I have been experiencing pains that seem common to a lot of threads here but I thought I would start a more recent post as a lot of these seem to be several years old. About a month ago I woke up from a nap and had a lot of pain in my throat and a terrible burning in my chest. I thought that I had possibly had blisters in my throat because it was painful to swallow and my entire chest was burning. I went to the doctor the next morning because of the pain and he said that I had an upper respiratory infection. He said that he thought I would start to see more cold like symptoms in the next 24 hour but that if I didn't start to feel better then to come back in. That night the burning was so bad that I couldn't sleep. I realized that what I was experiencing was heartburn, which I had never had issues with before. I went in the next day, got an EKG as a precaution, and was given Omeprazole, Carafate, and Zantac. This was right before Thanksgiving so I went home tried that combination through the holiday and didn't feel any better at all. I would try to eat a piece of bread and have a terrible burning in my throat followed by immediate heartburn. Finally the Sunday after thanksgiving I had had very little to eat for a week, lost 8lbs and was now having diarrhea at night. I went back to see the doctor Monday and was refereed to a GI specialist.
The GI specialist was not able to see me for 2 weeks, so I went for the next two weeks with some improvement. The first week I ate only small bits of food like soups and bread. By the end of the week I was starting to feel better and thought I had turned a corner. The following week I started to go back to eating regular food. I wasn't feeling 100% but only occasionally having pain in my right upper quadrant and occasional floating bowel movements.
Thursday I went out to eat with my wife's grandparents for lunch, we had a pizza with a considerable amount of cheese, and a beer. That night we had a banquet and I had a nice plated dinner, and 2 more beers. I felt fine that night and through the next morning. That Friday was my company party and we had pizza at lunch, and then had the rest of the day off to get ready. My wife and I split some chips and guacamole and a beer to hold us over until the company party. After the chips and beer we went up stairs to get ready, and I started feeling very bloated and like I might have diarrhea. I took two pesto-bismol and an two ibuprofen. Four hours later my stomach was rock hard and I felt terribly nauseous. I went home and was up all night having fatty stools and waking up in a panic every 20 minutes or so having to run to the bathroom.
The next day I went to the ER, got some fluids, and some blood work done. My blood work came back mostly normal with a few values minimally out of range. The doctor told me that everything looked OK and to have a CT scan done Monday. I felt terrible all day Sunday, had my CT w/contrast Monday (normal), had an endoscopy w/biopsy Tuesday (normal), had a Colonoscopy w/biopsy Wednesday (normal), and finally a HIDA scan Thursday.
The HIDA Scan showed the following results:
Radiopharmaceutical: 5.4 mCi Tc-Choletec
Routine HIDA scan was performed. There is prompt and homogenous accumulation of activity in the liver. Activity is seen in the biliary tree and small bowel by 15 minutes. Gallbladder activity is seen by 15 minutes.
Ejection fraction was performed. This was calculated to be 21% at 30 minutes (normal > 38%), 25% at 45 minutes (normal > 50%) and 28% at 60 minutes (normal > 58%).
The doctor has said that getting my gallbladder removed seems to be the logical next step. He has stopped short though of saying "Yes, it is causing you problems." I continue to not be able to eat and I have now lost 19lbs. I am eating bread and hard-boiled eggs pretty much exclusively. A roast beef sandwich (bread and lunch meat, no condiments, cheese, or extras) last night has left me with diarrhea and tons of bloating, but didn't have the abdominal pain as much this time.
My biggest problems at this point is that I'm not eating, I'm having RUQ pain most of the time when I do eat small meals, I continue to have floating stools for my regular bowel movements and diarrhea the rest of the time, I am having terrible night sweats (caused by being hypoglycemic?), and NOTHING seems to be helping. My diet is close to fat free at this point and still everything persists.
Has anyone experienced this? I don't want to get my gallbladder out and all of these problems persist. However I can't go on like this much longer. Any thoughts/experiences are appreciated. Any alternative solutions to what sounds like it could be a life changing surgery?
Side note - I used to weigh 250lbs. I lost 40 lbs in 7 months about 2 years ago. Looking back on everything now, I believe that I had one of these attacks 5 days into a stay at an all inclusive resort and gorging myself on food for the week. I have read that rapid weight loss tends to be rough on the gallbladder, so thats the only reason I mention this...I am now 5'9 and 193 lbs (was 212 prior to this illness) if that makes any difference.
Anyone that has been through this and had the surgery, I'd love to hear if you have been able to go back to a normal life. Can you drink alcohol? Can you eat fast food? Can you go out to dinner and not have the rest of your night ruined by diarrhea?
Thanks for reading my long post, I'll be sure to post results of whatever treatment I end up getting!
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