nurse the other day and she wants to see me next week, but today, I was so fed up with feeling poorly all week, so I decided to phone the doctor, and they fitted me in straight away. My hubby was home in time to take me. They've got a new young doctor at the surgery and we saw her – she was absolutely great – very on the ball, going the extra mile and volunteering lots of information, checking all the time that I understood what she was saying, and listening to me as well. I would definitely like to see her again in future.
She began the consultation by discussing the business of the clots on my lungs that had shown up on my recent CT scan. My surgeon had said that they weren't serious and I just needed to take some baby aspirin daily, but the GP took it a lot more seriously and said they needed dealing with as a matter of urgency, and that I needed an anticoagulant. We discussed warfarin, and then she mentioned a more recent drug that she is happier to prescribe - rivaroxaban (proprietory name Xarelto) – this has the advantage over warfarin of not requiring the frequent INR tests – we know all about this because while Mum was here with us, she was put on warfarin for her atrial fibrillation and they never seemed to get the dose stabilised – she was tested every week and every week the dose was phoned through, with different amounts needing to be taken each day. I couldn't cope with all that on a regular basis! She wants me to go in on Monday for bloods, and I asked if I could get my pre-oncology appointment ones done at the same time and she said that would be fine – I have a letter that the oncology dept. gave me at my last appointment six months ago, which I have to take in with me. When I originally asked if both lots could be done the week before my oncology appointment, she said no – the pulmonary embolism needed to be treated much more urgently than that. Fortunately the clots are small.
I was impressed that she took this seriously and discussed fully the options, so that I could make an informed choice regarding treatment.
We then went on to discuss the main reason I'd gone in – this wretched tummy bug. She did my obs and said everything was fine but my blood pressure is quite low (that's normal for me) and so was my blood oxygen level – but I told her I've been very inactive over the past week, which could account for that. She then examined me and could tell how tender my whole abdomen was and said I'd definitely been having a bout of gastro-enteritis, and she then examined the particularly tender area on the lower right hand side of Kermit. She told me I'd got a slight hernia. This is a major bore. I had hoped I'd escape getting one but they are very common with ostomates. She said it's not too bad and nothing needs to be done. I told her I was hoping to see the stoma nurse next week and I expect she will confirm this.
She confirmed my assumption that I did not have an obstruction – I told her I knew from being on the forum what the symptoms of that were, and I was confident that everything was flowing OK.
She said that it wasn't too important that I wasn't able to eat much at the moment, but how important it was to keep hydrated. This morning I made up a litre of St. Mark's solution and have been drinking that, and I've had Diarolyte too. St. Mark’s solution is a DIY rehydration remedy that consists of salt, glucose and bicarbonate of soda dissolved in water. It not only restores one’s hydration but also one’s electrolytes. Dehydration is a real hazard for people with ileostomies. She said in order to avoid feeling nauseous (which I have been) it was better to drink plenty of sips little and often rather than gulping down a whole lot at once. She's also prescribed some Cyclizine hydrochloride against nausea in the short term. There's a warning on the pack that it might cause drowsiness so I expect Shoshi will be in the land of nod for the next few days! I've got a lot to do tomorrow so I hope I am well enough, and manage to keep awake!
It was a very good appointment, and I came away feeling very positive that they are doing the best they can for me. I am definitely feeling a bit better now – not so many griping pains in my stomach, and feeling more focused and alert. I felt simply dreadful last night and had to go to bed early (most unusual for me) and my hubby was worried because all I ate for supper was half a little tub of yoghurt.