I guess now is as good a time as any to share...I have not been feeling well. I never actually feel very well, but this little "flare-up" has been especially bad. I am not sharing this to complain, or even for sympathy. I am only sharing this because I hope that someone out there can give me some answers! So let me describe my symptoms:
Gas (internal gas...unlike the out word expression my husband shares frequently)
And the most gnawing, burning, icky, churning, stabbing feeling on the right side of my abdomen. Only on the right side and often the pain shoots through to my back.
Sharp pain/headache behind my eyes
The flare-ups usually show up out of the blue (meaning that there isn't necessarily a stress or food trigger, although I'm not dismissing those factors) and they last from 1-5 days. The pain can be downright debilitating, or manageable enough to go through my daily life uncomfortably. This has been going on for years, but the time between flare-ups is diminishing to only a few days between. They are like attacks because the pain usually does come on without any warning. One second I feel fine and the next I'm doubled over in the most gross, nauseating pain. During the attacks all I can eat is saltines, hard candy, and water. Which hasn't been so much of a problem in the past because there was enough time between to restore my nutrients. But now that the attacks are getting so close together I don't have enough time to physically recover. I thought for a while that only rich foods, or large amounts of food have been making sick, but it doesn't seem to matter if I eat pizza or carrot sticks- a lower fat diet doesn't seem to prevent an attack. I have just recently had a CT scan and ultrasound of my abdomen and they didn't see any signs of gallbladder disease or appendicitis. I had laproscopic surgery to rule out endometriosis. I was checked for celiac disease 6 years ago and they said I had it, so I lived on a gluten free diet for 2 years with no change in symptoms. I was recently rechecked and told I didn't have celiac disease. Dr was possibly thinking ulcer, but I tested negative for the h.pylori- now they think it is a duodenal ulcer. To manage the symptoms I take Zofran, Tylenol, Pepcid complete, and Imodium.
Here's the thing- I have a life to live here. I am a genuinely happy person but I can't keep my positive attitude for much longer when I feel like this. I can't feel like this and work, and take care of my two children. And don't even get me started on the activities and hobbies I'm missing out on right now because I just physically can't. I used to travel, I love to travel, but can't because I never know when I'll have an attack. I haven't seen my family in Iowa for almost 2 years, and my grandma in Ohio for almost 5 because of this. I used to love to camp and hike- and now I wouldn't even think about it. I had to take leave from the Colorado Springs Chorale because of this. I think my body has finally run out of storage and just can't give anymore without better nutrition- but how do I get better nutrition if my body wants to reject everything. I can hardly stand up without feeling like I'm going to pass out! Help! If you know anything about this, or have experienced it, or had a sister, or cousin, or know a guy whose mother's boyfriend's accountant went through something like this, please share! And if you know of any good gastrointerologists...truly good ones that will actually treat me like a human being- please let me know. I've got a life I'd like to get back to. And self soothing with pain meds is not an option.