Category Archives: Endometriosis Adenomyosis

Weekly roundup

The first half of the week was dominated by The Curse.  My endo pain was excruciating, I couldn’t eat, couldn’t sleep, had a 3 day migraine and felt bloody awful.  Despite all that, Tuesday night I’d committed to help out at the beginner’s photography class but as I sat there my entire body was tingling and I felt scarily light-headed.  My iron levels, I’m sure, are low again due to me not eating as well as I could with everything that’s gone on with my Mum in the past couple of months.  So on Weds I decided to take 2 sachets of Spatone iron water instead of the usual 1 and within 24 hours I did feel much better 🙂

While I was at the photography class my friend noticed one of the rear tail lights wasn’t working on my car, so on Friday I had to go to Halfords to get it replaced, which cost me £20!   For 2 tiddly little bulbs – daylight bloody robbery.

My parents live in a first floor apartment.   They have an intercom on their front door so that they can see and speak to anyone who arrives at the house, then can open the door remotely with a wireless fob.   Only the day my Mum arrived out of hospital the bloody intercom stopped working *sigh*.  What was needed was a new system, because the handset for the intercom was in the hall and my Mum can now barely get out of her chair so she really needs a handset next to her in the lounge.  No problem, you can get wireless systems these days that I could fit myself…………..which worked everywhere in the house except where my Mum sits in the lounge which was a black hole of interference.  FFS.  I had to send the first one I tried back, and the second one I tried back, so this aft I’m picking up a third one which guarantees to be interference free.  Please God can this one just bloody work?

My Dad takes the fob to open the door with him when he goes out, as he now sometimes struggles to remember the numbers for the doorpad.   This, of course, leaves my Mum with no way of opening the front door if she’s in the house on her own.  No problem,  I thought, I’ll just get a second fob from Yale.  I then spent an hour trying to pair it to the front door without success.  I spent 25 minutes on hold trying to get through to the Yale helpdesk, only to be told they couldn’t help me and I needed to speak to the technical team……who were busy.  A ticket was raised and after I explained it was for my disabled Mother they said they’d get back to me urgently.  A week passed and I heard nothing.  I then shamed them on Facebook and 3 people rang me in the space of an hour!  Apparently since we got our door several years ago the wireless receiver for the fob has changed, so they sent out a new receiver.  Which still didn’t work with the new fob.  I then spent another hour on the phone to Yale who told me to reset everything.  Only then the door wouldn’t work at all.  You couldn’t get in or out and it didn’t lock.  The customer service chap then gave up, said he hadn’t a clue how to fix it and left me to it, saying he’d ring me back on Monday with a solution, leaving my disabled, vulnerable and elderly parents all weekend with a front door which wouldn’t lock or open!!!  I worked out that the reason nothing worked is that we’d faffed on for so long the batteries had died and all was well after new ones were put in (how come I could figure this out and the technical chap from Yale couldn’t?!), but I’m still none the wiser on how to get a 2nd fob to work with the old lock.

Why does every goddamn thing end up being so stressful and exhausting?!  The reviews for the wireless intercom on Amazon were excellent – everyone else just plugged it in and it worked perfectly.  Not for me though, oh no, that would be far too easy :-/  Y’know, when the people around me helpfully suggest I “get more help” in dealing with my parents who the fuck do they think I’m going to employ to do stuff like this?  Or to trail into town because my Mum needs new slippers, only her feet are swollen so she doesn’t know if she needs a size 4 or a size 5, so I have to buy both, take them home, try them on her, then go back into town to return the pair that didn’t fit.  Or the fact that my Dad can’t even cope with deleting photos off his camera so that he can take the memory stick up to the Kodak shop to get printed off, so needed me to help.  Or the decorators who promised to paint my parents’ hall and stairs by the end of September but haven’t yet turned up and needed chasing.  They’re now coming on Weds this week, so muggings here has to go today and take all the pictures down, the shelf off the wall above the radiator and my Mum wants rid of the old Intercom and wires which involves me crawling about in the loft and just hoping I don’t get electrocuted.  I do wish the do-gooders, who have absolutely no clue what’s involved in looking after elderly parents, would shut the fuck up about me needing more help like it’s an achievable solution when it’s nothing of the kind.

