A Question of Time
Posted by wendiwendy
On Monday we went up to Hines VA hospital so Dave could have an upper endoscopy. This was unrelated to his Hepatitis C diagnosis; he’s been going for fairly regular visits over the past year or so to figure out what is causing this chronic cough he’s had. He doesn’t smoke, and nothing in particular seems to provoke it (exercise, etc.) He’s had lung function tests, CAT scans and been put on medication for GERD, he’s been seen by pulmonologists and ENTs, and now he’s being seen by gastro specialists.
Since he had a bone marrow transplant back in 1993, he also gets graft-versus-host (GVH) flare-ups and these can manifest in all sorts of weird ways, affecting different parts of his body. So we also thought the cough might be a GVH byproduct.
Dave loves to diagnose via Google, so he ran across this procedure called a fundoplication that he thinks will eliminate the GERD and the cough. When he had his first visit with the Gastroenterologist, he brought up the possibility of getting this procedure and the doctor agreed that he’s most likely a candidate. However, he had to get the endoscopy first.
He was given twilight sleep and it knocked him out completely so he doesn’t remember the procedure at all. (He’s had twilight sleep before and still remained alert, so he wasn’t sure if he would be awake for this or not…I’m glad he wasn’t!) I guess they took some biopsies so we are waiting to hear the results. (This makes me very nervous because I always associate the word biopsy with cancer.) It could be quite a while…they said it takes about a week to get the results, but he won’t actually find out what they are until they schedule another appointment with the Gastroenterologist. The way the VA works, they call you and tell you when your appointment is…you don’t call to schedule one yourself. It can take weeks before they call to set up appointments…the endoscopy took about 3 weeks, and we are still waiting for a call to schedule the liver biopsy.
When Dave’s first blood test came back wonky (with low platelets) in early November, they scheduled him for an ultrasound a few days later. We never found out the results of the ultrasound until Dec. 2, when he had another blood test and visit with the hematologist. On that day, they took 15 tubes of blood because the ultrasound had shown his liver was enlarged. He finally saw the hepatologist to go over the results of the blood work (which showed Hepatitis C) on Jan. 3. So it seems to take about a month to find out the actual results of a test…and that drives me crazy, since I like to find out what’s going on right away. This is really teaching me the fine art of patience!
So that’s where we are right now…waiting for the results of the endoscopy, waiting for another appointment with gastro, and waiting for them to call to schedule the liver biopsy. Sigh