Yesterday we saw the wonderful surgeon who did Em’s appendectomy for a follow up appointment. And she was still wonderful.
First, we saw a young doctor – probably a surgical fellow – who works with Dr. West. Emphasis on ‘young’ – he didn’t look much older than my 16 yo son, so that was kind of funny to me. However, he was very nice and gentle with Em, so he got points from me. But, it was when I brought up mast cell activation that I decided I really liked him. When I told him about Em’s suspected mast cell disease and that, because surgery is a known trigger, I thought it had really stirred her mast cells up causing a lot of her current problems, he totally agreed and said that surgery was a major activator of mast cells. No rolling of the eyes, no snorting, no perplexed look while trying to remember exactly what mast cells are. Very refreshing.
Then, Dr. West came in and talked to us. Em’s incision is looking good and healing well – better than any of us really expected, I think.
But the ongoing GI issues and the fact that she continues to lose weight are concerning. She has lost at least 10 pounds, maybe more like 11 or 12 and most of that in just the last couple weeks. Dr. West thinks a lot of her pain and poor appetite is from the constipation so we are going to work on that. Miralax twice a day for a week and see if it helps, if it does, we can bump down to once a day. Regardless, I am to call Dr. West in a week and let her know how things are going and we will decide from there. She hopes to not have to see Em again, but will if necessary.
I remain impressed with this surgeon and would choose her to operate on my kid if it was ever necessary again.
On the Mast Cell front: On the way home, we stopped to eat and Em had a major reaction. She had not taken her Zyrtec and Zantac yet and just started feeling awful after eating a little. She ended up taking her Zyrtec and Zantac and then took a Benedryl when she started feeling like she was going to pass out. After the Benedryl, she eventually perked up but felt pretty rotten the rest of the day. Of course, she had to get up at 7 to get ready to go that morning and had only had about 6 hours of sleep, so feeling rotten was a given.
It is hard to believe that we are a month past surgery and that Em is doing as well as she is. The mast cell stuff and the weight loss is concerning, but hopefully we will be able to get her appetite going again if everything else settles down. Knowing we have a caring, knowledgeable doctor on our side is a great comfort – I feel less alone in dealing with all of this now which is a pretty cool thing!