Archive for February, 2019

Warning Labels

Thursday, February 28th, 2019

After way too many days of misery, my primary care physician referred me to a Gastroenterologist. With the appointment scheduled, I did a little research on what to expect. One of the articles reminded me to compile a complete list of not only medications but over-the-counter medications. As I started putting the list together, I remembered I had recently started taking melatonin. I grabbed the bottle and started counting the number of pills left. I had taken 53, just about the same number of days of suffering.

That got me Googling some pretty specific combinations of terms – melatonin explosive diarrhea. imagine my surprise when I found numerous forum posts from people who have suffered the same symptoms. I stopped taking the melatonin immediately. Others warned that it could take a few days for the issues to reside. After about a day, I too was starting to feel better.

I went back to that bottle of melatonin and looked for any sort of warning label. There was none. I did a spot check of a few other bottle on the shelf at the store. Again, no warning about the possibility of explosive diarrhea.

To say the least, I was able to cancel the appointment with the Gastroenterologist.

Prepping For Another West Coast Trip

Friday, February 22nd, 2019

My travel plans to the annual Miva Conference in San Diego have been finalized. The trip this year should be “interesting”. Heading out I’ll be flying Delta through Atlanta. That’s funny, fly east to go west. I’ll also get to see how well I do with Delta’s “Basic Economy” – I don’t get to choose my seat, it will be assigned for me and I’ll be in the last group to board. Should be interesting for someone who prefers a window seat so I can settle in and not have to move. I know not to complain, the flight and accommodations are provided for me. Coming back will be a little better, I’m flying American Airlines connecting through Dallas will a little over an hour layover (time to make it to the next flight without having to run). I was able to select my seats for this flight. Well, sort of. Out of San Diego, I was able to select a window seat just past the emergency exits, but there were no “free” available seats for the connector to Birmingham. I paid the upcharge to at least have a guaranteed seat.

Of course, I need to get this mysterious intestinal “distress” under control. After about of week (it was probably more than that), I went to the doctor. She told me there was some intestinal bug going around that could last up to 2 weeks. Oh joy. She ordered a CT scan to rule out sigmoid diverticulitis, would send in a prescription for an industrial strength version of Imodium if it wasn’t, told me to continue with the BRAT diet, to push fluids and said if it didn’t clear up in a week more tests would need to be ordered. Yeah, I knew what she meant. Another miserable week went by, what ever is going on was not being phased by the Lomotil. Arrangements were made for me to have the additional tests run, unfortunately, the lab that the samples were being sent to is in Atlanta. It would have been nice if someone had informed me at the time that these tests take a week (or more) to be completed.

I started this post on 2/15 and since then, I’ve had a few updates from the doctor’s office. All the tests were normal. The next step is to see a Gastroenterologist. That appointment has been scheduled. In the mean time I’ve been doing some serious online research and may have stumbled up the source of my distress. It may take up to a week (or more) to confirm the theory. If I’m wrong, then I still have an appointment with someone who has a bit more experience.

It still look pretty good after all these years.