Aug 102015
 
Today’s rant is about antibiotics.  And tacos.

After years of ingesting and digesting some of the spiciest and gooiest substances known to man, it turns out I’ve developed diverticulosis.  Not enough salad to balance the queso, I guess.

Along with this fun development my doctor suspects an H. Pylori as well as lung infection.  Combined heartburn, bloating and bronchial spasms had recently sent me to the emergency room gasping for breath.

One more ailment and I think I qualify as a living lab experiment.

The default way of dealing with such a mess is a double course of antibiotics.  Lucky me, I was assigned 10 fun-filled days of Levaquin and Metronidazole.

The former doesn’t seem to be doing me too dirty, outside of tendon soreness.  At least it hasn’t in the past, although there are serious concerns about it.

The Metro, however…

I can’t say enough mean things about this drug.  I won’t mention the usual gastric side effects beginning around Day 2.  I can almost live with them, and you don’t want to hear.  TRUST me.

No, what’s killing me is everything else.  A symptom list:

  • Fatigue
  • Insomnia
  • Weakness
  • Nausea
  • Brain fog

One of those cases where one can’t quite say that the cure is better than the disease.

Coincidentally, I found a relevant article on intestinal neurology in my twitter stream today. Yes, you read correctly, and I highly recommend you read the article, too.

I’m surprised it took medical science until now to realize how important a good gut biome is to not just physical but also mental health.  Lyme and other disease sufferers have been saying it for years.  I’m cautiously optimistic that this new mainstream understanding of gut physiology will start getting us off of the antibiotic bandwagon and looking seriously at a more comprehensive approach to health management.  We’ll see.  Meanwhile, I need to get more serious about probiotics.

Back to the currently conventional though.  Given my age of 50+, my doctor was concerned that I haven’t had a colonoscopy yet.  You know, the roto-rootering our forebears somehow survived without.  Never thought I’d need some medical tech taking a fantastic voyage up my lower alimentary canal, but here I am, primed with diverticular pockets from a post-taco armageddon.  I just wonder if the procedure can be combined with a good gut scouring.

“Hey, doc, while you’re in there…”

I have to also wonder how pervasive diverticulosis really is.  How many lifelong vegans and vegetarians suffer, if any.  Looks like I need to join them in at least increasing my roughage intake.

I’d already started adjusting my diet in 2014 anyway, thanks to dysphagia (yes, another damn thing to deal with) and a need to lose some weight.  So I’ve been focusing on Asian and Mediterranean foods, losing over 20 pounds so far.  And I’m sure I don’t need to cut out Tex-Mex meals entirely… just need to get smarter (and sadder) about their composition.

Metamucil tacos, anyone?

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