You might remember that I'd been having stomach problems where my tummy would hurt a lot after I ate. My doctor prescribed Nexium for it and that seemed to take care of the problem until recently. When I saw the pain and symptom management doctor, she suggested that I get a test to determine whether or not I have H. pylori bacteria present. I had that test today.
It was kind of cool. You can't have anything to eat or drink for 6 hours prior to the test (although I did take my pain pills because I needed them, but I took them without water). They give you a capsule containing carbon-14 and some water, followed by more water 3 minutes later. Apparently the H. pylori bacteria reacts to the carbon-14 and rises to the top of your lungs. After 7 minutes, you breathe in, hold your breath for 7 or 8 seconds, and breathe out through a straw into a balloon. I felt bubbles when the water hit the carbon-14 :) It felt really strange.
My doctors will get the results in a week. If I test positive for the bacteria, then I need antibiotics to get rid of it. My stomach problems (which started to get worse again in May) should go away then. If I don't test positive for the bacteria then there might be something else wrong with me and I might have to do more tests. We'll see.