Lovely people keep buying me stuff for birthdays and Christmas, only I’m not a ‘stuff’ kind’ve girl and have zero need for most of it.  So I now have several boxes of irrelevant, but brand new and beautiful, shite sitting in the corner of my bedroom.  I had planned on doing a couple of car boots in the summer to get rid,  only a combination of the weather, my own health and my Mum’s health put the kibosh on it.  However there was a table top sale in the next village on Saturday so I loaded up the car, unloaded it the other end, reloaded it 4 hours later and carried it all back into my bedroom, making a lousy £19 in the process.  This morning I’ve woken up with my back, elbows, wrists and knees on fire from all the lifting and I’m not entirely sure the pain is worth the piddling amount of cash I raised 😉

Apologies for such a grumpy roundup, but the truth is I feel grumpy (I think I’m still hormonal).  And tired.  And a bit fed up.  This week I’ve had zero time for myself or to do anything fun and I’m a girl who needs a bit of fun to keep my disposition happy.  I promise to try harder this week 🙂

 

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Weekly roundup

Whoooooooo.  This is the sound of me exhaling, something I haven’t done for a good 2 months.  Finally I’ve been able to have a couple of days at home and actually slob about in my jim jams, well until it’s time to take the furry child out for his afternoon jollies when it’s advisable to put some clothes on – I’d be a Smorgasboard for mozzies, ticks and midges if I sauntered through the woods half naked.

Physically my Mum is coping OK, but it’s her behaviour which is astounding me.  She is no longer drunk and we are having actual conversations in which she is lucid, rational and just plain normal.  And she’s now ringing me too, which she hasn’t done for 4 years as she was too busy getting legless.  I don’t have to think about what time of day it is, because I can speak to her at 7pm at night and she’s just the same as she was at 10am.  When she was drinking she was so smashed she made no sense by evening.  On a purely selfish level it’s wonderful.

But more than that she’s really calm.  My Mum’s always been a feisty person and while she’s been drinking she’s been a mare.  She constantly got frustrated and irritated, particularly with my Dad, and was a real bully at times.  But since coming out of hospital she is weirdly chilled.  She is not snappy and constantly losing her cool, which means visiting isn’t the stressful experience it used to be.

I arranged for her GP to come and check her over and had a quiet word with her about the situation.  My fear is that now Mum is out of hospital, she is not being fussed over by the nurses, she doesn’t have the other patients to chat to, she’s not drinking and is discovering the full extend of her physical limitations and isolation that she will nose dive into severe depression.  She drank because she was unhappy and lonely and that hasn’t gone anywhere.  So the GP is coming back this week to monitor her mental health.  I’m not buying this new, zen persona for a second, though I’m enjoying it while it’s on offer.

My hormones have been rampant this week and I had a very painful ovulation.  My egg release is getting more and more excruciating, I’m assuming because of all the endo-related adhesions on my ovaries,  and for a couple of days I literally couldn’t stand up straight.  I also had a niggly migraine for 4 days which kind’ve spoiled my R&R and my emotions were up and down like a bride’s nightie – one minute tearful, the next wanting to tear someone’s head off.  S’not nice.

Wednesday night was my Camera Club and months ago I’d been roped into doing a demonstration on Photoshop.  I woke that morning with a migraine which got worse as the day progressed, but thankfully it wasn’t bad enough to stop me driving so I soldiered on.  All was fine until mid-way through the workshop when my brain suddenly felt like it had become loose and had gone crashing into the side of my skull.  I seriously thought I was having a stroke.  For a few minutes all thought processes ceased and I literally couldn’t speak, which was proper scary.  Although it settled down, for the next half an hour trying to get my thoughts and words together was tricky and my blood sugar plummeted until my hands were shaking.  These weird vertigo-like episodes are becoming more frequent and I’m not sure if it’s to do with the peri-menopause or is linked to my migraine (I’m thinking more hormones because they often happen without a headache).  I do wish they’d jog on cos they’re starting to freak me out.

Being as though I had a few hours to myself this week I was able to take some photos, which I haven’t had time for in ages.  We have a competition coming up with the theme of ‘Water’, so I decided to try and photograph ‘rain’ which involved being outside in the dark in a flimsy dress and standing under a freezing cold hosepipe when it was only 10C outside.   I won’t be doing that again in a hurry 😉


I also thought I’d try some hi-key photos with the last of the summer flowers from my garden.  These were much more pleasant to do, if a bit of a faff.


