Monday, November 22, 2010

Official Fructozoid-ness

Have I mentioned that ever since setting the appointment for the test I had decided (quite absurdly and pointlessly) that 'fructose malabsorption' was ~not~ the reason that I've been suffering physically for the last 13 years - especially for the last year... Well, I did. But the date was set and it was even paid for - so I was taking the test whether I liked it or not.

Hydrogen breath tests are no laughing matter. Mostly because by the time you're done being tested you're so winded that there's no air left to laugh.

Aside from the bland (and very specific) diet the day preceding the test, the fact that you've got to fast from 9PM the night before - oh yeah - and don't forget to mention the ridiculous traffic getting into Jerusalem between 7-8 in the morning (we left home at 6:40AM and didn't get to the hospital until 8:30AM) it isn't all that bad.

The test starts off simply enough - the first 'reading' - so there's this little machine that you hold and there's this tube thing sticking out of it. The machine counts down from 15 seconds, at 10 seconds you start to inhale, and at '0' you clamp your mouth over the tube and exhale at an extremely slow and steady rate until you think you're going to pass out and there's not a drop of breath left in your lungs. The nice lady writes down whatever number shows up on the screen of the machine and there you have your 'baseline number'.

Next step is to drink down the lukewarm 'fructose&sorbitol' concoction. I'm almost certain that somebody collected the dregs from 300 cups of oversweetened tea (you know - like when there's so much sugar that no more will dissolve in it...) and that in actuality that's what they're serving - but according to the nice lady - it actually just an extremely concentrated concoction of fruit sugars (fructose) and some sorbitol (cause that's a fake sweetener that nobody should really be ingesting for health reasons...) Anywho - you choke down the cup of super-sweet-nastiness and then pop outside to wait 1/2 an hour until the next 'exhalation session.'

These sessions continue once every half hour for up to 4 hours. If any two of the 'breathing sessions' register at '20ppm' higher than the baseline then you officially suffer from 'Fructose Malabsorption.'

The nice thing about the test is that it doesn't involve any needles or any physical contact. The cons are only less-exciting if your body can't handle the fructose/sorbitol. Unfortunately - I can't handle the fructose/sorbitol. So it was not a pretty sight.

My baseline was a mere 2ppm. Then it took me a little too long to drink the stuff cause it just didn't want to go down. After 1/2 an hour my number only rose to 4ppm. An hour after choking down the goop my number was only at 10ppm. By the 1.5 hour I felt like garbage, so I sent Z to the car to get Toffee for me - the magic number after breathing was 57ppm. As we approached the 2 hour mark I curled up in a ball on 2 seats in the hallway and tried not to puke as waves of pain shot through my gut - my breathing session showed a result of 93ppm. At this point my results were considered 'conclusive' - I've got the condition - whatever that means - and I was free to leave.

Sadly I wasn't in any shape to go anywhere which we ascertained based on the fact that I was nauseous and still doubled over in pain. Since Meanma was also being tested we figured we'd keep her company. By the 2.5 hour point the pain was beginning to lessen - the nice lady let me 'breathe' again and the result of 55ppm proved that the episode was passing. 3 hours later and the number was 44ppm - thankfully I was feeling somewhat more capable of standing upright. At the 3.5 hour mark I still registered at 45ppm and was feeling overall 'icky' but heading Home seemed like the thing to do.

The sooner you leave the sooner you get there after all.

On our way we detoured to Neve Yakov and popped in to visit Shosh and family. I didn't manage to get tickle-tickled, but rumor has it that I got lots of 'byes' as we drove away.

The ride home was smooth and I spent the remainder of the afternoon on the couch with a hot-water-bottle swearing off of fructose-heavy foods forever in the hopes that a fructose-lite diet will make me feel better.

First step is a very strict 2-3 week diet - after which I will be able to start experimenting with 'possibly tolerable' foods. Also - I get to start my very own food journal! How much fun does that sound like!?

Ah tomatoes - how I'll miss you. In soup, in sauce, in ketchup, in salad, in pizza, in pasta dishes galore and most memorably - in that silly tomato rissoto that I ~knew~ I should've made before I found out that it could hurt me so badly.

Do me a favor - if you love me - don't invite me over for meals or anything involving food for a while. As frustrating as it would be for me to try and explain what I can and can't eat - it would be even more frustrating for you. Trust me. Let me de-tox and start healing and then we'll talk about it. (Of course Shosh - this doesn't hold true for you. Oh yeah, and Meanma - you're cooking for 2 fructozoids at home so just make enough for 3 instead.)

Sincerely Yours,
White Rice & Boiled Chicken Girl

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