Too many docs

I went to my GP yesterday in the never-ending quest to discover what ails me and walked out with a dead tree’s worth of paperwork.

I need to see a gastroenterologist about feeling queasy … and other things … all the time. That will involve a couple of “oscopies”, which I loathe due to the disgusting fluid you need to consume beforehand (I almost wretched just writing those words). I also need to see a urologist to get my bladder checked. Plus, one of the cysts on my ovary needs an additional once over because the ultrasound showed its an inch wide, which is apparently not too shabby in the girth stakes. Freddie, on the other hand, has shrunk a bit, so I can’t use him as an excuse for looking like I’m three months pregnant any more.

Then there’s a referral for a coeliac test. But I need to eat gluten for a couple of weeks to do that, so I will need to modify my diet again and hope I don’t get too sick eating toast for brekkie every day. I will continue to stay off the milk and nuts though and hope they’re the cause of my issues, because giving up gluten forever would be a bit sad.

This week has also included an eye test and a hearing test. My eyesight is slightly worse than last time. I gave in and ordered multi-focals because it’s a hassle having to swap between long and short-sighted glasses. I never remember to bring the short-sighted ones to the supermarket and can no longer read ingredients on packaging without them. This is a problem when you have a child who is vigilant about not eating anything containing sugar, as it’s hidden in 90% of store-bought food items.

My hearing test showed my right ear is just above the borderline for hearing loss, which is funny because it was my left ear that harboured a six-month infection.

I seriously can’t believe how many freaking tests I’ve had this year. I don’t want to think about how much they’ve all cost me. Ouch!

But it will be good to get an answer at some point – hopefully – and start to feel less dodgy.

I had vaguely wondered if it was my multiple disaccharide deficiences rearing their ugly heads again, but the symptoms don’t entirely match.

Well, some of them do, but not the main one. Prior to my multiple disaccharide deficiences diagnosis I was producing farts that were so toxic they actually made my children cry when they were trapped in the car with me. (My GP started giggling when I told him that.)

Cool Charmers was my best friend when I sat in my office at Woman’s Day, parping away merrily. I’m not sure it concealed the full horror, but it sweetened the blow.

The medical explanation for disaccharidase deficiencies is that they are caused by the decreased hydrolysis of disaccharides (double sugars) by the disaccharidase enzymes (lactase; maltase-glucoamylase; sucrase-isomaltase; palatinase and trehalase).

Maybe skip the next paragraph if you’re faint of stomach …

Increased intestinal gas may occur 30 minutes to hours after ingestion of the sugars and the distension of the bowel wall leads to crampy abdominal pain. The osmotic effect may be large enough to cause diarrhea, which is explosive when gas also accompanies the liquid stool.


My condition, I think, was caused by a combination of a hormonal imbalance following the birth of my second child, combined with intestinal damage from a three-month undiagnosed bout of giardia when I was 30 (anyone out there remember the Sydney giardia epidemic of the 90s?).

It was not a happy time in my life before being diagnosed and it was not much fun afterwards, as I subsisted on a diet of lettuce, steak and eggplant for three years.

Oh, the other major symptom I don’t have this time around is weight loss. I was soooooooo thin last time because when your body isn’t absorbing sugars you’re not getting enough nutrients. While it wasn’t great for my health – I know this is very un-PC of me – it was glorious to shop for clothes as a size 8-10.

The only other time I’ve been close to that skinny was when my husband left me. I didn’t eat for a month and my metabolism was so revved up when I started again that it just kept burning everything off. Oh, I was also walking up a lot of hills. Anyways, bottom line was that when I met DD I was very svelte and swanning around in bikinis. Now, not so much.

So gawd knows what’s going on.

OK, better start booking those specialist appointments … and extending my credit card limit.

Song of the day: Birdy “Skinny love”

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