Saturday, October 8, 2011

A Crappy Situation

Been avoiding this subject  for quite some time, but reality has set in ~ I won't be walking in the Tampa Bay 3-Day for the Cure. It is very disappointing and the reason is because of a "crappy situation." I wasn't sure how to approach this topic and wondered if it would be TMI, but I realize there are others suffering from the same "crappy situation." By sharing my story, others may realize they are not alone or even offer some advice.

Since I had my gallbladder out a year ago, I have been suffering bile-dumping syndrome. Often times, shortly after eating, I would have have an uncontrollable urge to go the bathroom. This would result is yellowy diarrhea. Being the Google queen, I did some Internet research and dealt with the issue. It was a trial and error process finding what helped and what didn't. Sadly, the errors resulted in not making it to the bathroom in time. At this point, I was quite humiliated over the situation and didn't discuss the details with too many people.

Then  in March of this year, I began having other abdominal issues, including bloating, abdominal pain, and a slight bulge to the right of my belly button. At first I thought it could be viral, but after a week it was time to go to the doctor. She prescribed me cholestyramine for the bile dumping, did blood work, and scheduled an abdominal ultrasound for me. My results came back normal, and I was still suffering so she sent me to the surgeon.

After having a discussion with him, he was pretty certain I had a hernia although the bulge didn't show up on the ultrasound. I had exploratory laparoscopic abdominal surgery with hernia repair. He did some "extensive" hernia repair work  in my lower abdomen area, but this wasn't in the area of the bulge. I ended up with an allergic reaction which at first presented as a staph infection, but told him I was still had minor tenderness in the are under the bulge. He said he didn't notice anything out of the ordinary. But there was a great improvement because I could sit without the sharp pain under my ribs.

Unfortunately, about six weeks later, the diarrhea issues got much worse with increased abdominal discomfort. Thankfully, this isn't an everyday occurrence, but episodes occur without warning. Before this started in March, I would have a diarrhea dumping episode and then would feel better. When I am having episode, the abdominal pain generally begins before finishing a meal or the meal doesn't sit well and leaves me running to the bathroom, and sometimes episodes include rectal spasms.

In the process of finding relief I have switched doctors in the process of finding relief, and both have said it sounds like IBS. I am fine with the diagnosis since for as long as I can remember I have had bathroom issues, but so far I haven't been able to find any relief in the medicines prescribed. Finding the right dosage of cholestyramine is a science because if too much is taken it will back things up, and this can be worse. Another medicine, Levsin, was the worst because I had a headache for the first week, made me feel extremely loopy and dizzy, prone to heat-stroke, and provide little or no relief for pain (abdominal and rectal) and diarrhea.

On my last visit to the new doctor, I explained, this pain is different and my concern is that the pain radiates from the "fatty" area and it has gotten larger. I then said "If you can tell me with 100% percent certainty that it isn't the cause of my pain, life threatening, cancer, nor will it ever be, I can live with it."  It was then that he said it did feel more fluid filled and would send me to another doctor for an ultrasound.

At first I thought, EUREKA! someone has heard me. My hopes of having answers, if this bulge was truly just "fatty" tissue or something more, were short lived. This is when I realized I have bad mojo when it comes to doctors. It took weeks to get the ultrasound set up, and it was a complete waste of time and resources. When the ultrasound technician told me she doing an ultrasound of my abdominal organs, I explained to her that I had one six months ago when my stomach issues began, and I was there due to find out if the area was truly fatty tissue or cyst. She called her supervisor, and they told me they got the order amended ; however, when I picked the report up from the hospital, I was grateful that all abdominal organs were normal and unremarkable, but very disappointed that there was no mention of the bulge.

Thankfully, I got an appointment with a gastroenterologist on October 18. I hope I get some answers, this "crappy situation" is soon over. Although I was disappointed about not walking, there are too many individuals that are going through much worse than I. Plus I am extremely excited to be part Team Twitter ATL and will get to crew with Michele in Atlanta. But the truth is I am afraid if I walk, I will have an episode and be known as the lady who pooped her pants.

Hugs and blessings,

1 comment:

  1. Hi I was a doc until 10 years ago when I suffered a head injury (stable now after the last 6 years). I have the exact same problem after cholecystectomy (gall bladder removal) 16 years ago. I pooped (too much) in my pants today missing my dash to Moe's bathroom, because I ran out of cholestyramine 2 days ago and I have been in bed most of the day those days. So, I hear yah!! I have some ideas but am "desperate enough" to try accupuncture!!! Accupucture is GREAT for making allergies disappear (NAET therapy) but I am VERY skeptical of it's claim to be able to "balance my autonomic nervous system that tells my liver bile ducts to SQUEEZE when I eat EVEN oatmeal!!) I, too, have searched the world and my medical brain for answers. I have a few more things to try now that I am better with my head injury situation. And YEAH, I hate that bulge too!