On balance it’s not been a bad week all things considered, though my mast cells are certainly on high alert from all the stress and over-exertion of the past few weeks.  I am seriously not sleeping, have nightly anxiety nightmares which leave me drenched in sweat and am getting up in the night for a pee, a sure sign my histamine is rampant.  My back and joints are also painful, which is probably a combination of my hormones, mast cells and the autumnal weather, and my appetite has gone through the roof (definitely menopause related!).  On the plus side I’m starting to feel more like a human being than road kill and at least have clean socks and undies now I’ve had chance to do some laundry 🙂

 

 

 

 

Weekly roundup

This week has been dominated by my hormones so I’m guessing my period will arrive shortly.  My cycles can be anything from 19 days to 31 days so I can no longer just look at my diary to know when it’s due and have to go off other clues.  Tuesday morning I woke up fine, got up and fed Bertie, made a brew and took it back to bed to watch the news.  I’m sitting there minding my own business when the world suddenly lurches to the right like I’ve been kicked in the head and I spend the next hour with the room spinning.  I hate shit like that!

I panicked a bit, because that night I’d agreed to do a talk to my Camera Club’s beginner’s class which I knew I couldn’t do if I were dizzy, but luckily it wore off and I was able to go although I felt spaced out for most of the day.

Wednesday was the first warm, sunny day we’d had in weeks so my friend and I decided to visit a nature reserve where she looked at plants (she’s doing a botany course) and I sat and photographed dragonflies.  We were the only people there the entire afternoon.  The birds were singing, the insects were buzzing, we took a picnic………..and it was heavenly.  I swear, days don’t get much better than that in my world and it did me the power of good even if I did get sunburnt.
My friend: do you want some suntan lotion for your arms?
Me: No thanks, my arms never go red.  #lookinglikealorrydriver

Friday I woke with a migraine which is still lingering this morning.  I had a really busy day planned and just carried on regardless, which was hard work when it felt like there was someone in my brain with a pick axe, and I was so sick Friday night I couldn’t eat a thing.

This morning I’ve woken with endo-related period pain, the dizziness is back and I feel generally fluey and crap.  I am SO over this peri-menopause malarkey.  It’s not like I’m having a horrendous time compared to the horror stories I’ve read about online, but it’s been 5 years of symptoms now and I’ve just had enough.  I’m over the hormone induced migraines.  The feeling extra exhausted.  The joint pain.  The forgetfulness and confusion.  The nausea.   The nipple pain which feels like I’ve been stung by bees.  The swollen stomach which makes me look pregnant.  The ravenous appetite which has made me gain 8lbs in six months.  The never-ending peeing.  The constantly swollen breasts that feel like bowling balls.  And I’m absolutely over the endometriosis, which I know won’t go away after Menopause but which at least won’t ramp up every 3-4 weeks until I feel like my entire pelvis is on fire.  I’m 50 shortly and after 5 years of declining hormones surely to God the end can’t be too far off.  Can it?!

Normal test results

I’m the healthiest sick person you’ll ever meet.  Despite having Spinal Stenosis, MCAD and EDS from birth, M.E., Histamine Intolerance, Endometriosis and Adenomyosis 98% of all my test results have come back “normal”, at least according to my Doctors.  It will not surprise you that my response to that is “knickers!”.

When I was 11 I was climbing in some outbuildings and fell from the first floor onto the bonnet of a car, after which I developed back pain.  For the next 5 years I went backwards and forwards to the hospital who could find no reason for my symptoms.  X-ray results were “normal” and eventually I was told I was “attention seeking” and needed to see a shrink.  I refused and demanded a second opinion from an Orthopaed at a decent hospital 90 miles away (I was bolshy even at 16 😉 ).  Within 48 hours of being admitted they discovered I had been born with rare congenital spinal stenosis and urgently needed a laminectomy.  The fall wasn’t the cause of my back issue but had just aggravated a pre-existing condition.

This was my first experience that Doctors aren’t Gods and sometimes get it wrong and over the coming years I was to discover that they get it wrong more often than any of us would like.

It’s only in the past 5 years or so that NHS patients in the UK have been given access to their test results.  Historically, GPs would take loads of blood, not even tell you what you were being tested for and the results were sent back to the GP who only ever rang you if something abnormal was discovered.  But a GP’s idea of “normal” results and my idea of “normal” results seem to differ.

