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HIDA Scan w/CCK for gallbladder pain
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HIDA Scan w/CCK for gallbladder pain

Hello all,
I am new to this community and I am glad to have stumbled onto this website. Would appreciate any help or advice. I am a 35 yo female, married, with 3 kids. I've been having GI problems for years, and basically just pain problems in general. I've seen specialist after specialist, and nothing ever turns up in my bloodwork, other than a consistently high C-Reactive protein level, elevated automated sedimentation rate, and positive Epstein-Barr (but I don't have mono). My most current internist has told me that my body is in a constant state of inflammation, but he doesn't know why. Many other doctors have told me I am just "stressed out," or having "allergies." At any rate, laover one year ago I was hospitalized for 7 days with bacterial pneumonia, pleurisy, and was septic. I feel like I never fully recovered from that. But that's a digression. My most recent problem was an attack I had a month ago. I started out with a stomach bug (vomiting, diarrhea). The whole family had it. But after the first time I vomited, I began having a severe, persistent pain just below my right breast that radiated all the way into my shoulder and back. It was like someone driving a metal stake through my chest and out my back. After 5 hours, the pain never subsided, so I called an ambulance. I couldn't stand, I couldn't sit, I couldn't lie down, I couldn't get away from the pain. It was getting more and more intense, and it didn't help that I was also vomiting.

So I went to the ER where I was given morphine and fluids. After 4 bags of fluids, they decided to admit me to the hospital b/c my heart rate was high (never went below 134 bpm, even when I was sleeping and comfortable). I ended up staying 4 days in the hospital, having every test thinkable run on me. NOTHING turned up. They did CT scans, ultrasound of my gallbladder and other things, bloodwork, and so on. No gallstones, no nothing. So I was sent on my merry way after 4 days, even though I didn't feel well. The doctor at the hospital was very cocky, and kept telling me I was just suffering from a worse case of gastroenteritis than the rest of my family, but I knew that wasn't it. My gut was telling me.

When I followed up w/my G.I., he said there are some cases where you can have gallbladder disease without the presence of gallstones. So he sent me today for a HIDA scan w/CCK. The test went as it should, I suppose, except that I had severe heartburn/acid reflux and upper abdominal cramping when they administered the CCK. I was told I might experience some mild cramping, but this was more than mild. Not bad enough to make me cry out in pain or keel over, but I was rocking back and forth and very uncomfortable. Then when I got home, the cramping started up again, and I had diarrhea one time (it was very painful), then I went to sleep for 2 hours.

I've already had a recent colonoscopy (normal results), and an upper endoscopy (which showed peptic ulcer and gastritis - but those were back in January and the ulcer & gastritis have already healed). My G.I. doc was sure the pain I was experiencing was NOT ulcer related.

I won't know the results of this test until next week when I see my G.I. doctor, and this waiting is killing me. I don't think I can handle having another test come back normal, when I know something is going on with my body.

Would love any thoughts or comments. Oh, and by the way, I was recently diagnosed with an autoinflammatory disease, but I don't know which one. My rheumatologist/immunologist is leaning towards T.R.A.P.S., but we can't be sure unless I get the genetic marker screening, and I can't afford that.

Thanks!
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I work for a general surgeon and if CCK reproduces your symptoms you may have cholecystitis (a type of diseased gallbladder--not the same as stones).  Having your gallbladder removed may resolve some of your symptoms.  Your PCP will likely send you for a surgical consult.  Good Luck!
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Avatar_f_tn
Thank you so much for responding! The symptoms reproduced by the CCK were in no way as bad as what I experienced during the "attack" last month, but still, painful. Didn't make me cry or ball up like the attack, but it still hurt a bit. I did tell that to the radiologist when she asked. I'm just so scared that this will be yet another test that comes back "normal." I'd really love to have my gallbladder out b/c I've been having this pain in my upper right quadrant for YEARS - almost a decade, and I never knew what it was. Now, knowing what's located in that area, I feel confident it's my gallbladder. I know that I do have GERD, and that causes a bunch of problems. But this attack I experienced was different than anything I've ever felt before, and I'm just terrified of it happening again. Thanks so much for your response.
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Avatar_f_tn
I agree...sounds like you have gallbladder disease. I had the same thing in '03 and ended up having my gallbladder removed. I didn't have stones either, but my gallbladder was "sludging" and causing severe pain.
I hope you get your results soon so you can get some relief. Gallbladder pain is horrible!
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Thank you so much for your feedback. All of this info is really helpful.
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