Sunday, July 23, 2006

Dodging the Bullet

I still don't believe it, but we got really good news today. Apparently the colonoscopy went fine, despite the fact that my dad was about 14 YEARS overdue for one. That's right, he'd never had one (apparently one should start these at age 50), and we were all expecting it to turn up something terrible that would explain the drastic drop in hemoglobin. But it turns out (and this is the part that I still can't wrap my head around) that the hemoglobin drop was caused by esophageal reflux!

My dad's esophagus will take four to six weeks to heal and he will need to take Prilosec or something like it for the rest of his life. The doctor said this is a normal thing that happens to some people as they get older, as muscles lose their elasticity and control. He also said to limit the spicy or greasy food, which my dad pretty much does already, although I expect he'll be even more mindful of it now. Apparently the reflux was damaging his esophagus, and unnoticeable amounts of blood were being lost, which caused the drastic drop in hemoglobin.

I sort of feel like I should've said something to my dad when I first noticed his color seemed off a month or two ago, but at the time, I thought he'd just been staying inside too much and needed to get out more, or that he was just, well, old. I know I mentioned it to my mom once, and to my sister, but that was the end of it. My mom doesn't try to force my dad into any medical procedures, since the effort would be futile. (She's pretty good about maintaining her health.) But yes, life is good, and strange.

As my dad said, from home, where he was playing gin with my sister, "they" didn't get him this time. I realize that we won't always be as lucky as we were today, but today has been great, and I'm thankful. Thank you guys, too, for your support. It means so much to me. :-)