After posting about my recent diagnosis of diverticulosis and diverticulitis, many of you wrote in and kindly told me you thought I perhaps had something else and that I should consider a second opinion. Well, you were right!

After the diagnosis, I’ve gotten better and worse and better and worse. On Monday morning, I woke up and was very ill. I did get dressed, fixed my hair, brushed my teeth, etc. but something clearly was very wrong. I was very weak and felt just awful. I turned on my computer, responded to two authors, and then had to lie down because my heart was pounding so fast. Richard called the doctor and they suggested we go to the emergency room as they couldn’t see me until Wednesday. I knew I didn’t have the energy to sit in a doctor’s office anyway. If I tried to expend any energy at all, I got terribly nauseated. I knew something was very wrong and that I needed help now.

I told Richard, “Yes, we need to go to the emergency room.” We left immediately. I checked in while Richard parked. After a few minutes, they called me into triage. I explained what I’ve been experiencing over the past weeks and that I had severe diarrhea and was losing a bit of blood, too. The biggest complaint was my heart, which was still racing. They checked and it was beating at 148 beats per minute. The nurse looked pretty concerned which didn’t help my anxiety. We didn’t have to go to back to the waiting room. They immediately put me in a room.

Long story short. I was not only dehydrated but also having a prolonged anxiety attack (an hour later, my pulse was only down to 120). They started pumping fluids in me and the relief was very quick. Richard entertained me by reading stories from News of the Weird for me on my iPhone while they took fluid samples from…everywhere (I’ll stop there in case you’re eating lunch right now).

I then got to drink a ton of yummy red juice, and had a CT Scan. Eight hours later, we learned I do have diverticulosis (mild) but not diverticulitis. There was no sign of infection, no abscess, no growths/tumors…nothing. I’ve been on antibiotics for 5 weeks for nothing and I’ve gotten progressively sicker ever since. They don’t know what’s wrong with me but they do know what’s NOT wrong with me, which is all the life-threatening stuff. The E.R. doc thinks I might have CDiff (overgrowth of a particular bacteria due to antibiotic overuse) or a disease/disorder that is preventing my body from absorbing nutrients (like Celiac Disease). Here’s the good part. WritersWeekly readers had already written to me about those disorders and I’d already researched them so I knew what he was talking about. Thanks guys and gals!!!

They told me to stop taking the antibiotics and referred me to a new gastroenterologist – the one who the E.R. doc had been conferring with about me all day. I’m now waiting to hear about my appointment with him.

The fluids made a huge difference and, let me tell you, I NEVER want to be dehydrated again. I can’t really pinpoint specific symptoms but it just makes you feel like crud all over!

I’m behind after missing an entire Monday of work but, while the diarrhea hasn’t changed at all, I’m drinking tons of water and I do feel better.

UPDATE: Visited the new GI today, Wednesday, and he thinks I have antibiotic-induced diarrhea. He gave me a prescription for the diarrhea and said to give it a week to see if my body’s “flora” can get back to normal now. Whoo hoo!!!

Please see the note below my signature that a reader asked me to include today. It might save your life!

This Week’s Maxism:
“There’s a red thing under your bone that makes your skin stick out. That’s a muscle.”


Hugs to all!


Road Hazard or Litter? By Starr

We all see them on the highways and roads – bits of tire tread, or sometimes a whole strip of tread that blew off a tire. In a lot of states, there aren’t regulations about re-tread tires, especially for commercial vehicles. And, honestly, we probably don’t give it much thought, besides a “Gee, that guy must have had an accident, hope he’s ok,” or maybe a “Hope it doesn’t slow up traffic!”

But these bits of tread are very dangerous. Most tire tread is steel-belted these days, and the larger pieces still have the steel belt (or bits of it) attached to the rubber. These bits can be lethal.

My family had a recent experience with this. My daughter, trying to avoid a small piece of tread (less than 8 inches long) on the highway, tried to go over it. However, the wind of her passing, or maybe the transmission bump, flipped this up into the passenger side front wheel well, sending her mini-van out of control. The van flipped twice, toward the passenger side, and ended up right-side-up in a ditch, leaving the roof level with the road bed. The entire passenger side of the car was caved in, with damages to all the seats on the passenger side, including the baby seat. In addition, the piece of tire had ripped through the undercarriage and into the passenger compartment. She was lucky. She had airbags she didn’t even know existed, and she actually walked away from this accident. The whole family was lucky, as it was only a last minute decision that the kids were with me that morning, instead of with her as they usually were.

We learned a lot, as a result of this accident. If you see this trap for the unwary motorist, most sheriff’s departments and highway patrols would be glad to be told the location, so they can get it off their highways, so make the short call. Instead of trying to go over the piece of tire, hoping it won’t touch anything, go around it if possible. Never, ever, take it for granted that it’s harmless. Next time you see that piece of rubberized litter on your highway, remember that it can cause accident, injury, and even death.


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