Gastroenterologist (9 posts)

COVID-19 and low lymphocytes with Crohn’s

I know I haven’t written in quite a while, but I’ve been doing fine, so there hasn’t been anything to write about.

My last in-person appointment with my gastroenterologist was in April 2019. At that appointment, she told me she had started offering eVisits, and she asked if I’d like my next visit to be online. I said that would be great. Usually, the earliest appointment I can get for my gastro is at 9 am, and my work starts at 9 am, so whenever I have gastro appointments, I end up missing time at work, which I prefer not to do. My appointments usually take at least half an hour, because usually the doctor is running behind, so I spend a lot of time in the waiting room. Since I take the bus, I also have to wait for the bus, then spend more time on the bus. By the time I get back to work, it’s usually almost time for lunch, so I actually took the day off in April for that appointment.

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Gastroenterologist appointment

I saw my gastroenterologist today. I always remind myself to try to remember everything she says so I can write it down here, but I’m not very good at it.

She said my colonoscopy back in July looked very good. I think she said she took a bunch of biopsies, which surprised me, because I didn’t think they had. In previous colonoscopies, there were times where it hurt, and I figured that was because they were taking a biopsy, but during my last colonoscopy, it didn’t hurt at all. She said something about the left side, I think maybe there was inflammation there. But I think she basically said it looks like there wasn’t any active Crohn’s.

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Stopping Imuran and gastroenterologist appointment

Back in September 2016, my gastroenterologist called me and had me decrease my Imuran dosage because my lymphocyte count was low, so instead of taking two pills a day, I would starting taking only one. I have bloodwork done every three months so that my doctor can keep an eye on how my body is reacting to the medication. After my next bloodwork results came back, she called again and told me my lymphocyte count was still low. I hadn’t experienced any negative side effects after decreasing the Imuran, so she told me stop taking the Imuran completely. At that point, I had been taking Imuran every day for almost four and half years, and Imuran is the only drug I was taking for my Crohn’s. I didn’t need to taper off at all, and I didn’t notice any side effects after stopping the Imuran.

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See ya in nine months

I had an appointment with my gastroenterologist this past week. It was just a regular follow-up appointment that I go to every six months to make sure I’m still doing fine.

For once, I remembered before the appointment to check my medication to see if I needed a new prescription and to check my blood work requisition form to see if I needed a new one.

I do blood work every three months, and the requisition form expires about nine months after the first time I use it, so I get three uses out of each form. At the blood work lab, they are very picky, and they won’t let you go a week early, as I tried to do once; I need to wait at least 90 days since the last time I had blood work done before they can do it again. I get my blood work done on Saturday mornings, since that’s the only time my lab is open outside of my regular work hours. If it’s a holiday weekend, they’ll be closed on Saturday, so I’ll need to go the next weekend, and if that happens, my blood work form usually ends up being expired about a week before I’m supposed to have my blood work done for the third time.

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See ya in six months

It’ll be a year tomorrow since the last time I’ve written. And why? Well, because there’s been nothing to write about! And no news is good news, so they say, and in this case, they would be right.

I had an appointment with my gastro doc last week, which I continue to do every six months. My last few appointments have gone basically the same: she says hello, how are you? I say good, and how are you? She says fine and asks what medications I’m taking. I say Imuran, two pills a day, however many milligrams that works out to, and a multivitamin. She asks how my bowel movements have been. I say typically 0-2 every day. She asks if they’re well-formed or loose, and I say they’re good, and I forget that I had a few loose ones last week, but whatever. She asks if I have any joint problems. I say no, not that I can think of. She asks if I’m seeing a bone doctor, and I say yeah, I have an appointment with him in like a year or two. She asks if I’m taking anything for my bones, and I say no, I was taking calcium, but the bone doc said I get enough calcium in my diet so I shouldn’t take the pills. She looks at my blood work, which I go for every three months. She says the numbers are good and asks if I need a new requisition. She asks if I need any refills on my prescriptions. I say nope, and I’ll give them a call if I do need them. She says great, any questions, anything bothering me? I say nope. She says I’ll see you in six months, and I say thanks, see ya.

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A regular appointment

I had an appointment with my gastroenterologist the other day. It was just a regular checkup to see how I was doing.

Blood test results

My doctor said my blood test results have been normal. She said if the marker that they look at for Crohn’s — CRP (C-reactive protein) — is under 10, it’s normal. My past few test results have all been under 10, though they have been increasing (from 1 point something to my most result result, 4 point something). My doctor didn’t say anything about this pattern, so I guess that’s not a big deal.

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Bone density scan

I had an appointment with my gastroenterologist in January. I’ve been taking Imuran since June 2012 and Entocort since September 2012. At my last appointment in September, my doctor told me I would only take the Entocort for a few months and then taper off, which I have been doing since then.

Using steroids (like Entocort) that areoften prescribed for Crohn’s disease can lead to osteoporosis if they are used for a long time. I had previously also taken the steroid Prednisone for a few months, so my doctor booked me for a bone density scan. I had the test back in January, and I would get the results in April, the next time I saw my gastroenterologist.

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I’m on drugs!: A new gastroenterologist and Prednisone

Last week, I had an appointment with a new gastroenterologist. The reason I have a new gastro doc is because back in January/February, I was doing pretty bad. I wasn’t sure if I was having a flare-up, because I also had the flu around the same time. I don’t know if I’ve ever had the actual flu before this, because this time was really bad. And frustrating, because I was missing classes, which makes me stress out, which makes me even sicker. I tried going to my linguistics class, but I had to sit down in the hallway halfway there, and then I just ended up going back home. My parents came to see me in residence just to make me scrambled eggs so I would eat something. It really, really sucked.

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Today is the greatest

I went to the gastro doctor yesterday for a follow-up on my colonoscopy. The secretary didn’t even recognize me — that’s how much better I was looking. Last week, a girl in my class mentioned that I looked nice. I thought maybe it was because I decided to wear eyeliner (and boy, must that have been magic eyeliner if strangers were complimenting me), but then my mom pointed out that I’ve been putting on weight and I’m not so pale any more. In fact, I was in the triple digits at the beginning of the month. I’ve seen I think 106 pounds once? Pretty awesome.

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