My son grew an ulcer about 4 years ago. Or better description is he was possessed by an evil demon that has taken up lodging in his duodenum.
He invited this demon in with the eating of yummy gluten laden flour tortillas and a few gluten filled McDonalds burgers. He was tempted in the Gluten-Less Desert and he succumbed to lie of ‘Just a little won’t hurt.’
All for A Flour Tortilla, is the beginning of this story. And I promised at that time to keep posting through it all. I should have, then this blog would have rocked with action.
So, five years later, he is still trying to exercise this demon. He has had 9 endoscopies, 3 which infected him with H.Pylori. (3 in Midland,4 in Ft Worth, 1 at Mayo in Rochester, 1 in Lubbock) 3 treatments for H.Pylori. Gallons of Carafate. 5 different PPI’s, refilled billions of times. 4 Gastrointerologist. 2 pints of blood. 1 Allergist. 3 hospital stays, and 1 ER visit. Then the ‘holy water’ that truly drove the demon out was Kombucha.
In October of 2016 the ulcer was going no where, fast. The gastro was perplexed, we frustrated and my son, miserable. A friend suggested Kombucha, it can’t hurt and it is touted as a natural gut healer. And the MD suggested the Mayo Clinic. The earliest appointment at Mayo was December 22. We took it. From October to December 22 the only changed to treatment ( 2 PPI, Carafate, steroid for eosinophils, RX for thrush from steroid, iron,and lots of prayers) was our adding the Kombucha.
The Mayo tested everything. They had him swallow a ‘pill’ that recorded stomach ph/acid for 24 hours and of course.They ran another endoscopy. The gastro came back and said he could not find the ulcer or even traces of the ulcer. We were thrilled, but…. I mean we had come all the way to Rochester in the record breaking cold at Christmas, found the best MD to heal the ulcer, and it was GONE. The only thing we can attribute to the healing, in addition to the Christmas healing from God, is the Kombucha. We were done. He was healed. The MDs suggested keeping the PPI going for a bit, weaning him off, so his body could start to adjust to not being governed by PPI. Maybe doing the steroid when he seems to be reacting to pollens, to keep the eosinophils down. We complied awhile. The one thing we stuck to was Kombucha.
For safe measure, just in case, I found us another gastro in Lubbock. Love this guy. Dr. Shaver.He was referral from our DO, Dr. Beal, whom we also like bunches. Dr. Shaver turns out to more of a doctor a natural than or DO. He wanted nothing of PPI or steroids, and definitely NO antibiotics. He prescribed Keifer Milk daily.
Evan WAS doing great! The gut was healed. Keifer daily. Kombucha in between. Not eating any gluten. Watching the nightshades, baked potatoes and green chilies are demon food for his ulcer. The demon ulcer was gone. So we thought.
Jump to almost now… My son was involved in a minor hit and run and went to the ER for neck pain, while we out of town. We had advised him to wait for ER till we returned, so he did not tell us about it. Several days later after he started acting extremely weird and having stomach pain, we found the ER doc prescribed NSAIDS and a muscle relaxant. The NSAIDS opened the door wide and invited the demon ulcer took residence again.
1 week after finding he had taken NSAIDS we were with Dr. Shaver for a just in case visit. He put him on a regime of Keifer 2-3 x a day. Took him off the carafate we had re-started till Shaver gave better. This seemed to work. The pain went away. We started really concentrating on Keifer and did way less kombucha. I personally think him not using the Kombucha as much as the Keifer is the reason the ulcer has come back in all it’s glory. . Dr. Shaver did not want him on PPI or Carafate, because they actually do more harm- the gut will produce more acid to compensate for the acid the PPI kills, basically.
It SEEMED to work, until 6 weeks ago. He had stomach upset and threw up- We figured a bug. Then he ate a buffalo chicken gf pizza with the buffalo sauce, which he usually leaves off. Horrible case of indigestion and throwing up. Figured indigestion from buffalo sauce, and major reflux. Drink more Keifer and kombucha. Then it just got worse. More throwing up. “No blood.” he says. Just always after eating dinner. Bug still lingering? Then he started to complain of the ole backache. We knew. It is the ulcer. Called Shavers office, on a Thursday, to order more Carafate, and make an appointment. He decided it was time to do a endoscopy. He personally had never seen the demon and thought it was time. Appointment made on following Tuesday. For us the endoscopy business is pretty routine now, the only difference was the location. And insurance was not doing as well on paying this time. I think, Dr. Shaver was a bit surprised at the intensity of the demon ulcer. And a bit impressed with our prediction of it’s location and size being accurate, due to experience. The ulcer had shifted it’s position a bit, or the duodenum had ‘expanded’, Shaver says that happens. The demon is now residing just inside the duodenum. It is large, but we do not know how large. It sits on a blood vessel around a bend. Dr. Shaver would not go around the bend for fear of nudging the devil and causing it to bleed. So, now Evan is back on a PPI, in the hope we can kill this thing before it kills him. Keifer and Kombucha is on the menu also. The PPI is still in the denial/appeal phase. It is the mostest of the PPI, the one that really works, so of course Insurance needs to argue it’s necessity. He has taken ALL the others, so maybe possibly they will approve this. Within a few hours of taking the samples, the doc provided, Evan was pain free. He has stayed pain free now for 2 weeks. We pray the blue pill and regime of probiotic bugs are exercising this thing to oblivion.
So, now, the PPI is needed. In order to heal quickly and keep this thing from bleeding. A later down the road alternative is major surgery. Cut out the duodenum, and ulcer and reattach the intestines to another area of the stomach, which may actually be the most sure thing. The reason for the return though, is NSAIDS prescribed by an idiot doctor. We don’t really blame my son, the RX was not for “ibuprofen”, but for some obscure drug name a layman would not recognize. And he trusted the doctor.
The moral of this story: No NSAIDS EVER and Drink your Kombucha with a little Keifer every day. Healthy Gut Healthy Body.