Just Keep Breathing

Today finds me at the Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Endoscopy Center, part of  the University of Rochester Medical Center.


I’m here for a hydrogen breath test which tests for lactose intolerance and SIBO (small intestinal bacterial overgrowth). I’m here because I complained to my primary doctor that my belly issues are still not completely gone. So this seemed a simple test.

Yesterday I ate white bread, white rice, white potatoes, plain, baked chicken breast, unflavored black coffee and water.  I have had nothing by mouth since 7:55 p.m. last night. I got up today and brushed my teeth at 5:55 a.m. (it had to be two hours before my test). And they ask if you’ve done all this. I took my prescription medications this morning with the tiniest sip of water.

So here I sit. My side of the room is all people who are doing the breath test. All of us are starving. Every twenty minutes we get called into the room behind the brown door on the right in the photo. We exhale into a handheld device attached to a plastic bag and then go back out and sit down and wait to be called again. This goes on for three hours.

We all drank a sugar (lactulase) solution when we got here, and our bodies are now digesting it. The exhales test for the hydrogen in our breath. As you digest, your body breaks things down. A high hydrogen level indicates something isn’t working right.

My belly is percolating at the moment. I’m not sure if that’s hunger or something the lactulase is brewing up. I guess we’ll see. I hope it’s not gas. This waiting room is crowded.

Mostly this is just boring.


I’ll let you know how I make out. I just want to go eat!

8 thoughts on “Just Keep Breathing

  1. I hope your procedure was okay and the results hopefully negative (?). Ive had stomach issues last year, mainly gastric reflux and did work up tests. Medications helped a lot and there are still times when it comea back, but mostly I am able to control much of it. Get better soon.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Unfortunately I did react (the gas bubbles). The girl doing the test said, “oh, no” when I told her my belly was bubbling and rumbling. I don’t know what it means, though. It could just be lactose intolerance. I have been off dairy pretty much since my bout with diverticulitis last September. I should have the results within a week. I have reflux, too. I take a daily medicine for that. I also have had IBS all my life so my belly has always been touchy.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I hate it when you have to starve yourself for a procedure. I made the mistake of having an afternoon procedure once and thought i’d perish from hunger. Lol. Or get sick. Ugh. I hope you’re doing better!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Isn’t it the worst? I had something scheduled once, and they moved the time way back to the middle of the afternoon. That was awful. I had to go through most of the day starving and I was a nervous wreck to boot. Early morning appointments are best.

      Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.