As I’ve discussed recently here on my blog, at the tail end of last year I started having symptoms of anaemia so asked my GP to check my iron levels.  They came back 1 point above the very bottom rung of “normal” (normal range 17-160 according to my lab sheet, and my result was 18), so my GP considered that fine.  Only of course it wasn’t fine because I was having symptoms.  I took it upon myself to start some supplements and within a week the pallor, exhaustion and daily dizziness I’d had for months vanished.  But if hadn’t gone to the surgery to request a print-out of my results and seen that my levels were low my GP would have just said everything was “normal”, I wouldn’t have tried the supplements and would have continued to feel like death warmed up.

When I saw Dr Seneviratne for my histamine/creatinine test it was high but within the “normal” range (normal is 34-177 and mine was 140).  However I’d been on a low histamine diet for 4 months at that stage, which one would hope would lower my histamine load and therefore skew the result, plus was symptomatic (at the time of testing my bum was covered in hives).  So thankfully Dr S still diagnosed me with “probable” MCAD because my history fairly conclusively suggested it.  But not all Doctors think like that – they see “normal” test results and rely on those, even when all the evidence is pointing towards there being a problem.

I’ve had severe gynae pain since the day I started my periods and over the years have had various tests and scans all of which were “normal”.  Well, apart from the fact my first ovarian scan showed a 2cm cyst which I was told was cyclical (they know this how?!) and 12 years later my second ovarian scan showed a 5cm cyst.  Turns out I have polysystic ovaries and due to my endo some were blood filled and when they burst caused excruciating pain and adhesions :-/  My first pelvic MRI at my local hospital showed absolutely nothing untoward, yet an MRI at a specialist endo centre six months later showed extensive endometriosis which even I could see on the scan!  So it turned out that the excruciating pain I’d lived with for the better part of 40 years wasn’t “normal” after all and I needed an urgent hysterectomy.

Anyone with Hypermobile Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome will tell you how painful and disabling the condition can be, yet nothing shows up on tests.  Genes and skin are normal, as are scans and x-rays.  Before I suspected hEDS I was told by medical staff that I was just “sensitive to pain” which made me feel like a total loser – little did they know I lived with pain most days that would have a healthy person reaching for the Vicodin and I did it without so much as a murmur, so far from being sensitive to pain the opposite was, in fact, true.

Here’s the thing I wish Doctors took more on board – if a person is having symptoms there is a problem, even if test results look “normal”.  I wish they’d listen more to what we’re telling them, take a full history and trust that we know our bodies better than they do.  What is “normal” for a 6ft 4″, 16 stone, male, thirtysomething rugby player might not be “normal” for a 5Ft, 7stone, teenage girl.

Back pain at the age of 11 is not “normal”.  Gynae pain so severe you’re curled up in the foetal position every month is not “normal”.  Fainting is not “normal”.  Widespread pain is not “normal”.  Seizures are not “normal”.  Fatigue which puts you in bed by 4pm every day is not “normal”.  Collapsing after every meal is not “normal”.  Flushing is not “normal”.  Daily nausea is not “normal”.   I don’t care that all my tests indicated nothing was  wrong, because something clearly was and it wasn’t something trivial to cause that much havoc.

My cynicism towards the medical profession is now legendary – that’s what comes of being fobbed off or 40 years that all is well.  In the end, I had to guess what my diseases were and inform my Doctors, who then did the relevant tests which, surprise!, came back not normal in any way 😉  I trusted my instincts, even though when I was younger I didn’t have enough confidence to challenge my Doctors.  I know there are some people who are hyper-vigilant and obsessive and who think they have some dreaded disease from every little ache, pain and niggle (I’ve met some of them online!) but I know my personality and know that I’m not a drama queen or someone who focuses abnormally on my body (again, the opposite is true and I actually ignore symptoms when I really shouldn’t!).

These days I’ve gained a fair bit of knowledge about my body and I know what’s normal for me and what’s not.  If I’m not happy with a consultation I’ll research the best doctor to see and request a referral even if it’s hundreds of miles away (which is my legal right).  I request a copy of my test results and will push for treatment or further testing if I think it’s needed.  After all, I’m the one who has to live in my body and suffer my symptoms, not my Doctor.

