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Saturday, July 18, 2009

There's always room for Jell-o

I'm on Day 2 of a three-day clear-liquid diet leading up to an endoscopic sojourn down my gullet by Dr. Phillip Styne on Monday afternoon.

This means soup, Jell-o and water. It's pretty bad that Jell-o is about as solid a food as I can consume. (Kind of a glimpse into the future if I don't keep my teeth in good order.)

Dr. Styne thought I'd be able to make it to January without needing another endoscopy, but I missed by several months because I think my pyloric valve, known as the pylorus, isn't cooperating.

In simple terms, the pylorus opens to let food travel from the stomach (in my case, what is left of the stomach) into the intestines. (More at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pylorus) Because of the surgery to my stomach to replace by cancerous esophagus, nerves were severed that control the pylorus and other aspects of the stomach's function.

So, Dr. Styne & Co., will use his endoscopic device to peer into my stomach and see if the pylorus isn't opening as it should. If so, he'll inject Botox into the valve to deaden some of the nerves keeping it closed. This should open it up, hopefully for good.

I'll Twitter from Florida Hospital on Monday, but I don't think the good doc will let me bring the phone into the procedure room. Besides, I'll be on some good drugs and won't be able to spell my name -- or put a cohesive sentence together. (I can barely do that on a good day.)

But I will get a photo of the doc before the procedure. Styne is a good and decent man -- and one hell of a doctor.

So until then, I'll be swilling coffee sans cream; tea, both hot and iced; chicken noodle soup (yes, the doc says the noodles won't be an issue because they're quickly digested); and, of course, good old Jell-o.

After all, there's always room for Jell-o. Especially on the other side of my pylorus.

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