Yasmin got through the endoscopy and colonoscopy safely. Our thanks for all the well-wishes from many good friends, it gave us strength. Though she was admitted on a Thursday, the scope was scheduled on Friday. When it was time, I carried Yasmin down to the OR, dressed in her little surgical gown. The anesthetist placed the gas mask over her face, she struggled a little but quickly succumbed. Paul and I waited outside for a while and later the doctor invited us in to take a look at the monitor. It was hard to tear my eyes away from Yasmin lying unconscious on the table, meanwhile the doctor showed us several parts of her large intestine.
He did not use a pill-cam even though we requested for it. According to other pediatric GI specialists in the UK and USA, they commonly use pill-cams for young patients even 3 year olds. However, I guess things are different here in Malaysia. Due to the traditional cam scope, the doctor is not able to check the small intestines. However, he did a thorough check on the entrance into the small intestines. The endoscopy was then over, and it was time for the colonoscopy. We then waited outside again, and were invited back into the OR once the doctor had gone into the colon. He showed us her colon and as before, he kindly explained where and what we were seeing and findings he had.
Overall, the up close and personal look at Yasmin’s inside was a revelation. She was absolutely perfect! Everything was pink and healthy as it should be. There were no signs of inflammation, lesions, polyps or anything else out of the ordinary. Paul and I are immensely relieved that she did not have any of the GI diseases we initially suspected. It was good to know that she is not in the kind of awful pain that was reported in many children in GI literature.
Once the procedure was over, I carried Yasmin to the recovery room. Once her condition was deemed stable, we brought her up to her room. It took a long time for her to wake up from the general anesthesia, nearly 2 hours. Even then, we tried several methods to wake her up. We were warned that some patients when coming out of GA tend to act aggressively, cry or act weird. We were prepared for that, but Yasmin was totally fine apart from being groggy, sleepy and a bit uncoordinated, as was expected. The doctor discharged us soon after and Yasmin was happy to be home though tired. We were relieved to be home on Friday night, I was not looking forward to another night in hospital. Caring for a child in hospital is hard enough, even though it was only for 2 days. However, this was during Ramadhan, it was harder to go through it physically, mentally and emotionally while fasting. In the next few days, we expected to see signs of side effect from the anesthesia. However, again we were lucky there wasn’t any lingering side-effects or other concerns.
The only thing abnormal was that she had constipation and night awakenings for 3 weeks after that. Initially we thought the constipation was due to the scope and it was taking some time for her bowels to get back to normal. However, take note that she had constipation and night awakenings 3 weeks prior to the scope anyway. We had done a stool test for yeast a few weeks before with our pediatrician, it turned out positive. However, we did not address it as we wanted to wait for the scope first in case it affected the outcome of the scope. Because she had recently undergone the procedure, we were advised to take it slow and give her body time to adjust. However, when she was constipated for 3 consecutive days, we gave her Lactulose, a stool softener/laxative. After that, we increased her fluid intake, fibre, vitamin C, magnesium and probiotics. However, it didn’t work. At times we had to use the laxative, to me constipation more than 3 days running needs to be addressed immediately.
I put her on therapeutic doses of S.Boulardii and ThreeLac as anti fungal treatment however there were no changes or improvements. On the advice of our biomed doctor, Yasmin is now on Nystatin and extra Bifido strains of probiotics on top of her usual supplements. Those with constipation may require additional Bifidos temporarily, this worked for both my girls sometimes. Within 2 days, her constipation is reduced, she has a bowel movement every 2 days. Previously she required laxatives. Hopefully, the further we get along with the anti fungal treatment, she will be back to her normal daily bowel movements. And best of all, she now sleeps through the night. Yasmin has slept through the night consistently for the past 1 year unless during times of illness or infections. No more broken sleep for the whole household.
So, now that our suspicions of colitis has been ruled out, where does that leave us? First and foremost, this is good news indeed. Colitis or any kind of Inflammatory Bowel Disease is terrible in anyone, especially a 3 year old child. Having hard physical evidence that ruled this out is worth it. We are glad that we went through with it, even with all the trauma and possible side effects of the general anesthesia, it was worth the risk. Since the scope has ruled out colitis, IBD (Inflammatory Bowel Disease) and other bowel diseases, the GI specialist based on the symptoms diagnosed Yasmin with IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome) instead. IBS is diagnosed based on clinical observations and symptoms, there is no test for it. As usual, I take everything with a pinch of salt. I have read that many Irritable Bowel symptoms are similar to symptoms associated to Clostridium infection. I will look further into this as well as any viral infections, Yasmin regressed ever since the Rotavirus infection, so it makes sense to look into her immune system as well as viruses.
So, how do we treat Yasmin’s issues now? We are maintaining her usual supplements of vitamin C, B complex, minerals, probiotics and cod liver oil. I want to address her immune dysregulation as this is the core reason why she gets recurrent infections. Since we started 4Life Transfer Factor 1 month ago, neither girls have fallen ill. We also give her Klaire Labs Galactomune, a prebiotic formula containing betaglucan to support TH1 immunity. We also supplement with Vitamin D3, also beneficial to the immune function.
Apart from immune modulating supplements, I also give her Culturelle daily for maintenance against clostridia. I also include Milk Thistle to maintain healthy liver and kidney function. I reintroduced L-Glutamine a couple of months back, this helps with leaky gut. Since we started her on L-Glutamine again, she is much happier, with good appetite and always cheerful. The biggest change of all, previously Yasmin has rarely been as close to her Daddy compared to Maya. She always has great fun with Paul whenever they are playing together but she rarely seeks him out for company. Since restarting L-Glutamine, Yasmin constantly seeks out Paul, always looking for him when he’s gone, she is very loving and attached to her Daddy compared to before. It is heartwarming to see how she dotes on him and vice versa. I al
so introduced 5-HTP to help her with sleep, melatonin did not help when her yeast issues are flaring up. We also never forget Epsom salt baths daily.
I look forward to our next appointment with our biomed doctor for more insights on what else we can do for Yasmin. But for now, we are pleased to have a cheerful, illness-free girl again.