 

Anaemia

I’ve been feeling really washed out the past couple of months and my get up and go has got up and gone.  Both ME and EDS cause “fatigue” but I’ve had both for so long that I know what that exhaustion feels like and my current waffy-ness feels different.  I’ve also been dizzy……a lot.  I do suffer from dizziness as part of my existing conditions, but only for the odd day now and then and it’s usually so severe I can’t get out of bed.  My current dizziness is milder but ever present and each time I turn my head the world tilts slightly on its axis.  Plus I’m not sleeping.  I’ve had insomnia for over 2 decades but again this feels different and I just have a niggle that “summat’s up”.

Of course I am peri-menopausal and fatigue, dizziness and insomnia are simply part of the bag for many women.  But then so is anaemia especially if your periods are heavy, and mine are definitely heavier than they used to be.  There are various types of anaemia, but in menstruating women iron deficiency anaemia is the most common so I made an appointment to see the nurse today to get my bloods checked.

I have just about every risk factor for anaemia going:

1.   Peri-menopause/Menopause

Any menstruating woman can be at risk from anaemia, particularly if she has heavy periods.

2.   Endometriosis

I’m not just bleeding from my uterus every month, I’m also bleeding into my pelvic cavity because I have endometriosis.

3. MCAS

Anaemia is the most common issue affecting red blood cells in MCAS patients.  See Lisa’s excellent post written on this issue over at Mastattack.org

4. Gastritis

Any type of inflammatory stomach or intestinal disorder can cause anaemia, eg. gastritis, ulcers, diverticulitis, crohn’s disease, colitis, coeliac disease, GERD (ie acid reflux).

5. Drugs used to treat GERD

PPIs, H2 blockers and antacids can all interfere with iron absorption and I have been swigging Gaviscon and Rennies recently like they’re going out of fashion on top of taking an H2 antihistamine.

4. Diet

I’ve been pesco-vegetarian for nearly 30 years.  Before getting Histamine Intolerance I was very careful to eat a wide range of high iron vegetarian foods but since getting HIT and having to eat low histamine I’ve had to remove many of these from my diet, eg. spinach, soya beans, kidney beans, dried fruit, cashew nuts.

Diet deserves special mention.  People with ME, EDS, HIT and/or mast cell diseases are often on restricted diets of one kind or another.  Here in the UK we hardly ever get to see a Dietician, so are left to try and work out our food issues alone.  We often don’t have the skills or knowledge to decide if we’re eating enough of the right foods to give us all the vitamins and minerals we need, so it’s really important to have our bloods checked once a year just to make sure we’re not deficient (I was shocked to learn today that I hadn’t had a full blood work up since 2014 despite all the various issues I’ve had in the past year or two!).

I won’t get my results back until early next week, so I’ll keep you posted.  For those of a religious disposition please pray I’m not anaemic and don’t need iron tablets.  My poop is the only thing in my entire digestive tract which is currently normal so the last thing I need is to not be able to go-potty for days on end! 😉

Weekly roundup

I won’t lie, this week has been physically tough.  For two days I literally couldn’t stand upright for the pain in my abdomen, which turned out to mostly be down to the fact I was ovulating (early).  Due to my endometriosis, ovulation has become almost as painful as menstruation so now instead of being tortured once a month, I’m tortured twice.  Yay.

The huge surge in hormones associated with ovulation and menstruation play havoc with both my MCAD and my EDS.  I already have a hiatus hernia which becomes even more slack at these times, allowing acid from my stomach back up into my esophagus totally unchecked.  Histamine and other mast cell mediators respond to the rise in hormones, particularly in my stomach, increasing acid production which, added to the slack sphincter, causes reflux hell.

Add to this a lack of sleep and the emotional impact of huge surges in hormones and it leads to weepiness, grumpiness, anger and generally feeling shite.  I swear if there is re-incarnation I am refusing to ever come back to this plane as a girl.

I had another good session with my counsellor on Tuesday.  She is helping me understand why  my Mum is using alcohol to push me away and knowing the reasons behind that does help me be less angry at her (some of the time!).  In fact, the last few sessions have been so enlightening and helpful I’m not sure I need to keep going for therapy – I’ll make a decision about that next week.

