Breath Tests

Because of the gastrointestinal troubles I’ve been having I have to take a series of three Breath Tests.  The first one will test for abnormal bacteria growth in the intestines, the second test for lactose intolerance, and the third for fructose intolerance.  If I have the first they can treat it with an antibiotic, the other two will require a life time diet change.

To start things off I had to go on a low carb/starch diet yesterday.   I can’t eat anything for 12 hours before the test, and then the test last for 3 hours during which time I can’t eat of drink anything.  I’m doing the first test today.  I have had to give a breath sample, then drink a solution, then I have to give breath samples every 20 minutes.  I can finally eat around 1:30pm today.

I will perform the second test on the 28th, and the final one on March 3rd.  So tomorrow I have a normal day, then the low carb day again on the 27th, and the then the test on the 28th….and so on.   During second and third test I only have to collect my breath every hour for 3 hours instead of every 20 minutes.

It will be interesting to see what these tests find.  I’m kind of hoping the first one will be positive and they can just treat me with a pill, and I’ll be fine.  I’m really tired of all the poking and prodding and not finding anything.  I don’t think I have lactose intolerance, but I’ll deal with it if I do.  No matter how much I love cheese!  The fructose intolerance would also be pretty hard.  Can you imagine never being able to eat fruit again?  I don’t eat a lot of processed foods, but just think about how many things have fructose in them.  Again, I would deal with it.  Anything to get my gut working right again.

Right now I’m so very hungry, and I’m tired of blowing in this blue bag every 20 minutes. (The blue bag is attached to a needle that you insert in a test tube and you catch your breath in it.  So at the end of this test I will have 10 test tubes filled with my hot air.)  I now have a very bad headache, and I’m a bit dizzy.  I know it’s because I’m hungry.  When I went to the hospital today to pick up the tests and get instructions, I thought I was going to do the first one there, and then I could leave and eat.  I had no idea that each of these tests last for 3 hours.  One more thing, I have asthma, not bad, but all this blowing, is making it hard to breathe.

OK enough fussing, you can tell I’m hungry, I get a bit bitchy when I want food! : )

I have to say that the people at the hospital were so very nice.  Most of my doctors are at Duke and I’m used to it there, this test was through Rex Hospital in Raleigh.  The intake person was so very nice.  When I explained that I’m hearing impaired and needed her to look at me when she spoke so I could hear her, she really listened!  Most people, hear me, but then they don’t think about it and will talk to me while they are looking at their computer, or they speak really low.  I have to say, most people just have no idea what it’s like to deal with a person who is hearing impaired.  This lady even wrote in red ink on my papers that I was hearing impaired and needed for the other people who dealt with me to look at me when talking and speak clearly.  I’ve never felt so at ease.  Of course, Stuart was with me, so I have my own “interpreter”, but it is just so much easier when I don’t have to look at him after someone speaks to me and wait for him to tell me what they said.  He is wonderful about it, although some people seem to get confused or irritated that I don’t answer them immediately and need to look at my husband to tell me what they said.  I just don’t understand some people.  But today I was very pleasantly surprised at how much I was treated with respect, and courtesy about my condition.   It’s a shame I have to say surprised, but I simply haven’t found many places where the people are just so nice and go out of their way to make sure I can hear them and understand.

I will be letting the hospital know how impressed I was with my visit, especially with Barbara Kiplinger, the intake employee who took all my initial information.

I know she won’t see this, but Thanks Barbara!


2 thoughts on “Breath Tests

  1. Susanna

    I have the same experiences as you have with people at the hospital dealing with my hearingproblems in a very respectful way. I had a minor surgery and was anxious about both my Menieres and not hearing. But like you I had to say once to the first nurse I met that I have hearingproblems – and then she gave information to all the others. I´m happy and greatful, as you are, about it but on the other hand – It´s really odd when you think about it being gratetful for something that should be the normal.
    And about not getting permission to eat for all those hours: That really turns me into a (greater) bitch. I hope you really enjoyed your first meal after the starvation-hours. 🙂 And I also hope you will get an answer so you know what you´re dealing with!


    1. Thanks Susanna. I do think it’s odd, especially at hospitals and doctor’s offices that people aren’t more considerate of something like a hearing problem. But yesterday was odd to me. They even asked if I needed a translator. I don’t know sign language so that wouldn’t have helped, but I was grateful that she asked. By the time I got to eat (after 18 hours) I had one of the worst headaches ever!! I ate, took meds, and crashed. It was hours before I felt like I could move. I hope it isn’t that bad with the next two, but no matter how well you plan it, it will be at the least 15.5 hours between meals. Glad my husband can put up with a bit of bitchiness. I hate to say it, but it really isn’t that unusual for me…the bitchiness that is, not the starvation. : ) I’m interested to see what the results of these tests will be. wendy


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