Monday, February 9, 2009

Tummy Ache

Nick has had a tummy ache for the past couple of weeks. We thought (hoped) it was just the flu that is going around. We finally went to the doctor's office last Friday and had some blood work done, as well as have a CT scan done of his abdomen this morning. Good news - it is NOT cancer! Bad news - it is acute pancreatitis. His lipase counts (for the pancreas) is 3,582 when normal range is anything below 300. The doctor told Nick, "You're either an alcoholic or you have had chemo." Hmmm. We'll probably go with chemo. He also said, "I've never seen anything present like this before. Usually when someone has this high of a lipase count, they are in ER and have to be hospitalized for 2-3 days with iv fluids, with nothing to eat or drink in order for the pancreas to chill for a few days. You sure you don't need any pain pills?" Nope.

Apparently alcohol can trigger an episode as the pancreas flips out when in a weakened state as it tries to convert the enzymes. I believe someone over-indulged when celebrating his 20th birthday party 3 weeks ago. More good news (as a mother, anyway) - Nick cannot consume any alcohol again; his body just can't tolerate it. Since his body's immune system is already severely compromised from his cancer and treatment, it is probably a good idea to completely avoid alcohol (got that, family and friends?). I told Nick sometimes God gives you a little extra incentive when it is difficult to make the right healthy choices. No fun when your own body tattles on what activities you have been up to...

He will need to be on a clear liquid diet for a couple of days and will have to sit out on marathon training this week. His oncologist doesn't seem to think there is any relation to cancer relapse so he should be just fine. He goes back at the end of the week to have his blood work done again.

What a crazy situation when you are thrilled with an acute pancreatitis diagnosis and I don't even have to threaten to beat him for drinking alcohol - his body will take care of the consequences for me.

That's it for now!



Nick Raitt said...

Im so hungry!!!

Chris Ulvin said...

Dear Nick,
Well - you have another thing in common with Stuart - he can't drink alcohol either. He does have to put up with sand storms though which makes one more thirsty. Another plus is your marathon training will benefit immensely by you not consuming alcohol. We are looking forward to seeing you in Nashville. Love, aunt Chris