Wednesday night was a competition night and I played a blinder.  We are allowed to enter 3 photos per competition and mine got 3rd, 2nd and 1st place!  It doesn’t get much better than that.  I’ve also been working on another weird image I’m calling ‘At One With Nature’ which I’ve entered into the next competition.  It’s sooo much fun dressing up, although I did get some very strange looks off the Postman when I answered the door to him looking like Morticia Addams 😉  The £8 wig off Ebay also shed like a mangy dog and I’m still finding 2 foot long hairs all over the house:

My dog walker’s daughter was poorly for 2 days this week which meant she couldn’t walk Bertie.  Why do these things happen when a) my scooter was away being fixed and b) I was having such a horrendous week I could barely stand??!  I just had to grit my teeth and walk the furry child myself, which was no fun in the world.  My scooter came back on Thursday and is so far OK, but it’s been OK before only to conk out again – time will tell if it’s actually fixed or not.

Today I’m driving the 45 minutes through to my best mate’s house to spend the afternoon with her.  It’s tiring and makes for a long day especially when I’m feeling rubbish, but at the same time it’s really nice to get away from the house which I rarely do.  I have to take Bertie out first though, then drop him off at my parents’ house for the day, so I’d better get my lazy arse out of bed and get cracking!

 

 

Abdominal pain

I’m starting to get worried about my gut.  Actually, that’s a lie.  I’ve been worried for a while now.  For several months I’ve had chronic abdominal pain.  At first it came and went and, though it was unpleasant, it didn’t bother me too much.  I get all sorts of random symptoms that come and go and they eventually settle down.  Not this time.  The pain, I have to admit to myself, is getting worse.  It’s constant and for 3 months now it’s been waking me up from sleep.  Last night was awful and I am a wreck this morning.

I am in pain from the middle of my oesophagus to my backside.  My back is in spasm from my shoulder blades to my tailbone.  I feel permanently sick and, though I get hungry, I’m full quickly.  The only good news is that my poop is fine, still huge, normal colour, no signs of blood, no constipation or diarrhea and I go nearly every morning after breakfast.  It is, however, about the only thing in my entire digestive tract which appears normal.

I know my oesophagus and stomach are being eroded by acid but when I can’t take H2 antihistamines or PPIs treatment for my chronic GERD is almost impossible.  High dose Gaviscon does help but doesn’t eliminate the problem.

I have so much wrong with me that the abdominal pain could be thirty different things: my MCAD, inflammatory bowel disease such as diverticulitis or colitis, gallbladder issues (my Mum had hers removed in her forties after 10 years of indescribable stomach pain), nerve impingement, hernia in the bowel wall, stomach ulcer……the list is endless.  It could even be a back issue and it’s referred pain or it could be down to my endometriosis adhering to the bowel walls.  Trying to get to the root cause of the pain is going to be a bloody nightmare and treating it with my drug allergy history probably impossible.

Ehlers-Danlos can cause a whole range of gut issues.  MCAD obviously causes gut pain.  Many people with M.E. have gut problems, the reason for which can usually never be found and get put down to “IBS” (a non-diagnosis if ever there was one).  Endometriosis can also affect the stomach and bowel.  It could be all four or totally unrelated and something else entirely – how on earth is the doctor going to know what’s causing what?!

The pain isn’t worse when I eat.  In fact, it’s worse during the night and first thing in the morning when my stomach and bowel are fairly empty, work that one out!  It’s proper getting me down now, especially as it’s affecting my sleep 😦

Please can I not have any comments telling me to cut out dairy or gluten or do a FODMAP diet.  If only my health problems were that simplistic.

I think I’m going to risk taking some antihistamines and see if I can tolerate them.  I started reacting to both H1s and H2s last year so stopped them, but it may be that now I’ve had a break I can tolerate them again (I started reacting to Gaviscon in 2015 but am taking it again fine this year).  If antihistamines help at least I’d know it’s probably my MCAD that’s playing up (I am super itchy atm).  I’m also still trying to pluck up the courage to try a different brand of PPI for my acid but am such a chicken when it comes to trying new meds after having so many awful reactions.

I suppose in some ways I’ve been lucky.  I had no serious gut issues until I was 45 which, considering all my illnesses can cause stomach problems, is fairly miraculous.  I’d better make an appointment to see my GP (for which I may wait 6 to 8 weeks), who will refer me to Gastro at the hospital (for which I may wait 4 to 6 months).  So hopefully I might get to see a Consultant by October!